CHAPTER 254

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 INCREASING THE AUTHORITY OF COUNCIL TO AWARD CONTRACTS WITHOUT COMPETITIVE BIDDING; AUTHORIZING THE MORTGAGING OF MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; CHANGING THE FISCAL AND BUDGET YEAR; CHANGING THE TIME OF THE ANNUAL AUDIT AND THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE AUDITORS; ELIMINATING THE OFFICE OF TAX COLLECTOR AND TRANSFERRING HIS POWERS AND DUTIES TO THE TREASURER AND REQUIRING THE TREASURER TO COLLECT SEWER RENTALS; AUTHORIZING SUITS FOR DELINQUENT TAXES IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS; AUTHORIZING THE ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION OF TAXES ON TELEGRAPH, TELEPHONE AND POWER POLES AND EQUIPMENT AND PRESCRIBING THE PROCEDURE THEREFOR; INCREASING THE LIMITATION UPON THE BONDED INDEBTEDNESS; DEFINING THE AUTHORITY OF TOWN POLICE WITHIN ONE MILE OF THE TOWN LIMITS; ADOPTING THE MOTOR VEHICLE CODE AND INCREASING THE AUTHORITY OF THE ALDERMAN TO FIX FINES, PENALTIES AND TERMS OF IMPRISONMENT; AND, REVISING THE PROCEDURE FOR INITIATING THE PAVING, CURBING AND GUTTERING OF STREETS AND SIDEWALKS.

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

Section 1. Section 19, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out all of paragraph (a) and substituting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

(a) No contract shall be made by council for any purpose, the contract price of which is in excess of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), without public competitive bidding; and

Section 2. Paragraph (a) of Section 2, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, is amended by inserting the words "and may mortgage or otherwise hypothecate such property for any municipal purposes" after the word "interest" appearing in the tenth line of said paragraph.

Section 3. Section 11, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended by striking out all of the first paragraph thereof and substituting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

Section 11. Annually in each year, and not later than the first of April, the Council shall prepare a budget containing the financial plan for conducting the affairs of the town for the ensuing fiscal year. The fiscal year shall be from May 1 to April 30.

Section 4. Paragraph (i), Section 10, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out the entire paragraph and substituting in lieu thereof a new paragraph, as follows:

(i) The Auditors shall audit the accounts of the Town and all of its officers whose duty involves the collection, custody and payment of the monies of the Town. They shall audit the books of the Alderman and acting Alderman, and the records of all fines, penalties and costs imposed or collected by either of them pursuant to any judgment order or decree made. The Auditors on or before the third Saturday in May next following their appointment shall make and deliver a detailed report of all and every of the accounts, records, and books by them examined and audited, which report shall be printed in a newspaper published in the Town at least two weeks before the next general election. The Auditors in the performance of their duties shall have access to all records of Council and the officers of the Town; and are authorized and empowered to employ such clerks or accountants as in their judgment may be necessary for the proper performance of their duties.

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

(a) The annual municipal election shall be held on the second Saturday in June, from one o'clock in the afternoon until five o'clock in the afternoon, at such place as shall be determined by the Council, due notice of which shall be given by an advertisement printed in a newspaper published in the Town and posted in six public places in the Town, not less than twenty-one (21) days before the day of the annual election.

Section 6. Paragraph (a), Section 10, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out the words, "tax collector" appearing in the second line of said paragraph.

Section 7. Section 10, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out all of paragraph (g) and substituting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

(g) The Treasurer shall be custodian of all the Town funds and shall deposit them in banking institutions located in the Town as designated by the Council.

He shall pay out no money except upon check or warrant countersigned by the Mayor and Secretary and authorized by the Council; shall keep a true, accurate and detailed account of all moneys received and of all moneys paid out by him; shall preserve all vouchers for moneys paid by him, and his books and accounts shall at all times be open to inspection by the Council; and he shall make such reports and at such times as the Council may direct; and shall possess and exercise all the powers and perform all the duties heretofore possessed, exercised and performed by the tax collector appointed by the Council. He shall file with the Town Council a bond with corporate surety in the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars, approved and paid for by Council, for the faithful performance of his duties. The Treasurer may not be a member of the Council.

