AN ACT TO INCORPORATE THE TOWN OF OAK ORCHARD IN THE COUNTY OF SUSSEX, STATE OF DELAWARE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all the Members elected to each Branch thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. CREATION
The limits and bounds hereinafter described and defined in Section 2 of this Act and the inhabitants therein are hereby created as a municipal corporation of the State of Delaware under the style and name of the "Town of Oak Orchard".
Section 2. LIMITS AND BOUNDS
The corporate limits and bounds of the Town of Oak Orchard, Delaware, are established and declared to include all of that tract, piece or parcel of land, marsh and beach described as follows, to wit: Beginning at a cement bounder settled on the south side of the Boardwalk at Water Front of Oak Orchard between Oak Orchard and Riverdale, thence running said Riverdale line S. 10° W. 155 feet to the south end of a culvert across River Street and Cabin Neck Gut, thence with center of said Cabin Neck Gut, and land of Chief Clark, to land of Wm. H. Davis, thence with said David land, with a cement bounder settled on bank of Gut, N. 72° 40' E. 660 feet to a cement bounder, settled on S. W. Right of Way of Highway leading to Oak Orchard, thence with South West Right of Way of said Road S. 45° E. 1031 feet to a cement bounder, corner for Moore land, and A. Ableman's Heirs land, thence Ableman's Heirs land, and Moores land N. 72° 40' E. 1150 feet, to a cement bounder corner for land of Chief Clark, thence with land of Chief Clark, Able-man's Heirs, and Bowden land and Fagan, S. 36° 45' E. 1700 feet to a cement Bounder corner for land of Fagan and Bowden thence with land of Fagan and Chief Clark N. 48° 45' E. 1570 feet to center of a glade with a cement Bounder settled on south west side, thence down center of said Glade Southeasterly to Indian River thence with shore line of Indian River Southwesterly to place of beginning.
The Town Council may at any time hereafter cause a survey and plot to be made of the Town of Oak Orchard, Delaware, and said plot when so made and approved by the Town Council, signed by the President and attested by the Secretary with the municipal corporate seal attached thereto may be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, Georgetown, Sussex County, Delaware, and when so recorded the plot, or duly certified copy thereof, shall be evidence in all Courts of law and equity of this State.
Section 3. GOVERNMENT.
The Government of the Town of Oak Orchard and the exercise of all powers conferred by this Charter except as otherwise provided herein shall be vested in a Town Council, consisting of seven members, to be chosen as hereinafter provided. One of the said councilmen shall have the title of Mayor of Oak Orchard, with duties hereinafter to be prescribed, and who shall also be President of the Town Council. Each of the seven councilmen shall be above the age of twenty-one years, a non-delinquent taxable of said Town and at the time of his election and during his term of office, a free holder of the Town. Four of the said councilmen during the terms of their office shall be bona fide residents of the Town of Oak Orchard, including the councilman with the title of Mayor and three of the said councilmen during the terms of their office shall be non-residents of the Town of Oak Orchard. If at any time during the terms of the said councilmen they fail to comply with the aforesaid residence requirements they shall ipso facto vacate their office.
Section 4. ELECTIONS
The following persons shall serve as members of the Town Council from and after passage hereof until their successors are duly elected and qualified:
Thomas C. Whitledge--Mayor and President of Council
Manie P. Wendling--Resident Councilman
Henry C. Shugard--Resident Councilman
Arthur E. Cathel, Sr.--Resident Councilman
Howard R. Elliott--Non-Resident Councilman
John T. Satterfield--Non-Resident Councilman
Preston E. West--Non-Resident Councilman
At the annual election to be held on the second Saturday in September, 1959, between the hours of 1:00 o'clock P. M. and 4:00 o'clock P. M. (Eastern Standard Time) at such place within the limits of the Town as shall be designated by the Town Council, three of the councilmen shall be elected for the term of two years each, one of whom shall have the title of Mayor and four of the councilmen shall be elected for the terms of one year each, whereby two resident and one non-resident councilmen shall serve two year terms respectively and whereby two resident and two none-resident councilmen shall serve one year terms respectively.
Thereafter on the second Saturday in September in each and every year, the successors of the members of the Town Council whose terms shall have expired, shall be chosen to serve the term of two years. The members of the Town Council shall serve until their successors are duly elected and qualified.
In case of vacancy created in any office of the Town Council either by death, resignation, loss of residence or otherwise, the Town Council shall fill such vacancy by appointment and the person so appointed shall serve the unexpired term of said office.
Section 5. NOMINATIONS TO ELECTIVE OFFICES
Nominations of candidates for elective offices in the Town of Oak Orchard shall be by petition signed by not less than five qualified free holders or residents or both of the Town and filed with the Secretary of the Council on or before 11:00 o'clock A. M. (Eastern Standard Time) on the Saturday preceding the annual Town election. Whenever a petition nominating a person for the office of councilman including that of Mayor and President of the Council shall have been filed as above prescribed, the name of such person shall be printed on the ballot for the regular Town election as a candidate for the office for which he was nominated, provided he meets the qualifications as prescribed under this Charter. The Town Council shall judge the qualifications of the candidate so nominated on the Saturday preceding the annual Town election and after 11:00 o'clock A. M. (Eastern Standard Time) of that said day and their decision shall be final.
No petition shall designate more than one person to be voted for and each petition must designate whether the signer thereof is a free holder of the Town or a bona fide resident thereof for at least 30 days.
