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, RELATIVE TO THE POWER OF THE TOWN COUNCIL OF GEORGETOWN TO BORROW MONEY AND ISSUE BONDS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all the Members elected to each Branch concurring therein):
Section 1. That Section 20 of Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, is amended by striking out said section and substituting in lieu thereof a new Section 20 as follows:
Section 20. The power or authority to borrow money may be exercised by the Town Council of Georgetown to provide funds for, or to provide for the payment of, any of the following projects or purposes:
(1) Refunding any or all outstanding bonds or other indebtedness of the Town at the maturity thereof or in accordance with any callable feature or provision contained herein;
(0) Meeting or defraying current annual operating expenses of the Town in an amount equal to but not in excess of currently outstanding, due and unpaid taxes, water rents, license fees, or other charges due the Town and available, when paid, for meeting or defraying current annual operating expenses of the Town;
(1) Erecting, extending, enlarging, maintaining, and repairing any plant, building, machinery, or equipment for the manufacture, supplying or distribution of gas, water, electricity, sewage or drainage system, or any of them, and the condemning or purchasing of any lands, personal property, easements and rights of way which may be required therefor;
(4) Constructing, paving, laying out, widening, extending, repairing and maintaining streets, lanes, alleys, and ways and the paving, constructing, laying out, widening, extending, repairing and maintaining of curbing and gutters along the same and the condemning or purchasing of any lands, personal property, easements or rights of way which may be required therefor;
(5) Defraying the cost to the Town of any other municipal improvement provided for or authorized or implied by the provisions of this Charter.
In those cases where the power or authority vested in the Town Council of Georgetown is sought to be exercised for the purpose of refunding any or all outstanding bonds or other indebtedness of the Town at a rate of interest equal to or less than the indebtedness thereby sought to be refunded and in all instances provided for in subparagraph "2" above, it shall not be necessary for the Town Council of Georgetown to call a special election of the taxables of the Town to secure their approval of such borrowing.
In all other instances the power to borrow money and to secure the payment thereof by the issuance of bonds or other kinds or forms of certificate or certificates of indebtedness for any other purpose or purposes above specified shall be only exercised in the following manner :
The Town Council of Georgetown shall adopt a resolution proposing unto the electors of the Town that money be borrowed by the Town for any of the above named purposes. The resolution proposing the borrowing shall plainly set forth the following matters :
(1) The amount of money, or the amount of money not exceeding which, it is proposed shall be borrowed ;
(2) The rate of interest, or the rate of interest not exceeding which, it is proposed shall be paid ;
(3) The manner in which it is proposed to be secured ;
(4) The manner in which it is proposed that it shall be paid, or funded, or both ;
(5) A short and clear description of the purpose or purposes for which the money or monies shall be used, and which description shall include the estimated cost of carrying out the purpose or purposes aforesaid ; and
(6) A statement of the time and place for a public hearing upon the resolution, whereat the Town Council of Georgetown shall vote upon the final authorization on for the loan.
It shall then be the duty of the Town Council of Georgetown to give notice of the time and place of such public hearing upon the resolution by publishing a copy of the resolution aforesaid in at least one issue of a newspaper published in said Town at least one week before the time fixed for said hearing and by posting copies thereof in five public places throughout said Town at least one week before the time fixed for said hearing.
At the time and place mentioned in such notice, the Town Council of Georgetown shall sit in public session and at such public session, or an adjourned session thereof, shall vote upon a resolution giving its final authorization for the loan. If such resolution shall be adopted by the Town Council of Georgetown, then the Town Council of Georgetown shall pass a second resolution ordering and directing that a Special Election be held in the Town not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days (as may be determined by the Town Council of Georgetown) after the date of the hearing and passage of the resolution authorizing the loan by the Town Council of Georgetown.
The Town Council of Georgetown shall give notice of the time and place for holding the said Special Election to all the taxables of the Town by posting notices thereof in five public places in said Town at least two weeks prior to the day fixed for the holding of such Special Election and by publishing a copy of such notice once each week during those two weeks immediately preceding that week during which the day fixed for the holding of such Special Election shall fall in a newspaper
published in said Town. Such notice of the Special Election shall likewise contain the same information with respect to the borrowing as required to be contained in the original resolution proposing the borrowing, excepting a statement of the time and place for a public hearing upon the resolution, whereat the Town Council of Georgetown shall vote upon the final authorization for the loan.
