AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE TOWN OF NEWPORT.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all the Members elected to each Branch of the Legislature concurring therein):
Section 1. INCORPORATION
The municipal corporation of the State of Delaware now known as "Commissioners of Newport" shall continue to be known by that name and the inhabitants thereof within the corporate limits as defined in Section 2 of this Act or subsequently altered by annexation procedures shall, under the name of "Commissioners of Newport", continue to be a municipal body politic in perpetuity.
Section 2. BOUNDARIES
The boundaries of the Town of Newport are hereby established and declared to be as follows:
BEGINNING at a point at the low water mark of the Christiana River and the westerly side of Mary Street and thence northerly to the north side of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad's right-of-way and thence westerly with the north side of the said right-of-way five hundred seventy-six feet to a point in the easterly side of a twenty-five foot wide lane, known as Krebs Lane and thence along said easterly side of said lane, about 550 feet to the southerly line of land of Elizabeth L. Ball, theme North 85 degrees 31 minutes East 122 feet to a point thence along another line of land of said Elizabeth L. Ball, North 3 degrees and 58 minutes West 122 feet to the southerly side of Market Street, also known as Newport-Christiana Turnpike, thence along southerly side of said Market Street approximately three hundred thirteen feet to a point, thence northerly seventy feet to the northerly side of Market Street at its intersection with the easterly line of land now owned by Clara Weingarten, thence North six degrees West five hundred ninety-five and nine-tenths feet to a stone, thence North twenty-four degrees and eighteen minutes West seven hundred fifty and fifty-one hundredths feet to a stone in the southeasterly side of a sixty foot wide roadway belonging to Claud Banta and extending from the Newport Gap Turnpike to the plot of land known as Tuxedo Park and thence along said southeasterly side of said sixty-foot wide roadway easterly to the Newport Gap Turnpike approximately eight hundred ninety-nine feet and thence south along the said Newport Gap Turnpike two hundred ninety-three feet to the present boundaries of said Town of Newport and thence Easterly on a line parallel to and 760 feet Northerly from the Northerly side of Christian Street to the land formerly owned by Robert Lynam thence Southerly along the line of said Robert Lynam's land and the present boundary line of the Town of Newport to the northern side of St. James' Cemetery, thence Easterly along the Northerly side of said Cemetery to the intersection of the present limit of Town of Newport with the Westerly line of land of Frank A. Herpel, thence Southerly along the line of said land of Frank A. Herpel 382 feet to a corner to the land of St. James Cemetery, the Industrial Trust Company and Frank A. Herpel, thence Easterly along the line of land of Frank A. Herpel to a point in said line one hundred twenty-five feet Westerly from the Westerly side of Larch Avenue as laid out on the Plot of Newport Heights and thence Southerly on a line parallel to and one hundred twenty-five feet distant from the Westerly side of said Larch Avenue, approximately five hundred fifty-six feet to the southerly side of Ayre Street as laid out on the Plot of Newport Heights and thence westerly along the southerly side of said Ayre Street approximately fifty feet to the westerly side of Lot 87 as shown on the Plot of Newport Heights and thence southerly along said westerly side of said lot eighty-seven feet to the northerly side of the right-of-way of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad and thence westerly with the north side of said right-of-way approximately five hundred sixteen feet to the present boundaries of the Town of Newport and thence along said boundary and limits of the said Town of Newport to the Christiana River, low water mark, thence with low water of said river to the place of Beginning.
The Commissioners of the Town of Newport may at any time hereafter cause a survey and plot to be made of said Town and the said plot, when made and approved by the Commissioners, shall be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for New Castle County, State of Delaware, and the same or the record thereof, or a duly certified copy of said record shall be evidence in all courts of law and equity in this State.
Section 3. ANNEXATION
The said Corporation shall have the power to annex any additional contiguous territory when a majority of the qualified voters and real estate owners in such contiguous territory have by a special election held for that purpose voted in favor of being included within the limits of the Town of Newport and the said majority of voters and real estate owners have presented a petition seeking to have the territory annexed to the Town of Newport.
Before any additional territory shall be annexed to the Town the Commissioners of Newport shall pass a resolution accurately describing and defining the territory proposed to be annexed and notice of the petition for annexation shall be posted in at least four public places in the Town. After the expiration of 14 days from the posting of the said notices and within 35 days after the posting of the said notices the Commissioners of Newport may, by ordinance, two-thirds of all the Commissioners concurring therein, annex to the Town the territory described and defined in said resolution, and such territory shall become a part of the Town of Newport.
Section 4. STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT
The government of the Town and the exercise of all powers conferred by this Charter, except as otherwise provided herein, shall be vested in the Commissioners of Newport, five in number, whose presiding officer shall be called "Mayor".
Section 5. ELECTIONS
An election shall be held in the Town of Newport for an Alderman, Town Commissioners, Treasurer and Assessor on the second Monday in January 1960, and annually thereafter, from two o'clock until seven o'clock in the afternoon, and at such place as shall be determined and fixed by the Town Commissioners. At least ten days previous to such election, due notice thereof and of the time and place thereof shall be given by said Town Commissioners. At all such elections the votes shall be received by three qualified voters of said Town appointed by the Commissioners at any regular or special meeting of said Commissioners, held in the month of December, preceding said election. Said persons so appointed shall be known as Judges of Election, and the result of the balloting for said Officer of said Town shall be ascertained by the said Judges of Election. The persons who shall conduct such election as provided in this Act shall be the Judges thereof, and shall decide on the legality of the votes offered. Immediately after the election is closed, the votes shall be read and counted, and the persons having the highest number of votes for Alderman, Assessor or Treasurer shall be declared elected.
The three candidates for Commissioner having the highest number of votes for such office shall be declared elected, the highest and next highest thereof for a two-year-term, and the third highest thereof for a one-year-term. In case of a tie of any of the persons voted for, the election shall be determined by lot, that is, the names of the persons having a tie vote shall be written on identical slips and concealed from the person who shall draw the same, and one of the said Judges of Election shall draw one of said slips, and the person whose name appears on said slip shall be the person elected. Immediately after such election, said Judges of Election shall enter in a book to be provided for the purpose, a minute of such election, containing the names of all persons who were candidates for office, designating the office for which they were candidates and showing the number of votes received by each, and they shall subscribe to the same and deliver said book to said Commissioners at their organization meeting. They shall also give to the persons so elected certificates of their election. The book containing such minutes shall be preserved by the Commissioners and shall be evidence in all Courts in this State or elsewhere. In case of the absence, inability or failure of any of said Judges of Election to serve and perform his duties, as required by this Act, then and in such case it shall be the duty of the Commissioners of Newport, or a majority of them without formal meeting, to select an additional Judge of Election and who shall possess the same qualifications of the other Judges of Election and who shall perform the duties herein required in connection with the conduct of said election.
Section 6. BALLOTS
Immediately after the expiration of the time for filing names of candidates, the said Town Commissioners shall cause the election ballots to be printed. Upon such ballots the names of the candidates for the offices to be filled, arranged alphabetically under each office, shall be placed, and immediately below each groups of names, instructions as to how many to vote for; for instance, "Vote for One", or "Vote for Two", or as many as the voters shall be entitled to vote for in any particular case. The voters shall designate their choice of candidates to be voted for for each particular office, at such election, by drawing a line through the names of all persons who are candidates for each particular office, except those candidates in each group desired to be voted for; provided, however, that no elector at any such election shall be allowed to vote for more candidates for any particular office (but may vote for less) than the number to be elected at such election. Defective designation of a voter's choice under the head of one or more of such groups of candidates shall not invalidate such ballot so far as there shall appear to be a proper designation of choice in any other of said groups of candidates. The form of ballot shall be substantially as follows:
Candidates for Election to Elective Offices in the Town of Newport
(Vote for One)
(Vote for Three)
(Vote for One)
(Vote for One)
The method of voting shall be by striking out the names of those not voted for, so that the eligible number of candidates for any particular office shall remain on the ballot.
