AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO "HOME RULE" LEGISLATION FOR KENT COUNTY.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:
Section 1. Chapter 41, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new Section 4116 to read as follows:
§ 4116. Sinking fund
The Levy Court may create a Sinking Fund for public buildings, public improvements, and public works generally, and for such purposes may open a special bank account in the name of the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer of the County and may deposit therein such sums at such times as the Levy Court deems advisable. The money in such fund shall be paid out upon warrants as other County monies are paid out according to law, at such times and in such amounts and for the above stated purposes or for any of such purposes, as the Levy Court shall determine.
Section 2. Chapter 41, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto, a new Section 4117 to read as follows :
§ 4117. County Engineer and other employees; appointment and duties
(e) The Levy Court may appoint a County Engineer for such term, and at such compensation as it deems proper. The County Engineer shall be responsible for and have general supervision over all public engineering work in the County including, but not limiting the generality of the foregoing, the construction of sanitary sewers, trunk lines, sewerage disposal plants, sanitary sewer systems in general and maintenance thereof, drainage, construction, lighting service, and other projects of a public nature.
such compensation as it deems proper, such draftsmen, rodmen, and assistants as, in its opinion, are necessary to carry on such public work.
Section 3. Chapter 41, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new Section 4118 to read as follows :
§ 4118. Dumping of garbage, rubbish, ashes or other waste material
The Levy Court may regulate or prohibit the dumping of garbage, rubbish, ashes or other waste material in or upon land within the County outside of any incorporated municipality and, for that purpose, enact and from time to time amend or rescind, suitable ordinances, rules or regulations.
Section 4. Chapter 41, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new Section 4119 to read as follows :
§ 4119. Rivers, creeks, or small runs; widening, straightening, etc.
(a) In case the Levy Court, upon the advice of the County Engineer deems it advisable to widen, straighten or alter the course of any part of any small run, river or creek in the County ; the Levy Court and the County Engineer may enter upon any land for the purpose of surveying and locating the changes necessary to widen, straighten or alter the course of any part of such river, run or creek.
(b) Any person owning land which it will be necessary to procure for such purpose may dedicate the same for such purpose, and the Levy Court may enter into negotiations with the owner or owners for that purpose, and may secure the necessary conveyance or dedication of the land. The Levy Court may also purchase the land from the owner or owners thereof upon such terms as the Levy Court deems advisable. All conveyances and dedications shall be to the State of Delaware, for the use of Kent County, and all conveyances, dedications and other papers relating to the acquirement of such land for such purpose shall be and remain a part of the records of the office of the County Engineer.
Section 5. Section 304, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended to read as follows :
§ 304. Election; qualifications and terms of Levy Court Commissioners; Kent County
(c) In Kent County, the Levy Court shall consist of not less than three or more than seven Commissioners, one from each of the Representative Districts as these Districts exist at the time of election ; and must be a resident and freeholder of their respective District; and shall be elected by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the Representative District in which each of the Commissioners resides. The term of office shall be for four years. In order to establish four year staggered terms of office so that no more than three Commissioners shall be elected in any one biennial general election, the Commissioners elected at the next biennial general election for the three lowest numbered Representative Districts shall serve for a term of four years with the remaining Commissioners to initially serve two-year terms, but these remaining Commissioners shall serve for regular four year terms at each successive election thereafter.
(d) In the event that a primary election is necessary in any Levy Court District, only the qualified voters of the said Levy Court District in which such primary contest exists, shall be eligible to vote in said primary.
(e) If, during his term of office, a Commissioner ceases to be a resident or freeholder or qualified voter of his District, his office shall thereupon become vacant, and a temporary Commissioner shall be appointed by the majority vote of the remaining body of Levy Court Commissioners to serve out his remaining term.
Section 6. Section 308, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended to read as follows :
§ 308. Vacancies
In case of a vacancy in the Levy Court of any County, or the County governing body of any County, for any cause, the members of that Levy Court may, by a majority vote of the remaining members, fill that vacancy temporarily pending a special election
to fill the vacancy. The Special Election shall be held within six months of the occurring of the vacancy and shall be held in the same manner as a regular election for a full term would be. The person so elected shall hold office for the duration of the unexpired term.
Section 7. Section 345 (b), Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended to read as follows :
(b) In Kent County such capitation tax shall in no case exceed the sum of Five Dollars ($5.00), nor be less than One Dollar ($1.00), and in Sussex County such capitation tax shall in no case exceed the sum of One Dollar and Twenty-Five Cents ($1.25), nor be less than One Dollar ($1.00), and shall be uniform throughout the County in which the same is levied and assessed.
Section 8. Section 4405, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended to read as follows :
§ 4405. Fees
The fees for issuing permits shall be prescribed by the Levy Court of Kent County, but in no case shall said fees exceed the aggregate fee of One Dollar ($1.00) per each One Thousand ($1,000.00) of assessed valuation, nor be less than One Dollar ($1.00) per each Five Thousand ($5,000.00) Dollars of assessed valuations.
Section 9. Section 4407, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended to read as follows:
§ 4407. Permits required
(a) A building permit shall be obtained from the Levy Court for any new construction of any kind including additions or alterations to existing structures.
(b) Before issuing a building permit, the Levy Court may require the builder or home owner to have a permit for waste disposal from the Water and Air Resources Commission.
The period following the word "year" in Line 14 is deleted and the following added, "and to keep current the assessment valuation of all other assessable property within the County. The procedure in New Castle County shall be as provided in Chapter 13 of this Title."
Section 11. Chapter 41, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new subchapter to read as follows:
SUBCHAPTER IV--PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION
§ 4151. Personnel Administration Board; compensation; terms of office; duties
The Kent County Levy Court, by ordinance, shall provide for the establishment of a Personnel Administration Board, headed by a Director of Personnel to be appointed by the Levy Court. The ordinance shall provide that the Director of Personnel shall serve at the pleasure of the Levy Court and shall be a person qualified for the position by education, experience and training. The ordinance shall further provide for the establishment of a Personnel Board of three members to be appointed by the Levy Court for terms of six years provided that the terms of the original members shall be established in a manner that one shall serve for two years, one for four years, and one for six years. The ordinance shall further provide that the members of the Board shall be residents of Kent County ; that they shall be in favor of the merit principle as applied to public employment; that no member of the Board shall be a member of any local, state or national committee of a political party or an officer or a member of a committee of any partisan or political group, or shall hold or be a candidate for any political office ; that the members shall be registered voters of the County with at least one a registered voter of one major political party. Not more than two members of the Board shall be of the same political party. The ordinance shall further provide that the members of the Board shall elect one of their number to serve as chairman and that they shall be entitled to compensation of $20.00 per meeting not to exceed 20 meetings in any fiscal year. The ordinance shall further provide for employees of the Personnel Administration Board to be subordinate to the Director and to the Personnel Administration Board. The
ordinance shall further provide for the adoption of a system of personnel administration which shall be administered by the said Board and which shall include the following guidelines :
(1) The division of all County Officers and employees into unclassified or classified service, and the assignment of all classified employees into categories, based on duties performed and responsibilities assumed.
(2) The establishment of a uniform pay plan for all classified employees based on the classification of the position held.
(3) The regulation of employment and promotion according to competency and fitness, to be ascertained when possible by competitive examination and, when not, by due consideration to qualifications and record of performance.
(4) The establishment of tenure for all classified employees, providing for discipline, demotion and discharge for just cause only, with right of employee appeal to the Personnel Administration Board.
(5) The creation of uniform provisions governing leaves of absence, layoffs, reinstatements, transfers, abolition of positions, sick and annual leaves, hours of work, and procedures for hearing employees' grievances and complaints.
Section 12, Chapter 45, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended to read as follows:
CHAPTER 45--WATER AND WATER SYSTEMS
§ 4501. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context--
"County" means Kent County ;
"Revenue bonds" means bonds to the payment of which all or any part of the revenues derived from the operation of any water system are pledged in accordance with this chapter ;
"Service charges" means rents, rates, fee or other charges charged or collected under Section 4509 of this title;
"Water system" means all real and personal property necessary or useful in the collection, acquisition, treatment, purification, and distribution of water, together with any principal or ancillary rights appurtenant thereto.
§ 4502. Powers of county
In addition to the other powers which it has, the County may, under this chapter--
(1) Plan, construct, acquire by gift, purchase, or the exercise of the right of eminent domain, reconstruct, improve, better or extend any water system, and acquire by gift, purchase, or the exercise of the right of eminent domain, land or rights in land in connection therewith ;
(2) Operate and maintain any water system and furnish the services and facilities rendered or afforded thereby ;
(3) Issue its negotiable or non-negotiable bonds to finance, either in whole or in part, the cost of the planning, acquisition, purchase, construction, reconstruction, improvement, betterment or extension of any water system, pledging the full faith and credit of the County to the punctual payment of the bonds and the interest thereon ;
(4) Pledge to the punctual payment of the bonds and the interest thereon an amount of the revenues derived from the operation of such water system (including the revenues of the existing facilities, if any, comprising a water system which is being improved, bettered, extended or acquired, and the revenues to be derived from any improvements, betterments, extensions, thereafter constructed or acquired) , or of any part of any such water system, sufficient to pay, on either equal or priority basis, the bonds and interest as the same become due and create and maintain reasonable reserves therefor, which amount may consist of all or any part of portion of such revenues ;
(0) Accept from any authorized agency of the State or Federal Government, or from persons, firms, or corporations, grants or contributions for the planning, construction, acquisition, lease, reconstruction, improvement, betterment or extension of any
water system and enter into agreements with such agency respecting such loans and grants;
(6) Enter into and perform a contract or contracts with any person, municipality, or agency of the State or Federal
for the sale, purchase, treatment, purification, transmission, or distribution of water.
§ 4503. Water system within city or town
No water system, or any part thereof, shall be constructed or maintained within the boundaries of any city or town situated in the County without the consent of such city or town, except that transmission lines or mains may be constructed or maintained without consent. The consent shall be given only by an ordinance adopted by the council or other governing body of the city or town in question, but once given shall be irrevocable.
§ 4504. Bonds; authorization; amount; terms; sale and interest rate
(a) The planning, acquisition, purchase, construction, reconstruction, improvement, betterment or extension of any water system may be authorized under this chapter and bonds may be authorized to be issued under this chapter to provide funds for such purposes by resolution of the Levy Court.
(b) The Levy Court, in determining the cost of acquiring or constructing any water system, may include all costs and estimated costs of the issuance of the bonds, all planning, engineering, inspection, fiscal and legal expenses, and interest which it is estimated will accrue during the construction period and for six months thereafter on money borrowed or which it is estimated will be borrowed pursuant to this chapter.
(c) The bonds shall bear interest at such rates, may be in one or more series, may bear such dates, may mature at such times not exceeding forty years from their respective dates, may be payable in such medium of payment, at such place or places, may carry such registration privileges, may be subject to such terms of redemption, may be executed in such manner, may contain such terms, covenants and conditions, and may be in such form, either coupon or registered, as the resolution or subsequent resolutions provide.
(d) (1) Any bonds issue pursuant to this chapter shall be sold at public sale and the Levy Court shall advertise that they will receive bids at such place or places as may be named in said advertisement for such bonds as may be determined by the Levy Court.
(2) Sufficient notice of sale of said bonds shall be deemed to have been given if said notice shall have been published at least once 10 or more days before the date of sale, in at least one newspaper published in the County and in a financial journal published in the city of New York, and no other publication of such notice of sale shall be necessary, and said bonds may be sold upon such terms and conditions as may be set forth in such notice of sale, provided that the purchase price shall be not less than par and accrued interest.
(3) In the event that the bonds so offered for sale are not bid for, or if no legally acceptable bid is received for the bonds, they may be sold under the direction of the Levy Court at private sale upon the best terms they can obtain for the same, provided that they shall not be sold at private sale for less than par and accrued interest and at a rate which shall not exceed 6% per annum.