Section 8. Section 13, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out all of the second paragraph and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

Upon receipt of said list of taxables to be prepared by the Treasurer, it shall be the duty of the Council, within ten (10) days after receipt of same, to return said list to the Treasurer, said list to be signed by the Commissioners or a majority of them, and shall be accompanied by a precept or warrant, signed by the Mayor, requiring the said Treasurer to collect and receive the several sums to be collected in accordance with the provisions of this Act, as amended.

Section 9. Section 13, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, is amended by striking out all of that paragraph which, as said section was originally enacted, was the fifth paragraph thereof and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

Whenever the personal property of the taxable is sufficient the Treasurer, in the name of Town Council * of Georgetown, may institute suit before any Justice of the Peace within the said Town, or before the Alderman of the said Town, or in the Court of Common Pleas in and for Sussex County, for the recovery of the unpaid tax in an action of debt, and upon judgment obtained, may sue out writs of execution as in case of other judgments recovered before a Justice of the Peace or in the Court of Common Pleas, as the case may be.

Section 10. Section 13, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, is amended by striking out all of that paragraph of said section which, as said section was originally enacted, was the twenty-third paragraph thereof and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

He shall report to the Council every month at its stated meeting and at such other times as may be required, all payments made to him and by whom made, the amount of uncollected taxes, and such other information as the Council may require and need so as to at all times be fully informed as to the condition of the Town tax collections. He shall keep a book of receipts with stubs attached and shall furnish every person paying any tax with a receipt showing the date of payment, the amount paid, and the subject matter of the tax. He shall enter every payment immediately in a book to be kept for the purpose, so that at all times the Council and any person interested may be able to know what taxes have been paid and what taxes are unpaid, and in general he shall diligently attend to the collection of taxes and carry out all reasonable directions and orders of the Council, and he and his sureties shall be liable on his bond for the faithful performance of his duties in the collection of taxes. On the first meeting in June of every year, the Council shall ascertain from the Treasurer the amount of uncollected taxes so assessed and laid and the persons and property liable for the same, and after a just allowance for errors and delinquencies, or otherwise, shall direct the Treasurer to proceed forthwith to the collection of the same by legal proceedings under the terms of this Act. It shall be the duty of the Town Solicitor to furnish at all times such legal advice and assistance to the Treasurer in the collection of taxes as may be necessary.

Section 11. Section 26, Chapter 166, Volume 43, as amended by Section 17, Chapter 303, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, is amended by striking out the words "Collector of Taxes" appearing in the sixteenth and seventeenth lines of the fifth paragraph and substituting in lieu thereof the word "Treasurer."

Section 12. Section 13, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, is amended by striking out all of those paragraphs of said section which, as said section was originally enacted, were the 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th paragraphs thereof and inserting in lieu thereof the following new paragraphs:

It shall be the duty of the Town Council by ordinance, or resolution, to prescribe and fix sewer rentals and other charges connected therewith, and said Council may in its discretion prescribe such penalty or penalties as it may see fit against persons delinquent in their payments of sewer rentals.

Twice yearly, that is to say, on the first day of January and the first day of July, in each and every year, it shall be the duty of the Council to send to the Treasurer, a list of all inhabitants assessed with sewer rentals, together with the amounts thereof, and the said Treasurer shall forthwith mail bills for sewer rentals to all persons appearing on said lists, which said bills shall be payable to the said Treasurer.

Said Treasurer, thirty (30) days after receiving said lists from the said Council, that is to say, on the first day of February and the first day of August, in each and every year, shall make a report to the said Council of all monies received by him, from the payment of the sewer rentals so prescribed. The said Treasurer shall likewise prepare a list of all persons who have failed to pay the sewer rentals so prescribed within the period of thirty (30) days, as hereinbefore set forth, together with the several sums due and owing from the said delinquents, and any penalty which may have attached by reason of the failure of the said delinquent to pay said bill within thirty (30) days. It shall then be the duty of the said Council, upon receiving said list of delinquents from the Treasurer, forthwith, to return said delinquent list to the Treasurer in said town, together with a praecipe signed by the Mayor commanding said Treasurer to collect the same.

