AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE CITY OF MILFORD.
WHEREAS, it is deemed advisable that the Charter of the City of Milford, contained in Chapter 162, Volume 37, Laws of Delaware, entitled "An Act Changing the Name of the Town of Milford to 'the City of Milford' and establishing a Charter therefor" as thereafter amended, be consolidated into one complete act and in certain respects be amended and revised.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all the members elected to each branch thereof concurring therein):
NAME AND TERRITORIAL LIMITS
Section 1. The inhabitants of the City of Milford within the corporate limits hereinafter defined in this Charter or as hereafter extended as hereinafter provided, shall be and constitute a body politic and corporate, and shall be known and identified as "the City of Milford".
The boundaries and limits of the City of Milford are hereby established and declared to be as heretofore, that is to say:
BEGINNING at Bowen Landing on the Bowen (Dorsey) farm in Kent County; thence in a direct line in a Northerly direction to the DuPont Boulevard at the intersection with it and the concrete highway leading into the City of Milford; thence continuing the same line in a northwesterly direction across the said DuPont Boulevard a distance of Five Hundred Feet beyond the Western boundary line of said Boulevard; thence in a southerly direction and parallel with and Five Hundred Feet from the Western boundary of said DuPont Boulevard to the Haven Lake; thence across said lake and following the shores of said lake to the north side of Evergreen Lane; thence along the north side of Evergreen Lane to the intersection of the north side of Evergreen Lane and a line parallel with and Five Hundred Feet from the western boundary of the said DuPont Boulevard; and thence continuing with said line to the Southern or Southeastern line of what is known as the William I. Simpson property; thence in a Northerly direction in a direct line to the bridge over the stream of water known as the Deep Branch. (which bridge crosses said stream on the County Road leading to the Town of Lincoln); thence following the course of the aforesaid Deep Branch to the Lake known as Marshall Mill Pond; thence down the course of the water or stream running from said Marshall Mill Pond to the Mispillion River; thence following the course of said River to Bowen Landing aforesaid.
The Council may, at any time hereafter, cause a survey and plot to be made of said City, and the said plot, when made and approved by said Council, shall be recorded in the offices of the Recorders of Deeds in and for both Kent and Sussex Counties, State of Delaware, and the same, or the record thereof, or a duly certified copy of said record, shall be evidence in all courts of law and equity in this State.
Section 2. The City of Milford shall be divided into four wards. The first ward shall consist of all the territory within the City limits and bounded as follows: Beginning at a point in the Center of the intersection of Deep Branch and Route 36 leading to Cedar Beach; thence along the center line of said Route 36 and Southeast Front Street in a westerly direction to the point of intersection of said Southeast Front Street and McColley Street; thence southerly by the centerline of McColley Street to the point of its intersection with Southeast Second Street; thence by the centerline of Southeast Second Street, in a westerly direction to the point of its intersection with South Walnut Street; thence by the centerline of South Walnut Street in a southerly direction to the point of its intersection with the main track of the Penn Central Transportation Company; thence by the centerline of said main track of the Pennsylvania Railroad, in a southerly direction to a point where it crosses Deep Branch; thence along the center of the meanderings of Deep Branch in a northeasterly direction, through the run of Marshall Mill Pond and continuing to its intersection with Route 36, aforesaid, leading to Cedar Beach.
The second ward shall consist of all the territory within the City limits bounded as follows: Beginning at the point where the main track of the Penn Central Transportation Company crosses over the Mispillion River; thence following along the run of the waters flowing through Silver Lake and Haven Lake to a point Five Hundred Feet west of the westerly boundary of DuPont Boulevard; thence southerly in a line parallel to and Five Hundred Feet from the Westerly boundary of DuPont Boulevard to the shore of Haven Lake; thence westerly following along the shoreline of said Lake to the north side of Evergreen Lane; thence along the north side of Evergreen Lane the intersection of the north side of Evergreen Lane and a line parallel with and Five Hundred Feet west of the western boundary of DuPont Boulevard; thence continuing with said line parallel to DuPont Boulevard in a southerly direction to the southern or southeasterly line of what is known as the William I. Simpson property; thence in a northeasterly direction in a direct line to the center of the bridge over the stream of water known as Deep Branch (which bridge crosses said stream on the County Road leading to the town of Lincoln); thence following the course of Deep Branch to the point where it is crossed by the main track of Penn Central Transportation Company; thence following along the said main track to the Mispillion River.