Section 7. VOTER QUALIFICATIONS
Every person domiciled in the Town of Newport who shall have reached the age of twenty-one years, who is a citizen of the United States, who has been domiciled in the State of Delaware for one year and in the Town of Newport for at least three months next preceding the day of the election, who is a non-delinquent taxpayer and whose name is recorded in the registration book of the Town of Newport shall be entitled to vote at the annual municipal elections, special elections and referenda, except as otherwise provided in this Charter.
Section 8. REGISTRATION OF VOTERS
The Commissioners shall by ordinance provide for the registration of voters, including those voters owning real property within the Town of Newport who reside outside the Town and may prescribe registration and voting places, provided there shall be at least two registration days per year, the last one not more than thirty (30) days prior to any election or referendum. The hours of registration shall be as provided by ordinance. The ordinance may provide for permanent registration lists.
Section 9. QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE
No person shall be eligible to hold office as a Commissioner except persons who at the time of filing as a candidate have been residents of the Town for a period of one year immediately preceding the date of filing, is a citizen of the United States, has attained the age of twenty-one years, is a non-delinquent taxpayer and has owned real property in the Town of Newport for at least one year immediately prior to the date of filing as a candidate.
(b) Treasurer, Alderman and Assessor.
No person shall be eligible to hold office as Treasurer, Alderman or Assessor except persons who at the time of filing as a candidate have been residents of the Town for a period of one year immediately preceding the date of filing, is a citizen of the United States, has attained the age of twenty-one years and is a non-delinquent taxpayer.
Section 10. FILING FOR OFFICE
No person shall be voted upon as a candidate for the offices of Commissioners, Treasurer, Alderman or Assessor unless at least thirty (30) days before the date set for the election of said officers he shall have filed with the Secretary or Mayor of the Commissioners of Newport a letter or other certificate setting forth that he will be a candidate for a certain designated office. The Commissioners of Newport shall not permit the name of any such candidate to be filed except such candidate as shall meet the requirements of Section 9 of this Charter.
Section 11. ORGANIZATION MEETING
An organization meeting of the Commissioners of Newport shall be held within one day following the annual election of officers. At the organization meeting the Commissioners elected shall select one of the Commissioners as the presiding officer of the Commissioners of Newport for the term of one year. If the Commissioners are unable to select one of their number as a presiding officer then such officer shall be chosen for the Commissioners by lot by the Commissioners. The presiding officer shall be called the "Mayor".
Section 12. MEETINGS OF COMMISSIONERS
In addition to the Organization Meeting there shall be twelve stated meetings of the said Commissioners in every year, viz: On the first Thursday of every month and special meetings upon two days' notice at such times as the same shall be called by any three of the Commissioners. All meetings except Organization Meetings shall be open to attendance by the public.
Section 13. COMPENSATION
Each Commissioner shall receive a minimum annual salary of one hundred dollars ($100) to be paid yearly during the month of December. The Commissioners may elect to pay additional compensation to themselves but such additional compensation shall not exceed one hundred dollars ($100) to any Commissioner in any one year. The Commissioner elected Mayor. shall receive a minimum annual salary of one hundred and fifty dollars ($150) to be paid yearly during the month of December.
The Treasurer shall receive a minimum annual salary of one hundred dollars ($100), the Assessors shall receive a minimum annual salary of two hundred dollars ($200), and the Alderman shall receive a minimum annual salary of twenty-five dollars ($25). The above mentioned salaries to be paid yearly during the month of December. The Commissioners shall fix the compensation to be received by the Secretary and Collector of Taxes for their services in office.
Monies received from the Town by Commissioners as compensation for services and duties performed in capacities other than as Commissioner shall not be included in computing the minimum and maximum annual salary of a Commissioner.
Section 14. PROCEDURE
The Commissioners shall determine their own rules of procedure and order of business. It shall keep a record of its proceedings and the record shall be open to public inspection.
Every ordinance shall be introduced in writing. No ordinance shall be passed unless it shall have the affirmative vote of a majority of the Commissioners. Vote on any ordinance shall be by voice vote and how each Commissioner voted on any ordinance shall be entered on the record.
Section 15. VACANCIES IN OFFICE
(c) Temporary Absence or Inability to Act
In case of the temporary absence or inability to act of the Mayor, the Commissioners shall appoint a President pro tempore from among themselves to act in such temporary absence or inability of the Mayor. The President pro tempore when lawfully acting as Mayor shall have all the powers conferred upon the Mayor by this Charter. The compensation of the President pro tempore, not to exceed two hundred and fifty dollars ($250) in any one year, shall be fixed by the Commissioners.
In case of the temporary absence or inability to act of the Secretary, Alderman, Treasurer, Assessors or a Commissioner, the majority of the Commissioners may appoint an officer pro tempore to act in any such temporary absence or inability.
(d) Permanent Vacancies
If, by death, resignation or otherwise, any vacancy shall occur in the office of Mayor, Commissioner, Alderman, Treasurer, Assessor, or Secretary, a majority of the Commissioners are hereby authorized to fill said vacancies at the next regular meeting or at a special meeting for the unexpired term of said office or offices.
Section 16. MAYOR
It shall be the duty of the Mayor to preside at all meetings of the Commissioners and he shall have a vote therein and in case of his absence a President pro tempore shall be appointed in his place. He shall execute on behalf of the Town when authorized by a majority of the Commissioners all agreements, contracts, bonds, deeds, leases and other documents necessary to be executed. He shall have the power to appoint the other four Commissioners to be in charge of any departments or divisions of the Town Government created by the Commissioners. At least one Commissioner must be appointed to each department or division created by the Commissioners. The Mayor shall also have the power to appoint the Secretary of the Town. It shall be the duty of the Mayor to see that the laws and ordinances of the said Town are faithfully executed and the Mayor shall perform all duties imposed upon him by this Charter. The Mayor shall also have the power to administer oath and affirmation.
Section 17. SECRETARY
It shall be the duty of the Secretary to record all the proceedings of the Commissioners and keep a correct journal of the same in a book or books provided for that purpose, said journal must show all bills approved by the Commissioners, the amount of said bills and to whom payable. The Secretary shall file and keep in a safe place the Seal of the Town; and deliver the same to his successor in office. The Secretary shall attest the Seal of the Town when authorized by the Commissioners and shall perform such duties and such other powers as may be prescribed by the Commissioners. All records, books, papers, and documents in the custody of the Secretary shall be always open for the inspection of the Commissioners. The Secretary may be a Commissioner.
Section 18. TREASURER
It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to deposit all moneys in his possession belonging to said Town, in the name of the Town of Newport, in a bank selected by the Commissioners; the said Treasurer shall be the custodian of all moneys belonging to said Town and shall pay out of any moneys in his possession belonging to the said Town all bills approved in writing by the Commissioners or a majority of them and presented to him for payment, and take a receipt for the same to be preserved and delivered to his successor in office; he shall settle his accounts with the said Commissioners annually in the month of December and at such other times as the said Commissioners may require. The Treasurer shall attend all meetings of the Commissioners. The Treasurer may be a Commissioner.
(b) Audit of Accounts
The Commissioners are hereby required to appoint one or more suitable and capable persons to audit the account of the Treasurer annually in the month of December and at such other times as said Commissioners may deem advisable. It shall be the duty of the said auditor or auditors to make and post in at least three public places in the Town of Newport a statement showing all receipts and disbursements and balance remaining in the hands of the Treasurer.
