CHAPTER 280

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 227, VOLUME 51, LAWS OF DELAWARE ENTITLED "AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 196, VOLUME 22, LAWS OF DELAWARE, BY EXTENDING TO THE BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS THE AUTHORITY TO CONSTRUCT, OPERATE AND REGULATE A SEWAGE DISPOSAL PLANT AND AN IMPROVED SEWERAGE SYSTEM AND AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSIONERS OF LEWES TO ISSUE BONDS TO FINANCE THE PROJECT" BY PROVIDING FOR AN ASSESSMENT TO RETIRE THE BONDS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR TERMS.

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

Section 1. Section 1 of Chapter 227, Volume 51, Laws of Delaware, is amended by striking all of the second sentence of sub-paragraph 4 (d) thereof and substituting therefor the following:

(d) The said Board may make rules regulating the tapping of public sewers by owners or lessees of abutting properties and shall provide for the granting of permits for the same and for the payment of such equitable tapping fees, front-foot assessments, sewerage rents and sewerage taxes as the said Board may deem proper, and it shall prescribe the manner of installation and the material to be used in the construction and repair of all public and private drains or sewers.

Section 2. Section 1 of Chapter 227, Volume 51, Laws of Delaware, is amended by striking all of sub-paragraph 4 (f) therefrom and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

(f) All sewerage rents, taxes, or assessments laid, imposed or assessed by the Board of Public Works for the Town of Lewes remaining unpaid and in arrears for thirty days after they become due, shall be and constitute a lien upon the premises (whether leasehold rights or fee simple title in real estate) to which the sewerage facilities were connected, or, in the case of front-footage assessments, upon the properties subject to such assessments as hereinafter provided, and all such liens shall have preference and priority to all liens of recognizance, mortgage and judgment on such 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 sewerage rents, taxes and assessments. In case of the sale under execution process of any lands and premises or leasehold interests upon which such liens for sewerage rent, taxes and assessments shall exist, such lien shall be transferred to the fund arising from such sale in the hands of the officer making the same and the said real estate or leasehold interest so sold shall be discharged therefrom.

Section 3. Section 1 of Chapter 227, Volume 51, Laws of Delaware, is amended changing the period at the end of sub-paragraph 4 (g) to a comma and adding thereto the following:

(g) and the lien of a front-footage assessment shall remain a lien for a period of thirty years and no longer, dating from the expiration of thirty days after the date on which said assessment becomes due and payable.

Section 4. Section 1 of Chapter 227, Volume 51, Laws of Delaware, is amended by striking all of sub-paragraph 4 (h) therefrom and substituting therefor the following:

(h) Liens on real property for the non-payment of sewerage rents, taxes, assessment charges or any other charge, fee or tax imposed pursuant to this Chapter may be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, in the following manner. A certificate signed by the President of the Board of Public Works attested by the General Manager of the said Board and under the corporate seal of the Municipality shall be prepared, containing therein the name of the owner or lessee of the real property and the last known post office address of the said owner or lessee, a description of the property subject to the lien sufficient to identify it, an itemization of the taxes, fees or charges constituting the lien, the amount of the taxes, fees or charges in arrears and the year or years for which the taxes, fees or charges were levied, the lammilmorg date from which interest is to be calculated, and the date when an itemized bill of such taxes, fees or charges was sent to the said property owner or lessee. The certificate, when completed, as aforesaid, shall be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County in the Mortgage Records of the said County and shall be properly indexed by the Recorder. If the said Certificate is recorded, the amount of any taxes, fees or charges together with any interest or penalty shall be collected by foreclosure of the lien in the same manner and by the same procedure and subject to the same Rules of the Superior Court relating to pleading and practice as are provided for the foreclosure of a mortgage on real property and with the same costs and charges, together with a collection charge not to exceed five per centum of the amount of the lien with interest.

Section 5. Section 8 of Chapter 227, Volume 51, Laws of Delaware, is amended by striking all of said Section and substituting in lieu therefor the following:

If bonds are issued pursuant to this act, the Board of Public Works of the Town of Lewes may prescribe and assess against the properties abutting or fronting on any public street within the said Town along which the Board of Public Works may construct a sewer main, force main or interceptor sewer line, a reasonable charge based upon the front footage of the property fronting or abutting thereon, as the Board of Public Works may deem proper (whether such property is owned in fee simple or by leasehold) to defray all or any part of the cost of construction of said sewer mains, force mains or interceptor sewer lines and pumping stations. Such assessments, if made, shall become due and payable upon the expiration of thirty days from the date the same shall have been posted in a public place in the Office of the Board of Public Works of the Town of Lewes, and a copy thereof shall have been sent by the Board of Public Works to the owner or lessee of the property against which said assessment is made. The Board of Public Works may, in its discretion, provide by appropriate regulation, either for the immediate payment of said assessment or for the payment of such assessment, with interest, over a period not to exceed thirty years. If bonds are issued pursuant to this Act, the Board of Public Works of the Town of Lewes shall prescribe and collect reasonable rates, fees or charges for the services rendered by the sanitary sewer system and shall revise such rates, fees or charges from time to time whenever necessary so that such sanitary system 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 sanitary sewer system, including reserves therefor.

Approved January 2, 1962.