The third ward shall consist of all the territory within the City Limits bounded as follows: Beginning at a point in the center of the intersection of Deep Branch and Route 36 leading to Cedar Beach; thence along the centerline of said Route 36 and Southeast Front Street in a westerly direction to the point of intersection of said Southeast Front Street and McColley Street; thence southerly by the centerline of McColley Street to the point of its intersection with Southeast Second Street; thence by the centerline of Southeast Second Street in a westerly direction to the point of its intersection with South Walnut Street; thence by the centerline of Walnut Street in a northerly direction to the point where it intersects the centerline of DuPont Boulevard; thence in a direct line southeasterly to Bowen Landing on the Bowen (Dorsey) farm; thence along the course of Mispillion River to the point where Deep Branch, aforesaid, empties into the said River; thence southerly by the course of waters in Deep Branch to Route 36 leading to Cedar Beach.
The fourth ward shall consist of all the territory within the city limits bounded as follows: Beginning at the point where the centerline of Walnut Street intersects the centerline of the main track of Penn Central Transportation Company; thence following along said main track to the railroad bridge over the Mispillion River; thence following the course of the waters of said River flowing through Silver Lake and Haven Lake to a point Five Hundred Feet west of the westerly boundary of DuPont Boulevard; thence by a line parallel to and Five Hundred Feet west of the western boundary of DuPont Boulevard in a northerly direction to a point where said parallel line would intersect the northerly boundary of the third ward, if extended, and as described herein; thence southeasterly along the aforesaid line of the third ward, if extended, to the point of intersection of the centerlines of North Walnut Street and DuPont Boulevard; thence by the centerline of Walnut Street south to its intersection with the main track of Penn Central Transportation Company, aforesaid.
Section 3. (A) The Inhabitants of the City of Milford, within the boundaries defined herein, or as hereafter established, shall continue to be a body politic and corporate, by the name of "The City of Milford", hereinafter called The City, and under that name shall have perpetual succession; may have and use a corporate seal; may sue and be sued; may hold and acquire by purchase, gift, devise, lease or by condemnation real property and personal property within or without its boundaries for any municipal purposes, in fee simple or for lesser estate or interest, and may sell, lease, hold, manage and control such property as its interest may require; but no property owned by the City, the value of which in the opinion of the City Council equals or exceeds $15,000, shall be sold or leased without the approval of a majority of the voters and taxables of the City at any general or special election called for that purpose;
PROVIDED, however, that where the value of the property involved, in the opinion of the City Council, has a value of $7,500 or more but less than $15,000, no action with respect thereto, as authorized herein, shall be taken until such action has been considered and approved by the Council at two consecutive meetings of the Council.
As hereinafter provided in Section 22 of this Charter relating to power to issue Bonds, the City shall have all other powers and functions requisite to or appropriate for the government of the City, its peace and order, its sanitation, beauty, the health, safety, convenience, comfort and well-being of its population and protection and preservation of property public and private; and all actions, suits and proceedings shall be brought on the name of "The City of Milford".
(B) The enumeration of particular powers by this Charter shall not be held to be exclusive, or to restrict in any manner the general powers conferred herein, but in addition to the powers enumerated herein, implied thereby, or appropriate to the exercise thereof, it is intended that the City of Milford shall have, and may exercise, all powers which, under the Constitution of the State of Delaware, it would be competent for this Charter specifically to enumerate. All powers of the City of Milford whether expressed or implied, shall be exercised as prescribed by this Charter, or, if not prescribed herein, by ordinances or resolution of the City Council.
(C) The City of Milford may transmit electric, gas, and/or water from the plant or plants owned and operated by said City to places or properties beyond the limits of said City and upon such terms, charges and conditions as the Council shall determine and approve.
STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT
Section 4. The government of the City and the exercise of all powers conferred by this Charter, except as otherwise provided herein shall be vested in a Mayor and a City Council. The City Council shall consist of eight members. Two of the members of the Council shall reside in that portion of the City known and described as the first ward, two in that portion known as the second ward, two in that portion known as the third ward and two in that portion known as the fourth ward. Each member of the Council shall receive as total compensation for his services the sum of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per month, and the Mayor shall receive as total compensation for his services the sum of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per month. The salaries of members of Council and the Mayor shall be payable monthly.
