AN ACT TO AMEND THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF REHOBOTH BEACH, IN SUSSEX COUNTY, AS ESTABLISHED BY CHAPTER 161, VOLUME 41, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AND AS AMENDED, BY PROVIDING FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF STREETS AT THE JOINT EXPENSE OF THE CITY AND ABUTTING PROPERTY OWNERS.
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. This Act shall be designated as Section 33A of the Charter of the City of Rehoboth Beach as established by Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, and as amended.
Section 2. Definitions--The Word street shall include present and future streets, highways, thoroughfares, lanes, avenues and alleys of the City of Rehoboth Beach.
The word block shall include the lineal frontage of all property fronting and abutting upon both sides of any street between two other successive intersecting streets.
The word City shall mean the City of Rehoboth Beach within its territorial limits.
The word Commissioners shall mean The Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach.
Section 3. In addition to the power and authority to improve the streets of the City and to expend its funds therefor, The Commissioners are authorized and empowered to apportion and impose not exceeding two-thirds of the entire cost to the City of improving any street, or part thereof, upon the abutting property owners, block by block, in the following manner :
The entire cost to the City of any such improvement shall include the total costs to be paid by the City out of City funds for improving and repairing the surface of any such street from curb line to curb line.
The cost of improvement of intersections shall be borne solely by the City.
Upon the petition in writing signed by the owners of a majority of the entire lineal frontage of all property fronting on any given block of the City between intersections, and filed with The Commissioners praying that The Commissioners proceed to improve such block of street and the street intersections at each end thereof, The Commissioners may at any time thereafter proceed to improve the street and intersection pursuant to the provisions hereof. No petition shall be received if it purports to restrict the time within which such improvement shall be carried out, or the discretion of the Commissioners as to the nature, extent and cost thereof ; nor unless it shall have attached thereto an oath or affirmation of at least two (2) freeholders of the City taken before a person authorized to administer oaths, and verifying that the signatures appended were made in their presence and are the signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be, and that they did fully read such petition to each signer prior to the signing thereof. Whenever any such petition shall have been received, approved and filed by The Commissioners, it may not thereafter be withdrawn, nor shall the signature of any signer be stricken therefrom, except by and with the consent of The Commissioners ; and such petitions, received, approved and filed shall be admitted into evidence in any Court of law or equity, and shall be prima facie proof of its contents and of the signatures of the respective signers.
With respect to any one street there shall be, so far as possible, a uniformity of the character of the improvement, and of the kind or class of materials used.
The entire cost of any improvement under the provisions hereof, may be paid, when due, by The Commissioners out of any funds of the City not otherwise appropriated or set aside,
and for any such purpose The Commissioners may borrow money and secure the payment thereof by the issuance of bonds or certificates of indebtedness pledging the full faith and credit of the City, or such other security as The Commissioners shall determine, for the payment of the principal thereof, and the interest due thereon, and pursuant to the terms and provisions of and in the manner provided by Section 40 of the Charter of the City as amended ; Provided, However, that it shall not be necessary to call or hold a Special Election of the taxables of the City to secure their approval of such borrowing; and each bond or certificate of indebtedness shall provide that the same may be called in and redeemed and paid by The Commissioners in whole or in part, at its option, at any interest date designated therein.
Upon the completion and acceptance of any such improvement of any block of street The Commissioners shall cause to be made an accurate statement of the whole costs to the City and shall deduct from such whole cost the costs of such improvement to the intersections of any street done and improved in connection with and as a part of any such street improvement.
The entire cost of any street improvement under the provisions hereof, excluding the cost of the improvement of street intersections, shall be divided into three equal parts and the amount of two such equal parts shall be apportioned among, and levied and assessed upon all of the adjacent property and property owners of such block according to the lineal footage of the respective properties abutting upon both sides of the block of the street.
Such levy and assessment shall be made by The Commissioners by causing a complete list of all properties to be assessed, setting forth the number of lineal feet of each such property fronting or abutting upon the street, the owner or owners thereof, and the amount levied and assessed against such property and the owner or owners thereof.