(4) Without limiting the power granted the Levy Court as to the terms and conditions which they may set forth in a notice of sale, the Levy Court may request bids and award the bonds upon any of the following conditions :
(I) Bidders may be invited to name a single rate of interest for the issue or issues contained in the notice of sale, in which event the bonds can be awarded to the bidder offering to take all of the bonds at the lowest rate of interest, and as between bidders naming the same lowest rate of interest, the amount of premium will determine the award ; or
Bidders may be invited, with respect to a single issue, a combined issue or several other issues of bonds included in one notice of sale, to name one rate of interest for part of the bonds (having the earliest maturities) and another rate or rates for the balance of the bonds, and may permit a different interest rate for each maturity, or may limit the number of rates which may be proposed. If proposals are so invited, the bonds should be
awarded to the bidder offering to purchase the bonds at the lowest net interest cost to the County, the net interest cost to be determined by computing the aggregate amount of interest payable on the bonds from their date to their respective maturities and by deducting from such aggregate amount the premium offered, if any.
(e) Pending the preparation of the definitive bonds, interim receipts or certificates in such form and with such provisions as the Levy Court determines may be issued to the purchasers of bonds sold pursuant to this act.
(f) The rate of interest may be determined in advance of sale, or the bonds may be offered for sale at a rate of interest to be fixed by the purchaser of such bonds.
§ 4505. Authorized signatures on bonds; validity of issuance
(a) Bonds bearing the signatures of officers in office on the date of the signing thereof shall be valid and binding obligations notwithstanding that before the delivery thereof and payment therefor any or all of the persons whose signatures appear thereon have ceased to be officers of the County.
(b) The validity of the bonds shall not be dependent on nor affected by the validity or regularity of any proceedings relating to the planning, acquisition, purchase, construction, reconstruction, improvement, betterment, or extension of the water system for which the bonds are issued. The resolution authorizing the bonds may provide that the bonds shall contain a recital that they are issued pursuant to this chapter, which recital shall be conclusive evidence of their validity and of the regularity of their issuance.
§ 4506. Payment of bonds; faith and credit of county; tax levy
The full faith and credit of the County is pledged to the payment of any bonds issued by the County under this chapter. The Levy Court of the County shall, annually appropriate to the payment of such bonds and the interest thereon the amounts required to pay such bonds and interest as the same become due and payable. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law the Levy Court may levy an ad valorem tax, without limitation as to
rate or amount, upon all property taxable by the County to raise the moneys necessary to meet any such appropriation. Title 9, Delaware Code, Section 4111 is hereby repealed to the extent said section is inconsistent with this Chapter.
§ 4507. Authorization of covenants in bonds
(a) In the event that the County issues bonds, the resolutions authorizing the issuance of such bonds may contain covenants as to--
(1) The purpose to which the proceeds of sale of the bonds may be applied and the use and disposition thereof ;
(2) The use and disposition of the revenue of the water systems, the revenues of which are pledged to the payment of such bonds, including the creation and maintenance of reserves;
(3) The issuance of other or additional bonds payable from the revenues of such water systems;
(4) The operation and maintenance of such water systems ;
(5) The insurance to be carried thereon and the use and disposition of insurance moneys;
(6) Books of account and the inspection and audit thereof ;
(7) The terms and conditions upon which the holders of the bonds or any proportion of them or any trustee therefor shall be entitled to the appointment of a receiver by the appropriate court, which court shall have jurisdiction in such proceedings, and which receiver may enter and take possession of the water systems, operate and maintain them, prescribe service charges therefor, and collect, receive and apply all revenue thereafter arising therefrom in the same manner as the County itself might do; and
(b) The provisions of this chapter and any such resolution or resolutions shall be a contract with the holders of the bonds, and the duties of the County and of the Levy Court and officers under this chapter and any such resolutions shall be enforceable by any bondholder, by mandamus or other appropriate suit, action or proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction.
§ 4508. Service charges; amount and application
(a) If the County issues bonds under this chapter, the Levy Court shall prescribe and collect reasonable service charges for the services and facilities rendered or afforded by the water systems, the revenues of which are pledged to the payment of such bonds, and shall revise such service charges from time to time whenever necessary.
() The service charges prescribed shall be such as will procure revenue at least sufficient (1) 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 (2) to provide for all expenses of operation and maintenance of such water systems, including reserves therefor.
() The service charges when collected shall be applied to the payment of the bonds and interest and to the expenses of such operation and maintenance in accordance with the resolutions authorizing the bonds.
§ 4509. Power to make charges; liability of users; computation of rates
(a) The Levy Court may charge and collect rents, rates, fees or other charges (in this chapter sometimes referred to as "service charges") for direct or indirect connection with, or the use or services of, any water system. Such service charges may be charged to and collected from any person contracting for such connection or use or service or from the owner or occupant, or both of them, of any real property which directly or indirectly is or has been connected with a water system, or into which water from a water system may enter directly or indirectly, and the owner or occupant, or both of them, of any such real property shall be liable for and shall pay such service charges to the County at the time when and place where the Levy Court, by ordinance, rule or regulation, determines that such charges are due and payable.
(b) Such service charges shall, as near as the Levy Court deems practicable and equitable, be uniform throughout the area served by the water system, and may be based or computed either
on the consumption of water on or in connection with the real property, making due allowances for commercial use of water, or on the number and kind of water outlets on or in connection with the real property, or on the number and kind of plumbing fixtures or facilities on or in connection with the real property, or on the number of persons residing or working on or otherwise connected or identified with the real property, or on a front footage basis, or on other factors determining the type, class and amount of use or service of the water system, or on any combination of any such factors.
§ 4510. Penalties for failure to pay charges
(a) In the event that a service charge with regard to any parcel of real property is not paid as and when due, interest shall accrue and be due to the County on the unpaid balance at the rate of one per centum per month until the service charge, and the interest thereon, shall be fully paid to the County.
(b) In the event that any service charge with respect to any parcel of real property is not paid as and when due, the Levy Court of the County may, in its discretion, enter upon such parcel and cause the connection thereof leading directly or indirectly to the water system to be cut and shut off until the service charge and any subsequent service charge with regard to such parcel and all interest accrued thereon is fully paid.
§ 4511. Lien of service charges on real estate
(a) In the event that any service charge is not paid as and when due, the unpaid balance thereof and any interest accrued thereon shall be a lien on the parcel of real property with regard to which the service charge was made. The lien shall be superior and paramount to the interest in such parcel of any owner, lessee, tenant, mortgagee or other person, except the lien of taxes.
(b) If any service charge or any part of a service charge remains unpaid at the end of five years after the due date, the Levy Court of the County shall cause to be brought proper proceedings for the enforcement of the lien and levy the service charge as an assessment with interest thereon accrued, and all costs thereon upon the grounds and buildings with regard to
which a service charge was made. Such grounds and buildings, or any part thereof, shall be sold by the Sheriff of the County, after like notice given by the Sheriff, as is provided by law in cases of other sales of real estate by the Sheriff, and a deed from the Sheriff shall convey to the purchasers of such grounds and buildings as full and complete a title to the premises, in fee simple or otherwise, as if the same were executed by the owner thereof.
(c) The Sheriff shall, out of the purchase money of the premises so sold, pay all costs arising from the process and sale to the parties entitled thereto respectively, and shall pay the amount of the service charge with accrued inerest thereon to the Levy Court. The residue of the purchase money shall be immediately deposited in the Farmers Bank, at Dover, Delaware, to the credit of the owner or owners of the property so sold.
§ 4512. Water Hen docket
The Prothonotary shall, under the supervision and direction of the Levy Court, prepare a docket to be known as "The Kent County Water Lien Docket" in which shall be recorded the liens for service charges. The docket shall be prepared at the expense of the Levy Court in substantially the same form as the judgment docket for Kent County, and contain in the back hereof an index according to the name of the owner against which such lien has been assessed. No water lien shall be valid unless duly recorded as provided in this section. All water liens duly recorded in the docket shall continue in full force and effect until the liens have been satisfied by payment, and when such liens are satisfied by payment the Prothonotary, acting under the supervision and direction of the Levy Court, shall satisfy the record by entering thereon the date of final payment and the words "satisfied in full." The Prothonotary, for the use of the Levy Court, shall receive a fee of fifty cents for each satisfaction so entered.
§ 4513. Water consumption statement and other information for Levy Court or its designated agent
(a) Each municipality or public corporation, or other person, owning or operating any system of water distribution serving three or more parcels of real property in the County shall,
from time to time after request therefor by the Levy Court or its designated agent, deliver to the Levy Court or its designated agent a statement showing the amount of water supplied to every such parcel of real property as shown by the records of the municipality or public corporation or other person. The statements shall be delivered to the Levy Court or its designated agent within ten days after request is made for them, and the Levy Court or its designated agent shall pay the reasonable cost of preparation and delivery of such statements.
(b) The occupant of every parcel of property, the water for which is supplied by any water system of the County, shall, upon request therefor by the Levy Court or its designated agent, furnish to the Levy Court or its designated agent information as to the amount of water consumed by such occupant or in connection with such parcel and the number and kind of water outlets, and plumbing fixtures or facilities on or in connection with such parcel and the number of persons working or residing therein.
§ 4514. Discontinuance of water supply for failure to pay service charge
Each city or town or other public corporation owning or operating any water distribution system serving three or more parcels of real property in the County, and every other person owning or operating any such system may enter into and perform a contract with the County that it will, upon request by the Levy Court of the County specifying a parcel of real property in the County charged with any unpaid service charge under section 4509 of this title, cause the supply of water from its system to such parcel of real property to be stopped or restricted, as the Levy Court may request, until the service charge and any subsequent service charge charged to such parcel and the interest accrued thereon is fully paid or until the Levy Court directs otherwise. No such city or town or other public corporation or other person shall be liable for any loss, damage or other claim based on or arising out of the stopping or restricting of such supply, and the Levy Court shall pay the reasonable cost of so stopping or restricting such supply and of restoring the same and may agree to indemnify such city or town or other public corporation or other person from loss or damage by reason of such stopping or restriction, including loss of profits.
§ 4515. Contract with municipality for the filtering, purifying or supplying of water
The Levy Court may contract with any municipality within the territorial limits of the County to buy, sell, process, filter, treat or purify water. Such filtration, treatment, processing of purification may be done in any plant or facility of the County or the municipality for such time, on such terms, and in such volume as the Levy Court may, by resolution determine.
§ 4516. Connection of property with water mains
Permits for connecting any property by a pipe with any County water main shall be obtained from the Levy Court and shall be issued only to plumbers licensed to do business in the State of Delaware. No permit will be granted for connecting any property by a pipe with any water main unless application is made therefor to the Levy Court in writing upon blanks furnished by the Levy Court. The application shall state the full name of the owner, the size and kind of pipe to be used and a full description of the premises, its location, the number and size of each building located thereon, the area of each floor thereof, all of the purposes for which the pipe is to be used, the time when the connection is to be made and other particulars for a full understanding of the subject and that the owner will be subject to all the rules and regulations prescribed by the Levy Court. The application shall be signed by the owner of the property to be supplied with water and by a plumber licensed to do business in the State of Delaware. The owner shall also execute a release to the Levy Court releasing the Levy Court, its officers and agents and the County from all liability or damage which may in any manner result to the premises by reason of such connection. No permit shall be deemed to authorize anything not therein specifically stated.
§ 9517. Licensed plumber to connect property with water mains
All necessary plumbing work to be done in connecting any property with a County water main shall be done by a plumber licensed to do business in this State in a good and workmanlike manner and with good and proper materials, and shall be subject to the approval of the Levy Court or its designated agent.
§ 4518. Misrepresentations in application and unauthorized connections with water mains; penalty
Whoever wilfully makes any misrepresentation in any application or makes or maintains any connection with any water main contrary to the authority granted by permits issued herefor by the Levy Court, or without a permit therefor in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, shall be fined not less than $5.00 nor more than $500.00.
§ 4519. Surveys and inspections by Levy Court; penalty for refusal to permit
(a) The Levy Court or its designated representatives may go upon any land for the purpose of making surveys for water mains, water systems, water treatment plants, or pumping plants or for rights-of-way, or other property rights required for the water systems.
(b) The Levy Court or its designated representative may inspect, at reasonable hours, any premises, dwellings or other buildings in the vicinity of a County water main to determine if it is connected to the County water main, or to determine if the water main connection has been made or is being maintained in accordance with the regulations of the Levy Court.
() Whoever refuses to permit inspections and surveys at reasonable hours shall be fined not less than $10.00 for every such refusal.