ELECTIONS IN GENERAL
Section 5. (A) At the annual election held in the year 1971, there shall be elected from the Second Ward one member of Council, by the qualified voters of said ward, for a term of two years, and one member of Council shall be elected from the third ward by the qualified voters of said ward, for a term of two years.
At the annual election held in the year 1972, there shall be elected from the First Ward, one member of Council, by the qualified voters of said ward, for a term of two years, and one member of Council shall be elected from the fourth ward by the qualified voters of said ward, for a term of two years.
At the annual election held in the year 1973, and in each year thereafter, there shall be elected to the Council one member from each of the wards of the city, by the qualified voters residing severally in the respective wards, for a term of two years.
At the annual election held in the year 1972, the Mayor shall be elected by the qualified voters of the City for a term of two years, and his successor shall be elected in a similar manner in the even numbered years thereafter, for a term of two years.
All persons duly elected to the Council or the duly elected Mayor shall serve until their successors are duly elected and qualified.
This section shall be so construed and interpreted as to permit the members of the Council serving at the time this Charter becomes effective to complete the full terms to which they were severally elected.
(13) No person shall be eligible for election as Mayor as a member of Council unless he shall be a resident of the State of Delaware; shall have resided in the City for the twelve months next preceding the day of election; shall be a freeholder of the City; and, shall be over the age of twenty-one years prior to the day of election.
Neither shall the Mayor or any member of Council be eligible to serve in such office unless they shall continue to be residents and freeholders of the City during their respective terms of office.
MANNER OF HOLDING ELECTIONS AND
Section 6. (A) The annual municipal election shall be held on the fourth Saturday in the month of April between the hours of twelve (12) o'clock noon and eight (8:00) o'clock in the evening, at such places as shall be determined by the Council due notice of which shall be given by, an advertisement printed in a newspaper published in the City and posted in three public places in each ward of the City not less than ten days before the day of the annual Election.
(B) The election shall be held under the supervision of an Election Board, consisting of three citizens of the said City to be appointed by the Council at the last regular meeting preceding the annual election. The Election Board shall be Judges of the election and shall decide upon the legality of the votes offered.
(C) Every person, resident in the City of Milford, who is over the age of twenty-one years and who has resided in the City for at least six (6) month next preceding the day of the election, shall be entitled to vote at said election; provided, however, that the Council may, by ordinance, establish a reasonable procedure for the registration of voters and, in such event, compliance therewith may be a prerequisite to voting at the Annual Election.
(D) Upon the close of the Election, the votes shall be read and counted publicly, and the persons having the highest number of votes, for each office, shall be declared duly elected, and shall continue in office during the terms for which they are chosen, or until their successors are duly elected and qualified.
(E) The Election Board shall enter in a book to be provided for that purpose, a minute of the election containing the names of the persons chose, shall subscribe the same, and shall give to the persons elected certificates of Election, which book, containing such minutes, shall be preserved by the Council and shall be evidence in any Court of law or equity. All ballots cast, in the event paper ballots are used, and all tabulations of votes from voting machines, if used at said election, and all other records of election shall be preserved in the Custody of the Election Board for a period of ten (10) days following said election.
(F) Any vacancy in the Election Board shall be filled by the electors present at the time of the annual election, by naming from the electors present such person or persons as shall be necessary to fill such vacancy.
(G) In the event of a tie vote for any office, the Election Board shall resolve the tie and determine the person elected, by lot.
(H) Not less than ten (10) days prior to the Annual Election, the Mayor and City Manager shall prepare a report of the business of the City during the preceding year, and shall cause the same to be published in a newspaper published within the City.
() Not less than ten (10) days prior to the Annual Election, all candidates for the office of City Councilman shall file with the City Manager a nominating petition, stating the name of the candidate, the office for which he is nominated, and shall be signed by not less than ten (10) qualified voters resident in the Ward in which the candidate resides. Nominations for the office of Mayor shall be filed with the City Manager not less than ten (10) days prior to the Annual Election and shall contain the name of the candidate, the office for which he is nominated, and shall be signed by not less than ten (10) qualified voters resident in the City.
Only such persons shall be voted upon for any office at the Annual Election who have been nominated as herein provided.
The City Manager shall cause to be printed ballots and envelopes for use by the voters at the annual election or, upon the direction of the Council, shall arrange for the use of voting machines at such election.
The Council shall be empowered to make and promulgate rules and regulations governing the voting, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter.