A copy of such special assessment list shall be posted in the City Hall of the City for one week for public inspection. An advertising stating the fact of such posting and the time and place when and where The Commissioners shall sit to hear objections to the assessment list shall be published in two successive issues of a newspaper published in the City prior to the day fixed for hearing; and the hearing shall not be less than ten (10) days nor more than twenty (20) days after the last publication of such advertisement. The hearing shall be in public on the day and hour and at the place stated in the advertisement, and The Commissioners shall hear and determine all objections to such special assessment list as shall have been made by any party in interest in writing and filed with The Commissioners at any time prior to the hour of such public hearing as fixed in the advertisement. The hearing may be adjourned from time to time until all objections have been heard and determined.
Upon determination of all objections The Commissioners shall cause said assessment list to be corrected and altered, if need be, to conform to and comply with the terms hereof ; and such list showing the several amounts, finally determined as having been levied and assessed against the several properties
and the owners thereof shall be certified to by The Commissioners as correct.
Any special assessment made hereunder shall be a lien upon the respective properties upon which any such assessment is levied and assessed as of the date that the list shall be certified to by The Commissioners as correct; and such lien shall have priority over all other liens, incumbrances or conveyances excepting only tax liens and prior special assessment lists of like nature for public improvement.
Immediately after certification of the assessment list, The Commissioners shall cause a duplicate thereof to be prepared and delivered to the City Manager, who shall immediately pre-part statements of such assessments against each property so assessed, and shall mail, deliver or cause to be delivered such statements to the person or persons whose names appear therein as the owner or owners of such property, or properties, respectively. The mailing of a statement to the last known post office address of any person shall be a sufficient notice of such assessment.
All sums of money paid on account of any such assessment shall be paid to the City Manager who shall give his receipt therefor, and all such sums of money shall be by him paid and delivered to the Treasurer of the City who shall deposit them in some banking institution in the State of Delaware in a special account to be designated as a "Sinking Fund for Street Improvement", separate and distinct from any other funds controlled by said Treasurer. The money so deposited shall only be paid out of any such account for the purpose of paying, retiring or redeeming any borrowing of money, bonds or certificates of indebtedness incurred or issued by the City in pursuance hereof, and for the paying of interest thereon. If at any time all such outstanding borrowings, bonds or certificates of indebtedness, and interest thereon be fully paid and satisfied, any amount remaining in such sinking fund may be paid over into the general fund of the City and used for any lawful municipal purpose.
All special assessments shall be due and payable upon the date that The Commissioners certify to the correctness thereof, and all amounts unpaid thereon after sixty (60) days of the date of certification shall bear lawful interest until the date of payment, and such interest shall be added and considered as a part of any such assessment. Any assessment paid in full within sixty (60) days of the due date shall not bear interest.
Any property owner or owners so assessed may file with the City Manager a statement in writing signed by him or them and stating that such owner or owners elect to pay the assessment in five equal instalments. Any such statement must be filed within sixty (60) days from the due date of such assessment, and if so filed such owner or owners shall then be allowed to pay the same in five (5) equal instalments with interest as aforesaid upon the unpaid balance. The first such instalment shall be due and payable within sixty (60) days from the date that the Commissioners shall certify the list, and a subsequent instalment, with interest as aforesaid, shall be due and payable on the first day of July in each year thereafter until fully paid. Any owner of property shall have the right to pay the full balance due upon his assessment at any time. If any owner, not electing to pay the assessment in instalments, or having so elected, shall neglect to pay any instalment or any part thereof,
when due, the whole of said assessment and interest shall be forthwith collected by the City Manager who is hereby vested with all the rights and powers, and shall proceed to collect the same in any of the manners provided for the collection of other taxes, assessments and charges due the City as more particularly set forth in Section 27 of the Charter of the City.
Approved June 8, 1955.