CHAPTER 303

RELATING TO TOWN OF GEORGETOWN

AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT AMENDING, REVISING AND CONSOLIDATING THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF GEORGETOWN", BEING CHAPTER 166, VOLUME 43, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, BY CHANGING CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ANNUAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION, VIZ:' THE NOTICE REQUIRED THEREFOR, THE TIME FOR APPOINTMENT OF THE ELECTION BOARD, THE QUALIFICATION OF ELECTORS WITH RESPECT TO THE PAYMENT OF DELINQUENT TAXES, THE TIME AND THE PROCEDURE FOR THE FILING OF CANDIDATES, AND PROVIDING FOR THE USE OF OFFICIAL BALLOTS; CHANGING THE TIME FOR POSTING THE ANNUAL ASSESSMENT LIST, HEARING APPEALS THEREON AND GIVING NOTICE THEREOF; MODIFYING THE PROCEDURE FOR THE BILLING, COLLECTION AND PAYMENT OF TAXES, AND ELIMINATING THE ALLOWANCE OF ABATEMENTS; REPEALING THE EXEMPTION OF FARM LAND FROM TAXATION, AND MAKING PERSONAL OR CAPITATION TAXES LIENS AGAINST REAL ESTATE; INCREASING THE LIMIT UPON BONDED INDEBTEDNESS; ENLARGING THE POWER OF THE COUNCIL WITH RESPECT TO NUISANCES; GIVING THE COUNCIL CERTAIN POWERS OVER NEW DEVELOPMENTS AND SUBDIVISIONS; PROVIDING FOR THE APPORTIONMENT AND ASSESSMENT OF SEWER CONSTRUCTION COSTS AND THE LIEN THEREOF; PRESCRIBING THE JURISDICTION AND POWERS OF THE COUNCIL WITH RESPECT TO DRAINAGE IN THE TOWN; AND INCREASING THE LIMITATION UPON BORROWING FOR CURRENT EXPENSES.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all Members elected to each Branch thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Paragraph (a) of Section 5, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking

out the word "ten" appearing in the seventh line of said paragraph and inserting in lieu thereof the words "twenty-one".

Section 2. Section 5, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out all of paragraph (b) and substituting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

(b) The election shall be held under the supervision of an Election Board consisting of three adult citizens of the Town, to wit, an Inspector and two other citizens, residing in said Town, all to be appointed by the Council as hereinafter provided. The Election Board shall be Judges of the Election, and shall decide upon the legality of the votes offered.

Section 3. Section 5, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out all of paragraph (c) and substituting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

(c) Every resident of the Town, male or female, who is twenty-one years of age or older and who has resided in said Town for at least six months next preceding the day of said election, and who is not delinquent in respect of any tax levied by the Town, shall be entitled to vote at said election; provided, however, that the delinquent tax of any resident taxable must be paid prior to the day of said election in order to qualify him or her to vote on the day of such election.

Section 4. Section 5, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out all of paragraph (h) and substituting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

(h) All persons desiring to be candidates for the office of Mayor or Councilman, as the case may be, at said municipal election, shall file with the Secretary of the Council or other Clerk in charge, at the business office of the Council, during the usual business hours and not later than five o'clock in the afternoon on the tenth day immediately preceding the day of said election, a written statement of such candidacy upon suitable forms or blanks furnished by the Council, which said statement shall be dated, signed by the candidate, and witnessed by at least two adult residents of the town; and the name of any person whose candidacy has not been so filed shall not be placed upon the ballot for said election.

Section 5. Section 5, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by adding thereto a new paragraph to be designated as paragraph (i) as follows:

(i) The Council shall hold a meeting as soon as conveniently possible after the close of the time for the filing of candidates as aforesaid, and at said meeting shall appoint an Election Board, ascertain whether candidates are qualified, and authorize the printing of the official ballots for said election.

Section 6. Section 5, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by adding thereto a new paragraph to be designated as paragraph (j) as follows:

(j) The Council shall cause to be printed in such form as it shall deem advisable, a ballot bearing the words "Official Ballot" and listing the names of all candidates who have duly filed and are duly qualified under this statute, and shall furnish a sufficient supply of the same for use at said municipal election; and any unofficial ballot cast at said election shall not be counted.

Section 7. The first paragraph of Section 12, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out all of the sixth, seventh and eighth sentences in said paragraph and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

The said list of assessment shall be completed and a copy thereof delivered to the Council by the Assessor not later than the twentieth day of March in each and every year. It shall be the duty of the Council to examine said list carefully and to make such changes as to assessments, either by raising or lowering such assessments, or by assessing any persons, property and estates omitted, as they may deem proper, and to approve the same by the first day of April. On approval of said assessment list by the Council, it shall be the duty of the Council in each and every year, to post a copy of such assessment list in the County Court House in said Town and to keep a copy of said list open to inspection at its office, for the period from the first day of April to the tenth day of April, inclusive, for the information of and examination by all persons concerned, and public notice of the posting of the same shall be given by printed notices to be placed in six public places in said Town at least one week prior to the posting of said assessment list as aforesaid.