ANNUAL ORGANIZATION MEETING OF COUNCIL
Section 7. At 7:30 o'clock P.M., on the Tuesday following the annual election, the Mayor and Council shall meet at the Council Chamber and shall assume the duties of their offices after being first duly sworn or affirmed to perform their duties with fidelity and in accordance with the Charter of the City. At said meeting, the Council shall organize by electing by a majority vote, a Vice-Mayor, who shall be a member of the Council, and a Secretary and a Treasurer.
Following the Annual Organization Meeting, the Council shall thereafter hold meetings at such times as may be prescribed by ordinance or statute, but not less frequently than once each month. Special meetings of the Council may be called by the Mayor, and shall be called by the Mayor upon written request of three members of Council; and all meetings, regular or special, shall be open to the public.
Section 8. A Council shall comprise the Mayor and eight Council members. Any five of the eight Council members shall constitute a quorum, but a less number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by ordinance.
RULES AND MINUTES OF COUNCIL
Section 9. The Council shall determine its own rules and order of business, and shall keep a journal of its proceedings and the Yeas and Nays shall be taken upon the passage of every ordinance and resolution, and shall be entered in the journal with the text of the ordinance or resolution.
Section 10. Removal from a ward by a Councilman elected therefrom shall create a vacancy in the Council from said ward. In case of a vacancy in the Office of Mayor or Member of Council, created by death, resignation, loss of residence in the City or, in the case of a Councilman, by removal from the ward from which he was elected or appointed, or from other cause, the Council shall, by a majority vote of the remaining Councilmen, fill such vacancy for the residue of the whole term; PROVIDED, however, if a vacancy shall occur in the office of Councilman, the unexpired term of which office shall be more than thirteen (13) months, the Council shall appoint some suitable person to serve until the next annual election, at which time there shall be elected a qualified person from said ward to fill the unexpired term. In no event shall any person be appointed to fill all or any part of an unexpired term in the office of Councilman, which person would not, at the time of such appointment, be qualified for election, as provided in Sections 4 and 5, above.
Section 11. (A) At the next regular meeting following the Annual Organization Meeting, the Council shall appoint an Alderman, Acting Alderman, Health Officer, City Solicitor, and such other officers, employees and agents of the City which by it may be deemed necessary for the proper conduct and management of the City. Any officer, employee or agent so appointed may be removed at any time by the City Council.
(B) The Council shall cause to be kept a full and complete record of all officers appointed and employees and agents hired by the City containing the names of such officers, employees, and agents, the dates and term of their appointment or employment, the salary or compensation and the date of the termination of the service.
(C) The Mayor shall be the executive of the City. He shall preside at meetings of the Council, but shall have no vote except in case of tie. He shall execute on behalf of the City all agreements, contracts, bonds, deeds, leases and other documents necessary to be executed. He shall countersign all orders, checks, or warrants authorized by Council and drawn on the Treasurer for the payment of money; and shall have all and every power conferred and perform the duties imposed upon him by this Charter and the ordinances of the City.
(D) During a vacancy in the office of Mayor, or during the absence or disability of the Mayor, the Vice-Mayor shall have and exercise all the powers and duties of the Mayor.
(E) The Council shall appoint a City Manager who shall be neither the Mayor nor member of Council. He may or may not be a resident of the City of Milford. He shall be appointed for an indefinite term at such compensation as Council may determine and shall be removable for cause and after a hearing before Council. He shall have control and the management of all and every public utility and of the plant equipment, lines and mains appertaining thereto, owned or operated by the City; of the care and upkeep of sewers; of the opening, closing, and keeping in proper condition and repair all highways, streets and lanes of the City, and the curbing and gutters along the same. He shall be responsible for the collection of any and all taxes, assessments, service charges and liens which may be levied, imposed or assessed by Council, and the collection of all bills due the City for water, light, power, gas and heat furnished by the City, whether by electricity, gas or any other manner.
He shall recommend to Council the employment of such employees and agents of the City as in his judgment may be necessary for the proper and diligent performance by him of all of the above duties; and shall render to Council a monthly report of the condition of City affairs under his management together with such recommendations as he may deem proper, including budget or probable expenditures.
He shall render to Council on the first day of each and every month a true, accurate and detailed account of all moneys collected by the City and shall promptly turn over the same to the Treasurer of the City, or deposit the same in the appropriate accounts of the City maintained at banking institutions designated by the Council. He shall file with the City Council a bond with corporate surety in the sum of $100,000 approved by the Council and paid for by the City, for the faithful performance of his duties.
