CHAPTER 44

AN ACT TO AMEND THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF SMYRNA, CHAPTER 192, VOLUME 36, LAWS OF DELAWARE, BY AUTHORIZING THE COUNCIL TO EXTEND THE BOUNDARIES OF SAID TOWN AFTER A SPECIAL ELECTION OF THE QUALIFIED VOTERS AND REAL ESTATE OWNERS OF THEIR TERRITORY PROPOSED TO BE ANNEXED.

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

Section 1. That Chapter 192, Volume 36, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by adding thereto a new section as follows:

Section 2. The Town of Smyrna is hereby authorized and empowered to extend its boundaries in the method as hereinafter provided.

(1) In order to extend the boundaries of the Town of Smyrna, the Council shall adopt a resolution proposing the inclusion of territory or territories within the limits of the Town of Smyrna and calling for a special election to be held in said territory or territories in accordance with Chapter 537, Volume 20, Laws of Delaware. Said Resolution shall contain a description of the territory or territories proposed to be annexed and shall specify the date of such election, which shall be not less than thirty nor more than sixty days after the adoption of said resolution, and the place or places of said election. Said resolution shall be published in at least two issues of a newspaper published in the Town of Smyrna at least two weeks prior to the day of said election.

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

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

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

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

(6) If a majority of the votes cast in an election held in a territory proposed to be annexed shall be in favor of the inclusion of that territory, the Council shall thereupon adopt a resolution annexing said territory and including same within the limits of the Town of Smyrna. Upon the adoption of a resolution of annexation a copy thereof certified by the Secretary of Council and a plot of the area annexed shall be forthwith filed for record with the Recorder of Deeds of Kent County or New Castle County and the area so annexed shall for all purposes thenceforth be part of the Town of Smyrna.

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

Approved May 5, 1961.