(c) Bond of Treasurer
The Treasurer before entering upon the duties of his office shall give bond to the "Commissioners of Newport", with sufficient surety, to be approved by the Commissioners in penal sum equal to the amount of what may be likely to come into his hands conditioned for the faithful discharge of the duties of said office, and for the delivery to his successors in office all books, papers, etc., relating to said Treasurer and all sums of money belonging to the Town which are in his hands upon the termination of his office and the settlement of his final account; to which said bond and condition shall be annexed a warrant of attorney for the confession of judgment for said penalty. The cost of said bond shall be paid out of the money of the Town of Newport.
(d) Failure to Give Bond
If the Treasurer shall fail to bond as required by this section, he shall thereby forfeit his office and the same shall become vacant; in case such vacancy occurs the Commissioners are authorized to appoint a Treasurer to serve for the unexpired term.
Section 19. COLLECTOR OF TAXES
The Commissioners shall elect some suitable person Tax Collector for the Town; and after having ascertained the sum necessary to be raised on the said Town for the purposes of this Act, and having apportioned the same on the assessment and valuation aforesaid, shall, yearly, on or before the fifteenth day of May, furnish the Tax Collector of said Town with a list containing the names of the taxables, as well as the owners of real estate as those not owning real estate, and opposite the names of each the amount of the real estate and his personal assessment, distinguishing between them, and also the tax levied on each person, and also the tax levied on the whole valuation and assessment, and the rate per hundred dollars. The list shall be signed by the Commissioners or a majority of, them.
The Tax Collector, on the fifteenth day of May, shall proceed to collect the taxes mentioned in the said list, and in collecting the same shall have the same powers as are given by law to the collectors of the county rates and levies. All taxes shall be due and payable on the fifteenth day of May of the year during which said taxes are levied. A discount of five per centum may be allowed on all taxes paid on or before the last day of June; five per centum shall be added to all taxes paid after the last day of August. No legal proceedings shall be instituted for the collection of taxes until after the last day of August of the year during which said taxes are levied, provided, that if any person or persons shall remove from said Town his or their taxes shall become due and collectable by law.
The said Tax Collector shall also before entering upon his duties give bond to the "Commissioners of Newport", with sufficient surety, to be approved by the Commissioners of said Town in the penal sum equal to the amount of what may be likely to come into his hands conditioned for the faithful discharge of the duties of his office; to which said bond and condition shall be annexed a warrant of attorney for the confession of judgment for said penalty. The cost of said bond shall be paid out of money belonging to said Town.
The said Tax Collector shall render an account, and pay unto the Town Treasurer all money in his hands, on the first Monday of every month and upon the expiration of his term of office and at such other time or times as the Commissioners, or a majority of them, shall require. He shall have all the power conferred upon or vested in the Receiver of Taxes and the County Treasurer for New Castle County.
The citizens of the Town of Newport are hereby exempted from the payment of all Hundred and Road Taxes. The compensation of the Tax Collector shall be fixed by the Commissioners.
Section 20. ALDERMAN
The Alderman is hereby constituted a conservator of the peace within said Town and is authorized and empowered to exercise within said Town all the authority which a Justice of the Peace may exercise under the laws of the State; with all the powers of the Justice of the Peace to take recognizance, to arrest, hold for bail, or fine and imprison offenders in such amounts and/or for such terms as are set out by the laws of the State; provided that in the case of a violation of an ordinance he shall impose no fine or penalty in excess of that fixed by the ordinance and shall not commit to prison for a longer term than thirty days a person who is in default in the payment of a fine imposed for the violation of a Town ordinance. Provided further that he shall have no jurisdiction in any civil matter other than to carry out the provisions of this Act.
He shall have jurisdiction and authority over all neglects, omissions or defaults of the Town police, Assessor, Collector of Taxes, Treasurer or any other person or officer whose duty it may be to collect, receive, pay over or account for any money belonging to the said Town or to execute or obey any law or ordinance thereof.
The fees of said Alderman shall be the same as are allowed Justices of the Peace for similar services under the laws of this State. It shall be the duty of the Alderman to keep a book of record, or docket, to be called the "Alderman's Docket of Newport", to be provided by the Commissioners, in which all his official acts shall be entered, and he shall, upon expiration of his term of office, deliver over to his successor all the books and papers pertaining to his office within ten days after the election and qualification of his successor and shall pay over to the Treasurer of the Town all moneys in his hand belonging to the Town within five days after the expiration of this term; upon his neglect or failure to deliver to his successor in office within the time aforesaid all the books and papers belonging to his office or upon neglect or failure to pay over to the Treasurer of the Town within the time aforesaid all moneys belonging to the Town, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereon shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars ( $100) or more than five hundred dollars ($500).
All fines collected by the Alderman belong to the Town and its use. The Alderman at every regular meeting of the Commissioners shall report to it all fines and penalties imposed by him since the Commissioners last meeting and pay to the Treasurer of the Town all such fines and penalties received by him during the said time and in default of making such report or paying such fines and penalties for a period of twenty days after such report should be made and such fines and penalties should be paid as aforesaid he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than twenty dollars ($20) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100).
Prosecution by the Alderman shall be by information without indictment by a Grand Jury or trial by Petit Jury. Processes issued by the Alderman may be directed to any county constable, the Sheriff of any county or any member of the Town Police force who shall execute the same in like manner and be subject to the same penalties as in other cases.
Section 21. POLICE
The Commissioner who is appointed by the Mayor to be in charge of the Police Department shall be known as "Commissioner of Police". The Commissioner of Police shall have the power to appoint or employ a police force consisting of the Commissioner and such number of subordinates as he may deem wise. Subject to the approval of a majority of the Commissioners, the Commissioner of Police shall from time to time make rules and regulations as may be necessary for the organization, government, payment and control of the police force. He shall have the power to remove any member from the police force.
Each member of the police force, including the Commissioner of Police, shall be vested within the Town limits with all the power and authority of a constable of New Castle County and may carry fire arms and in the case of pursuit of any offender their power and authority is extended to any part of the State of Delaware. They may arrest with or without warrant any violators of the laws or ordinances of the Town when they have observed such violation and have pursued the violators beyond the limits of the Town and they may bring them back into said Town for trial, or take them before any Justice of the Peace that such offenders may be dealt with according to law. In any case of necessity, members of the police force may command the aid of any citizen or citizens. The Commissioner of Police may appoint special members of the police force with the same powers and duties as regular members of the police force.
Section 22. BOARD OF HEALTH
The Commissioners at their first regular meeting following the annual election may appoint a Board of Health consisting of five members, one of whom shall be a Commissioner and one of whom shall be a practicing physician. The Board shall serve until the first regular meeting of the Commissioners, after the annual election in the following year. The said Board of Health shall take cognizance of the interest of health among the people of the Town and shall report to the Commissioners in writing whatever in its judgment is injurious to health. The said Board shall have all powers now or hereafter vested by the laws of this State in Boards of Health generally and also such additional powers as may be conferred by ordinance adopted by the Commissioners.
The members of said Board shall organize by the election of a President and a Secretary within fourteen days after notice of their appointment and said Board shall keep a record of its proceedings.
Section 23. ASSESSOR
The Assessor, immediately after his election and before entering upon the duties of his office, shall be sworn or affirmed before one of the Commissioners or a Justice of the Peace to diligently, faithfully and impartially perform the duties of his office to the best of his ability, knowledge and judgment, and a certificate shall be made by the person administering the oath or affirmation, in the record book of the Commissioners containing the certificate of the election of the Alderman, Commissioners and Assessor. The compensation of the Assessor shall be fixed by the Commissioners.