(F) The Secretary shall record all the proceedings of the Council and keep a correct journal of the same in a book to be provided for the purpose; and shall file and keep in a safe place the seal of the City and all papers, and documents, relative to the affairs of the City; and deliver the same to his successor in office. The Secretary shall attest the seal of the City when Authorized by Council and shall perform such duties and have such other powers as may be prescribed by ordinance. All records, books, papers, and documents in the custody of the Secretary shall be always open for inspection of Council and the public under such regulations as council may prescribe.
(G) The Treasurer shall be Custodian of all the City funds and shall deposit them to the credit of the City in such banking institutions as shall be designated by the Council.
He shall pay out no money except, after careful inspection thereof, upon checks or warrants counter-signed by the Mayor and authorized by the City Manager. He shall file with the City Council, a bond with corporate surety in the sum of $25,000, said bond to be approved by Council and the premium thereon to be paid by the City, for the faithful performance of his duties.
(H) The alderman shall be a resident of the City of Milford and shall have his office at some convenient place within the limits of the City. He shall be sworn or affirmed to perform the duties of his office with fidelity. In the event of his absence from the City or, if for any cause he shall be unable to perform the duties of his office, the Council is authorized to appoint an acting alderman with the same powers, jurisdiction and authority.
He shall have jurisdiction over and cognizance of all breaches of the peace and other violations of the ordinances of the City of Milford; shall have the authority to arrest and hold to bail; to imprison offenders, and to impose and enforce fines, forfeitures and penalties as may be prescribed by the ordinances of the City.
The jail of either Kent or Sussex County may be used for the imprisonment of offenders under the provisions of this Charter, provided that the Council shall pay the expense of imprisonment of offenders committed for violations of ordinances which are not violations of the general law of the State.
The Alderman also shall have jurisdiction in suits of civil nature, for the collection of taxes, recovery of amounts due and payable for the construction of sidewalks, curbs or pavements, expenses of abatement of nuisances, and all other matters which may arise in the proper government and control of the City under the provisions of this Charter; and within the limits of his jurisdiction, he shall have all the powers and authority, and shall be subject to the same limitations, as a Justice of the Peace of the State of Delaware, except as herein otherwise provided; and, his fees or other compensation for his services shall be as fixed, from time to time, by the City Council.
Upon the expiration of his term of office, or upon resignation or removal from office, the Alderman shall forthwith deliver to his successor all books, papers, documents, and other things belonging or appertaining to his office, and shall pay over to the Treasurer all moneys in his hands belonging to the City. Upon neglect or failure to make such delivery or payment for the space of five (5) days, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, or shall suffer both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the Court.
At every regular monthly meeting of the Council, the Alderman shall report in writing all fines imposed by him, and all fines and penalties and other money received by him during the preceding month belonging to the City. He shall pay all such moneys to the City within ten (10) days after making report to the Council, or for failure to make payment to the City for the space of ten (10) days, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished, upon conviction, as hereinabove provided.
The Alderman shall keep a docket in which all his official acts shall be entered, which shall be open to public inspection and examination at all times.
The Acting Alderman may or may not be a resident of the City of Milford; shall keep a separate docket, and in the absence or inability of the Alderman shall have all the powers of the Alderman as herein provided.
(I) The City Auditors shall be Certified Public Accountants and it shall be their duty to audit the accounts of the City and all of its officers whose duties involve the collection, custody and payment of the moneys of the City. They shall audit the books of the Alderman and Acting Alderman and the records of all fines, penalties and costs imposed or collected by either of them pursuant to any verdict, judgment, order or decree made. The Auditors shall prepare a detailed report of all and every of the accounts, records and books by them examined and audited, as well as any recommendations they may have for improvement of the record keeping procedures of the City, and shall deliver said report to the City Council on or before October first of each year. The City Manager shall then cause a copy of the report of the Auditors, excluding their recommendations, to be printed in a newspaper published in the City. In the performance of their duties, the Auditors shall have access to all the records of the City and of the Officers of the City.
(J) At the first regular meeting following the annual organizational meeting, the Council shall appoint a City Solicitor for the term of one year, or until his successor shall have been duly appointed. The City Solicitor shall be a member of the Bar of Delaware and resident in either Kent or Sussex County. It shall be his duty to render legal opinions to the Council or the Officers of the City, and to perform such other legal services as the City, acting through the Council, may require.