Section 6. MANNER OF HOLDING ELECTIONS
Annual Town elections shall be held on the second Saturday in the month of September from 1:00 o'clock P. M. until 4:00 o'clock P. M. (Eastern Standard Time) at such place as shall be determined by the Council, due notices of which shall be given by posting notices thereof in three of the most public places within the corporate limits of the Town of Oak Orchard not less than seven days prior to the day of such annual election. The Town Council shall have prepared sufficient ballots which will entitle all eligible voters to vote at such election which shall contain the names of all persons properly nominated and under proper headings designating the offices for which nominated. Such ballots shall be delivered to the Election Board and every eligible voter shall receive one from the said Board during the hours of the said annual election.
Every election shall be held under the supervision of an Election Board which shall consist of three qualified voters of the Town appointed for that purpose by the Town Council. If any member of the Election Board be absent at the opening of the polls then in such case the remaining members of the Board shall select a qualified voter to act as a member of the Election Board. Members of the Election Board shall be Judges of the Election and shall decide upon the legality of the votes offered and they shall keep a true and accurate list of all voters voting.
At such election every person, male or female, above the age of twenty-one years who is a free holder on the day of the election and against whose property there are no due and unpaid taxes, assessments or other charges due the Town, whether a resident of the State of Delaware or not, shall have one vote and also every person, male or female, above the age of twenty-one years who shall have been a bona fide resident of the Town of Oak Orchard for at least thirty days immediately preceding any such election, shall have one vote, if all Town taxes, assessments and charges levied against such person shall be paid at the time of such election. All votes shall be offered in person and in voting the voters shall cross out the names of all the candidates for whom he does not desire to cast his vote.
If a majority of the Election Board shall not be satisfied that any person offering to vote at the election possesses the qualifications of a voter of the Town of Oak Orchard, they shall receive the ballot but shall not count it, and shall return it in a separate package to the Town Council with the name of the person presenting the ballot.
Upon the close of the election the votes shall be read and counted and the person having the highest number of votes for each office shall be declared, by the Election Board, to be duly elected to serve the term for which he was chosen. In the event of a tie vote for any office, the Election Board shall determine the tie by a majority vote.
The Election Board shall enter in a book to be provided for that purpose minutes of the election, containing the names of the persons chosen and they shall subscribe to the same and shall give to the persons elected certificates of their election. The book containing such matters, shall be preserved by the Town Council and shall be evidence in any Court of Law and Equity. All ballots cast and all records of the election shall be preserved in the custody of the Election Board for a period of ten days.
Section 7. ORGANIZATION
The Town Council at their first regular meeting after said election shall meet first for the purpose of organization and the newly elected officers shall assume the duties of their respective offices, being first duly sworn to perform their duties with fidelity, which oath shall be taken before a Notary Public, Justice of the Peace or by a holding over member of the Council. The Town Council shall select a Secretary and Treasurer from their own number to serve until the next annual organization meeting. They also may choose an assistant Secretary and Treasurer outside their number to serve until the next annual organization meeting.
The Town Council at such annual organization meeting shall also appoint, by a majority vote, such officers, employees and agents of the Town which they may deem proper and necessary for the proper conduct and management of the Town to serve until the next annual organization meeting.
Section 8. MEETINGS OF TOWN COUNCIL
The Town Council shall hold one regular meeting every month and such meeting shall be held on the third Saturday of each and every month at a time and place within the corporate limits of the Town of Oak Orchard as designated by the Town Council.
Special meetings may be called by the President of the Town Council and shall be called by him upon the written request of any three members of the Town Council. The Secretary shall thereafter give bona fide notice to all members of the Town Council of the time and place of such special meeting and the subjects to be considered thereat. The Town Council shall have the same power and authority to transact all business at such special meeting as they would have at regular monthly meetings.
Section 9. QUORUM
A majority of the members elected to the Town Council shall constitute a quorum, but a less number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by ordinance adopted by a majority of the entire Town Council.
Section 10. RULES AND MINUTES OF TOWN COUNCIL
The Town Council shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall keep a journal of its proceedings and the yeas and nays shall be taken upon the passage of every ordinance and resolution and shall be entered in the journal with the text of the ordinance or resolution.
Section 11. DUTIES AND POWERS OF THE MAYOR
The Mayor of Oak Orchard and President of the Town Council shall be sworn to perform the duties of his office with fidelity and as chief executive of the Town he shall preside at the meetings of the Town Council. He shall receive all communications and complaints and present the same to the Town Council. He shall sign all deeds necessary and contracts made by the Town Council and shall countersign all checks and warrants authorized by the Town Council and drawn on the Treasurer for the payment of money. He shall be a member, ex-officio, of all committees, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by ordinance, or by the by-laws adopted by the said Town Council, and shall have all and every power conferred, and perform the duties imposed upon him by this Charter or the ordinances of the Town.
In the performance of his duties as President of the Town Council of Oak Orchard, he shall be known and designated as President of the Town Council of Oak Orchard and in executing any deed, lease, contract, warrant on the Treasurer, or other papers and instruments in writing necessary for him, as such President, to sign, he shall sign and execute the same as President.
As a councilman of Oak Orchard and as President of the Town Council of Oak Orchard, he shall have the same right as other councilmen to vote on all matters and may at any time appoint another councilman to preside if he desires to make a motion, move the adoption of a resolution, second either, or debate any question from the floor and may thereafter immediately resume his duties as presiding officer.
In addition to his powers and duties as President of the Town Council of Oak Orchard, he shall, as Mayor of the Town of Oak Orchard, have all powers of a Justice of the Peace within said Town, and shall have jurisdiction and cognizance of all breaches of the peace and other offenses committed within the limits of the Town as far as arrest and hold to bail and fine and imprisonment offenders. He shall have jurisdiction and cognizance of all fines and penalties 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 Officer, agent or employee; provided, that he shall impose no fine and penalty in excess of that fixed by the ordinance; which, in any event, shall not exceed a fine of $500.00, and shall not commit to prison for a longer term than ninety days. The jails of Sussex County may be used for imprisonment under the provisions of this Charter.
