AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE TOWN OF MIDDLETOWN", BEING CHAPTER 128, VOLUME 33, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, TO PROVIDE FOR PAVING OR REPAIRING OF SIDEWALKS, STREETS, CURBS, AND GUTTERS AND TO ORDER CONNECTION WITH WATER MAIN OR SEWER MAIN IN THE TOWN OF MIDDLETOWN AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE COLLECTION OF COSTS THEREOF FROM OWNERS OF THE LAND ABUTTING AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE COSTS THEREOF WHEN DONE BY THE TOWN OF MIDDLETOWN SHALL BE A LIEN ON THE PROPERTY RECOVERABLE BY THE SALE OF LANDS AND PREMISES AFFECTED AS A SPECIAL ASSESSMENT.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of each Branch thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. That all of Section 10, Chapter 128, Volume 33, Laws of Delaware, entitled "An Act to Reincorporate the Town of Middletown", as amended, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all paragraphs of Section 10 thereof, and inserting in lieu thereof the following paragraphs to be designated as Section 10 thereof :
Section 10. The streets, sidewalks, lanes, alleys, pavements, curbs, gutters, light, power, and water, in the Town of Middletown shall be under the supervision, management and control of the Council.
Whenever Council shall deem it expedient and needful for the public good and convenience that any sidewalk or street or portion thereof within said Town should be paved or repaved or that any curbing should be laid or reset or repaired, the Council shall have the power to cause the sidewalk or street or portion thereof to be paved or repaved, repaired or relaid, and to cause the curbing or gutters to be laid, reset, or repaired
with such material or materials and according to such specifications as it shall determine. Before the exercise of said power in any particular instance, the Council shall adopt an ordinance or resolution stating, in effect, that on a named day and at a named hour and place the Council will meet to consider the question of paving or repaving, curbing, recurbing, resetting or repairing with a specified material or materials the streets, or sidewalks or curbs or gutters on a named street in front of the property of named owners, and of assessing the cost thereof against the owners. The said ordinance or resolution shall be published in at least one issue of a newspaper of general circulation in the community at least one week prior to the meeting aforesaid. The Council shall hold a meeting in accordance with said ordinance or resolution and thereat shall hear the aforesaid owners of property and other residents of the Town appearing on the questions referred to in the said ordinance or resolution.
. After such hearing, the Council either at said meeting or at a subsequent meeting shall decide whether or not to proceed with the improvements or repairs referred to in the said ordinance or resolution ; provided that the Council shall not proceed with such improvements or repairs if at or prior to the hearing aforesaid, the Council shall be presented with a written objection thereto signed by a majority of the owners of real property in front of which such improvements or repairs were contemplated, but this proviso shall not apply to sidewalks. If the Council shall decide to proceed it shall determine whether the whole or some specified proportion of the cost of the improvements or repairs aforesaid in front of the real property of the owner named in the aforesaid ordinance or resolution shall be borne by said owners. If said determination shall be that the whole or, a specified proportion of said cost shall be borne by said owners, then and in such case the said owners shall be compelled to pay the whole or the specified proportion of the cost aforesaid, as the case may be; the amount to be paid by the owner of each parcel of property affected shall be determined on the basis of the lineal frontage of the parcel on the street or sidewalk to be improved or repaired as set forth in said ordinance or resolution.
When said improvements or repairs have been done and the cost thereof ascertained, the Council shall ascertain the amount that the owner of each parcel of property aforesaid shall pay, as hereinbefore stated, and shall fix the time when such payment must be made, provided that the time of payment shall not be less than twelve months thereafter, except in the case of the paving or repaving of sidewalks or any portion thereof for which the time of payment shall not be less than ninety days thereafter; and shall give written notice thereof to such owner by leaving or posting the same on his aforesaid real property or by mailing the same to his last known address. If any such owner shall fail to pay the specified amount at or before the time or times specified in the notice, the amount specified in said notice may be collected by the sale of his aforesaid real property. Such sale shall be made by the City Manager who shall advertise the parcel of real property for sale in at least one issue of a newspaper of general circulation in the community at least two weeks prior to the day of sale. Such advertisement shall give such general description of the parcel to be sold as will identify it, and shall state the day, hour, and place at which the sale will be held. *
Unless a sum of money for which the said parcel is to be sold, as aforesaid, together with the cost of advertisement of the sale, shall be paid prior to the day of sale, the said parcel of real property shall be sold by the City Manager at public sale on the day and at the hour and place named in the advertisement for the sale, to the highest and best bidder for the same.
Upon payment to the Town Treasurer of the price for which the property is sold at such sale, a deed of the property sold shall be executed in the name of The Town of Middletown by the Mayor and attested by the Clerk of Council and bearing an imprint of the corporate seal of the Town, and delivered to the purchaser. Such deed shall vest in the purchaser the same estate or interest in the property sold as the owner of the parcel at the time of the adoption of the ordinance or resolution first in this Section referred to, had therein, or thereto, subject to the same liens and encumbrances of record against said property at the date of the adoption of said ordinance or resolution. The purchaser or purchasers shall not be required to inquire into the regularity of the acts or proceedings of the Council in complying with the provisions of this section.
The Town Treasurer shall first deduct the costs of the sale which shall include the cost of the advertisement of the sale, the charges of an auctioneer, and all other expenses incident to the sale and also 10% of the amount that the owner of the property had failed to pay for the cost of the paving or repaving as aforesaid.
The Town Treasurer shall then deduct the amount that the owner of the property had failed to pay to the Town as aforesaid, together with the 10% aforesaid, and together with the costs, charges and other expenses of the sale aforesaid, and shall pay the sum so deducted into the Town treasury.
Any balance remaining shall be paid by the City Treasurer to the person or persons who were the owners of the property sold.
The term owner or owners as used in this section shall be deemed to mean the person or persons who owned the property in question at the time of the adoption or passage of the ordinance or resolution first in this section referred to, and any change of ownership thereafter shall not be deemed or held to affect any of the steps or proceeding mentioned in this section. Where owner or owners of property affected by the resolution or ordinance are not known to Council, the posting of notice on the property as required is deemed sufficient notice to enable the Council to proceed as though personal notice to owner or owners had been given. If there be more than one owner of any of the property affected by said ordinance or resolution, notice to one shall be deemed notice to all.
The aforesaid deed of the property sold shall recite briefly the amount that the owner had failed to pay to the Town, as aforesaid, the advertisement and notice of sale, the holding of the sale, the amount of the successful bid, and the costs of the sale, including the items hereinbefore set forth.
Whenever Council shall deem it expedient and needful for the public health and welfare that any sewers, mains and pipes be laid or installed on any property or on any street or alley in said Town or any public road adjoining or extending to said Town, the said Council shall have the power and it is hereby
authorized to proceed with the laying and installing of said sewers, mains and pipes in the manner hereinbefore provided pertaining to the improvements and repairs to sidewalks, streets, curbs and gutters, and to cause same to be done and costs recovered as therein provided. In addition, whenever Council shall so determine, it may in like manner cause any property in the Town to be connected with the water and sewer mains and to recover the costs therefor after like notice and in like manner as hereinbefore provided for the improvements and repairs to streets, sidewalks, curbs and gutters.
Approved July 27, 1955.