CHAPTER 136

AN ACT TO AMEND THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF DOVER, CHAPTER 158, VOLUME 36, LAWS OF DELAWARE, BY AUTHORIZING THE COUNCIL TO EXTEND THE BOUNDARIES OF SAID CITY AFTER A SPECIAL ELECTION OF THE QUALIFIED VOTERS AND REAL ESTATE OWNERS OF THE TERRITORY PROPOSED TO BE ANNEXED.

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

Section 1. That Chapter 158, Volume 36, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by deleting at the end of Section 1 thereof, Section 1A as provided by Chapter 314, Volume 49, Laws of Delaware, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 1A, to read as follows:

Section 1A. The City of Dover is hereby authorized and empowered to extend its boundaries as hereinafter provided.

In order to extend the boundaries of The City of Dover the Council shall adopt a resolution proposing the inclusion of territory or territories within the limits of The City of Dover and calling for a special election to be held in said territory or territories in accordance with Title 22, Chapter 1, Section 101, Delaware Code for 1953. Said Resolution shall contain a description of the territory or territories proposed to be annexed and shall specify the date of such election, which shall be not less than thirty nor more than sixty days after the adoption of said resolution, and the place or places of said election. Said resolution shall be published in at least two issues of a newspaper of general circulation within The City of Dover at least two weeks prior to the day of said election.

Elections may be held in more than one of said territories on the same day, but the said elections shall be separate; only the votes of qualified voters and real estate owners of a territory as herein described shall be counted in the election to determine whether the territory shall be annexed.

Any such election shall be held by the election officers of the Election District or Districts of Kent County which shall include the territory proposed to be annexed. Every person who is duly registered upon the Books of Registered Voters for said Election District, or Districts, who is a resident of the territory proposed to be included within the limits of The City of Dover, and who does not own real estate within said territory shall be entitled to one vote at the election to determine whether said territory shall be annexed, and every person of the age of twenty-one years or upwards who is the owner of real estate within a territory proposed to be included assessed to him on the assessment records of Kent County, shall be entitled to one vote for each One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) or fractional part thereof of the assessed value of said real estate. Owners of real estate in common shall be entitled to vote according to their respective shares of the assessed value thereof. Owners of real estate by the entireties shall each be entitled to vote one-half of the assessed value thereof. Owners of real estate in joint tenancy shall be entitled to vote according to the assessed value thereof, divided by the number of joint tenants. Life tenants shall be entitled to vote according to the full amount of the assessed value of real estate so held by them, and the holders of remainder or similar interest subject to a life estate shall not be entitled to vote any part of the assessed value of such real estate.

The Council of The City of Dover shall provide the ballots for any such election and shall bear the cost of holding such election. The ballots shall briefly indicate the territory proposed to be included and shall provide two boxes on the ballot beside which shall appear the words "FOR inclusion within The City of Dover", and "AGAINST inclusion within The City of Dover". Each voter shall indicate his preference by making a mark in pencil within the box beside the words expressing his preference. The election officers shall note on the outside of each ballot before the same is deposited in the ballot box the number of votes to which the person casting such ballot is entitled.

At any such election the polls shall be open from one o'clock P. M. to seven o'clock P. M. When the polls are closed the election officers shall publicly count the votes and forthwith certify to the Clerk of the Council the number of votes cast for and against inclusion within the City limits. At the next regular or special meeting of the Council the Mayor and Council shall receive the results of the election and make the same a part of the minutes of said meeting.

If a majority of the votes cast in an election held in a territory proposed to be annexed shall be in favor of the inclusion of that territory, the Council may thereupon adopt a resolution annexing said territory and including some within the limits of The City of Dover. Upon the adoption of a resolution of annexation a copy thereof certified by the Clerk of Council and a plot of the area annexed shall be forthwith filed for record with the Recorder of Deeds of Kent County, and the area so annexed shall for all purposes thenceforth be part of The City of Dover.

If a majority of the votes cast in an election held in a territory proposed to be annexed shall be against the inclusion of that territory within the limits of The City of Dover, the proposed annexation of said territory shall be declared to have failed. Nothing in this Act shall prohibit Council from resubmitting a proposal of annexation to the voters of said territory, or any portion thereof, under the authority of this Section and in accordance with the provisions thereof.

Approved July 9, 1959.