§ 4520. Construction of chapter with other laws
The powers conferred by this chapter shall be in addition to and not in substitution for the powers conferred by any other general, special or local law. The powers conferred by this chapter may be exercised notwithstanding that any other general, special or local law may confer such powers, and without regard to the requirements, restrictions, limitations or other provisions contained in such other general, special or local law.
§ 4521. Annexation
Any annexation by any municipality of any previously unincorporated area shall not confer upon the annexing municipality
any right, title or interest in any part of any water system constructed, acquired, extended or improved pursuant to this chapter, except as a resolution of the Levy Court may so provide. No such resolution shall be adopted by the Levy Court unless the annexing municipality shall have deposited a fund sufficient to pay when due any outstanding bonds issued hereunder for the purchase, construction, acquisition, extension or improvement of all systems wholly or partly within the annexed area, with interest to the date of call or redemption and any redemption or call premium applicable thereto.
Section 13. Chapter 46, Title 9, Delaware Code, is repealed in its entirety, and a new Chapter 46 is inserted in lieu thereof, to read as follows:
CHAPTER 46. SEWERS AND SEWER DISTRICTS
§ 4601. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
(1) The term "County" shall mean Kent County.
(2) The term "district" or the term "county sewer district" shall mean any sewage disposal district or sanitary district established pursuant to this chapter.
(3) The term "sewage disposal district" shall mean a county sewer district established to provide one or more sewer facilities necessary or convenient for the transmission, final treatment and disposal of effluent received from the sewage collection facilities of a sanitary sewer district or from any other source as specifically provided herein.
(4) The term "sanitary district" shall mean a county sewer district established to provide one or more facilities necessary or convenient for the collection of sewage, the treatment of such sewage and delivery of such treated effluent into the facilities of a sewage disposal district for final treatment.
(5) The term "sewage" shall mean all types of human or animal waste, industrial or commercial waste or any other waste suitable for treatment and disposal through the facilities of sewage treatment plant.
§ 4602. Purpose
(a) The Levy Court of Kent County may establish or extend one or more county sewage disposal districts and county sanitary districts in the manner hereinafter provided for the purpose of the collection, transmission, treatment, and disposal of sewage.
(b) A county district established or extended hereunder may consist of two or more noncontiguous areas.
(c) Sanitary districts may only be established or extended within the boundaries of a sewage disposal district.
§ 4603. Planning
(a) The Levy Court (1) may assemble data, and develop plans relating to the collection, transmission, treatment and disposal of sewage within the county, and relating to the elimination or alleviation of sewage problems, and (2) may study the possibility of developing and utilizing existing facilities to make them available to the several municipalities, and other political subdivisions and unincorporated areas within the county.
() The Levy Court on its own motion may cause a preliminary report including maps and plans to be prepared for the establishment of a certain area or areas of the county as a county district. Such maps and plans shall show (1) the boundaries of the area or areas which the Levy Court in its judgment considers will be benefited directly or indirectly by the particular project, (2) a description of the area or areas sufficient to permit definite and conclusive identification of all parcels of property included therein, (3) the proposed location of all facilities such as lateral, trunk, interceptor and outfall sewers, pumping stations, and treatment and disposal facilities, (4) estimates of the cost of construction of the facilities as shown on the maps and plans, and (5) the method of financing such facilities. If the report shall contain recommendations for the establishment of two or more zones of assessment within a county district, the maps and plans shall show the boundaries of each of such zones and the estimated initial allocation of the cost of construction of the facilities recommended to be charged to each of such zones.
(a) The Levy Court may employ or contract for such engineering, legal, professional and other assistance as from time to
time may be needed, and may incur such other expenses as may be necessary to carry out the powers herein set forth.
§ 4604. Public hearing
Upon completion of the preliminary report and the maps and plans, the Levy Court shall call a public hearing upon a proposal to establish a county district to comprise the area or areas defined in such maps and plans. The Levy Court shall cause a notice of public hearing to be posted in four public places within the proposed district and shall cause a notice of the public hearing to be published at least once in a newspaper published within the county and having a general circulation therein. The first publication thereof shall be not less than ten days before the date set therein for the hearing. The notice of hearing shall contain a description of the area or areas to be included within the proposed district, and if the report shall have recommended the establishment of zones of assessment, a description of the area or areas to be included within such zones, the improvement proposed, the maximum amount proposed to be expended for the improvement, the allocation of such maximum amount as between the zones of assessment recommended, if any, and shall specify the time and the place where the Levy Court will meet to consider the matter and to hear all parties interested therein concerning the same. In the event that zones of assessment and allocation of cost of the facilities between such zones of assessment are provided for, said notice shall further state that said zones of assessment and said allocations of cost may be changed from time to time by resolution of the Levy Court adopted after a public hearing whenever said Levy Court shall determine that such changes are necessary in the public interest.
§ 4605. Representation by municipalities and districts
At the public hearing on the establishment of a county district which includes the whole or any part of a district furnishing a similar service as the proposed district, a city or a town, such district, city or town, may be represented by an officer of the district, city or town, duly designated by the governing body of such district, city or town, to attend.
§ 4606. Establishment of the county district
Upon the evidence presented at the public hearing, and after due consideration of the maps and plans, reports, recommendations and other data filed with it, the Levy Court shall determine by resolution whether or not the proposed district and facilities are satisfactory and sufficient, and if it shall determine such question in the negative, it may proceed to make a further study. The Levy Court may make such further study and amend and revise the maps and plans and estimate of cost in conformance with its findings. If the revised maps and plans and revised estimate alter the estimated maximum expenditure for the project, alter the boundaries of the proposed district, alter the boundaries of zones of assessment or change the allocation or cost of the facilities as between zones of assessment, the Levy Court shall call a further public hearing thereon in the manner provided in section 4604. When the Levy Court shall find that the proposed district and facilities are adequate and appropriate, it shall further determine by resolution (1) whether all the property and property owners within the proposed district are benefited directly or indirectly thereby, (2) whether all of the property and the property owners so benefited are included within the limits of the proposed district, (3) whether it is in the public interest to establish the district, and (4) if said maps and plans and report recommend the establishment of zones of assessment and the allocation of the cost of the facilities as between such zones of assessment, whether such zones of assessment and the allocation of the cost of the facilities thereto represent as nearly as may be the proportionate amount of benefit which the several lots and parcels of land in such zones will derive therefrom.
If the Levy Court shall determine that it is in the public interest to establish the district, but shall find that (1) any part or portion of the property or property owners within the proposed district are not benefited directly or indirectly thereby, or (2) that certain property owners benefited directly or indirectly thereby have not been included therein, or (3) if zones of assessment are proposed to be established and the cost of facilities allocated among said zones of assessment, that any part or portion of the property of property owners within a proposed zone of assessment should be placed in a different zone or that a different
allocation of the cost should be made as between the zones of assessment, the board shall cause the necessary changes of the boundaries of the proposed district, or the necessary changes of the boundaries of any proposed zone of assessment or the necessary changes as to the allocation of costs, as the case may be, to be made, and the board shall call a further hearing at a definite place and time not less than ten nor more than thirty days after such determination. Notice of such further hearing shall be published in the manner provided in section 4604 except that such notice shall also specify the manner in which it is proposed to alter the boundaries of the proposed district, or the boundaries of the zones of assessment or the allocation of the cost of the facilities as between said zones of assessment, as the case may be. If and when the board shall determine in the affirmative all of the questions set forth above, the board may adopt a resolution approving the establishment of the district, as the boundaries shall be finally determined, and the construction of the improvement, and if zones of assessment have been established and an allocation of the costs of the facilities made as between such zones of assessment, further approving the establishment of the initial zones of assessment and the initial allocation of the costs of the facilities as between said zones of assessment. Such resolution shall be subject to referendum upon petition as hereinafter provided.
§ 4607. Referendum upon petition
Within ten days after the adoption of a resolution subject to referendum upon petition, the Levy Court shall cause a notice to be published at least once in a newspaper published within the county and having a general circulation therein. Such notice shall contain a true copy of the resolution, the date of adoption thereof, and a statement that such resolution is subject to referendum upon petition. Such resolution shall not take effect until thirty days after its adoption ; nor unless it is approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of qualified electors of the proposed district, voting thereon, if within thirty days after its adoption there be filed with the Levy Court a petition signed by ten percent of the electors of the proposed district. Such petition shall state that a referendum is requested on such resolution describing the same by its date of adoption, and shall contain an abstract of the text thereof. The petition may consist of separate sheets and the
signatures to each sheet shall be acknowledged by the signer thereof or it may be proved by the oath of a witness who shall swear that he knows the signer and that the petition was signed in the presence of the witness. If the petition be sufficient and valid, the Levy Court shall by resolution fix a date not less than forty-five days after its adoption by which a proposition as herein provided for is to be submitted to a general or special election. Within thirty clays after the adoption of a resolution which is subject to referendum upon petition, the Levy Court may, on its own motion, provide that such resolution be submitted to a vote of the qualified resident electors of the district. Notice of the election shall be advertised in the same manner as provided in section 4604 of this title, for advertising a public hearing. The cost of the election shall be borne by the county, which shall be reimbursed for such cost by the district, if established. The proposition for the submission of a resolution of the Levy Court to the approval of the voters pursuant to this chapter, shall contain an abstract of such resolution stating the purpose and effect thereof. The clerk of the Levy Court shall prepare such abstract with the advice of the Levy Court attorney and shall transmit the proposition, in the form in which it is to be submitted, to the Levy Court who shall submit same at a general or special election in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The majority of votes cast shall decide the matter. The election shall be managed and the votes canvassed in such manner as may be prescribed by the Levy Court. Every citizen who resides in the proposed sewer district and who would be entitled at the time of the holding of such election to register and vote at a general election, if such general election were held on the day of such election in the proposed sewer district, may vote at such election whether or not he is at the time a registered voter.
§ 4608. Review
Any interested party aggrieved by the final determination made by the Levy Court establishing the district or authorizing the increase and improvement of facilities previously authorized for an existing district, may make application for review by a court of competent jurisdiction, of any and all of the final determinations made by the Levy Court in connection with the proceeding establishing the district or authorizing the increase
for improvements of facilities previously authorized for an existing district ; provided that application for review is made within thirty days from the effective date of the resolution establishing the district, or extending the boundaries thereof, or the adoption of a resolution authorizing the increase and improvement of facillies previously authorized for an existing district. Unless such application is made within thirty days as aforesaid, the resolution establishing the district, extending the boundaries thereof, or authorizing the increase and improvement of facilities previously authorized for an existing district shall be final and conclusive, and shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity of the proceedings for the establishment of the district for the extension thereof or for the authorization of the increase and improvement of facilities previously authorized for an existing district, and all other actions taken by the Levy Court in relation thereto.
§ 4609. Plans and specifications
After a district shall have been established, the Levy Court shall cause to be prepared by the county engineer or duly licensed engineer employed or contracted for that purpose, detailed plans and specifications for the improvement, a detailed estimate of the expense, and with the assistance of the Levy Court attorney, or other legal or professional help employed or contracted for that purpose, a proposed contract or contracts for the execution of the work.
§ 4610. Contracts
All contracts or orders for work, material or supplies, performed or furnished in connection with construction, shall be awarded by the Levy Court by or pursuant to resolution. Such contracts or orders for work, material or supplies needed for any particular purpose involving an expenditure of more than $2,000.00 shall be awarded only after inviting sealed bids or proposals therefor. The notice inviting sealed bids or proposals shall be published at least once in a newspaper or trade paper selected by the Levy Court for such purpose, such publication to be at least ten days before the date for the receipt of bids. If the Levy Court shall not deem it for the interest of the Levy Court to reject all bids, it shall award the contract to the lowest bidder,
unless the Levy Court shall determine that it is in the public interest that a bid other than the lowest bid should be accepted. The bidder whose bid is accepted shall give security for payment for materials and for the faithful performance of the contract, for maintenance following completion, and for such other purposes as the Levy Court may require. The sufficiency of such security shall be determined by the Levy Court. All bids or proposals shall be publicly opened by the Levy Court or its duly authorized agent. If the bidder whose bid has been accepted shall neglect or refuse to accept the contract within five days after written notice that the same has been awarded to him on his bid or proposal, or, if he accepts but does not execute the contract and give proper security, the Levy Court shall have the right to declare his deposit forfeited, and thereupon it shall be readvertised and relet as above provided. In case any work shall be abandoned by any contractor, the Levy Court may, if the best interests of the district be thereby served, adopt on behalf of the district any or all subcontracts made by such contractor for such work and all such sub-contractors shall be bound by such adoption if made ; and the Levy Court shall in the manner provided herein advertise and relet the work specified in the original contract exclusive of so much thereof as shall be provided for in the subcontract or subcontracts so adopted. Notwithstanding, the provisions of this section or any other provision of law, the Levy Court may contract for engineering, legal or other professional services requiring special skill or training for any project authorized by this chapter without requesting competitive bids or proposals, and without awarding such contract to the lowest bidder.