Section 24. ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE
The Assessor of the Town shall, annually, in the month of March, make a true, just and impartial valuation or assessment of the real estate within said Town, said assessment shall be made personally by the Assessor, and after a view of the premises, an assessment of all the citizens residing in said Town above the age of twenty-one years and including those not owning real estate within its limits and the said Assessor shall forthwith after making such assessment and deliver to the Commissioners a duplicate containing the name of all the persons assessed and the amount of their assessments, distinguishing the real and personal assessments of each. The Commissioners shall assess the real estate and person of the Assessors. The Commissioners shall, between the first and fifteenth days of April, cause a full and complete transcript of said duplicate to be posted in a public place in said Town, there to remain for the space of twenty days thereafter for public inspection, and said Commissioners shall on the Wednesday next after the expiration of the said twenty days hold a court of appeals, which shall continue open from six o'clock P. M. until ten o'clock P. M. of the said day, when they shall hear and determine appeals from said assessments. Notice of the posting of the list, and also at the same time notice of the time and place of hearing appeals shall be given by notices posted in at least six public places in said Town. The decision of the Commissioners upon any appeals shall be final and conclusive. No Commissioner shall sit upon his own appeal, but the same shall be heard and determined by the other Commissioners.
After the valuation and assessment shall be examined and adjusted by the said Commissioners, all taxes shall be levied, assessed and raised on the real estate and persons thus valued and assessed in just and equal proportions and rates.
Section 25. POWERS OF THE TOWN
The Town of Newport shall have all the powers granted to municipal corporations and to cities by the Constitution and general laws of the State of Delaware, together with all the implied powers necessary to carry into execution all the powers granted. The Town of Newport shall continue to enjoy all powers which have been granted to it by special acts of the General Assembly of the State of Delaware, except insofar as they may be repealed by the enactment of this Charter. The Town of Newport, as a body politic and corporate, shall succeed to own or possess all property whether real, personal or mixed, and all the rights, privileges, franchises, powers and immunities now belonging to, possessed by, or enjoyed by the former corporation known as "The Commissioners of Newport".
The Town of Newport may have and use a corporate seal, may sue and be sued, may acquire property within or without its corporate limits by purchase, gift, devise, lease or condemnation, for the purpose of providing sites for public buildings, parks, sewer systems, sewage treatment plants, water systems, water plants, gas or electric systems, or other municipal purposes, and may sell, lease, mortgage, hold, manage and control such property or utility as its interest may require; and except as prohibited by the Constitution of the State of Delaware or restricted by this Charter, the Town of Newport shall and may exercise all municipal powers, functions, rights, privileges and immunities of every name and nature whatsoever.
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 Newport shall have and may exercise all powers which, under the Constitution of the State of Delaware, it would be competent for this Charter specifically to enumerate. All powers of the Town, whether express 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 Commissioners.
Section 26. POWERS OF THE COMMISSIONERS
The Commissioners shall constitute the legislative body of the Town of Newport and together shall be designated as the Commissioners.
The Commissioners shall have power to prevent the introduction or spread of infectious or contagious diseases or nuisances affecting the Town, which power shall extend to the area outside the Town limits and within one mile from said limits.
The Commissioners may also pass ordinances to ascertain and fix boundaries of streets, squares, lanes and alleys; or repair and amend the same, and provide for the paving thereof, or to alter, extend, or widen any street, square, lane, or alley, or open and lay out new ones subject to the provisions in that behalf hereinafter contained; to regulate the ascent and descent of all streets, lanes, and alleys; to fix the building lines upon the same; to direct the paving of foot ways and to prescribe the widths thereof, to direct the laying out of gutters and to prescribe the depth thereof; to prescribe the extent of steps, porches, cellar doors, and other inlets to yards and buildings; to provide police and the lighting of streets at the expense of the Town, and generally to prescribe and regulate the use of the streets, lanes and alleys of the Town and to have and exercise control over the same; subject to the provisions in that behalf hereinafter contained.
The Commissioners shall have the power to prescribe rules and regulations directed toward the prevention of fires and explosions, to adopt municipal zoning regulations; to adopt traffic regulations; to regulate itinerant peddlers and canvassers within the Town; to regulate signs and bill boards and to provide for permits for the erection and maintenance thereof.
The Commissioners shall have the power to provide for the regulation of auctions and auctioneers, also to regulate public amusements, to fix and declare and regulate the width. of party walls, to provide for the safety of the citizens and for that purpose may prescribe the heights, thickness of walls, and materials of buildings and the mode of erecting the same within said Town; and for providing for and securing the safety of the inmates thereof, and make provisions for the enforcement of such regulations.
The Commissioners shall have the power to regulate by ordinance or otherwise the sale of goods, wares and merchandise on the streets and sidewalks within the Town of Newport, and fix the license fee thereof and to license the conduct of business generally within the Town and fix license fee for same and to make all necessary rules and regulations and provide necessary penalties for the enforcement of such ordinances and the collection of such license fees, provided, however, that no license fee shall exceed $50.00 per year and in its discretion to provide for the payment of the expenses thereof; to provide for the measuring or weighing of coal, lime, grain, or other matter sold in the said Town.
The Commissioners shall have the power to lay and collect fines on the owners of any horse, cow, dog, or other animal which may be found at large in any of the streets, squares, lanes or alleys aforesaid, and in general shall have power to do all those matters and things for the well-being of the said Town, which shall not be in contravention of any existing laws of this State or the Constitution thereof.
The Commissioners shall not have power to exempt any individual from the operation of any general ordinance or municipal regulation. The Commissioners shall have power to require all persons owning or keeping any male or female dog or dogs within the limits of the said Town to have the same registered annually and collect a fee from such keeper, owner or owners for such registration, and shall have power to fix the time and manner of registering the amount of the annual fee thereof, and the penalty for not registering by ordinance.
The Commissioners shall have the power to create a Community Welfare Fund and to pay into said Fund from Town income from time to time sums of money not to exceed two per centum (2%) in any one year of the gross amount of money collected by the Town for taxes in that year. The proceeds of the Community Welfare Fund may be used by the Town for community projects or donated to worthwhile organizations in the Town that provide community services or protection to the Town and its citizens. Any donation by the Town from the Community Welfare Fund to an organization must be first approved by a majority of the Commissioners.
The Commissioners shall have all other powers requisite to and appropriate for the government of the Town of Newport, its peace and order, its sanitation and beauty, and for the health, safety, convenience, comfort and well-being of its population, and for the protection and preservation of public and private property.
Section 27. THE TOWN MAY ENGAGE IN BUSINESS
The Town of Newport shall have the right and power to acquire, own and maintain, within or without the corporate limits of such Town, all real estate for municipal purposes for sites and rights-of-way for public buildings, parks, sewer systems, sewage treatment, water systems, water plants or other municipal and general welfare purposes and for the location, erection and maintenance thereon of public facilities for the uses aforesaid.
In any case where the Commissioners may deem it to be to the best interests of the people of the Town of Newport to acquire the properties of any privately owned sewer system, sewage treatment plants, water systems, water plants or utilities within the present or future boundaries of the Town, the question shall be submitted to a vote of the freeholders of the Town of Newport. The Commissioners may at any time call a special election for such purposes upon thirty days' notice. In acquiring said utility property, the Town of Newport shall respect the franchise rights of the owners and shall in all respects adhere to the general laws of the State of Delaware insofar as they relate to the purchase of utility property by municipalities. The Commissioners shall be authorized to negotiate the aforementioned purchase only upon the approval of a majority of the freeholders of the Town of Newport.
Section 28. POWER OF TOWN OVER STREETS
The several posts and mark stones now set and fixed or which may hereafter be established in the middle of the streets of said Town of Newport, as well as all such other posts and mark stones as shall from time to time be set and fixed in the earth by the Town of Newport shall in all cases and in all courts of law within the State be deemed, taken and allowed as land marks. The said Town of Newport by itself or by its servants or agents shall have the right to enter upon any land within the limits of the Town and thereon set and fix such posts and mark stones as in the judgment of the Commissioners are necessary; and if any person shall willfully tamper with or remove any of said posts or mark stones such person shall, for each such offense, forfeit and pay a fine of one hundred dollars; and the Town of Newport may reward the informer of such offense by allowing him a portion of said penalty not exceeding one-half thereof.