(K) It shall be the duty of the Council to appoint a Chief of the City Police and such number of subordinates as the Council may deem wise; and the Council shall from time to time make rules and regulations as may be necessary for the organization, government and control of the Police Force. The members of the Force shall be subject to the direction of the Council, and may be removed by the Council at any time. They shall preserve peace and order, and shall compel obedience within the City limits to the ordinances of the City and the laws of the State; and they shall have such other duties as the Council shall from time to time prescribe.
Each member of the Police Force shall be vested, within the City limits and within one mile outside of said limits, with all the powers and authority of a Constable of Kent or Sussex County, and in the case of the pursuit of an offender, their power and authority shall extend to any part of the State of Delaware.
Every person sentenced to imprisonment by the Alderman shall be delivered by a member of the Police Force to the County Jail of Kent or Sussex County, or lock-up of the City, to be there imprisoned for the term of the sentence. In case of an arrest at a time when the Alderman shall not be available to hear and determine the charge, the person arrested may be delivered to either of the above-named County jails, or in the City lock-up, for imprisonment until such reasonable time thereafter as shall enable the Alderman or Acting Alderman to hear and determine the charge against such person.
It shall be the duty of the police to suppress riotous, disorderly or turbulent assemblages of persons in the streets of the City, or the noisy conduct of any person in the same, and upon view of the above, or upon view of the violation of any ordinance of the City relating to the peace and good order thereof, the Police shall have the right and power to arrest without warrant and to take the offender before the Alderman or Acting Alderman, or Justice of the Peace for hearing.
Section 12. Not later than the first day of June in each year, the Council shall prepare and adopt a budget containing the financial plan for conducting the affairs of the City for the ensuing year. The fiscal year of the City shall begin on the First clay of July and shall end with the next succeeding thirtieth day of June.
The budget shall contain the following information:
1. A detailed estimate showing the expenses of conducting each department and office of the City for the ensuing fiscal year.
2. The value of supplies and materials on hand, together with the nature and kind of any machinery or other implements and the condition thereof.
3. The amount of the debt of the City, together with a schedule of maturities of bond issues.
4. A statement of the amount required for interest on the bonded debt, the amount necessary to pay and bond maturing during the year, and the amount required for the sinking fund.
5. An estimate of the amount of money to be received from taxes, and all other anticipated income of the City from any source or sources.
The Council shall, so far as possible, adhere to the budget so adopted in the making of appropriations.
ASSESSORS AND ASSESSMENT OF TAXES
Section 13. (1) Not less frequently than every ten years there shall be made a general assessment which shall be a true, just and impartial valuation and assessment of all the real property within the limits of the City and of all personal property subject to County taxation within the City (except farm lands to the extent that they are exempted by the provisions of this Charter), locating each parcel of real property by street and number, or other rescription, and also an assessment of all the male and female residents in the City above the age of twenty-one (21) years, whether owners or not owners of either real or personal property within its limits.
(2) It shall be the duty of the City Manager to prepare a scrap assessment which shall value and assess all taxable real property and personal property in the City not already valued and assessed by the General Assessment then in force, and all improvements made upon said real property since said General Assessment and all male and female residents of the City above the age of twenty-one (21) years and not already assessed, and said assessment shall omit the names of those who have removed from the City or who have died. In the year that scrap assessment is made, the General Assessment then in force as supplemented or modified by the scrap assessment, shall constitute the assessment for the year.
(3) The City Manager shall make and deliver to the Council, as soon as the assessments are made, such number of copies thereof as the Council shall direct.
(4) The property of the City Assessors shall be assessed by the Council.
(5) The Council shall, prior to the fifteenth day of March in each year, cause a copy of the General Assessment as supplemented by the scrap assessment as made in said year, to be hung up in two public places in the City, and there to remain for the space of ten (10) days for public information. Attached to said copies shall be a notice of the day, hour and place that the Council will sit as a Board of Revision and Appeal; and the notice of the hanging up of the copies of the assessment and the places where the same are hung up and of the day, hour, and place when the Council will sit as a Board of Revision and Appeal shall be published in at least one issue of a newspaper published in the City.
(6) At the time and place designated in the notice aforesaid, the Council shall sit as a Board of Revision and Appeal to correct and revise the assessment, and to hear appeals concerning the same. They shall have full power and authority to alter, revise, add to, and take from the said assessment. The decision of a majority of the Council shall be final and conclusive; and no member of Council shall sit on his own appeal.