The procedure for the collection of sewer rentals and charges shall be the same as prescribed for the collection of taxes and the said sewer rentals and charges shall be a lien on the lands and premises of the persons so assessed for a period of five years.

Section 13. Section 12, Chapter 166, fifth paragraph and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

The Council shall also have the right to levy and collect taxes upon all telephone, telegraph, power poles or other erections of like character erected within the limits of the Town, together with the wires, conduits and appliances thereto or thereon attached, both above and below the ground, that are now assessable and taxable, and the owner or lessee of such poles, erections, wires and appurtenant appliances shall submit to the Town Treasurer, on or before March first of each year, an itemized list in writing, verified by the oath or affirmation of the individual, or member of the firm or the president, general manager or treasurer of the association or corporation owning or leasing the same, and a valuation of all such poles, erections, wires or appurtenant appliances, both above and below the ground, owned or leased by such owner or lessee, within the Town limits, and the Council may at any time direct the same to be included in or added to the Town assessment. In case the owner or lessee of such poles or erections or appurtenances shall refuse or neglect to pay the taxes that may be levied thereon, the said taxes may be collected by the Town Treasurer as in the case of other taxes, and the Council shall have authority to cause the same to be removed.

Section 14. Section 30, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, by Section 19, Chapter 303, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, is amended by striking out all of the 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 Thirty-five Thousand Dollars ($35,000.00). 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 15. Section 10, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out the second paragraph of paragraph "1" and substituting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

The power and authority of each member of such police force shall, in the case of close pursuit of an offender, extend to any part of the State of Delaware. Each member of the police force shall be vested, within the Town limits and within one mile outside of said limits, with all the powers and authority to make arrests for violations of the Motor Vehicle Laws adopted or in force by virtue of the provisions of Section 29 of this Chapter. In addition, each member of the police force shall be vested, within the Town limits and within one mile outside of said limits, with all the powers and authority of a Constable of Sussex County, which powers and authority shall include but shall not be limited to the following:

(1)To execute all lawful orders, warrants, and other process directed to him by any court, or judge, of this State, or justice of the peace of the county;

(2)To execute all landlord's warrants;

(3)To take care that the peace of this State be duly kept according to his power;

(4)To arrest all persons who shall, in his presence, commit any riot, affray, or other breach of the peace, or who shall be riotously assembled, and carry them before a justice of the peace, to be dealt with according to law;

(5)To use diligence in arresting murderers, thieves and other felons;

(6)To prevent duly all bloodsheds, affrays, and breaches of the peace;

(7)To exercise such other power and duties as are now or may hereafter be conferred or enjoined upon a Constable of Sussex County by Act of the General Assembly; and

(8)To command in case of resistance to a lawful authority or other case of necessity, the aid of any of the people of this State.

Section 16. Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by inserting therein a new section to be designated as Section 27A as follows:

Section 27A. On and after , 1957, all driving and vehicular traffic and coaches as well as pedestrians, on the public streets within the Town limits of Georgetown, shall be governed by the provisions of 21 Del. C., Sections 4111 through 4181, inclusive, as heretofore or hereafter amended by the General Assembly, except to the extent that such provisions have been altered or supplemented by ordinances of the Council, as authorized by Title 21, Del. Code, Chapter 41.

Section 17. Section 29, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out all of said Section 29 and substituting in lieu thereof a new section as follows:

(a)The fines and penalties and terms of imprisonment which may be imposed for the commission of misdemeanors, including violations of the ordinances, rules, regulations and provisions of this Charter relating to the use of streets, highways, lanes and alleys by pedestrian or vehicular traffic, shall be identical with the fines, penalties and terms of imprisonment that may be imposed for the commission of such misdemeanors, violations or offenses under the provisions of the General Session Laws of this State.

(b)In all other cases, no fine shall be imposed in a sum exceeding One Hundred Dollars, ($100.00) exclusive of costs; and no term of imprisonment shall be imposed for violation of any rule, regulation or ordinance, or other offense, or for failure to pay any fine or penalty imposed, in excess of a period of thirty days.