§ 4611. Powers of the Levy Court
In addition to other powers which it has in reference to a district or extension thereof, the Levy Court may :
(1) Plan, construct, reconstruct, improve, better or extend a sewage system or systems, acquire by gift, purchase, lease or the exercise of the right to eminent domain, a sewage system or lands or rights in land in connection therewith; on behalf of a district, acquire by purchase or lease any sewage collection, treatment or disposal facilities owned, maintained or operated
by any municipal, public or district corporation, or special district, and such agencies shall have the power to sell or lease such facilities to a county sewer district, notwithstanding that such sewage facilities have already been devoted to and are held for public use ; and may, instead of making any cash payment agreed or required to be made to the municipal, public or district corporation or special district, as compensation for such sewage facilities, agree to pay the principal of and interest on outstanding bonds issued by or on behalf of such municipal, public or district corporation or special district, of a principal amount not exceeding any lump sum amount agreed upon as consideration for such purchase or lease, as such principal and interest shall become due and payable;
(2) Operate and maintain a sewage system or systems, and furnish the services and facilities rendered or afforded thereby;
(3) Enter into and perform contracts, whether long term or short term, with any industrial establishment, municipality, district or agency of the State or Federal Government for the provision and operation by the county sewer district of a sewage system to abate or reduce the pollution of waters caused by discharges of sewage and industrial wastes by such industrial establishment, municipality, district or agency of the State or Federal Government ; and such contract may provide for the payment periodically by the industrial establishment, municipality, district or agency of the State or Federal Government to the county sewer district of amounts to compensate the county sewer districts for the cost of providing (including payment of principal and interest charges, if any) and of operating and maintaining the sewage system or part thereof serving such industrial establishments, municipality, district or agency of the State or Federal Government;
(4) After appropriate notice, to require a municipality, public or district corporation or special district which maintains or operates any sewage collection treatment or disposal facilities within the area of a County Sewage Disposal District, established pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter, to connect to and utilize the Sewage System and facilities of such County Sewage Disposal District in order to abate or reduce the pollution of waters caused by discharges of sewage and industrial waste;
(5) Accept from any authorized agency of the State or Federal Government, or from persons, firms or corporations, loans, grants or contribution for the planning, construction, acquisition, lease, reconstruction, improvement, betterment or extension of any sewage system and enter into agreements respecting such loans, grants and contributions ;
(6) Accept grants or loans of money, labor, materials, equipment or technical assistance from agencies of the Federal or State Government or from inter-state agencies established by law to accomplish the purposes of this chapter, and may pay the interest and amortization of such loans ;
(7) Enter into and perform contracts with any person for the sale of effluent products ; and
(8) After a public hearing called and held in the manner provided in Section 4604, adopt, amend and repeal from time to time ordinances, resolutions, and rules and regulations for the operation of a county sewer district and the use of the sewage system therein, including regulation of the manner of making connections and the construction to the system and all facilities and appurtenances; and a violation of any ordinance, resolution or rule or regulations, so adopted by the Levy Court, shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $5.00 nor more than $500.00.
§ 4612. Preliminary expenses
The preliminary expenses incurred for the preparation of maps, plans, studies, reports and other matters relating to the establishment or extension of a sewer district as authorized by this chapter, shall be a county charge and shall be assessed, levied and collected in the same manner as other county charges. If the Levy Court shall thereafter establish or extend a sewer district and construct a sewer system therein pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the expenses incurred by the Levy Court as set forth above shall be deemed to be part of the cost of such improvement and the county shall be reimbursed for the whole amount paid therefor, or for such portion of that amount which the Levy Court shall allocate against such district or extension. In the event the district is not established or extended, the Levy Court may issue bonds to finance the above cost either
in whole or in part, pledging the full faith and credit of the county to the punctual payment of the bonds and the interest thereon. Such bonds may be issued for a period of not to exceed five years from their respective dates.
§ 4613. Sewage charges and revenues
(a) The Levy Court may, after a public hearing called and held in the manner provided in section 4604, by ordinance or resolution establish charges for the use of a sewage system or any part or parts thereof. Such charges may be based on any of the following : (1) the consumption of water on the premises connected with and served by the sewage system or such part or parts thereof, (2) the number and kind of plumbing fixtures on the premises connected with and served by the sewage system or such part or parts thereof, (3) the number of persons served on the premises connected with and served by the sewage system or such part or parts thereof, (4) the volume and character of sewage, industrial waste and other waste discharged into the sewage system or such part or parts thereof, or (5) any other equitable basis determined by the Levy Court including but not limited to any combination of the foregoing.
() Such sewage charges, together with the amount of any penalty and interest prescribed by the Levy Court and due for nonpayment of such charges, shall constitute a lien upon the real property served by the sewage system or such part or parts thereof for which sewage charges shall have been established and imposed. The lien shall be prior and superior to every other lien or claim except as otherwise may be provided by law.
(a) The Levy Court on behalf of a sewer district may bring and maintain an action : (1) to collect sewage charges in arrears including penalties and interest, or (2) to foreclose liens for such sewage charges. As an alternative to the maintenance of any such action, the Levy Court may annually cause a statement to be prepared stating the amount of each lien for sewage charges in arrears including penalties, the real property affected thereby, and the name of the person in whose name such real property is assessed. The Levy Court shall cause to be levied the amounts contained in such statements against the real property at the same time and in the same manner as county taxes, and such amounts
shall be set forth in a separate column in the annual tax rolls. The amount so levied shall be collected and enforced in the same manner and at the same time as may be provided by law for the collection and enforcement of county taxes.
(d) The ordinance or resolution establishing and imposing sewage charges :
(1) Shall describe the sewer system or the part or parts of the sewer system for which such charges shall be established and imposed.
(2) Shall prescribe the basis for such charges.
(3) Shall provide for the date or dates on which sewage charges shall become due and payable.
(1) May provide for penalties and interest for sewage charges in arrears, or for discounts for the prompt payment of such charges, or for penalties, interest and discounts.
§ 4614. Expense of the improvement
The cost of establishment of a county sewer district and the furnishing of the improvement therein shall include the amount of all contracts, the cost of all lands and interests therein necessarily acquired, the cost of erection of necessary facilities and appurtenances for operation or administration of the improvement, the cost of necessary equipment for operation or administration of the improvement, printing, publishing, interest on loans, legal, engineering and other professional services, and all other expenses incurred or occasioned by reason of the establishment or extension of the district and the furnishing of the improvement. In addition, there shall be apportioned against, charged to and included in such cost such allowance as the Levy Court may make for expenditures which are directly attributable to the establishment or extension of the district as well as for any services rendered by the Levy Court attorney, the county engineer or any other salaried county officer or employee when such services have been necessary to or occasioned by reason of the establishment of the district.
§ 4615. Increase and improvement of facilities
Whenever the Levy Court shall determine it necessary to acquire additional lands or interests in lands or to acquire or to construct additional trunk, interceptor and outfall sewers, pumping stations, treatment and disposal works and appurtenance, lateral sewers or other facilities or whenever the Levy Court shall determine it necessary for the purpose of the operation and maintenance of such facilities to increase, improve and reconstruct the facilities thereof, including the acquisition of additional lands or interests in lands, it may cause the same to be accomplished without further authorization ; provided, however, that if it is proposed to finance any part of the cost thereof by the issuance and sale of county obligations, such improvement shall not be undertaken unless authorized by proceedings taken in the same manner as the proceedings taken for the original establishment or extension of the district except that the sole determination which the Levy Court shall make is whether such improvement is in the public interest, and, if zones of assessment have been established, said Levy Court shall further determine the allocation of the cost thereof as between such zones.
§ 4616. Increase of maximum amount to be expended
At any time after the establishment of a district or extension thereof pursuant to this chapter, the maximum amount authorized to be expended for the original improvement in such district or extension thereof may be increased by a resolution of the Levy Court, provided the Levy Court shall, after a public hearing called and held in the manner provided in section 4604, determine that it is in the public interest to authorize an increase of such maximum amount. If zones of assessment have been established, such resolution of the Levy Court shall further provide for the allocation of such increase as between such zones of assessment and the notice of such public hearing shall state such allocation.
§ 4617. Method of assessment
The Levy Court may determine to issue obligations of the county in such an amount as they may estimate to be sufficient to pay the entire cost of the improvement, but not in excess of the maximum amount proposed to be expended for the improvement as stated in the notice of hearing published pursuant to section
4604. In preparing the annual estimate of revenues and expendi* tures for the district or extension thereof, the Levy Court shall include, in addition to all costs of operation and maintenance for the next succeeding fiscal year, sums sufficient to pay the annual installments of principal of and interest on obligations issued on behalf of the district or extension thereof. The Levy Court shall thereupon annually assess the amount of the estimate of expenditures less the estimates of revenues as set forth in the estimate so prepared at a time to be fixed by it and shall, after a public hearing, establish an annual assessment roll for the county sewer district or extension thereof which shall be known as the "Sewer District Assessment Roll." The annual assessments may be apportioned by the Levy Court against the several lots and parcels of land in the district or extension thereof by one or more of the following methods :
(1) An ad valorem assessment levied on all the lots and parcels of land within the district or extension thereof.
(2) An assessment on the lots and parcels of land in the district or extension thereof in proportion as nearly as may be to the benefit which each parcel would derive from the improvement.
(3) If zones of assessment have been established and an allocation of the total estimated cost of the facilities have been made to such zones, the amount of the cost of the facilities so allocated to any such zone of assessment may be apportioned by an ad valorem assessment levied on all the lots and parcels of land within such zone.
(4) If zones of assessment have been established as provided above, by assessment on the lots and parcels of land within such zone in proportion as nearly as may be to the benefit which each parcel will derive from the improvement.
Notice of such public hearing shall state that the assessment roll has been completed and filed and the time and place fixed for the public hearing. Notice of such public hearing shall be published in a newspaper published within Kent County and having a general circulation therein at least once, not less than seven days immediately preceding the date of the public hearing. At the time and place specified, the Levy Court shall meet
and hear and consider any objections to the assessment roll, and may change or amend the same as it deems necessary or just, may affirm and adopt the same as originally proposed or as amended or changed, or the Levy Court may prepare a new roll. No such amended, changed or new roll shall be adopted unless the Levy Court shall hold another hearing thereon in the manner and upon the notice prescribed for the original hearing. The annual assessment shall be levied and collected at the same time as taxes levied for general county purposes. The County Treasurer shall keep a separate account of such moneys and they shall be used only for the purpose of the district or extension thereof for which collected. The properties against which such assessments are levied, shall be liable for the payment of the assessments in the same manner as they are liable for other county taxes.
§4618. Extension of the district
The district may be extended so as to include territory not previously included within its boundaries in the same manner as hereinbefore prescribed for the original establishment of a district. The cost of the extension shall include all the costs and expenses occasioned by reason of such extension and in addition thereto such proportion of the cost of the system of the original district as the Levy Court sha11 determine.
§4619. Changes in zones of assessment
The Levy Court, after holding a public hearing upon notice published in the same manner as provided in section 4604, from time to time, by resolution may :
(1) Change the allocation of the cost of such facility as between zones of assessment,
(2) Change the boundaries of zones of assessment, or
(3) Establish new zones of assessment or eliminate existing zones of assessment.
§4620. Order to connect to sewer; enforcement
(a) The Levy Court may, where it deems it necessary to the preservation of public health, order the owner of any lot or
parcel of land within a district or extension thereof which abuts upon a street or right of way containing a sewer which is part of or served by the county sewage system, and upon which lot or parcel of land a building shall have been constructed for residential, commercial or industrial use, to connect such building with such sewer.
(b) If any owner shall fail to comply within 60 days with such order to connect with such sewer, the Levy Court may forthwith institute action in any Justice of the Peace Court or may institute a summary action in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware to compel compliance with such order.