As Mayor of the Town of Oak Orchard, he shall also have jurisdiction in suits of civil nature for the collection of taxes and assessments, recovery of amounts due and payable for the construction of sidewalks, curbs or pavements, expenses of abatements of nuisances, and all other matters which may arise in the proper government and control of the Town under the provisions of this Charter. Within his jurisdiction, he shall have all the powers and authority and shall be subject to all the limitations of a Justice of the Peace of Sussex County, and his fee shall be the same as those of a Justice of the Peace for like services. For any service or duty in which no fee is provided by law such fee shall be established by ordinance.
Upon the expiration of his term of office or upon resignation or removal from office, he shall forthwith turn over all records, books, papers, documents and other things belonging to or appertaining to his office of Mayor of the Town of Oak Orchard. He shall also pay over to the Treasurer all money in his hands belonging to the Town.
In the event the Mayor does not desire to or is unable to perform the criminal and civil duties and exercise such powers imposed upon him under this section, the Town Council may reelect some suitable person to be alderman to perform these duties, who must reside in the Town, to serve at the pleasure of the Town Council. The Alderman shall report in writing all fines, penalties and money received by him when requested by the Town Council and he shall pay over to the Town treasurer all such fines, penalties and money within ten days after making such report. Upon termination of the Alderman's office, he shall forthwith deliver to his successor all books, papers and documents pertaining to his office and make payment to the Town treasurer all money belonging to said Town. Failure to make said reports when requested or failure to make said payments as provided herein shall cause the Alderman to be guilty of a misdemeanor.
In the further event the Mayor and the Alderman do not desire or are unable to perform the criminal and civil duties and exercise such powers imposed upon them under this section, the Town Council may select any available Justice of the Peace who may or may not reside in the Town to perform these said duties, to serve at the pleasure of the Town Council, under the same requirements as an Alderman.
Section 12. DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY
The Secretary shall have charge and custody of the books, journal, records, papers, seal and other effects of the Town and shall keep the same in a safe and secure place and deliver the same to his successor in office. He shall keep a full and complete record of all the Town transactions and proceedings and enter same into a journal. He shall attest the seal of the Town when authorized by the Town Council and perform such duties and have such other powers as may be prescribed by ordinance. All records, books and journals in custody of the Secretary shall be open for the inspection of the Town Council and public, under such regulations as the Town Council may prescribe.
The duties and powers of the Secretary as hereinbefore prescribed shall devolve upon an Assistant Secretary in the absence or inability of the Secretary or as may be directed by the Town Council.
Section 13. DUTIES OF THE TREASURER
The Treasurer shall be custodian of all the Town funds and shall deposit them in such banking institutions as may be designated by the Town Council. The Treasurer shall pay out no money except upon check or warrant countersigned by the President or Secretary and authorized by the Town Council. He shall keep a true, accurate and detailed account of all money received and of all money paid by him and his books and accounts shall be open to the inspection of the Town Council at all times. He shall make such reports as required by the Town Council and shall file a bond with corporate surety with the Town Council for the faithful performance of his duties, in such form and for such amount as the Town Council shall direct. He shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as prescribed by this Charter and by the Town Council.
The duties and powers of the Treasurer as hereinbefore prescribed shall devolve upon an Assistant Treasurer in the absence or inability of the Treasurer or as may be directed by the Town Council.
Section 14. AUDIT
There shall be an annual audit of the books and accounts of the Town by an auditing committee appointed by the Town Council consisting of not less than two persons who shall make and deliver a detailed report of every and all accounts, books and records examined and audited by them to the Town Council.
Section 15. POLICE FORCE
It shall be the duty of the Town Council to appoint a Police Force, consisting of a Chief of Police and such number of subordinates as the Town Council may deem necessary. The Town Council shall from time to time make rules and regulations necessary for organization, government and control of the Police Force. The members of the Police Force shall be subject to the direction of the Town Council and may be removed by the Town Council at any time. They shall preserve peace and order, and shall compel obedience within the limits of the Town to the Town ordinances and State laws and shall have such other duties as the Town Council from time to time, prescribe.
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 State Police Officer and in the case of a pursuit of an offender their power and authority shall be without territorial limitation.
Every person sentenced to imprisonment as provided heretobefore shall be delivered by a member of the Police Force to the Sussex County Correctional Institution, to be there imprisoned for the term of the sentence.
Each member of the Police Force may detain any person arrested for a period of not over two hours before formal charges are made against such person. Once formal charges are so made, the person arrested shall thereafter within a reason able time be taken before the judicial officer provided for under this Charter who will hear and determine the charge. If such judicial officer shall not be available to hear and determine the charge, the person arrested may be delivered to the Sussex County Correctional Institution for imprisonment until such reasonable time thereafter as shall enable said judicial officer to hear and determine the said cause.
Section 16. ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION OF TAXES
The Town Council shall appoint annually an Assessor to make a just, true and impartial annual assessment of all real estate within the limits of the Town of Oak Orchard not to exceed the annual assessment of each such property as assessed by the County and to make a personal assessment of all the citizens of the Town above the age of twenty-one years. The assessor after making such annual assessment shall before the third Saturday in June of each year deliver to the Town Council a list containing the names of all persons assessed and the amount of assessment against each, distinguishing the real and personal assessment of each person. Immediately upon receiving the annual assessment list from the Assessor, the Town Council shall cause a full and complete copy of the same, containing the amount assessed to each taxable to be hung up for seven days in a public place in the said Town. Notice of the hanging of the list shall be posted in at least three public places in the Town which shall also notify all concerned that the Town Council shall at their regular meeting on the third Saturday in July of each year hear appeals from said assessment and shall increase, decrease or abate such assessment if they deem such action necessary and just. The decision of the Town Council sitting as a Board of Appeals shall be final and conclusive.