Section 18. Paragraph (h), Section 10, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out all of the first paragraph thereof and substituting in lieu thereof a new paragraph as follows:

The Alderman shall be sworn or affirmed to perform the duties of his office with fidelity. In the event of his absence or disability, or otherwise, the Council, at any meeting, may appoint an acting Alderman. He shall have jurisdiction and cognizance of all breaches of the peace and other offenses committed within the limits of the Town so far as to arrest and hold to bail, or fine and imprison offenders; of all fines, penalties and forfeitures prescribed by this Charter, ordinances enacted hereunder, or any law of the State of Delaware, of all neglects, omissions or defaults of any member of the police force, or other Town office, agent or employee; provided, that he shall impose no fine or penalty or term of imprisonment in excess of that fixed by Section 29 of this Charter. The jail of Sussex County may be used for imprisonment under the provisions of this Charter. The Council shall reimburse the Alderman for all costs by him levied which are unable to be collected from persons against whom fines are imposed.

Section 19. Section 18, Chapter 166, Volume 43, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is amended by striking out all of said section and substituting in lieu thereof a new section 18 as follows:

Section 18. The Council shall have the power to cause to be paved or repaved the sidewalks of the said Town, or any part or portion thereof, and shall have power to have existing curbs or gutters, or both, repaired or relaid, or new curbs or gutters, or both, constructed, or any part of or portion thereof, in said Town, with such material or materials and of such width or size, and subject 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 the sidewalks with a specified material or materials, or repairing existing curbs or gutters, or both, or altering existing curbs or gutters, or both, with any specified material or materials and according to the stated specifications on a named street in front of the property of named owners, and of assessment of the costs thereof against such owners. The said ordinance or resolution shall be published at least one week prior to the meeting aforesaid in at least one issue of a newspaper published in Sussex County. The Council shall hold a meeting in said Town 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 question 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 referred to in said ordinance or resolution, and if it shall decide to proceed, it shall determine whether the whole or some specified proportion of the costs of the improvements aforesaid in front of the real property of the owner or owners named in the aforesaid ordinance or resolution shall be borne by said owners. If said determination shall be that the whole or specified proportion of said costs shall be borne by said owners, then and in such case the said owners shall be compelled to pay the whole or 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 to be determined by the lineal frontage of the parcel on the sidewalk to be paved or repaved, or in the gutter to be repaired or laid, or on the curb, to be repaired or constructed, or any or all of said improvements, as the case may be.

When the said paving or repaving, curbing or recurbing, guttering or reguttering, or any or all of them, have been done and the costs thereof ascertained, the Council shall ascertain the amount that the owner of each parcel of property aforesaid shall pay as hereinbefore stated, and shall give written notice thereof to such owner, or one of the co-owners, by mailing the same to his last known address. If any such owner shall fail to pay the specified amount within thirty days after the mailing of such notice, the same together with costs may be collected by an action of debt before the Alderman or any Justice of the Peace of Sussex County, or in the Court of Common Pleas for Sussex County. Writs of execution may issue upon judgment recovered as in like cases of a civil nature and the same proceedings had has on any other judgment before a Justice of the Peace or Court of Common Pleas. Upon a return of Nulla bona on an execution issued on said judgment a certified abstract of said Judgment shall be filed in the Prothonotary's office for Sussex County and said judgment shall become a lien upon the premises affected with same force and effect of any other judgment entered in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware.

The term "Owner" 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 ordinances or resolutions 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 proceedings mentioned in this Section. The Town Council of the Town of Georgetown, shall have full power and authority to regrade, redress or otherwise repair and rebuild all existing streets, lanes, alleys, and other public thoroughfares in the Town of Georgetown and to construct, build, pave and in any manner improve all new and existing streets, lanes, alleys and other public thoroughfares now opened or to be hereafter opened for public use in said Town, and in so doing shall use such materials and substances and such methods of construction and shall employ such contractor, engineers, inspectors and others as the Council may deem expedient and may use different materials and different methods of construction on different streets, or on different parts of the same street, as Council deems advisable. For the purpose of this Section Council shall have full power and authority to expend such part or parts of the money of the said Town in the general fund of the Town not otherwise appropriated.

Approved July 22, 1957.