§4621. Surveys and inspection by Levy Court; penalty for refusal to permit.
(a) The Levy Court or its designated representatives may to upon any land for the purpose of making surveys for sewers, sewage systems, sewage disposal plants, pumping stations or other facilities, or for rights of way or other property rights required for a sewage system.
(b) The Levy Court or its designated representatives may inspect, at reasonable hours, any premises, dwelling or other building in the vicinity of a sewer to determine if it is connected to the sewer, or to determine if the sewer connection has been made or is being maintained in accordance with the regulations of the Levy Court.
(c) Whoever refuses to permit inspections and surveys at reasonable hours shall be fined not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00 for every such refusal.
Any annexation by any municipality of any previously unincorporated area shall not confer upon the annexing municipality any right, title or interest in any part of any sewage system constructed, acquired, extended or improved pursuant to this chapter, except as a resolution of the Levy Court may so provide. No such resolution shall be adopted by the Levy Court unless the annexing municipality shall have deposited a fund sufficient to pay when due any outstanding bonds issued hereunder for the
purchase, construction, acquisition, extension or improvement of all systems wholly or partly within the annexed area, with interest to the date of call or redemption and any redemption or call premium applicable thereto.
§4623. Dissolution and diminishing area of sewer districts
Whenever the Levy Court shall determine it to be in the public interest, said Levy Court, upon its own motion, but after a public hearing called and held in the manner provided in section 4604, may dissolve and discontinue any sewer district (1) provided that the period of three years shall have elapsed since the date of establishment of such district, and that no improvement has been constructed or service provided for such district at any time since the establishment thereof, and *(2) further provided that there be no indebtedness outstanding and unpaid, incurred to accomplish any of the purposes of such district.
§4624. Exception to limitation on borrowing power
Section 4111, Title 9, Delaware Code, shall not apply to this Chapter.
§4625. Power to incur indebtedness by issuing bonds and notes
The Levy Court of Kent County may incur indebtedness by issuing negotiable bonds, and notes in anticipation of bonds, pursuant to this Chapter to finance the cost of the establishment or extension of a district and the improvements therein which it may lawfully construct or acquire pursuant to this Chapter.
§4626. Bond resolution vote required
The Levy Court shall authorize the issuance of bonds by a "bond resolution" passed by the affirmative vote of at least three fifths of all the members of its governing body.
§4627. Form and content of bond resolution
Every bond resolution adopted pursuant to this Chapter shall be properly dated and shall bear a title indicating the type of obligation to which it relates and shall contain, in substance, at least the following provisions:
(1) A statement of the specific purpose for which the obligations authorized by the resolution are to be issued ; such specific purpose to be described in brief and general terms sufficient for reasonable identification ;
(0) If the obligations to be authorized are for a specific purpose, a statement of the estimate of the maximum cost of each item of such specific purpose, such statement shall also set forth the plan for the financing of such purpose which shall indicate the sources of the amounts of money which have been previously authorized to be applied to the payment of the cost of each purpose, and the intended source or sources other than the proceeds of such obligations of the balance of the money to be so applied;
(1) A statement of the amount of bonds to be issued for such specific purpose ; and
(0) A determination of the period of usefulness of the project within the limitations provided for in this Chapter computed from the date of issuance of the first obligation in reference thereto.
§4628. Procedure for passage of bond resolution
Every bond resolution shall be introduced in writing in the form in which it is to be finally passed, and upon final passage shall be published in full in at least one newspaper published in the County and having general circulation therein together with a notice in substantially the following form :
The bond resolution published herewith was adopted on the day of , 196.., and the validity of the obligations authorized by such resolution may be hereafter contested only if :
(1) such obligations are authorized for a purpose for which the County is not authorized to expend money, or
(2) the provisions of law which should be complied with at the date of the publication of such resolution are not substantially complied with, and an action, suit or proceeding contesting such validity is commenced within twenty days after the date of such publication, or
(3) such obligations are authorized in violation of the provisions of the Constitution.
§4629. Effective date of bond resolution
Each bond resolution shall take effect immediately after passage.
§4630. Authorization of notes in anticipation of bonds
In anticipation of the issuance of bonds, the Levy Court may by resolution authorize the issuance of negotiable notes when it shall have theretofore authorized the issuance of bonds. Such notes shall mature within one year from the date of their issue and may be renewed from time to time, but each renewal shall be for a period of not exceeding one year, and in no event shall such notes extend more than three years beyond the original date of issue.
§4631. Other proceedings by resolution
All matters in connection with the authorization, sale and issuance of the bonds or notes not specifically required to be provided in the bond resolution may be determined or provided by subsequent resolutions adopted by the affirmative votes of at least the majority of the members of the Levy Court.
§4632. Payment of bonds
The bonds may be payable at such time or times as may be determined in the bond resolution, within the limitations provided in this Chapter.
§4633. Payment of installment
The last installment of each authorized issue of bonds shall be paid not later than the date of expiration of the period of usefulness of the project for the financing of which such bonds are issued, as determined in the bond resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds, computed from the date of issuance of the bonds or of the issuance of the first note or notes, whichever is the earlier.
§4634. Period of usefulness
(a) The following maximum periods of usefulness are hereby prescribed for the respective projects authorized by this Chapter, and the period of usefulness of any project, determined in any bond resolution shall, in no event, exceed the maximum period hereby prescribed for that project.
(b) The acquisition, construction or reconstruction of a sewage system or an addition thereto, whether or not including treatment or disposal plants or buildings, original furnishings, equipment, machinery or apparatus, or the replacement of such equipment, machinery or apparatus, is forty years; the replacement or the later addition of furnishings is ten years.
§4635. Consolidation of bond issues
Bonds for one or more specific objects or purposes or classes of objects or purposes, or a combination thereof may be consolidated and sold as a single bond issue.
§4636. Public sale of bonds
All bonds issued under this law, except as otherwise provided in section 4643 and except bonds of authorized issues of $30,000.00 or less and having a maximum maturity of not more than five years from the date of issuance of such bonds, shall be sold at public sale upon sealed proposals after at least ten days' notice published at least once in a publication carrying municipal bond notices and devoted primarily to financial news or to the subject of state and municipal bonds, published in the City of New York, and at least ten days' notice published at least once in a newspaper published in the county and having general circulation therein. Bonds of authorized issues of $30,000.00 or less, and maturing as hereinabove set forth, and all bond anticipation
notes may be sold at private sale by such financial officer as the Levy Court may by resolution provide.
§4637. Contents of notice of sale
The public notice of sale of bonds shall describe the bonds and set forth the terms and conditions of sale. It shall invite bidders to name the rate or rates of interest to be borne by the bonds, which rate or rates shall be stated in multiples of one-eighth or one-tenth of one per centum. The notice shall also state that the bonds will not be sold for less than par and accrued interest.
§4638. Contents of notice; award of bonds at single interest rate
Unless the notice of sale permits the naming of more than one rate of interest, as hereinafter provided, it shall state that all the bonds bid for shall bear a single rate of interest and, in case of a sale of more than one issue, after describing the separate issues, shall state the combined maturities as if such combined maturities constituted a single issue. The notice of sale shall state that the bonds will be awarded to the bidder offering the lowest interest rate and, as between bidders offering the same lowest rate, to the bidder who offers to pay the highest cash premium.
§4639. Contents of notice; multiple rate bidding
The notice of sale may, as an alternative to a single interest rate, permit bidders to name two or more interest rates for the bonds proposed to be sold, within such limitations as the notice of sale may provide. In such event it shall state that all the bonds will be awarded to the bidder on whose bid the total loan may be made at the lowest net interest cost to the district, such net cost being computed, as to each bid, by adding to the total principal amount of the bonds the total interest which will be paid under the terms of the bid, after deducting from such interest the amount of premium, if any.
tified or cashier's check for two per centum of the amount of bonds proposed to be sold, to secure the district from any loss resulting from the failure of the bidder to comply with the terms of his bid.
§4641. Contents of notice; rejection of proposals
Each notice of sale shall reserve the right to reject any and all bids and shall state that any bid not complying with the terms of the notice will be rejected.
§4642. Proposals opened publicly
All proposals shall be opened publicly at the time and place stated in the notice of sale, and not before, and shall be publicly announced.
§4643. Private sale to public agencies
Notwithstanding the provisions of this or any other law, any bonds may be sold without previous public offering to, and may be purchased by, the sinking fund commission or the insurance or pension fund commission of the County of Kent, or State of Delaware, or may be sold to any agency acting on behalf of the United States of America.
§4644. Form of bonds
Bonds may be issued in form payable to bearer with coupons attached for the payment of interest and, if so issued, may be made subject to registration as to principal only or as to both principal and interest.
§4645. Form of notes
Notes may be issued in fully registered form ; or notes may be issued in form payable to bearer, with interest payable to bearer on presentation for endorsement, and, if so issued, shall be subject to full registration. Interest on notes issued in registered form and interest on bearer notes which have been registered shall be payable to the registered holder.
§4646. Execution of bonds and notes
All bonds and notes shall be executed in the name of the County of Kent by such officials, including a financial officer, as may be designated by resolution of the Levy Court, and shall be under the seal or a facsimile seal of the County and attested by the clerk. Coupons attached to a bond shall be authenticated by the manual signature or the facsimile signature of the financial officer signing the bond.
§4647. Bonds and notes redeemable prior to maturity
No bonds or notes shall be made payable on demand, but any bond or note may be made subject to redemption prior to maturity on such notice, at such time or times, with such redemption provisions and at such redemption prices as may be stated in the bond or note. When any such bond or note shall have been validly called for redemption, and any payment of the principal thereof and of the interest thereon accrued to the date of redemption shall have been made or provided for, interest thereon shall cease.
§4648. Interest rate
No bond or note issued pursuant to this law shall bear interest at a rate exceeding six per centum per annum.
§4649. Application of proceeds
After payment of the reasonable cost of issuance, including printing or engraving costs, advertising expense and legal and other professional expenses, the proceeds of the sale of any bonds or notes shall be applied only to the purpose or purposes for which the obligations were authorized to be issued, and any excess amount thereof or any amount thereof which for any reason is not necessary for any such purpose, shall (1) be applied to payment of such obligations at not more than their face value, and (2) be applied to payment of the first maturing installments of such issue.
§4650. Bonds and notes negotiable
All bonds and notes of the county issued pursuant to this law, whether payable to bearer or in fully registered form, shall be negotiable instruments.
§4651. Reconversion of fully registered bonds
Any bond originally issued in form payable to bearer with coupons attached may contain a provision that, when it has been fully registered, it will, on the written request of the holder thereof, be reconverted, at the expense of such holder, into a new coupon bond by the preparation and substitution of a new bond and coupons for unmatured interest, of the same form and tenor as those originally authorized. Any such bond may again be converted into a fully registered bond and be reconverted into a coupon bond from time to time in the manner herein provided. The resolution of the governing body authorizing any conversion or reconversion shall set forth the date, maturities, interest rate, denominations, and numbers of the old and new bonds and the name of the holder.
§4652. Reissuance of bonds or notes lost or destroyed
If lost or completely destroyed, any bond or note may be reissued in the form and tenor of the lost or destroyed bond upon the owner furnishing, to the satisfaction of the governing body : (a) proof of ownership, (b) proof of loss or destruction, (c) a surety bond in twice the face amount of the bond and coupons, and (d) payment of the cost of preparing and issuing the new bond or note.
§4653. Reissuance of defaced or partially destroyed bonds or notes
If defaced or partially destroyed, any bond may be reissued in the form and tenor of the defaced or partially destroyed bond or note, to the bearer, or if registered, to the registered holder, at the expense of such holder, on surrender of the defaced or partially destroyed bond or note, and on such other conditions as the resolution authorizing the reissuance may provide.
§4654. Certain agreements forbidden
In the issuance or sale of bonds or notes it shall be unlawful for the governing body, or any member or members thereof, or any official of the County of Kent to :
(1) Agree to pay directly or indirectly any bonus for the
issuance or for the sale of the obligations authorized, and every such payment may be recovered by the county in an action at law;
(2) Enter into any agreement with any original purchaser or his representative regarding the deposit or disposition of any moneys received or to be received from such sale and every such agreement shall be void;
(3) Enter into any agreement in the nature of a service contract providing for publication of notice of sale, and printing of bonds or notes, and for the providing of a legal opinion or for any technical or advisory services used in connection with the issuance of bonds or notes, unless such agreement provides that any advisor, agent, technician or any other person acting in an advisory capacity agrees not to offer to purchase or to participate in the purchase, or in the distribution of the bonds or notes at public or private sale ; and any agreement to the contrary shall be void and any money or compensation paid thereon may be recovered by the county in an action at law.