The Commissioners shall have the power and authority to lay out, locate and open new streets and to widen or to alter existing streets or parts thereof, whenever they shall deem it for the best interests of the Town. The procedure shall be as follows:
The Commissioners shall, by a majority vote, adopt a resolution for the opening of a new street, or the widening or altering of a street, or the vacating or abandoning of a street, or any part thereof, as the case may be, the resolution giving a general description of the street to be opened, widened, altered, vacated or abandoned. The resolution shall also state the day, hour and place where and when the Commissioners will sit to hear objections and to award just and reasonable compensation to anyone who will be deprived of property. A copy of such resolution shall be posted in five (5) or more public places in the Town at least five (5) days before said day. A copy of such resolution shall be sent to all persons who would be deprived of property in consequence thereof, and to all person or persons having or claiming any interest or lien therein, at least five (5) days before the day fixed for the hearing, by personal service or by registered mail addressed to their last known post office address. At the time and place fixed in said resolution, said Commissioners shall hear such residents of the Town, or owners of the property affected, as may attend, and shall at said meeting or at a subsequent day as they shall deem proper, adopt a resolution by a majority vote to proceed with or to abandon, as they shall deem for the best interests of the Town, the opening of a new street or the widening, altering, vacating or abandoning of an existing street, or part thereof, as the case may be, as contemplated in their prior resolution. In case the determination of the Commissioners shall be to proceed with the plan contemplated by said first resolution, they shall also award just and reasonable compensation to any who will be deprived of property in consequence thereof.
Such compensation as may be awarded shall be paid by the Treasurer of the Town on a warrant drawn on him by the authority of the Commissioners. Any land owner, or person having or claiming any interest or lien therein, who may be dissatisfied with the compensation awarded by the Commissioners, may, within five (5) days after notice of the award of the Commissioners, appeal therefrom by serving written notice to that effect on the Mayor. In order to prosecute said appeal, such appellant shall within five (5) days after the expiration of the five (5) days allowed for the appeal, apply to the Resident Judge of the Superior Court of the State, in New Castle County, for the appointment of the freeholders to hear and determine the matter of compensation to such appellant, and thereupon the said Judge shall issue a commission under his hand, directed to five (5) impartial freeholders of the County, two of whom shall be residents of the Town of Newport, commanding them to determine and fix the damages which the appellant will sustain by reason of being deprived of any property as aforesaid, taking into consideration the benefit or advantages which will inure to the appellant, and to make return of their findings to the said Judge at the time therein appointed. The freeholders shall give notice of the day, hour and place when and where they will meet to view the premises and to affix the damages, if any, as aforesaid. Such notice shall be served upon the appellant personally, or sent by registered mail to his last known address, and if not served personally by posting a copy on the premises affected at least fifteen (15) days before the day when the freeholders are to view the premises, and a copy of such notice should also be served on the Mayor at least fifteen (15) days before' the day of such meeting. The freeholders named in such commission, being first sworn or affirmed on the day and at the hour and place stated in the notice shall view the premises and hear the witnesses, and shall without delay, determine and fix the damages, if any, which said appellant will sustain by reason of being deprived of any property as aforesaid. Thereupon the said freeholders shall make return in writing of their proceedings to the said Resident Judge, who shall cause a copy of said return to be delivered to the Mayor, and such return shall be final and conclusive. The said Judge shall have the power to fill any vacancies among the freeholders. On application within twenty (20) days after the award the said Judge may set aside a grossly improper award and appoint a new Commission. The amount of damages being ascertained, the Town may pay or tender the same to the person entitled thereto within one (1) month after the same shall be finally ascertained, or may deposit the same in any Bank in the Town to the credit of the person entitled thereto, within the said period of one (1) month and thereupon the Town may carry into effect the plan contemplated in the resolution aforesaid. The return of freeholders shall be filed in the Office of the Prothonotary of New Castle County.
In the ascertainment and assessment of damages by the freeholders, if the damages shall be increased, the costs of the appeal shall be paid by the Treasurer of the Town of Newport, but if said damages shall not be increased, the said costs shall be paid by the appellant. The fees to the freeholders shall be five dollars ($5.00) per day to each, which shall be taxes as a part of the costs.
Section 29. SEWER AND WATER MAIN IMPROVEMENTS
The Commissioners shall have the entire jurisdiction and control within the limits of said Town of the drainage thereof, and the right to alter and change the course and direction of any of the natural water courses, runs or rivulets within the limits of said Town, and may pass ordinances for the construction of water mains and the opening of gutters, drains and sewers within the limits thereof. And may pass ordinances for the regulating and maintaining, cleansing and keeping the same and the natural water courses, runs and rivulets within the said limits open, clean and unobstructed; and for that purpose may authorize the entry upon private lands and take, condemn and occupy the same in the same way and under the same rules and procedure as hereinbefore provided in case of streets, etc., and by general regulations prescribe the mode in which they shall be altered, changed, opened, maintained, cleansed, and kept open and unobstructed, and the expense thereof may in its discretion be assessed upon the property particularly benefited thereby, except such real estate as it exempt from municipal assessment and taxation by Virtue of any law of the State of Delaware, and prescribe the mode of collection thereof; provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the taking of private property for public use without just compensation.
Whenever the Commissioners of the Town of Newport shall determine either on petition by a majority in numbers or in interest of the property holders abutting a proposed sanitary sewer construction, improvement, alteration, or repair or on its own initiative, that such construction, improvement, alteration, or repair of sanitary sewers is required, it shall order the City Engineer to proceed in accordance with law to undertake work and surveys necessary to make a report estimating cost and apportioning assessments. The Commissioners shall then proceed as hereinbefore described for street improvements. The Commissioners may perform such construction, improvement, alteration, or repair by contract or municipal agency. Provided, that assessment for the construction, improvement, alteration, repair and operation of sanitary sewers may be made upon the property abutting upon that portion of the street in which any sanitary sewer may be constructed under the provisions of this Charter, and shall be based upon the lineal feet of such property abutting on such street, each such lineal foot being assessed alike. In the case of property situated at the corner of two such streets or otherwise so situated as to be assessed for the cost of building a sanitary sewer in one of such streets, only the front of such property shall be liable for such assessments. The Commissioners on individual appeals according to rules established by them, shall in all cases decide what portion of the corner property shall be considered frontage and what portion side frontage. Provided that in all corner properties the side frontage shall not exceed one hundred and twenty-five (125) feet and side frontage thus determined shall be exempt from the payment of any sanitary sewer assessment, unless the owner thereof should, after the side frontage is fixed as aforesaid, decide to make such side frontage the front of said property, in which case the owner shall pay such additional assessment as the Commissioners may determine. No property shall be assessed for the cost of constructing the sanitary sewer and connecting the same with the disposal plant, unless such property shall abut and be bounded by that portion of the street in which a sanitary sewer has been built, or unless such property has the right of access to such street or desires to use such sanitary sewer and the sanitary sewer is constructed upon the street upon which the property abuts, in either of which case such property shall be liable for the same assessment as though a sanitary sewer was constructed in the portion of the street on which such property abuts, and the property shall not be liable for any further assessment for sanitary sewer purposes. Where any such assessments shall be made upon any land for the cost of constructing a sanitary sewer and connecting it with the disposal plant, the Commissioners shall have the right to compel the owner to connect any building or structure erected as may be prescribed by the Commissioners from time to time. The word street shall be deemed and held to comprehend and include highways, lanes and alleys.