The Special Election shall be conducted by the Election Board as herein provided in the case of an annual election.
At least five days prior to the date of the Special Election, the Town Council of Georgetown shall cause to be prepared, printed and have available for distribution, a sufficient number of ballots; upon one-half of which ballots shall be printed the words "FOR THE PROPOSED BORROWING", and upon the other half of said ballot shall be printed the words "AGAINST THE PROPOSED BORROWING".
At such Special Election every person who would be entitled to vote at an annual election if held on that day shall be entitled to one vote for every dollar and fractional part of a dollar of real property and personal or per capita taxes paid by him during the taxable year next preceding said Special Election and also every owner of real property, whether individual, partnership or corporation, shall have one vote for every dollar or part of a dollar of tax paid upon such real property during the taxable year next preceding said Special Election. Votes at said Election may be cast either in person or by proxy and where a given real property is owned by more than one person each parcener shall be entitled to cast as many votes as his, her or its interest in the real property is related to the total number of votes which may be cast in the name of all owners of such real property, excepting in cases where real property is held by husband and wife as tenants by the entireties. In such latter cases either the husband or wife or the proxy of either of them may cast the entire votes representative of the tax paid upon such real property, depending upon which shall first present himself or herself at the polling place.
No proxy shall be voted or counted unless the same shall have been signed in the presence of at least two witnesses.
The Inspector of the Election shall deposit all ballots in the ballot box provided for that purpose in the presence of the person casting such ballot ; he; the said Inspector, first writing upon the outside of said ballot the number of votes being cast thereby by the person casting said ballot.
Immediately upon the closing of the polls the Election Board shall count the votes for and against the proposed borrowing and shall announce the result thereof and shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and the number of votes cast against the proposed borrowing and shall deliver such certificate, in duplicate, to the Town Council of Georgetown. One copy of the certificate the Town Council of Georgetown shall enter in the minutes of the next meeting of the Town Council of Georgetown and the other copy thereof shall be filed with the papers of the Town.
The form of the bonds or certificates of indebtedness and the thereunto attached coupons, if any, the time or times of payment, the time or times of payment of interest, the classes, the series, the maturity, the registration, any callable or redeemable feature, the denomination and the name thereof and any other relative or pertinent matters pertaining thereto shall all be determined by the Town Council of Georgetown. The bond or bonds or certificates of indetbedness shall be offered for sale to the best and most responsible bidder therefor after advertisement in a newspaper of said Town and otherwise if the Town Council of Georgetown shall deem it necessary, at least fifteen and not more than thirty days before offering the same for sale : Provided, that money may be borrowed to meet current operating expenses as hereinbefore provided by subsection 2 of the first paragraph hereof, at public or private sale, without first advertising the offer of any such bonds or certificates of indebtedness for sale.
All bonds or certificates of indebtedness forming a single issue need not be offered for sale at a single sale but any given issue of bonds or certificates of indebtedness authorized as hereinbefore provided may be advertised and sold in whole or in part, from time to time, and until the entire authorized issue be disposed of, as the Town Council of Georgetown may deem most advisable.
The Town Council of Georgetown shall provide in its budget and in fixing of the rate of tax, or otherwise, for the payment of principal of such bond or bonds or certificate or certificates of indebtedness at the maturity thereof together with the interest due or which may thereafter become due thereupon and, in a proper case, it shall also provide a sinking fund therefor.
Unless any such bond or bonds or certificate or certificates of indebtedness shall otherwise provide therein, the faith and credit of the Town of Georgetown shall be deemed to be pledged for the due payment of any such bond or bonds or certificates or certificate of indebtedness and interest thereon according to its terms when and after the same have been duly and properly executed, delivered and due value received therefor.
The bonded indebtedness shall not at any one time in the aggregate exceed the total of 15 per centum of the value of the real property situate within the limits of the Town as shown by the last assessment preceding the creation of the said indebtedness.
Approved May 13, 1955.