§4655. Payment of bonds and notes
The power and obligation of the county to pay all bonds and notes hereafter issued by it pursuant to this chapter shall be unlimited. The full faith and credit of the county is hereby pledged for the payment of the principal of and the interest on all bonds and notes of the county hereafter issued pursuant to this chapter whether or not such pledge be stated in the bonds or notes, or in the bond. resolution, or note resolution, authorizing their issuance. Bonds or notes issued for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, extending or improving projects authorized by this Chapter may be additionally secured by a pledge of the revenue derived from the operation of said enterprise, as may be provided in the bond resolution or note resolution, authorizing the bonds or notes.
§4656. Appropriation may include engineering and other costs
In determining the amount to be appropriated for a project pursuant to this Chapter, the Levy Court may include the engineering, legal and other professional costs, and other costs of acquisition, construction or reconstruction of the property or
improvement to be financed. Interest on notes issued during the construction period may also be financed.
§4657. Validity of bonds not dependent on preliminary proceedings
It is the intent of this Chapter that the power to issue obligations under this Chapter and the validity of the bonds or notes so issued shall not be affected by, or be dependent in any way on the validity or the regularity of any proceedings for the issuance of any bonds or notes to be renewed, extended, retired, funded or refunded by the issuance of such obligations, and shall be independent of the power to make improvements or acquire property and shall not be dependent on or affected by the validity or regularity of any improvements or the acquisition of any property, or the authorization thereof, for the financing of which such bonds or notes are issued, or are to be issued.
§4658. Legal effect of debt statement
After the issuance of any bonds or notes in reliance on any debt statement issued by the county, the accuracy and sufficiency of such debt statement shall not be contested by any suit, action or proceeding relating to the validity of such bonds or notes and such bonds or notes shall be presumed to be within all debt or other limitations prescribed by any law of the State of Delaware.
§4659. Short period of limitations
The bond resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds, or any notes issued in anticipation of said bonds, may be contested only if :
(1) such obligations are authorized for a purpose for which the county is not authorized to expend money ;
(2) the provisions of law which should be complied with at the date of the publication of such resolution are not substantially complied with, and an action, suit or proceeding contesting such validity, is commenced within twenty days after the date of such publication ; or
(3) such obligations are authorized in violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the State of Delaware.
§4660. Construction of Chapter with other laws
The powers conferred by this Chapter shall be in addition to, and not in substitution for the powers conferred by any other general, special or local law. The powers conferred by this Chapter may be exercised notwithstanding that any other general, special or local law may confer such powers, and without regard to the requirements, restrictions, limitations or other provisions contained in such other general, special or local law.
Section 14. Title 9 of the Delaware Code is amended by adding thereto a new Chapter 47 to read as follows:
CHAPTER 47. GARBAGE DISPOSAL
§4701. Acquisition of land; construction and operation of incineration plant; definitions
The Levy Court may acquire land or any interest therein at any place within the County that it deems advisable and may construct and operate upon the land so acquired an incineration or garbage disposal plant or plants. The Levy Court may enter into contracts and agreements with persons, firms or corporations relative to the purchase of the land and to the building, constructing and equipping of an incineration or garbage disposal plant or plants and may require from such persons, firms or corporations proper security for the faithful performance of the work to be done. The Levy Court may engage the services of competent architects and engineers in connection with the construction of the plant or plants and shall award any contract to the lowest responsible bidder with the right to reject any and all bids.
The words "garbage disposal plant or plants" wherever used in this chapter include incineration, sanitary landfill, garbage grinding plants, composting for disposal of garbage, or any other means of garbage disposal which shall conform with reasonable standards of sanitary engineering.
§ 4702. Acquisition of land by purchase
The Levy Court may acquire the land, or interest therein, by purchase, but not by exercise of the right of eminent domain.
§4703. Powers of Levy Court as to operation of plant; regulations and charges for service
(a) The Levy Court may enter into contracts, leases or agreements of any nature pertaining to the operation of the incineration and garbage disposal plant or plants, including the right to sell such portion of land acquired as may not be necessary to use. The power to contract shall include the power to contract with any governmental agency of any sort whatsoever and to receive grants in aid from any such agency or any other person or organization.
(b) The Levy Court may adopt regulations and establish fees and charges for the services rendered by the said incineration and garbage disposal plant or plants.
§4704. Power to borrow money and issue bonds
The Levy Court may borrow money upon the faith and credit of the County as provided in this chapter for the purpose of acquiring land and property for the establishment of an incineration and garbage disposal plant or plants and for the construction of such a plant or plants in the County and for the purpose of securing the payment of such sum to issue bonds in such denominations and bearing such rate of interest, not exceeding three per cent per annum, and in such form as the Levy Court shall deem expedient. The interest upon said bonds shall be payable semi-annually in each and every year after the date of issuance thereof.
§4705. Terms of bonds
The Levy Court shall decide upon and determine the form and time or times of maturity of the bonds provided that no bond shall be issued for a term exceeding 25 years. The bonds may or may not at the option of the Levy Court be made redeemable at such time or times before maturity, at such price or prices and under such terms and conditions as may be fixed by
the Levy Court prior to the issuance of the bonds. The bonds shall contain such other provisions, not inconsistent with the requirements of this chapter, as the Levy Court may deem expedient.
§4706. Execution and record of bonds
The bonds shall be prepared under the supervision of the Levy Court and shall be signed by the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer, the President of the Levy Court and the Clerk of the Peace of Kent County, and shall be under the seal used by the Levy Court of Kent County. Such officers shall execute the bonds when directed by the Levy Court to do so. The Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer and the Levy Court shall keep a record of the bonds.
§4707. Sale of bonds
The bonds or any part thereof may be sold when and as the Levy Court by resolution determines and until sold shall remain in custody of the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer. Whenever in the judgment of the Levy Court it is deemed advisable that any part or all of the bonds shall be sold, the Levy Court may sell and dispose of the same at public sale after having advertised the same in the public press at least once each week for at least two weeks. No commission or other compensation shall be charged or paid to any members of the Levy Court for effecting the sale or negotiation of such bonds.
§4708. Principal and interest payments; taxes
(a) The bonds, principal and interest, shall be payable at the Farmers Bank of the State of Delaware, at Dover, Delaware, out of the money from time to time appropriated for that purpose by the Levy Court of Kent County as hereinafter provided in this section ; and the Levy Court shall pay the interest on the bonds at the Farmers Bank when and as the same shall become due, and pay the bonds when and as they mature in accordance with the foregoing.
(b) The Levy Court in fixing the rate of taxation shall annually provide for a sum equal to the amount of such bonds in addition to the amount necessary to pay the interest upon the
unpaid bonds as before provided, which shall, when collected and paid to the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer be set apart by him in a separate account to be opened for that purpose; and the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer shall apply the said sum annually to the payments of such part of said loan and interest thereon as may from time to time become due under the provisions of this Chapter.
§4709. Deposit and use of proceeds of sale of bonds
All money received from the sale of any or all of such bonds, after the payment of the charges and expenses connected with the preparation and sale thereof, shall be deposited by the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer in the Farmers Bank of the State of Delaware, at Dover, Delaware, to the credit of the Levy Court of Kent County in a separate account and payments thereof shall be made in the same manner as other payments by the Levy Court. No part of the money thus obtained, except as in this section provided, shall be used for any other purpose than those stated in this Chapter and further the purchasers or holders of the bonds shall not be bound to see to or be affected by the application of the money realized from the sale of the bonds.
Section 15. Title 9 of the Delaware Code is amended by adding thereto a new Chapter 48 to read as follows:
CHAPTER 48. REGIONAL PLANNING
As used in this chapter, unless the same shall be inconsistent with the context, the following terms shall mean--
"Commission" means "Regional Planning Commission of Kent County" created by this Chapter ;
"Council" means "The Council of the Mayor and Council of Dover";
"County Engineer" means "County Engineer of Kent County";
"District" means "Regional Planning District of Kent County" created by this chapter ;
"Highway Department" means "State Highway Department of the State of Delaware" ;
"Levy Court" means "Levy Court of Kent County" ;
"Recorder's Office" means "Recorder of Deeds in and for Kent County";
"Road" includes any "road," "street," "highway," "freeway," "parkway" or other public thoroughfare.
§4802. Regional planning commission and regional planning district
For the purpose of promoting health, safety, prosperity and general welfare, as well as for the purpose of securing coordinated plans for roads, airways, railways, public buildings, parks, playgrounds, civic centers, airports, water supplies, sewers and sewage disposal, drainage and other improvements and utilities (excepting, however, privately owned public utilities engaged in furnishing light, heat, power, transportation or communication by telephone or by telegraph or otherwise, as to which the provisions of this chapter shall not apply) in that portion of Kent County which is not included within the corporate limits of any city or town, unless any territory within such corporate limits is included upon request made by the governing body of authority of any such city or town, and as well as for the purpose of preventing the unnecessary duplication of such improvements or utilities, the department known as the Regional Planning Commission of Kent County is continued, and the area shall continue to be known as Regional Planning District of Kent County.
§4803. Regional planning commission; members; terms; qualifications; vacancies; compensation
(a) The Regional Planning Commission of Kent County shall consist of nine members as follows :
(a) There shall be four ex-officio members, without a vote, consisting of the Chief Engineer of the Street and Sewer Department of the City of Dover, the County Engineer, a member
appointed by the State Highway Department, and a member appointed by the Board of Health of the State of Delaware. There shall be five voting members consisting of four appointed by the Levy Court and one appointed by the Mayor and Council of the City of Dover.
(b) The terms, as members of the Commission, of the Chief Engineer of the Street and Sewer Department of the City of Dover, and County Engineer of Kent County, shall come to an end at the end of the respective terms for which they were chosen as such Chief Engineer of the Street and Sewer Department of the City of Dover, and County Engineer of Kent County. The members of the Commission appointed by the State Highway Department, and by the State Board of Health, shall serve at the pleasure of the State Highway Department, and State Board of Health, respectively.
() The original terms of the members appointed by the Levy Court shall be one for two years, one for three years, one for four years, one for five years ; with each member to thereafter serve five-year terms, those terms to end in June of the fifth year of the term. The term of the member appointed by the mayor will likewise be five years with each term thereafter to be five years, the term ending in June of the fifth year of the term.
(a) The terms of office shall commence on the first day of July following appointment. Each member shall serve until his successor is appointed and qualified.
(b) The appointed members shall be residents of Kent County and not more than two members shall be appointed from the same Representative District. Persons shall be appointed who shall be known to have knowledge and experience to pass upon regional planning and zoning problems in connection with urban and rural development, and who at the time of appointment are not candidates for or incumbents of an elective public office.
(c) When any vacancy occurs in the Commission, either by death, resignation, expiration of term of office, removal, or otherwise, of any person so appointed, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term by the body or person which appointed the member to the office in which such vacancy occurred.
(g) The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, but shall be paid their necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
(h) A quorum of no less than three voting members shall be necessary before the Commission may take official action upon any matter before it for consideration.
§4804. Organization, meetings, and office of commission
(a) On the second Monday in July of each year the Commission shall convene and organize by selecting a chairman. Before entering upon the duties of the office, each member shall take and subscribe the oath or affirmation as prescribed by the Constitution. The Commission may create and fill such other offices in addition to Chairman as it may determine. It shall adopt rules for the transaction of business and shall keep a record of its resolutions, transactions, findings and determinations, which record shall be a public record.
(b) The Kent County Levy Court shall provide suitable and convenient office space for the use and occupancy of the Commission, and the Levy Court of Kent County shall furnish and supply all necessary equipment for the office.
§4805. Secretary of commission and other personnel
(a) The Commission shall appoint a Secretary who shall serve for such time, and perform such duties and receive such compensation as the Commission may prescribe. He shall give bond if required by the Commission in such amount as the Commission may require.