Section 30. SIDEWALKS
Whenever the Town of Newport shall have determined that any paving, graveling or guttering of the sidewalks or any or either or all of them, shall be done it shall notify the owner or owners of land in front of whose premises the same is to be done, particularly designating the nature and character thereof, and thereupon it shall be the duty of said owner or owners, to cause such paving, graveling or guttering to be done in conformity with said notice. In the event of any owner, neglecting to comply with said notice for the space of thirty days, the Commissioners may proceed to have the same done, and when done the Treasurer of the Town of Newport shall as soon as convenient thereafter present to the said owner or owners of such lands, a bill showing the expense of paving, graveling or guttering. If such owner or owners be not resident in the Town of Newport, such bill may be presented to the occupier or tenant of said land with a copy of said bill to be mailed to the owner or owners at his or their last known address or if there is no occupier or tenant resident in the Town of Newport such bill may be sent by mail to such owner or owners at his or their last known address. If such bill be not paid by the owner or owners of such lands within thirty days after the presentation, then it shall be the duty of the Commissioners to issue an order in the name of "Town of Newport" under the hand of the Mayor, and the seal of the said corporation, directed to the Treasurer of the Town of Newport, commanding him to proceed to collect said delinquent assessment as levied in accordance with the authority granted under Section 37 "Collection of Taxes and Special Assessments" of this Act. The claim for paving, graveling or guttering shall be a lien on the premises in front of which the said work was done, and shall have the same priority and be collectible in the same manner as municipal property taxes.
If any new paving is ordered by the Commissioners as aforesaid, in front of lot or lots held or owned by a widow or widows as and for her or their dower, such expense incurred as aforesaid shall be paid by the owner or owners of the reversion in the fee simple. All subsequent repairs named in this Act are to be kept up at the expense of such tenant in dower.
Any notice required by this section to one co-owner, shall. be notice to all; and in case no owner shall reside in the Town, notice may be served upon the occupier or tenant of said premises resident in the Town, and if there be no such occupier or tenant, it shall be sufficient to send said notice by mail to any owner of said premises, directed to him or her at the post office nearest his or her residence.
The provisions hereinbefore contained in this section, shall apply to any order made by the Commissioners in respect to any such paving, graveling or guttering heretofore done, which the Commissioners may deem insufficient or to need repairing. The Commissioners in addition to the provisions of this section hereinbefore shall have power and authority to enforce by ordinance, all the requirements of this section by imposing such fines and penalties as shall be in the judgment of the Commissioners necessary and proper.
The paving of the curb, gutter and street shall be done by the Commissioners at the expense of the Town, except in case of property exempt from taxation, in which case the Commissioners may in their discretion require the owner or owners of said exempt property to pay for the paving of the curb, gutter and street, and in case said owners refuse so to pave, curb and gutter, the Commissioners may proceed to have the same done and collect the expense thereof in the same manner and by the same proceedings as are hereinbefore provided, in case of paving, graveling and guttering sidewalks, footways, etc., where the owners of property refuse to pave, gravel and gutter sidewalks and footways in front of their property.
Section 31. ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY
The Town of Newport is hereby authorized and empowered whenever it shall deem it necessary and expedient for any municipal purpose to obtain and acquire property either within the boundaries of said Town or outside said boundaries and to obtain legal title to said property by appropriate conveyances. If the Town of Newport fails to reach an agreement with an owner or owners of said property it shall have the power to take such property by condemnation in the manner and according to the procedure as set forth in Title 10, Chapter 61, Delaware Code of 1953; provided, however, that the right of condemnation shall not extend to property owned by the State of Delaware or any agency thereof.
Section 32. SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS
(a) Levying of Special Assessments
The Town of Newport is hereby authorized and empowered to levy and collect special assessments upon property in a limited and determinable area for special benefits accruing to such property as a consequence of any municipal public work or improvement; and to provide for the payment of all or any part of the cost of the work, service, or improvement out of the proceeds of such special assessments.
(e) Assessments Payable in Installments
The Commissioners may provide for the payment of special assessments, for whatever purpose levied, by installments, but assessments for permanent improvements shall be within ten years in annual or more frequent installments, and assessments for current services shall be payable within one year.
(f) Assessments Not to Exceed Value of Benefit
The amount assessed against any property for any work or improvement shall not exceed the value of the benefits accruing to the property therefrom.
Section 33. POWER TO RAISE REVENUE
The Commissioners shall have the power to levy and collect taxes on real property within the limits of the Town, except that which is not assessable and taxable by virtue of any law of the State of Delaware, which shall not be more than $50,000 in any one year clear of all delinquencies and expenses of collection. The Commissioners shall have the right to grant or refuse, and to charge fees for licenses, or permits for traveling shows, and other businesses of any description within the limits of the Town, to control their use of any property within the Town. The Commissioners shall also have the power to levy and collect franchise fees and to impose sewer rentals on sanitary sewers.
The Commissioners may, in its discretion, exempt from Town taxation any manufacturing plants or other industrial improvements hereafter established within the Town of Newport or brought within the boundaries of the Town of Newport by virtue of any future extension for a term not to exceed five years from the time said plants or improvements are established or brought within the boundaries of the Town of Newport.
The Commissioners shall have the power by ordinance to allow discounts for early payment of taxes, to impose reasonable penalties and forfeitures for tax delinquencies, and to review and determine proper and appropriate properties to be exempt from taxation.
The Commissioners shall have the power to fix the rates for general utility services operated by the Town and to collect and utilize revenues from such utility services for the benefit of the Town.
Section 34. POWER TO BORROW MONEY
The Commissioners of Newport under the restrictions hereinafter provided may borrow for municipal purposes on the credit of the Town such sum or sums of money at such time or times as they may deem proper not to exceed ten percent of the assessed value of the real estate of said Town and issue bonds for the payment of same.
If revenue bonds are issued, each such bond shall recite in substance that said bond, including interest thereon, is payable from the revenue pledged to the payment thereof, and that said bond does not constitute a debt of the Town of Newport within the meaning of the bonded indebtedness limitation set out above; provided, however, that in the event of some emergency, the Town of Newport may temporarily borrow, advance or loan such amount as is necessary to meet current interest on outstanding bonds, such advance or loan to be repaid to the Town of Newport out of revenue subsequently received from the undertaking. If revenue bonds are issued, the Commissioners shall prescribe and collect reasonable rates, fees or charges for the service, facilities and accommodations of said undertaking and shall revise such rates, fees or charges from time to time whenever necessary so that such undertaking shall be and always remain self-supporting. The rates, fees or charges prescribed shall be such as will procure revenue at least sufficient (a) to pay when due all bonds and interest thereon, for the payment of which such revenue is or shall have been pledged, charged or otherwise encumbered, including reserves therefor, and (b) to provide for all expenses of operation and maintenance of such undertaking, including reserves therefor.
Before the Town of Newport may incur indebtedness by the issuance of bonds as aforesaid, the borrowing of money shall have been authorized by the Commissioners and shall have been approved in the following manner:
1. The Commissioners shall by resolution propose to the freeholders of the Town of Newport the purpose or purposes for which the stated amount of money shall be borrowed. The resolution shall state the amount of money desired to be borrowed, the purpose for which. it is desired, the manner of securing the same, and all other pertinent facts relating to the loan, including data on total related debt and the debt limitations established by this Charter; shall fix a time and place for hearing on the resolution; and shall provide for publication of an announcement of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least one week prior to the hearing date.
0. A public hearing shall be held at which time all persons of interest wishing to be heard shall be given an opportunity to express their views. Their testimony shall be considered in evidence by the Commissioners.
1. If the Commissioners desire to continue with the bond proceedings, it shall then, by resolution, direct that the question be submitted to a referendum. An election shall be held not less than thirty days nor more than sixty days after the date of such resolution.
2. The notice of the time and place for holding the said special election shall be printed in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town once a week for three successive weeks prior to the election. The special election shall be conducted by the Election Board as herein provided for annual elections.