(7) The assessment, as revised and adjusted by the Council, shall be the basis for the levy and collection of the taxes for the City.
(8) The Council shall also have the right to levy and collect taxes on all underground cables and utility installations, and upon all telephone, telegraph or power poles or other erections of like character erected or installed within the limits of the City, together with the wires and appliances thereto or thereon attached, that are now assessable and taxable, and to this end, may at any time direct the same be included in or added to the City Assessment. In case the owner or lessee of such poles, erections, installations or appliances shall neglect or refuse to pay the taxes that may be levied thereon, the said taxes may be collected by the City in the same manner as other taxes, and upon continued non-payment, the Council shall have the authority to cause the same to be removed.
(9) No farm lands hereby included within the limits of the City of Milford shall be subject to any City tax unless the same titian be laid out as building lots or unless the same shall front upon some public street of the City of Milford which shall be laid out and improved; and all farm lands within the aforesaid limits which shall be laid out as building lots or which shall front upon some public street of the City of Milford laid out and improved shall be subject to be taxed to the depth of one hundred and fifty (150) feet from said street line for City purposes. Nor shall the farm buildings and personal property located on any such farm lands included within the limits of the City of Milford, be subject to any City tax.
(10) The Council shall be sole judges of what lands are, and what lands are not "farm lands" within the meaning of the Charter.
(11) The Council shall determine and fix a rate of taxation which with other anticipated revenue will produce approximately the amount of money necessary to defray the expenses of the City for the current year, including interest on bonded indebtedness and for redemption of maturing bonds and for maintenance of a sinking fund.
(12) The limit of taxation for current expenses shall be that rate which, by estimation, will produce a sum not exceeding One Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($150,000), but added thereto there shall also be a rate fixed which will produce an amount sufficient to provide for interest on bonds, the redemption thereof at their several maturities, and to cover the sinking fund requirements of such bond issues.
COLLECTION OF TAXES
Section 14. In the month of June in each year, the Council shall deliver to the City Manager a list containing the names of the taxables of the City, and, opposite the name of each, the amount of his real property assessment, the amount of his property assessment, and his capitation tax, as well as the tax upon the whole of his assessment, and the rate per hundred dollars of assessed valuation. Attached to said tax list shall be a warrant, under the seal of the City of Milford, signed by the Mayor and attested by the Secretary, commanding the City Manager to make collection, when due, of the taxes as stated and set forth in the tax list.
All taxes, when and as collected by the City Manager, shall be paid to or deposited to the credit of the City in banking institutions approved by Council.
All such taxes shall be due and payable on the First day of July in each year. To every tax paid after the Thirty-First day of July in each year there shall be added and collected one per cent of the tax due, for each month or fraction of a month after the Thirty-First day of July that the said tax remains unpaid. Before exercising any of the powers herein given for the collection of taxes, written notice of the amount due shall be given to the taxable.
The City Manager shall have the following powers, which may be exercised concurrently or consecutively, in such sequence as, in his judgment will best serve the interests of the City, for the collection of delinquent taxes:
(1) By distraint of the goods and chattels of the taxable.
(2) By instituting an action in debt against the taxable in the Alderman's Court or in a Court of a Justice of the Peace of the State of Delaware, for the recovery of the unpaid tax, and upon judgment obtained, may sue out writs of execution as in the case of other judgments obtained before the Alderman or a Justice of the Peace.
Such executions shall constitute a lien upon all the personal property of the taxable which, by virtue of the execution, shall be levied upon within thirty (30) days of the issuance thereof and shall have priority over all other liens, except those created in respect of county taxes, although such other liens may have been created at a date prior to the time of the said levy.
(3) At any time after the delivery of the tax list and warrant, the City Manager may notify in writing the person, firm, or corporation by whom any taxable is employed, that the tax of said employee is due and unpaid. The notice shall be signed by the City Mayor and shall contain the correct name of the taxable as it appears upon the tax list, the amount of the tax due and the penalty added, if any; and thereupon it shall be the duty of the employer to take from the wages, salary, or other money then due the taxable the amount of the tax due and owing from the employee, and charge the same against him, and to pay the same to the City Manager within ten (10) days. The City Manager shall give to the employer a certificate of payment which shall be allowed in any suit or accounting between the employer and the taxable. If any employer, being notified as aforesaid, and having in his hands money belonging to the taxable, shall neglect or refuse to comply with the provisions hereof, such employer shall become personally liable for the amount of the tax of the persons as to whom notice was given, and the amount thereof may be recovered from such employer in an action of debt before any Justice of the Peace, or Alderman, as aforesaid. This process shall be deemed to be in the nature of a garnishment proceeding.