() The Commission may appoint, discharge at pleasure and fix the compensation of such employees and staff or may contract for the services of such persons, firms, or corporations as from time to time, in its judgment may be necessary to the exercise of its powers under this chapter, provided ; however, that all actions of the Commission are subject to Levy Court approval, and the Levy Court may require any employee to give bond with surety approved by it in a sum to be fixed by the Commission.
§4806. Assistance to commission by County and City of Dover
The Levy Court of Kent County, or the Mayor or Council of the City of Dover, may, from time to time, upon request of the Commission and for the purpose of special surveys, assign or detail to the Commission any members of the administrative staffs or agencies of the County or City, or may direct any such staff or agency to make for the Commission special surveys or studies requested by the Commission.
§4807. Master plan of district
(a) The Commission shall prepare a master plan of the District showing existing and proposed roads included in or likely to be incorporated in the road system, together with the indication of their existing and proposed widths; existing and proposed county parks, play grounds, parkways, and other recreation places ; existing and proposed county airways, aviation fields and other county open places; existing and proposed sites for county buildings; and such other features as may come wholly or partially within county jurisdiction; and in addition, similar elements of the plan existing and proposed within city or town as have or are likely to bear an important relation to the above county features. Such master plan shall be a public record, but its purpose and effect shall be solely as an aid to the Commission in the performance of its duties.
() The Commission may, from time to time, amend, extend or add to the master plan.
(a) The master plan may cover areas within the corporate limits of any city or town in Kent County, to the extent that such areas shall be deemed, in the judgment of the Commission, to be related to the planning of the District. The master plan shall have no legal effect in such areas except as in pursuance of a request for the inclusion of such area within the District as provided in section 4802 of this title.
(b) The Commission shall encourage the cooperation of the cities and towns within Kent County in any matter concerning the master plan and, if requested, shall advise the governing body or authority of any city or town in Kent County with respect thereto.
§4808. Road surveys
The Commission may, in pursuance of the development and carrying out of its master plan, make from time to time surveys for the exact location of the lines of future roads, road relocations, road extensions, road widenings or narrowings in the District or any portion thereof, and make plats of the areas thus surveyed, showing the Commission's recommendations for the exact locations of such future road lines.
§4809. Official map of the district
(a) There is established an official map of the District. The Commission shall be the maker and custodian of such map. The map shall show the location and lines of the roads within the District existing and established by law as public roads at the time of the preparation and setting up of the map by the Commission; also the location of the lines of the roads on plats which shall have been approved by the Commission at or previous to that time.
(b) Whenever the Commission shall have adopted an official map or any amendment, extension or addition thereto, it shall submit the official map or such amendment, extension or addition thereto, to the Levy Court for its approval and if the official map or amendment, extension or addition thereto shall pertain to the road system of or any road in Kent County, the official map or any amendment, extension or addition thereto shall also be submitted to the Highway Department for its approval and upon approval of the official map or such amendment, extension or addition thereto, the Commission shall cause the official map or such amendment, extension or addition thereto to be recorded in the Recorder's Office within 15 days after such approval.
(c) The Commission may, from time to time, amend, extend, add to or remove from the official map all roads established or vacated by law.
(d) If the State Highway Department of the State of Delaware changes or amends existing roads or adds new roads which vary from the master plan as established, pursuant to §4807 of this Title, the Commission shall have the right, after due notice in writing, to the Highway Department of the State of Delaware, to appeal such change or addition, to the State High-
way Commissioners in an official meeting of which the public shall be given notice and which the public may attend. After receiving notice in writing of the appeal of the Regional Planning Commission, the State Highway Commissioners and their employees will refrain from execution of plans changing or adding roads in variance from the aforesaid master plan until the appeal has been heard and a written decision rendered by the said State Highway Commissioners. That decision may be summarily appealed to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware which shall have the power to enjoin further action by all parties until a determination is reached by that Court as to whether the promotion of the health, safety, prosperity and general welfare of the citizens of the State of Delaware and of Kent County are better served by compliance with the aforesaid master plan or by granting the change or addition desired by the State Highway Department of the State of Delaware.
§4810. Road plats; submission to commission; recording; fees; regulations
(a) The location, proposed grades and drainage of all roads intended to be dedicated by the owner thereof to the public use or for the use of owners of property abutting thereon or adjacent thereto within the limits of the District, shall be submitted to the Commission for its adoption and the approval of the Levy Court and no person shall record any plan or map showing the location of any new or proposed road, in any public office in Kent County unless such plan or map shall show thereon by endorsement its adoption by the Commission and its approval by the Levy Court. The adoption of such plan or map by the Commission and the approval thereof by the Levy Court endorsed upon such plan or map shall, when recorded, be deemed and taken as an acceptance of the intended dedication of the road appearing thereon, but shall not impose any duty upon the Levy Court or upon the Highway Department respecting the maintenance or improvement thereof. Such plan or map shall, when recorded, become a part of the official map.
(b) No plat of land within the District shall be received or recorded by the Recorder of Deeds in and for Kent County or filed for recording in the Recorder's Office until the plat shall have been submitted to and approved by the Commission and the Levy
Court and such approvals be endorsed in writing on the plat by the Chairman or Secretary of the Commission and the President of the Levy Court. The filing or recording of a plat without the approval of the Commission and the Levy Court shall, upon application of the Commission or the Levy Court, to the Superior Court in and for Kent County, Delaware, be expunged from the records.
(c) On the basis of the estimated cost of the services to be rendered by it in connection with the consideration of such plats and the work incident thereto, the Commission may fix the scale of fees to be paid to it and may from time to time amend such scale. In the case of each plat submitted to the Commission, the fee thus fixed shall be paid before the plat is approved or disapproved, but such fees shall not exceed the actual cost to the Commission of the services and shall be paid by the person requesting the Commission's approval.
(d) Every such plat shall be prepared upon cloth of such size and character, with such notations, information and markings, and accompanied by such data and information as the Commission may, by regulation prescribe, and shall have such permanent markers, boundary stones or stations as the Commission shall prescribe, which shall be shown and designated on the plat thereof. The Commission shall prescribe the procedure for the submission of such plats and action in respect thereto, which shall include certification by a registered Engineer or Land Surveyor as to the proper location on the plat of the aforesaid boundary markers, boundary stones or stations.
§4811. Approval or disapproval of plat by commission; hearing
The Commission shall approve or disapprove a plat within 40 days after the submission thereof ; otherwise such plat shall be deemed to have been approved and a certificate to that effect shall be issued by the Commission upon demand. Such period may be extended by mutual agreement between the Commission and the applicant for the Commission's approval. The grounds of disapproval of any plat shall be stated upon the records of the Commission and a copy of such statement shall be furnished to the applicant. No plat shall be acted upon by the Commission without affording a hearing thereon, notice of the time and place of which shall be sent by registered mail to such applicant not less than five days before the date fixed therefor. However, in
his application the applicant may waive the requirement of such hearing and notice. Any approval or disapproval, after its recordation by the Commission, may be appealed to the Levy Court of Kent County within 30 days.
§4812. Recording unapproved plan; penalty for
Any Recorder who receives for filing or recording any plan or map contrary to the provisions of this chapter shall be fined not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00.
§4813. Cooperation with other agencies
(a) Upon the request of the Levy Court or the Mayor or the Council of the City of Dover or the Highway Department or the State Board of Health or any other State, County, or municipal agency, board, department, commission or authority, the Commission shall, upon such term as may mutually be agreed upon, prepare plans and supply information relating to any of the matters set forth in this chapter.
(b) In exercising the powers conferred by this chapter the Commission is empowered to act in conjunction and cooperation with representatives, agencies, or officers of the United States Government, this State, any other State, or any County, City or Town within or without this State.
§4814. Entry upon land; access to records
(a) In the performance of the functions and duties of the Commission any member thereof or any employee or agent thereof shall have the right to enter and go upon, at reasonable times (Sundays and holidays excluded) between the hours of 8 A.M. and 5 P.M. any lands in the District, either public or private, and to make surveys and to place and maintain necessary monuments and markers thereon, but such entry shall be made with due care and regard for the protection and preservation of property.
(b) In the performance of the functions and duties of the Commission, any member thereof, or any employee or agent thereof shall have free access, without expense, to all State, County, municipal and other public records.
§4815. Appropriation; authority to make
The Levy Court of Kent County may annually appropriate a sum not exceeding $100,000.00 for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter, to be paid as other County expenses out of monies collected for taxes for County purposes.
§4816. Powers and duties of State Highway Department
Nothing contained in this chapter shall change, alter, affect, or modify the rights, powers and duties elsewhere conferred upon the State Highway Department.
§4817. Powers and duties of municipal corporations not affected
Nothing contained in this chapter shall change, alter, affect, or modify the rights, powers and duties heretofore conferred upon any municipal corporation over, in or upon any lands lying outside of the corporate limits of he municipal corporation.
Section 16. Title 9 of the Delaware Code is amended by adding thereto a new chapter 49 to read as follows :
CHAPTER 49. ZONING
§4901. Power of Levy Court; area subject to regulation
The Levy Court may, in accordance with the conditions and procedure specified in this Chapter, regulate the location, height, bulk and size of buildings and other structures, the percentage of lot which may be occupied, the size of yards, courts, and other open spaces, the density and distribution of population, the location and uses of buildings and structures for trade, industry, residence, recreation, public activities or other purposes, and the uses of land for trade, industry, residence, recreation, public activities, water supply conservation, soil conservation, or other similar purposes, in any portion or portions of Kent County which lie outside of incorporated municipalities, or incorporated municipalities without zoning provisions, notwithstanding any provisions of other Titles or Chapters of the Delaware Code to the contrary.
§4902. Zoning plan and regulations
(a) For any or all of the purposes specified in section 4901 of this Title the Levy Court may divide the territory of Kent County into districts or zones of such number, shape, or area as it may determine, and within such districts, or any of them, may regulate the erection, construction, reconstruction, alterations, and uses of buildings and structures and the uses of land.
(b) All such regulations shall be uniform for each class or kind of buildings throughout any district, but the regulations in one district may differ from those in other districts.
(c) The Levy Court shall provie.4 for the manner in which regulations shall be enforced and shall: designate the administrator of the regulations. The administrator so designated shall have authority to act as such throughout the County.
§4903. Purposes of regulations
(a) Regulations adopted by the Levy Court, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall be designated and adopted for the purpose of promoting the health, safety, morale, convenience, order, prosperity or welfare of the present and future inhabitants of this State, including, amongst other things, the lessening of congestion in the streets or roads or reducing the waste of excessive amounts of roads, securing safety from fire and other dangers, providing adequate light and air, preventing on the one hand excessive concentration of population and on the other hand excessive and wasteful scattering of population or settlement, promoting such distribution of population and such classification of land uses and distribution of land development and utilization as will tend to facilitate and provide adequate provisions for public requirements, transportation, water flowage, water supply, drainage, sanitation, educational opportunities, recreation, soil fertility, food supply, protection of the tax base, securing economy in governmental expenditures, fostering the State's agricultural and other industries, and the protection of both urban and non-urban development.
(b) The regulations shall be made with reasonable consideration, among other things, of the character of the particular district involved, its peculiar suitability for particular uses, the conservation of property values and natural resources and the
general and appropriate trend and character of land, building and population development.
§4904. Kent County zoning commission; appointment; term and qualifications
(a) In order to avail itself of the powers conferred by this chapter, the Levy Court shall appoint a permanent commission of five members which shall be known as the Kent County Zoning Commission. Each member shall be appointed for a term of 6 years except that a member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring for any reason other than expiration of term, shall be appointed for the unexpired term.
('b) Each member shall be a freeholder and resident of Kent County, four of whom shall live outside any incorporated city or town. No more than three of the members of the Commission shall be of the same political party. Originally three members shall be appointed for three years, and the remaining three for six years so that at any biennial election, no more than three members shall be up for appointment. Members of the Regional Planning Commission otherwise qualified, shall be eligible for appointment to the Kent County Zoning Commission.
§4905. Assistance from and cooperation with other agencies
The Zoning Commission shall make use of the expert advice and information which may be furnished by appropriate State, Federal, or other officials, departments and agencies. All officials, departments, and agencies within the State having information, maps and data pertinent to county zoning shall make the same available for the use of the Zoning Commission, as well as furnish such other technical assistance and advice as they may have available for such purpose.