3. The Commissioners shall cause the Election Board to prepare, print and have available for distribution a sufficient number of ballots not less than five days prior to the day of the special election. At said Referendum all freeholders of the Town of Newport shall be entitled to one vote. Each corporation owning property in the Town of Newport shall be entitled to one vote under this section.
4. The Election Board shall count the votes for and against the proposed loan and shall announce the results thereof; shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and against the proposed loan; and shall deliver the same to the Commissioners, which certificates shall be entered on the minutes of the Commissioners, and the original shall be filed with the paper of the Commissioners. Provided, however, no bond issue shall be deemed approved unless a majority of those voting at such referendum shall vote for such bond issue.
7. The form of the bonds and certificates of indebtedness, the date of payment of interest, the classes, the dates of maturity, and the provisions pertaining to the registration shall be determined by the Commissioners. The bonds shall be sold to the highest bidder after at least one month's notice published at least twice in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town and at least once in a publication carrying municipal bond notices and devoted primarily to financial news. The Commissioners shall provide, in its budget, for revenues sufficient to pay the interest and principal on the said bonds or certificates of indebtedness at the maturity or maturities therefor. The faith and credit of the Town of Newport shall be deemed pledged for the due payment of the principal and interest of general obligation bonds issued within the prescribed debt limitation when the same have been properly executed and delivered for value.
Section 35. BORROWING FOR CURRENT EXPENSES
Whenever the needs of the Town shall require more money than is, at the time, in the Town Treasury from current receipts, the Commissioners shall be authorized and empowered to anticipate current revenue by borrowing such amounts as are needed. Provided, however, the amount of such indebtedness shall not at any time exceed the sum of one-half percent of the assessed value of real estate.
To exercise the power aforesaid the Commissioners shall adopt a resolution to that effect, which resolution shall require the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of all the members of the Commissioners. The indebtedness created under this provision shall be evidenced by notes of the Town, and the faith and credit of the Town shall be deemed to be pledged thereby. Such short-term debt shall not be considered as part of the bonded debt of the Town when limitations under indebtedness, as set forth elsewhere in this Charter, are computed.
Section 36. LIENS ON REAL ESTATE
All water rents laid or imposed by the Commissioners of Newport remaining unpaid and in arrears for thirty days after they become due shall be and constitute a lien upon the lands and premises of the owner to which the water was furnished, and such lien shall have preference and priority to all liens of recognizance, mortgage or judgment on such lands and premises created or suffered by said owner, although such other lien or liens shall be of a date prior to the time of the attaching of such lien for water rents. The lien for water rents shall remain and continue as a lien against the real estate for the period of ten years from the expiration of the thirty days after said water rents become due and payable, but if the real estate remains the property of the person who was the owner at the time it was assessed, the lien shall continue until the tax is collected.
In the case of sale under execution process of any lands and premises upon which such liens for water rents and/or taxes shall exist, such liens shall be transferred to the fund arising from such sale in the hands of the officer making the same and the real estate so sold shall be discharged therefrom, provided, that if such fund shall not be sufficient to pay and discharge the said tax lien by reason of the said real estate having been sold subject to another or other lien or liens created by said taxable, then the unpaid balance of said tax shall remain a lien upon the land so sold. The Commissioners of Newport in collecting water rents out of real estate upon which there is a lien under the provisions of this section shall proceed in the manner prescribed herein for the collection of taxes out of real estate by the Commissioners of Newport.
All taxes for Town purposes which may hereafter be lawfully assessed on real estate in the Town of Newport shall constitute a prior lien thereon for a period of ten years from the first day of July succeeding the assessment of said taxes, but if the said real estate remains the property of the person to whom it is assessed, then the lien shall continue until the tax is collected, and may, with all incidental costs and expenses, be levied by sale thereof as hereinbefore provided. The said tax lien shall be fully paid and satisfied before any recognizance, mortgage, judgment, debt, obligation or responsibility which the real estate may become charged with or liable to.
Section 37. COLLECTION OF TAXES AND SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS
In addition to all existing methods and authority for the collection of taxes or special assessments due to the Town of Newport, the following methods and authority are hereby established:
(a) The Tax Collector may recover the amount of tax in an action of debt against the person taxed, before any Justice of the Peace in New Castle County, or before the Court of Common Pleas or Superior Court of New Castle County; and it shall be sufficient to set forth that the action is to recover a specified sum of money, being a tax or taxes assessed against the defendant, and the time of assessing the same. The right of appeal shall be the same as in other civil actions.
If judgment be rendered in favor of the Tax Collector, he shall have an allowance for his reasonable trouble in attending to the suit, including counsel fees, not in excess of five per cent of the amount of taxes plus accrued interest, to be taxed by the Court in the costs, and execution shall issue against the real estate of the defendant; provided, no execution against the real estate shall issue except out of the Superior Court of New Castle County.
Where such judgment is recovered before a Justice of the Peace or Court of Common Pleas, and it is the desire of the Tax Collector to proceed against the real estate of the defendant, the said Tax Collector shall take a transcript of the judgment from the Justice of the Peace or Court of Common Pleas and cause the same to be entered on the dockets of the Superior Court. When such transcripts are entered, the subsequent proceedings shall be the same as upon other judgments.
(b) The Town of Newport may file, or cause to be filed, a Praecipe in the office of the Prothonotary of the Superior Court in and for New Castle County, which Praecipe shall contain the name of the person against whom the taxes or assessments sought to be collected were assessed, and a copy of the bills showing the amount of taxes or assessments due and the property against which the assessment was laid; and the statement of the lot number of the particular section in which said property is located or the street number or numbers shall be sufficient identification and description of the said property. The Prothonotary shall make a record of same on the judgment records of said Superior Court against the property mentioned or described in said Praecipe. Thereafter upon a Praecipe for Monition filed in the office of said Prothonotary by the Town of Newport through any person authorized on its behalf to collect taxes or assessments due to the Town of Newport, a Monition shall be issued by the Prothonotary aforesaid to the Sheriff of New Castle County, which Monition shall briefly state the amount of the judgment for the taxes or assessments due and the years thereof, together with a brief description of the property upon which said taxes or assessments are a lien; and a description of such property by street and number or by lot number or numbers of the particular section in which said property is located shall be a sufficient description. Said Monition shall be in substantially the following form:
To all persons having or claiming to have any title, interest or lien upon the within described premises, take warning that unless the judgment for the taxes or assessments stated herein is paid within twenty days after the date hereof, or within such period of twenty days evidence of the payment of taxes herein claimed shall be filed in the office of the Prothonotary, which evidence shall be in the form of a receipted bill or duplicate thereof, bearing date prior to the filing of the lien in the office of the Prothonotary for New Castle County, the Town of Newport may proceed to sell the property herein mentioned or described for the purpose of collecting the judgment for the taxes or assessments herein stated:
Name of Person in whose Description Year or Amount of
name property is assessed of Property Years Judgment
Said Monition, or copy thereof, shall be posted by the Sheriff upon some prominent place or part of the property against which said judgment for the taxes or assessments is a lien. The Sheriff shall make due and proper return of his proceedings under said Monition to said Prothonotary within ten days after the posting of said copy of Monition as aforesaid.
Alias or Pluries Monition may issue upon like Praecipe. The posting of said Monition shall constitute notice to the owner or owners and all persons having any interest in said property.
At any time after the expiration of twenty days following the return of the Sheriff upon such Monition, unless before the expiration of said twenty days the said judgment and costs on said judgment shall be paid or evidence of the payment of such taxes evidenced by a receipted tax bill or a duplicate thereof bearing date therefor prior to the filing of said lien for record in the office of the Prothonotary as aforesaid, upon Praecipe filed by the Town of Newport, a writ of Venditioni Exponas shall issue out of the office of the said Prothonotary directed to the Sheriff commanding the Sheriff to sell the property mentioned or described in said writ and make due return of his proceedings thereunder in the same manner as is now applicable with respect to similar writs of Venditioni Exponas issued out of the Superior Court.