The Town Council is authorized and empowered to levy and collect an annual tax on the assessed valuation on all the real estate within the limits of the Town not to exceed in any one year fifty cents (50c) on each one hundred dollars ($100.00) valuation of assessed real estate. The Town Council is likewise authorized and empowered to levy and collect in the same manner as taxes against real estate, a personal tax upon all persons who are citizens of the Town not to exceed in any one year, the sum of five dollars ($5.00) for each person so assessed.
Immediately after the regular meeting in July of each year, the Town Council shall at once cause to be made a full, true and correct annual tax list showing the amount of tax against each taxable thereon. Thereafter the Town Council shall at once deliver to the treasurer the tax list with a warrant to collect same immediately.
The Treasurer shall within ten days after receipt of said tax list and warrant render to every taxable named therein an account or tax bill, showing the amount due the Town in taxes.
The Treasurer shall cause a list of unpaid taxes to be posted in a public place within the Town if after sixty days from the notification of said account or tax bill the taxable has failed to make payment thereof, as herein provided. The Treasurer shall further cause by registered mail to notify the delinquent taxable that unless the said taxes are paid within thirty days after the posting of said notice the Treasurer shall in the name of the Town collect the same with all costs by the processes afforded it by the Laws of the State of Delaware for the collection of delinquent taxes.
Section 17. BUDGET
Annually each year and not later than the fifteenth day of June, the Town Council shall prepare a budget containing the financial plan for the ensuing fiscal year. The budget shall contain the following information:
1. A detailed statement showing the expenses of conducting each department and office of the Town for the ensuing fiscal year.
2. The value of supplies and materials on hand, together with the nature and kind of any machinery or other implements and the condition thereof.
3. The amount of the debt of the Town, together with a schedule of maturities of bond issues, if any.
4. An estimate of the amount of money to be received from taxes and all other anticipated income of the Town from any source or sources.
The Town Council shall, so far as possible adhere to the budget so adopted in the making of appropriations, but may revise the same whenever, in the opinion of the Town Council, such revision shall become necessary or advisable.
Section 18. BOARD OF HEALTH
The Town Council may at their discretion appoint a Board of Health who may or may not be residents of the Town and if and when appointed said Board of Health shall be composed of three members. The Board shall serve for two years and shall have cognizance of all matters pertaining to the life and health of the residents of the Town and shall report to the Town Council in writing whatever is deemed by the Board to be injurious to the health and welfare of the people of the Town. It shall make such recommendations to the Council as may, in their judgment, be beneficial or in any way contribute to the sanitation or public health. The Board shall also have all powers enumerated by the laws of the State of Delaware for local Boards of Health. The power of the Town Council to adopt ordinances relating to the health of the population of the Town, or to prevent the introduction or spread of infectious or contagious disease or nuisances affecting the same shall extend to an area within one mile outside of the limits of the Town. In the event the Town Council does not deem it necessary to appoint a Board of Health as herein provided said Town Council shall have all of the duties and powers herein conferred upon the Board of Health.
Section 19. GENERAL POWERS
The Town of Oak Orchard, Delaware, shall have all powers granted to municipal corporations and to cities and Towns by the Constitution and general laws of the State of Delaware together with all the implied powers necessary to carry into execution all powers granted. It shall have perpetual succession, and may have and use a corporate seal, which may be altered, changed, or renewed at pleasure; may sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded in any and all courts of law or equity in the State of Delaware and elsewhere by its corporate name, and, for the purpose of this Charter, to take, hold, receive and enjoy, any lands, tenements and hereditaments, in fee simple or for a lesser estate or interest, and also goods, chattels, rights and credits, and may sell, lease, hold, manage and control any such property or properties in such manner as the Town Council may deem expedient and proper, for the purposes expressed herein; may appoint such officers and agents and employ such persons as shall be deemed necessary or convenient for the management of the affairs of the Town and may fix and determine the compensation of such officers, agents or employees.
It shall have all other powers and functions requisite to or appropriate for the government of the Town, or necessary to the public health, safety, comfort or welfare or the protection and preservation of public and private property; and all actions, suits and proceedings shall be brought in the name of the "TOWN OF OAK ORCHARD, DELAWARE".
The enumeration of particular powers by this Charter shall not be held or deemed to be exclusive, but, in addition to the powers enumerated herein implied thereby, or appropriate to the exercise thereof, it is intended that the TOWN OF OAK ORCHARD, DELAWARE, shall have and may exercise all powers which under the Constitution of the State of Delaware, it would be competent by this Charter specifically to enumerate. All powers of the Town, whether expressed or implied, shall be exercised in the manner prescribed by this Charter, or, if not prescribed herein, then in a manner provided by ordinance or resolution of the Town Council.