§4906. Personnel and office facilities of zoning commission
The Zoning Commission may employ such experts, trained personnel, and staff as the funds provided therefor may permit. The Levy Court shall furnish the Zoning Commission with appropriate office space and other facilities. The Levy Court may pay to the Regional Planning Commission of Kent County for salaries and other expenses of the Zoning Commission an amount
based upon a proportionate use of personnel and facilities of the. Regional Planning Commission by the Zoning Commission.
§4907. Tentative zoning plan; preparation of by commission
The Zoning Commission shall make, as promptly as possible, for certification to the Levy Court, a zoning plan or plans, including both the full text of the zoning regulation or regulations and the maps, and representing the recommendations of the Zoning Commission for the regulation by districts or zones of the location, height, bulk, and size of building and other structures, percentage of lot which may be occupied.
The size of lots, courts, and other open spaces, the density and distribution of population, the location and use of buildings and structures for trade, industry, residence, recreation, public activities or other purposes, and the uses of land for trade, industry, recreation, public activities, soil conservation, water supply conservation or other similar purposes.
§4908. Public hearing and notice
When the efforts of the Commission shall have reached the stage of a tentative plan, the Commission shall hold at least one public hearing on each tentative plan to be separately submitted, notice of which hearing shall be published at least 15 days before the date of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. The notice shall contain the time and place of hearing, and shall specify the place and times at which the tentative text and maps of the zoning regulations may be examined.
§4909. Commission's powers in conduct of public hearing
For the purpose of any public hearing under this chapter, the Commission shall have the power to summon witnesses, administer oaths, and compel the giving of testimony.
§4910. Adoption by Levy Court of zoning plan and regulations; public hearing and notice; consultative hearings; resubmission to commission
(a) After receiving the certification of a zoning plan from the Zoning Commission and before the adoption of any zoning regulations, the Levy Court shall hold a public hearing thereon,
the time and place of which at least 30 days' notice shall be given by one publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. Such notice shall state the place at which the text and maps as certified by the Zoning Commission may be examined.
(b) The Levy Court may conduct consultative hearings to aid it in determining the desirability of contemplated or recommended regulations.
(c) No change in or departure from text or maps, as certified by the Zoning Commission, shall be made unless such change or departure shall first be submitted to the Zoning Commission for its approval or disapproval or suggestions. The Zoning Commission shall have 30 days from and after such submission within which to send its report to the Levy Court, but the Levy Court shall not be bound by the report.
§4911. Changes in zoning district; plan or regulations; procedure
(a) The Levy Court may, from time to time, make amendments, supplements, changes or modifications (herein called "changes") with respect to the number, shape, boundary or area of any district or districts, or any regulation of, or within, such district or districts, or any other provision of any zoning regulation or regulations, but no such changes shall be made or become effective until the same shall have been proposed by or be first submitted to the Zoning Commission.
() With respect to any proposed changes, the Zoning Commission shall hold at least one public hearing, notice of which hearing shall be published at least 15 days before the date of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. The notice shall contain the time and place of hearing, and shall specify the nature of the proposed change in a general way and shall specify the place and times at which the text and map relating to the proposed change may be examined.
(a) Unless the Zoning Commission shall have transmitted its report upon the proposed changes within 30 days after submission thereof to it, the Levy Court shall be free to proceed to the adoption of the changes without further awaiting the receipt of the report of the Zoning Commission. In any event, the Levy Court shall not be bound by the report of the Zoning Commis-
sion. Before finally adopting any such changes, the Levy Court shall hold a public hearing thereon, at least 15 days' notice of the time and place of which shall be given at least one publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the County.
§4912. Zoning coordination and integration
The Kent County Zoning Commission may cooperate with other planning and zoning commissions within Kent County, and within other counties and states, and with the planning, zoning, legislative and administrative authorities of incorporated or unincorporated municipalities, either within or without such county, with a view to coordinating and integrating the zoning of the county with the planning and zoning of other counties or of municipalities. The Zoning Commission shall also have power to appoint such committee or committees, and adopt such rules for the conduct of its business, as it may deem proper to effect such cooperation or to more expeditiously and effectively perform its functions.
§4913. Board of adjustment; appointment, term and qualifications; removal; vacancies; compensation
(a) The Levy Court for Kent County shall appoint a Board of Adjustment of five members. The members shall be appointed for a term of four years. Of the original members of the Board of Adjustment, one member shall be appointed for a term of two years, another for a term of three years and another for a term of four years, and two for terms of five years. Thereafter, each shall have five-year terms. The persons appointed to the Board of Adjustment shall be individuals with knowledge of and experience in dealing with problems of urban and rural development. At the time of appointment, they shall not be candidates for, candidates-elect for, or incumbent of an elective public office.
(b) Any member of the Board may be removed for cause by the Levy Court upon written charges and after a public hearing. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as in the case of regular appointments.
(c) The Levy Court shall provide compensation for services rendered and for payment of necessary expenses of the members of the Board.
§4914. Office and personnel of Board of Adjustment
The Levy Court shall furnish the Board of Adjustment with necessary office space and other facilities. Subject to the approval of the Levy Court, the Board may employ such secretarial and technical assistants as may be required to properly perform its functions.
§4915. Rules governing organization, procedure and jurisdiction of Board of Adjustment
The Levy Court shall provide and specify in its zoning or other regulations, general rules to govern the organization, procedure and jurisdiction of the Board of Adjustment, which rules shall not be inconsistent with this chapter, and the Board of Adjustment may adopt supplemental rules of procedure not inconsistent with this chapter or such general rules.
§4916. Appeals to the Board of Adjustment; who may take; procedure
(a) Appeals to the Board of Adjustment may be taken by any person aggrieved by his inability to obtain a building permit, or by the decision of any administrative officer or agency based upon or made in the course of the administration or enforcement of the provisions of the zoning regulations. Appeals to the Board of Adjustment may be taken by any officer, department, board or bureau of the county affected by the grant or refusal of a building permit or by other decision of an administrative officer or agency based on or made in the course of the administration or enforcement of the provisions of the zoning regulations.
(b) The time within which such appeal must be made, and the effect, form, or other procedure relating thereto, shall be specified in the general rules provided by the Levy Court to govern the procedure of the Board of Adjustment or in the supplemental rules of procedure adopted by the Board.
§4917. Powers of Board of Adjustment upon appeals
Upon appeals the Board of Adjustment shall have the following powers :
(1) To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant that there is error in any order, requirement, decision or refusal made by an administrative official or agency based on or made in the enforcement of the zoning regulations.
(2) To hear and decide, in accordance with the provisions of any zoning regulations, requests for special exceptions or for interpretation of the map or for decisions upon other special questions upon which the Board is authorized by any zoning regulation to pass.
(3) Where by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness or shape of a specific piece of property at the time of the enactment of the regulations, or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions or other extraordinary and exceptional situation or condition of such piece of property, the strict application of any regulation adopted under this chapter would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties to, or exceptional and undue hardship upon, the owner of such property, to authorize, upon an appeal relating to such property, a variance from such strict application so as to relieve such difficulties or hardship; provided such relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the intent and purpose of the zone plan and zoning regulations.
§4918. Court review of decision of Board of Adjustment; proceedings
(a) Any persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Adjustment or any taxpayer or any officer, department, board or bureau of the county may present to the Superior Court in and for Kent County, a petition duly verified, setting forth that such decision is illegal in whole or in part, specifying the grounds of the illegality. The petition shall be presented to the Court within 30 days after the filing of the decision in the office of the Board.
(b) Upon the presentation of the petition, the Court may allow a writ of certiorari, directed to the Board of Adjustment, to review the decision of the Board of Adjustment, and shall prescribe therein the time within which a return thereto must be made and served upon the petitioner's attorney, which shall not be less than 10 days and may be extended by the Court.
(c) The allowance of the writ shall not stay proceeding upon the decision appealed from, but the Court may, on application, on notice to the Board and on due cause shown, grant a restraining order.
(d) The Board of Adjustment shall not be required to return the original papers acted upon by it, but it shall be sufficient to return certified or sworn copies thereof, or of such portions thereof as may be called for by the writ. The return shall concisely set forth such other facts as may be pertinent and material to show the grounds of the decision appealed from and shall be verified.
(e) If, upon the hearing, it shall appear to the Court that testimony is necessary for the proper disposition of the matter, it may take evidence, or appoint a referee to take such evidence as it may direct and report the same to the Court with his findings of fact and conclusions of law, which shall constitute a part of the proceedings upon which the determination of the Court shall be made.
(f) The Court may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the decision brought up for review.
(g) Costs shall not be allowed against the Board, unless it shall appear to the Court that it acted with gross negligence or in bad faith or with malice in making the decision appealed from.
§4919. Violations of regulations of Chapter; enforcement, remedies and penalties
(a) No person shall erect, construct, reconstruct, alter, maintain or use any building or structure or use any land in violation of any regulation in or of any provision of, any zoning regulation, or any change thereof, enacted or adopted by the Levy Court under the authority of this chapter.
(b) Whoever violates any such regulation, provision or change, or any provision of this chapter, shall be fined not more than $100.00, or imprisoned not more than ten days, or both.
(c) Each and every day during which such illegal erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, maintenance or use continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
(d) In case any building or structure is or is proposed to be erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, maintained or used, or any land is or is proposed to be used, in violation of this chapter or of any regulation or provision of any regulation or change thereof, enacted or adopted by the Levy Court under 'the authority granted by this chapter, the Levy Court, the attorney thereof, or any owner of real estate within the District in which such building, structure or land is situated, may, in addition to other remedies provided by law, institute injunction, mandamus, abatement or any other appropriate action or actions, proceeding or proceedings to prevent, enjoin, abate or remove such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, maintenance or use.
§4920. Nonconforming uses of land or buildings
(a) The lawful use of a building or structure, or the lawful use of any land, as existing and lawful at the time of the enactment of a zoning regulation, or in the case of a change of regulations, then at the time of such change, may, except as hereinafter provided, be continued although such use does not conform with the provisions of such regulations or change, and such use may be extended throughout the same building, provided no structural alteration of such building is proposed or made for the purpose of such extension. The Levy Court in any zoning regulations may permit the restoration, reconstruction, extension or substitution of nonconforming uses upon such terms and conditions as may be set forth in the zoning regulations.
(b) If the County acquires title to any property by reason of tax delinquency and such properties be not redeemed as provided by law, the future use of such property shall be in conformity with the then provisions of the zoning regulations of the County, or with any change of such regulations, equally applicable to other like properties within the district in which the property acquired by the County is located.
§4921. List of nonconforming uses
Immediately after the adoption of any zoning regulations or changes by the Levy Court, the Zoning Commission shall prepare and publish a complete list of all nonconforming uses and occupations existing at the time of the adoption of the regulations or changes. Such list shall contain the names and addresses
of the owner or owners of such nonconforming use and of any occupant, other than the owner, the legal description or descriptions of the land, and the nature and extent of land use. After any necessary corrections have been made under a procedure prescribed by the Levy Court, copies of such list shall, when approved by the Levy Court, be filed for record in the offices of the Zoning Commission and of the Board of Adjustment, and shall be corrected yearly as the Levy Court may prescribe.
The Levy Court may appropriate out of the general county fund such moneys, otherwise unappropriated, as it may deem fit to finance the work of the Zoning Commission and of the Board of Adjustment, and may enforce the zoning regulations and restrictions which are adopted, and may accept grants of money and service for these purposes, and other purposes, in accordance with this chapter, from either private or public sources, State or Federal.
§4923. Conflict between zoning regulations and other laws
Whenever any regulations made under authority of this chapter require a greater width or size of yards, courts or other open spaces, or require a lower height of buildings or smaller number of stories, or require a greater percentage of lot to be left unoccupied, or impose other higher standards than are required in or under any other statute or local regulations, the provisions of the regulations made under authority of this chapter shall govern. Whenever the provisions of any other statute or local regulation require a greater width or size of yards, courts or other open spaces, or require a lower height of buildings or a less number of stories, or require a greater percentage of lot to be left unoccupied, or impose other higher standards than are required by any regulations made under authority of this chapter, the provisions of such statute shall govern.
Whenever the provisions of any other statute shall derogate from the provisions of this chapter, unless it be a statute granting powers to the State Planning Office, the provisions of this chapter shall govern.
Approved August 2, 1967.