Section 8. The second paragraph of Section 12, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out the word "Monday" appearing in the second sentence of said paragraph and inserting in lieu thereof the word "Tuesday".

Section 9. Section 12, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out all of the fourth paragraph and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

After the Council has ascertained the sum necessary to be raised in the said Town for the purpose of this Act, and has apportioned the same on the assessment valuation as aforesaid, it shall forthwith deliver a copy of the assessment list to the Treasurer of the said Town, who shall make out all bills representing Town taxes and shall place them in the mail not later than the first day of May. All taxes shall become due on the first day of May in each year, and shall be payable to the Treasurer at the business office of the Council on or before the thirty-first day of May in each year without any abatement. All taxes remaining unpaid on the first day of June in each year shall be deemed delinquent, and upon all taxes paid after the thirty-first day of May of each year in which the same shall be levied, there shall be added thereto a penalty of one per centum (1%) per month until the same shall be paid.

Section 10. The sixth and seventh paragraphs of Section 12, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, are repealed.

Section 11. Section 13, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out all of the first paragraph of said Section and substituting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

After the thirty-first day of May, the Treasurer shall compile immediately a list of all delinquent taxables showing the name and address of each such taxable, and opposite the name of each, the amount of the real estate and personal assessment, distinguishing between them, and also the tax levied on each person and the tax on the whole valuation, and the rate per hundred dollars, and shall deliver said list forthwith to the Council.

Section 12. The third paragraph in Section 13, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is repealed.

Section 13. Section 13, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by adding to the fourth paragraph of said section the following sentence:

All personal or capitation taxes assessed and laid against any resident of the town shall also become a like first lien against all real estate of such taxable situated within said town.

Section 14. Section 20, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out paragraph (d), now appearing in said section and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

(d) The bonded indebtedness under this section shall not at any one time in the aggregate exceed the total of fifteen per centum (15%) of the value of the real property within the limits of the Town as shown by the last assessment preceding the creation of the said indebtedness.

Section 15. Paragraph (a) of Section 22, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, is amended by adding to said paragraph the following sentence:

The power of the Council to enact ordinances governing nuisances shall include the power to locate, regulate, remove and prohibit the raising or keeping of poultry, swine and other animals, and the keeping of poultry, swine and other animal yards, pens, pounds, and houses, within the limits of said Town.

Section 16. Section 22, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by adding to said Section a new paragraph designated as paragraph (f) as follows:

(f) The Council may require every person, firm or corporation hereafter desiring to lay out and establish any new development, sub-division, plot or plan of any lot or lots for residential, commercial or industrial purposes within the limits of the town, or desiring to make any change in any existing development, sub-division, plot or plan, to make an application to the Council for a permit and to submit to the Council for its approval the proposed plan therefor showing the location, shape and size of the lot or lots therein, the location and width of all proposed streets or ways therein, the relation of such proposed streets or ways to the existing streets and ways in the town, the provisions to be made for drainage, sewage disposal, water, electricity, telephone and other utilities therein, and such other information as the Council may reasonably require. The Council may issue its permit or approval subject to such terms and conditions as it may deem to be in the public interest of the town, and no person, firm or corporation shall proceed to finally lay out, establish, make any change in, sell any lot or lots or erect any building or buildings in, any such development, sub-division, plot or plan, without having first obtained a permit or approval of the Council therefor and complying with the terms or conditions of said permit or approval.

Section 17. Section 26, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by adding to said section the following new paragraphs:

The Council is authorized and empowered to construct and install additional sanitary sewers and facilities in accordance with any plan that may be adopted from time to time, as it may deem necessary or advisable to meet the needs of the Town. The cost of constructing and installing such sewers and facilities may be assessed, in whole or in part, against the properties abutting upon or served by such sewer construction in the manner hereinafter set forth.

Whenever the Council shall determine, either on petition by a majority in number or in interest of the property owners abutting any proposed sanitary sewer construction, or on its own initiative, that such construction of any sanitary sewer is required, it shall order its Sewer Inspector or engineer to undertake the work and surveys necessary to make a report estimating the approximate whole cost of such construction. The Council shall apportion the said cost, or the portion of said cost that is to be borne by the abutting property owners, to each lineal foot of the property abutting upon that portion of the street in which any sewer may be constructed hereunder, and the said cost per lineal foot shall be assessed against and paid for by the abutting property upon the streets in which said sewers are constructed at the time of completing each sewer. In the case of property situated at the corner of two such streets or otherwise so situated as to be assessed for the cost of building a sewer in one of such streets, only the front of such property shall be liable for such assessments; provided, however, that the Council shall in all such cases decide what portion of the corner property shall be considered the front and what portion shall be considered side frontage; and provided, further, that in the case of all corner properties the side frontage shall not exceed one hundred and twenty (120) feet; and side frontage thus determined, not in excess of one hundred and twenty (120) feet, shall be exempt from the payment of any sewer assessment, unless the owner thereof should, after the side frontage is fixed as aforesaid, decide to make such side frontage the front of said property, in which case said property shall bear such additional assessment as the Council shall determine. No property shall be assessed for the construction of any sewer unless such property or some portion thereof shall abut upon the street in which said sewer shall have been constructed, or unless such property has a right of access to said street, or desires to use said sewer before a sewer is constructed upon the street upon which said property abuts, or is so situated that it must be served by the sewer which has been constructed, in which case such property shall be liable for the same assessment as though the sewer was constructed in the portion of the street upon which said property abuts, and said property shall not be liable for any further assessment for sewer purposes. The word "street" as used herein shall be deemed to comprehend and include highways, roads, lanes and alleys.