Section 20. ENUMERATED POWERS
By ordinance, rules, regulations, resolutions, and by-laws or amendments to the same, THE TOWN OF OAK ORCHARD, DELAWARE, for the good government and welfare of the Town, shall have the following powers (which shall not be deemed to be exclusive); to prevent vice, drunkenness and immorality; to preserve peace and good order, to restrain and suppress disorderly houses, gambling houses, houses of ill-fame; to restrain and suppress all instruments and devices for gaming; to prohibit all gaming and fraudulent devices; to prohibit, restrain and regulate all sports exhibitions of natural or artificial curiosities, caravans of animals, theatrical exhibitions, circuses or other public performances and exhibitions for money and to license the same to prevent any horse racing in any street, highway, alley or strand, to authorize the stopping and detention of any person who shall be guilty of any immoderate riding or driving of any horse, or other animal, motor vehicle or other vehicle upon any street, alley, highway, or beach strand, to regulate, control or prohibit the parking of vehicles upon the streets of the Town, to regulate or prohibit the riding or driving of any horse or other animal, motor vehicle or other vehicle upon any beach strand; to establish and regulate one or more pounds, and to restrain the running at large of horses, cattle, swine, goats or other animals, or geese, chickens, ducks or other poultry, and to authorize the impounding and sale of the same for the penalty incurred, and the cost of keeping, impounding and sale; to authorize the destruction of dogs running at large and to impose taxes on the owner of dogs, to locate, regulate and remove slaughter houses, swine pens, privies and water closets; to restrain drunkards, vagrants, mendicants and street beggars.
THE TOWN OF OAK ORCHARD, DELAWARE, shall, in a like manner, have the power to ascertain and establish the boundaries of all streets, avenues, highways, lanes and alleys in said Town; to prevent and remove all encroachments on said streets, avenues, highways, lanes, alleys, beach or beach strands to regulate, clean and keep in repair, the streets, highways, lanes, alleys, beach, beach strands, boardwalks, wharves, docks, sidewalks, crosswalks, sewer drains, aqueducts and water courses, and to prevent and remove obstruction in and upon the same in any manner whatsoever; to level, grade, flag or re-flag, curb or re-curb, gutter or re-gutter, pave or re-pave, macadamize, gravel or shell the streets, highway and alleys of said Town, and the sidewalks, crosswalks, and gutters thereof, or any of them, or any parts or sections of the same, to prescribe the manner in which such work shall be performed; to enforce the removal of snow, ice and dirt from sidewalks and gutters by the occupant or owner thereof, to prevent or regulate the erections of any stoop, step, platform, bay window, cellar door, gate area, descent into a cellar or basement, sign or post, or the erection of any projection or otherwise, in, over, under or upon any street, sidewalk or avenue, and to remove the same where already erected, at the expense of the owner or occupant of the premises, to abate or remove nuisances of all kinds at the expense of those maintaining them, and to compel the owner or occupant of any lot, house, building, shed, cellar or place wherein may be carried on any business or calling, or in or upon which there may exist any matter or thing, which is or may be detrimental, in the opinion of the Town Council, or Board of Health, to the health of the inhabitants of the Town, to cleanse, remove or abate the same, under the direction of the Town Council as often as the said Town Council or Board of Health may deem necessary for the health and well-being of the inhabitants of the Town; or in a summary manner to cause the same to be done at the expense and proper cost of such owner or occupant; and such owner or occupant is hereby expressly made liable for said costs and expenses, to be collected, as hereinafter directed, from such owner, or occupants in addition to any fine or penalty which he, she, they or it may be liable for maintaining such nuisance.
THE TOWN OF OAK ORCHARD, DELAWARE, shall, in a like manner, have the power to prescribe the manner in which all contracts for performing work or furnishing materials for the Town shall be made and executed, to prescribe the manner in which corporations or persons shall exercise any privileges granted to them in the use of any street, avenue, highway, alley, beach or strand in said Town, or in digging up any street, avenue, highway, or alley, beach or strand for the purpose of laying down pipes, or for any purpose whatsoever, and to prohibit and prevent any such use or work at such times and seasons of the year as they may designate, to enter into contract or contracts with, or to grant franchises, concessions, or rights to any person, firm, partnership or corporation who may apply for the use of any street, highway, avenue, lane, alley, beach or strand for the purpose of furnishing communication services, electric lights, power, gas, heat or water to said Town and its inhabitants, or for the construction and operation of railways route, grant franchises to and enter into contract or contracts with any other public carrier or for the construction and operation of sewer or other sanitary systems of drainage or for the erection of wharves or piers; to regulate, protect and improve the public grounds of said Town to provide lamps to light the streets in public places of every description in said Town; to erect and regulate wells, pumps, aqueducts and cisterns in the public streets; to prescribe and regulate the places of vending or exposing for sale of any and all articles of merchandise from wagons or other vehicles.
THE TOWN OF OAK ORCHARD, DELAWARE, shall, in like manner, have the power to direct and regulate the planting, rearing, treatment and preserving of ornamental shade trees in the streets, highways, avenues, parks and grounds in said Town and to authorize and prohibit the removal or destruction of said trees; to direct the digging down, draining, filling-up or fencing of lots, tracts, pieces or parcels of ground in said Town, which may be deemed dangerous or unwholesome or necessary to carry out any improvements authorized by the Town or this Charter; to prescribe the manner in which such work shall be performed, and to cause the expenses thereof to be assessed on such lots, tracts, pieces or parcels of ground, whether improved or unimproved, and to determine the time and manner in which such assessment shall be collected; for the prevention of fire and the preservation of the beauty of the Town; to regulate and control the manner of building or removing of dwelling houses or other buildings, and to establish a code for the same, and for the purpose of promoting health, safety, morals, or the general welfare of the Town, the Town Council may regulate and restrict the height, number of stores, and size of buildings and other structures, percentage of lot that may be occupied, the size of yards, courts, and other open spaces, the density of population, and the location and use of building, structures, and land for trade, individual residences, or other purposes and is granted the authority and power vested in municipalities by Title 22, Delaware Code of 1953, Chapter 3, entitled "Municipal Zoning Regulations", and any amendments thereto; to regulate the construction of chimneys; to prevent the setting up or construction of furnaces, boilers, ovens or other things in such manner as to be dangerous; to prohibit the deposit of ashes in unsafe places, and to authorize any Town Officer or Constable or person whom they may designate for the purpose; to enter upon and inspect any place or places for the purpose of ascertaining whether the same is or are in a safe condition, and if not, to direct or cause the same to be made so; to make, adopt and promulgate all rules and regulations relative to the use of any sewer in said Town and the tapping thereof, including the charge and fee therefor, as they shall deem proper, and they may also adopt ordinances prescribing penalties for any injury to the said sewer or any part thereof, or for any abuse of any privilege granted in connection therewith, to prescribe the material or private drains or sewers which shall enter into any Town sewer, and shall direct the manner in which they shall be laid.