Said Writ shall be substantially in the following form:
New Castle County
The State of Delaware
TO THE SHERIFF OF NEW CASTLE COUNTY
WHEREAS, by a Monition issued out of the Superior Court dated at Wilmington, the ______ day of ______ A. D. 19___ . IT WAS COMMANDED, that you should post the said Monition or copy thereof upon the real estate therein mentioned and described, and make a return to the said Superior Court within ten days after said posting. That on the day of _____
A. D. 19__, you returned that a copy of the said Monition was posted on the real estate therein mentioned and described on the day of A. D. 19___ .
We therefore now command you to expose to public sale real estate mentioned and described in said Monition as follows:
And that you should cause to be made as well as certain debt of ______ Dollars ($_____ ) lawful money of the United States, which to the said Town of Newport, a municipal corporation of the State of Delaware, is due and owing, as also the sum ________ Dollars ($_______ ) lawful money as aforesaid, for its costs, which it has sustained by the detaining of that debt, whereof the said was convicted as it appears of record and against which said property it is a lien;
And have you that money before the Judges of our Superior Court at Wilmington, on Monday the _______ day of ______ next, to render to the said Town of Newport, a municipal corporation as aforesaid, for its debt and costs as aforesaid, and this writ:
WITNESSETH, the Honorable ___________ at Wilmington the ______ day of ________ A. D. 19___ .
Upon the return of the proceedings under said writ of Venditioni Exponas, the Superior Court may inquire into the regularity of the proceedings thereunder, and either approve the sale or set it aside.
Any real estate or interest therein sold under the provisions hereof shall vest in the purchaser all the right, title and interest of the person in whose name said property was assessed, and/or all right, title and interest of the person or persons who are the owner or owners thereof, and likewise freed and discharged from any dower or curtesy or statutory right, in the nature of a dower or curtesy, whether absolute or inchoate, in or to said real estate, and from all equity of redemption and liens and encumbrances held by persons and corporation against said property.
The owner of any such real estate sold under the provisions of this Act or his legal representatives may redeem the same at any time within one year from the day the sale thereof is approved by the Court, by paying to the purchaser or his legal representative, successors or assigns, the amount of the purchase price and fifteen per cent in addition thereto, together with all costs incurred in the cause; or if the purchaser or his legal representatives, successors or assigns shall refuse to receive the same, or do not reside or cannot be found within the Town of Newport, by paying said amount into said Court for the use of said purchaser, his legal representatives or assigns.
In the event that the owner of said property or his legal representatives shall fail to redeem said property as herein provided, the purchaser of said property or his legal representatives, successors or assigns may present a Petition to the Superior Court setting forth the appropriate facts in conformity with this Act and pray that the said Superior Court make an order directing the Sheriff, then in office, to execute, acknowledge and deliver a deed conveying the title to said property to the Petitioner; and thereupon the said Superior Court shall have power, after a hearing upon said Petition, to issue an order directing the Sheriff to execute, acknowledge and deliver a deed as prayed for in said Petition, and a description of said property by street number or by lot number or numbers of the particular section in which said property is located, together with a description of said property by metes and bounds.
If the owner of any real estate sold under an order of sale or his legal representative shall redeem said real estate, he may prefer to said Superior Court a petition setting forth that fact and thereupon the said Superior Court, after hearing and determining the facts set forth in said petition, shall have power to cause to be entered upon the record of the judgment, under which said real estate was sold, a memorandum that the real estate described in the proceeding upon which said judgment was entered has been redeemed and thereafter the said owner shall hold such redeemed real estate subject to the same liens, and the same order of priority as they existed at the time of the sale thereof, excepting so far as the said liens have been discharged or reduced by the application of the proceeds by the said Sheriff from the said sale.
No monition proceedings shall be brought under this Act unless the tax or assessment sought to be collected hereunder shall at the time of the filing of said Petition in the Office of the Prothonotary be and constitute a lien upon the property against which the tax or assessment was assessed or laid. All taxes for Town purposes which may hereafter be lawfully assessed on real estate in the Town of Newport shall constitute a prior lien thereon for a period of ten years from the first day of July succeeding the assessment of said taxes, but if the said real estate remains the property of the person to whom it is assessed, then the lien shall continue until the tax is collected, and may, with all incidental costs and expenses, to be levied by sale thereof as hereinbefore provided. The said tax lien and costs and reasonable counsel fees for the collection thereof shall be fully paid and satisfied before any recognizance, mortgage, judgment, debt, obligation or responsibility which the real estate may be charged with or liable to. The Town of Newport shall have the authority to authorize any person or persons to make a bid or bids at the sale of any real estate under the provisions of this Act and in the event that such person or persons is the highest and best bidder or bidders therefor the title thereto shall be taken in the name of the Town of Newport, a municipal corporation of the State of Delaware. The Town of Newport by resolution duly adopted, is authorized and empowered to sell and convey any real estate purchased under the provisions of this Act.
Whenever the Superior Court is mentioned in this Statute the same shall be held to embrace the Judges or any Judge thereof, and any act required or authorized to be done under this Act may be done by the said Superior Court or any Judge thereof in vacation thereof, as well as in term time.
The fees and costs to be fixed in all Monition proceedings under this Act, where not otherwise provided for, shall be as follows:
The following fees shall be charged by the Prothonotary:
Issuing Monition and copy
Issuing Alias or Pluries Monition and copy
Writ of Venditioni Exponas
Filing any Petition in Superior Court under this Act
Cost of paying money into Superior Court
Cost of paying money out of Superior Court
for each check drawn
The following fees shall be charged by the Sheriff:
Posting Monition $ .75
Posting each Alias or Pluries Monition or copy .75
All other charges not covered by this Act shall be the same as are now provided by laws.
Section 38. LIMITATION OF ACTION FOR DAMAGES
No action suit or proceeding shall be brought or maintained against the Commissioners of Newport for damages on account of physical injuries, death or injury to property by reason of the negligence of the said Commissioners or any of its departments, officers, agents or employees thereof, unless the person by or on behalf of whom such claim or demand is asserted shall, within ninety days from the happening of such injury, notify the Commissioners in writing of the time, place, cause and character of the injuries sustained.
Section 39. FORMER GOVERNMENT IN FORCE
All ordinances, resolution, orders, rules, or regulations in force in the Town of Newport at the time this Charter takes effect, regardless of the authority under which originally enacted, shall continue in full force and effect until the Commissioners otherwise provide by ordinance, notwithstanding any change in organization effected by this Charter. All acts and doings of the Commissioners of Newport or of any officer of said Town lawfully done or performed under the provisions of any law of this State or of any ordinance of the Commissioners of Newport are hereby ratified and confirmed. All debts, fines and penalties or forfeitures due the said Town of Newport and all debts due from same Town of Newport to any person, persons or corporations are hereby declared unaffected and unimpaired and all laws of this State for the collection and enforcement thereof shall continue in full force and effect until the same be fully paid and discharged.
Section 40. CONTINUANCE IN OFFICE
All persons holding any non-elective office or employment under the Town of Newport at the time this Charter goes into effect shall continue in such office or employment and shall draw the same rate of compensation as during the month preceding the adoption of this Charter until removed or until the compensation is changed.
The President of the Commissioners of Newport shall continue as the Mayor of the Commissioners of Newport and the Commissioners of Newport shall continue as Commissioners until their successors are elected and qualify as previously provided for in this Charter.
Section 41. SEVERABILITY OF CHARTER PROVISIONS
If any provision of this Charter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this Charter which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or applications, and to this end the provisions of this Charter are declared to be severable.
Section 42. EFFECTIVE DATE OF PUBLIC ACT
This Act shall be deemed and taken to be a Public Act effective as of the date of its approval by the Governor of the State of Delaware.
Approved May 25, 1960.