Before proceeding with such sewer construction or making any such assessments of the cost thereof, the Council shall, by a majority vote, adopt a resolution giving a general description of the proposed sewer construction, the total cost to be borne by the abutting property, the proposed apportionment thereof and the amounts proposed to be assessed against the respective abutting properties and property owners. The resolution shall also state the day, hour and place the Council will sit to hear objections to the proposed sewer construction or to the proposed assessments of cost. A copy of such resolution shall be sent to all abutting property owners affected, at least five (5) days before the day fixed for the hearing, by personal service or by registered mail addressed to their last known post office address. At the time and place fixed in said resolution, the Council shall hear such owners of the property affected as may attend, and shall at said meeting or at a subsequent day as they shall deem proper, adopt a resolution by a majority vote to proceed with or to abandon, as they shall deem advisable in the public interest, the proposed sewer construction or any part thereof, as contemplated in the prior resolution. In case the determination shall be to proceed with the proposed construction, the Council shall thereafter fix the assessments of the cost thereof after making such corrections or adjustments as they shall deem proper or as the circumstances may require.

All assessments made hereunder shall be a lien upon the property upon which they are made from the date upon which they are certified by the Secretary of the Council to the Treasurer of Georgetown for collection, and such lien shall have priority against any lien, encumbrance or conveyance made or suffered by the owner or owners of such property after the date of certifying such assessment as aforesaid. Any such assessment shall become due and payable upon the date it is certified for collection as aforesaid, and the Treasurer shall render forthwith the bill for the same. Upon all assessments not paid within ninety days, interest at the rate of six per centum (6%) per annum may be charged from ninety days after the date of the certifying of such assessment as aforesaid until the same is paid in full. If any such assessment or part of such assessment shall remain unpaid at the end of one year after the date of the certifying as aforesaid, the Council may issue a warrant directed to the Collector of Taxes, commanding him to levy the same with the interest thereon accrued, and all costs thereon, upon the property upon which it is a lien and to advertise and sell said property in the same manner provided for the collection of town taxes.

Section 18. Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by inserting therein a new section to be designated as Section 26A as follows:

Section 26A. The Council shall have full jurisdiction and control within the limits of the Town, of the drainage of all water thereof, together with the power to alter and change the course and direction of any of the natural water courses, runs or rivulets within the limits of the Town; to open or construct such gutters, ditches, drains and drainage sewers within the limits of said Town as it may deem necessary; and to regulate, maintain, clean, and keep the same open and unobstructed. For such purposes the Council shall have the power and authority to enter upon private lands and take, condemn and occupy the same in the same manner as hereinbefore provided in the case of condemning land for streets and highways, with the necessary changes as to detail.

In any case where any portion of the Town shall be drained by any public or taxable ditch organized under the ditch or drainage laws of the State of Delaware, the Council is empowered to assume and pay to the ditch company or organization in charge of the management of such ditch, a fair share of the cost of opening, constructing or maintaining said ditch, according to the benefits received therefrom by the town; and for this purpose the Council shall have power to enter into such agreements or arrangements with any such ditch company or organization as it may deem proper. In any such case the Council may provide that the share of the costs which it undertakes to assume and pay on behalf of the Town, shall be in lieu of ditch taxes or assessments against any or all of the individual lot or property owners within the limits of the Town who may be benefited by such ditch and might otherwise be subject to ditch taxes or assessments thereon.

Section 19. Section 30, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, is amended by striking out said Section and substituting in lieu thereof a new Section 30 as follows:

Section 30. Whenever current receipts are insufficient to provide for the needs of the Town, the Council is authorized to anticipate revenue by borrowing such amounts as are required, which shall be repaid from current revenue received thereafter; provided, however, that the amount of such indebtedness shall not at any time exceed the aggregate sum of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00). Indebtedness created hereunder shall be evidenced by bond or note of the Town, and the faith and credit of the Town shall be deemed to be pledged for the due payment thereof. To exercise the power aforesaid, the Council shall adopt, by the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the Council, a resolution providing for such borrowing.

Section 20. This act shall become effective immediately upon its approval, except that Sections 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 thereof shall not take effect and become operative until the first day of March following such approval.

Approved July 8, 1953.