THE TOWN OF OAK ORCHARD, DELAWARE, shall, in like manner, have the power to regulate or prohibit the carrying on of manufactories dangerous in causing or promoting fires; to regulate or prohibit the manufacture, sale or use of fireworks, and the use of firearms in said Town, to regulate or prohibit the use of candles and lights in barns, stables and other buildings; to regulate and prohibit swimming or bathing in the ocean or within waters within the limits of the Town.
THE TOWN OF OAK ORCHARD, DELAWARE, shall, further have the power and authority to compel the owners of property within the limits of the Town to keep the same free from unsanitary or unsightly conditions, clear of tall weeds and rubbish, and to fill in any low lots, provided that the Town Council in its opinion shall deem the same to be unsanitary or unsightly or in any other manner prejudicial to the welfare of the Town or adjoining lot owners. The Town Council shall have the power and authority to pass any ordinance prohibiting or regulating the same.
THE TOWN COUNCIL OF OAK ORCHARD, DELAWARE, shall, in like manner, have the power and authority to collect license fees annually of such various amount or amounts as the Town Council shall, from time to time, fiv from any individual, firm, association, or corporation carrying on or practicing any business, profession or occupation within the limits of the Town, provided however, that nothing herein shall be so construed as to make it mandatory upon any resident of the State of Delaware to apply for a license in order to sell, in the Town, farm produce or any farm products grown on his or her farm.
THE TOWN OF OAK ORCHARD, DELAWARE, shall also have the power and authority to levy and collect license fees upon the property of any person, firm, association or corporation carrying on business in the Town and supplying the inhabitants thereof with any form or manner of services for any valuable consideration.
The Town Council shall have the power to make and establish such other ordinances, regulations, rules and by-laws, not contrary to the laws of this State, or of the United States, as they may deem necessary to carry into effect the powers and duties imposed upon them by this Charter or any other law of this State, and such also, as they may deem necessary and proper for the good government protection or preservation of persons and property, or for the preservation of the public health of the City and its inhabitants.
Section 21. POWER TO REMOVE OBSTRUCTIONS, NUISANCES, UNSANITARY OR UNSIGHTLY CONDITIONS
In addition to the power to impose fines and penalties for the maintenance of obstructions, nuisances, or unsanitary conditions, as these terms should be defined by the Town Council either upon their own inspection or upon information obtained from the Board of Health, Police force, or citizens of the Town, if the Town Council shall deem that such obstruction, nuisance, or unsanitary condition should be removed or abated, as the case may be, the Town Council shall enact an ordinance or adopt a resolution, or both, to that effect, and thereupon shall direct the Secretary to forward by registered mail of the United States, in a sealed wrapper, addressed to his or her last known post office address or deliver personally to the person or persons continuing or causing such obstruction, nuisance, or unsanitary conditions, or to the person or persons who are responsible for its existence or continuance a notice to remove or abate the same. If such person or persons refuse or neglect, for the space of fifteen (15) days after such notice is mailed or for the space of two (2) days if said notice is delivered in person, to remove or abate the same, the Town Council shall issue a warrant in the name of the TOWN OF OAK ORCHARD, DELAWARE, commanding such person or persons forthwith to remove or abate such obstruction, nuisance, or unsanitary condition, and shall forthwith proceed to remove or abate the same and, to that end, shall have full power and authority to enter into and upon any lands and premises within the limits of the Town. The Town Council, or anyone designated by them, shall likewise have the authority to take with them such assistants, implements, machinery or other things as may be necessary and proper to do and perform all matters and things in connection with the removal or abatement of such obstructions, nuisance, or unsanitary condition. At the next regular or special meeting of the Town Council, the Town Council shall specify the costs and expenses of all necessary work, labor and proceedings incurred in the abatement or removal of the same. The Town Council shall then issue a warrant, containing an itemized account thereof, together with the name and last known address of the person from whom the Town Council shall have determined the amount due and shall deliver such warrant to the Treasurer of the Town. The warrant shall command the Treasurer forthwith to collect the amount stated to be due thereon from the person or persons designated therein. The Treasurer shall forward to such person or persons in a sealed wrapper a true and correct copy of the warrant by depositing the same in the United States mail and addressed to such person or persons last known post office address or serve personally upon said person if he be within the limits of the Town. If such person or persons shall refuse or neglect to pay the same within thirty (30) days from the date of the mailing of such notice and exact copy of the warrant, or the service of the same personally upon such person or persons, the Treasurer shall then be authorized and required to collect the same in the same manner as herein provided for the collection of delinquent Town taxes.
Section 22. SIDEWALKS, BOARDWALKS, CURBING AND GUTTERS
In respect to leveling, grading, flagging or re-flagging, curbing or re-curbing, guttering or re-guttering, paving or re-paving, building or re-building, the sidewalks, boardwalks, crosswalks, and gutters of the Town, the expense thereof shall be borne by the owner of the property abutting upon the same, and the Town Council shall have the authority to specify the manner of performance and the materials to be used therein.
The Town Council shall direct a written notice to the owner or owners of any house or lands in said Town, along, in front of or adjoining which they deem proper that a pavement, sidewalk, boardwalk, curb or gutter, be laid or constructed or both and the Town Council shall have the authority to specify the manner of performance and the materials to be used therein. Letters to one joint owner shall be notice to all. In case the, owner shall not reside in the Town at the time, notice to the occupant or tenant shall be deemed to be a sufficient notice. If there be no occupant or tenant residing in the Town at the time, such notice may be sent by mail to the owner, directed to him or her at his or her last known post office address. Should such owner neglect or refuse to comply with said notice for the space of thirty (30) days, the Town Council shall issue a warrant in the name of the Town, directed to the Treasurer or the Chief of Police, demanding such person forthwith to do their work as specified in the above mentioned notice to the owner or owners. Whereupon the person to whom said warrant shall have been directed shall forthwith proceed to lay such pavement, sidewalk, curbs or gutters, or either or both, as directed in the warrant. To that end he shall have full power and authority to enter in any premises or lands of the Town, and to take with him such assistants, materials, implements, machinery or other things as may be necessary or proper to perform the work specified in the warrant. At the next regular or special meeting of the Town Council, after the delivery of the warrant, upon return thereon accompanied by an itemized statement of all costs incurred in the performance of necessary work and labor incident thereto, the Town Council shall determine the amount due the Town by reason of the work done, and shall issue a warrant thereon, direct to the Treasurer or Chief of Police, which shall contain the amount to be by him collected, and the person or persons from whom it shall be by him collected and commanding him forthwith to collect the same from the person or persons so specified in the warrant. A true and exact copy of this warrant shall be mailed or served upon the person or persons therein specified. If the amount specified as due the Town shall not have been paid to the Town within thirty (30) days from the date of service of such true and exact copy of the warrant, the Treasurer shall then be authorized and required to collect the same in the same manner as herein provided for the collection of delinquent Town taxes.
Section 23. STREETS
THE TOWN OF OAK ORCHARD, DELAWARE, shall have the power and authority to locate, lay out and open new streets and to widen or abandon the same, or parts thereof, whenever the Town Council shall deem it for the best interest of the Town. In such case, the Town Council shall adopt a suitable resolution, which shall include a general description of the street to be opened, widened or altered or to be vacated or abandoned, as the case may be, stating the day, hour and place where the Town Council will sit to hear and determine objections, and to award damages by reason thereof. Copies of such resolution shall be posted in at least three public places in the Town at least five days prior to the day fixed by the Town Council for the hearing referred to in said resolution.
At said hearing, the Town Council shall hear objections to the proposed resolution and/or any damages which might be sustained by any owners of property affected thereby, and shall award just and reasonable compensation to any person or persons who shall be deprived of property by virtue thereof. Such compensation, if any be awarded, shall be paid by the Treasurer of the Town, on a warrant drawn upon him by the authority of Town Council upon delivery of a good and sufficient deed conveying a fee simple title unto "The Town of Oak Orchard", which title shall be clear and free of all liens and incumbrances.
In the event any person refuses to accept the award of damages made by the Town Council, the Town Council may proceed in the name of the Town to condemn the property of the person refusing to accept said award, under the provision of Chapter 61, Title 10, Delaware Code of 1953.
Section 24. JETTIES, BULKHEADS, EMBANKMENTS AND BOARDWALKS
The Town Council of Oak Orchard shall have the power and authority to locate, lay-out, construct, widen, extend, improve, repair, vacate or abandon jetties, bulkheads and embankments for the preservation of any beach or strand within the limits of the Town or contiguous thereto, to the end that the same may be preserved and property may be protected, or boardwalks and piers, to the end that the general public might enjoy the use thereof. In the locating, laying-out, constructing, widening, extending, improving, repairing, vacating or abandoning of any such jetties, bulkheads, embankments, boardwalks and piers, the Town Council shall have full power and authority to use such materials and substances and such methods of construction and shall employ such contractors, engineers, inspectors and others as the Town Council shall deem expedient and advisable.
The Town Council may, by condemnation proceedings, take private lands or the right to use private lands for any of the purposes mentioned in this Section. The proceedings by condemnation under this Section shall be the same as prescribed in Section 23 of this Charter for the opening and laying-out of new streets or the vacating or abandoning of old streets and the resolutions referred to in said Section 23 shall be changed and modified to cover cases contemplated by this present Section.
Section 25. DRAINAGE
The Town Council of Oak Orchard shall have the full jurisdiction and control, within the limits of the Town, of the drainage of all water thereof, together with the right to alter and change the course and direction of any of the natural water courses, runs and rivulets within the limits of the Town and may pass ordinances for the opening of gutters, surface water and underground drains and sewers within the limits of the Town. The Town Council of Oak Orchard shall also have full power to regulate, maintain, clean and keep the natural water courses, runs and rivulets within the Town limits open and clean and unobstructed and for that purpose may authorize the entry upon private lands and take, condemn and occupy the same in the same manner and by the same condemnation proceedings as hereinbefore provided by Section 23 of this Charter; which is concerned with the opening and laying-out of any streets. By like proceedings the Town Council of Oak Orchard shall also have the power and authority to enter upon private lands and take, condemn and occupy the same for the purpose of laying-down gutters, surface water and underground water drains or sewers, or any of them, within the Town limits. Provided, however, that the resolutions referred to in Section 23 of this Charter shall be changed and modified to cover those cases contemplated by this particular Section of the Charter.
Section 26. ADDITIONAL RIGHTS OF CONDEMNATION
THE TOWN OF OAK ORCHARD, DELAWARE, shall have the power to acquire lands, tenements, property or interest therein, by condemnation for the purpose of providing sites for public buildings, parks, sewers, sewerage disposal and/or for any other municipal purpose, whether within or without the limits of the Town. The procedure shall be in accordance with and under the provisions of Chapter 61, Title 10, Delaware Code of 1953.
Section 27. REFERENDUM
This Charter of the Town of Oak Orchard shall not take effect until such time as it shall have been accepted by the electors of the Town of Oak Orchard.
On Saturday the 22nd day of August, 1959, a Special Referendum Election shall be held at a public place as shall be determined by the Special Referendum Election Board between the hours of 1:00 o'clock P. M. and 4:00 o'clock P. M. (Eastern Standard Time).
The reason for this Special Referendum Election shall be for the purpose of voting for the acceptance or rejection of this Charter as adopted and approved by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware. The Charter shall not be deemed to have been accepted by the electors of the Town of Oak Orchard in any other manner whatsoever of the Town of Oak Orchard voting at such Special Referendum Election.
At such Special Referendum Election the electors shall be every person, male or female, above the age of twenty-one years who is a free holder within the limits of the Town of Oak Orchard, at the time and date of such Election and every person male or female above the age of twenty-one years, who has been a bona fide resident within the limits of the Town of Oak Orchard for at least thirty (30) days immediately preceding such Election and they shall each have one vote. The limits of the Town of Oak Orchard shall be as prescribed in this Charter.
The Special Referendum Election Board shall consist of three members, who shall be appointed by the Governor and who shall thereafter organize and prepare for the said Special Referendum Election to be held on the date aforesaid. If at the opening of the polls there shall not be present the three members of said Board, then the remaining member or members shall select a qualified elector to so act as a member of said Board. The members of the said Board shall be the judges of the said Election and shall decide upon the legality of the votes offered. If a majority of the said Board shall not be satisfied that any person offering to vote at the said Election possesses the qualifications of an elector, as prescribed herein, they shall receive the ballot but shall not count it. The said Board shall keep a true and accurate list of all voters voting.
The Special Referendum Election Board shall give due notice of such Special Referendum Election by posting notices thereof in three of the most public places within the limits of the Town of Oak Orchard not less than seven days before the day of such Election. It shall also publish such notice in one issue of one newspaper published in Sussex County at least seven days before the day of such Election. The said Board shall also forward a copy of such notice to every person who is a free holder in the Town of Oak Orchard and who is a bone fide resident within the Town limits of the Town of Oak Orchard by enclosing such notice in a sealed or unsealed wrapper and depositing the same, with postage prepaid, in the United States mails, to the last known address of such persons at least seven days before the day of such Election. Such notice shall be deemed to have been a bona fide notice of such Election, when the same shall have been forwarded to the last known address of such persons at his or their address as the same appears upon the assessment records of Sussex County.
The Special Referendum Election Board shall cause to be printed sufficient ballots to entitle all qualified electors of the Town to vote; said ballots to be printed in the following form:
I Hereby cast my vote to Accept the Charter of the Town of Oak Orchard, provided for in the Act of the General Assembly entitled: "An Act to Incorporate the Town of Oak Orchard, of the County of Sussex and State of Delaware".
I Hereby cast my vote to Reject the Charter of the Town of Oak Orchard, provided for in the Act of the General Assembly entitled: "An Act to Incorporate the Town of Oak Orchard, of the County of Sussex and State of Delaware".
Place an "X" at the bottom of the column you favor.
Such ballots shall be held by the said Board and at the opening of the polls every qualified elector calling for a ballot shall receive same. Every person, qualified to vote at such Election shall offer his vote in person.
Upon the close of the Special Referendum Election, the votes shall be read and counted. If a majority of the votes cast shall be in favor of the acceptance of this Charter, the said Board shall declare this Charter to be in full force and effect. If a majority of the votes, cast at such Election shall be for the rejection of this Charter, the said Board shall declare this Charter to be null and void by virtue of such non-acceptance or rejection. In the event of a tie vote, the said Board shall determine the tie by a majority vote.
Immediately after the determination of the result of the Election by the Special Referendum Election Board, the Special Referendum Election Board shall immediately execute a Certificate of Election, which shall be acknowledge before a Notary Public, and which shall state the date of holding such Election; the purpose for which such Special Referendum Election was held; the number of qualified votes cast at such Special Referendum Election; the number of votes cast for the acceptance of this Charter by the electors of the Town of Oak Orchard; and the number of votes cast against the acceptance of this Charter by the electors of the Town of Oak Orchard.
Immediately after the execution and acknowledgment of the aforementioned Certificate by the Special Referendum Election Board, that Board shall cause the same to be duly recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, at Georgetown, Delaware. After the same shall have been duly recorder, it shall be returned to the Town Council of Oak Orchard to be by it kept amongst the official papers of the Town Council of Oak Orchard. Such Certificate, or a duly certified copy of the record thereof, shall be prima fade evidence of the acceptance or rejection of this Charter in all Courts of Law and Equity in the State of Delaware or elsewhere.
All ballots cast and all records of the Special Referendum Election shall be preserved in the custody of the Election Board for the period of ten (10) days. At the end of that period the Special Referendum Election Board shall deliver the same to the Town Council of Oak Orchard and they shall be preserved by the Town Council of Oak Orchard for a further period of two (2) months.
Approved August 19, 1959.