(4) City taxes properly levied as provided herein shall, from and after the due date thereof, be and constitute a lien upon the real property of the taxable and shall continue so to be until the date of payment. Upon the non-payment of said taxes when due, the City Manager shall be empowered to proceed to sell the real property of the taxable owned by him at the time when the taxes fell due, and may present to the Superior Court in the County wherein the said real property are situated, or if the lands and tenements of the taxable are situated partly in one County and partly in another County, then to the Superior Court in either County, a petition in which shall be stated:
(a) The name of the taxable.
(b) The year for which the tax was levied.
() The rate of tax.
(a) The total amount due.
(b) The date from which the penalty for non-payment, if any, shall commence, and the rate of such penalty.
(c) A short description of the lands and tenements proposed to be sold sufficient to identify the same.
(d) A statement that a written notice of the taxes due, and penalty, if any, has been mailed to the taxable at his last known address and that the same remain unpaid.
The petition shall be signed by the City Manager and shall be verified before a Notary Public.
The Court thereupon shall make an order for the sale of said lands and tenements returnable at the next succeeding term of said Court. Sales of lands and tenements shall be advertised by posting hand bills in at least five public places in the City of Milford and by publishing the notice of said sale in a newspaper published in the City. The notices shall contain the day, hour, place of sale, and a short description of the premises sufficient to identify the same, and the hand bills shall be posted at least ten days before the day fixed for sale, and the newspaper advertisement shall be published at least one week before the day of sale.
Each sale of lands and tenements shall be returned to the Superior Court aforesaid at the next term thereof following the sale, and the Court shall inquire into the circumstances and either approve or set aside the sale. If it be approved, the Mayor shall make a deed to the purchaser which shall convey the title of the taxable or of his alienee; if it be set aside, the Court may order another sale, and so on until the tax due be collected. The petition, return and deed shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity of the proceeding.
No sale shall be approved by the Court if the owner be ready at Court to pay the taxes, penalty and costs, and no deed shall be made until the expiration of one year from the date of sale, within which time the owner, his heirs, executors or assigns, shall have power to redeem the lands on payment to the purchaser, his heirs or assigns of the costs, the amount of the purchase money and twenty per centum interest thereon, and the expense of the deed.
After satisfying the tax due and the costs and expenses of sale from the proceeds of sale, the amount remaining shall be paid to the owner of the land, or upon the refusal of said owner to accept the same, or if the owner is unknown or cannot be found, the amount remaining shall be deposited in some bank in the City of Milford either to the credit of the owner, or in a manner by which the fund may be identified.
In sales of lands for the payment of taxes, the following costs shall be allowed, to be deducted from the proceed of sale, or chargeable against the owner:
TO THE PROTHONOTARY
For filing and recording petition $1.00
For filing and recording return of sale $1.50
In addition, the costs of printing hand bills and publication of the advertisement of sale shall be chargeable as costs.
The cost of the deed shall not be chargeable as costs, but shall be paid by the purchaser.
If the owner of any lands and tenements against which a tax shall be levied and assessed shall be unknown, this fact shall be stated in the advertisement of sale.
If any person is assessed for several parcels of lands and tenements in the same assessment, the total of said taxes may be collected from the sale of any part or portion of said lands and be sold until other property of the taxable shall have been disposed of.
Section 15. During the month of December in each year the Council shall meet with the City Manager and Treasurer, at a time and place designated by the Council, for the purpose of reviewing the records of the City Manager relating to the collection of city taxes. At said meeting the tax list shall be reviewed and the City Manager shall make a full and comprehensive report of the taxes collected, the taxes remaining unpaid and the procedures employed by the City Manager in attempting the collection of the unpaid taxes. The Council shall determine which taxes remaining unpaid are to be deemed uncollectible and the reasons therefor, and which of them remain uncollected due to the unreasonable neglect or default of the City Manager. In the event a majority of the members elected to the Council determine that delinquent taxes of specific taxables are collectible but remain uncollected by virtue of the unreasonable default or neglect of the City Manager, the Council may proceed to collect the same from the City Manager and/or his surety; provided, however, that such action by Council may be deferred, in the discretion of the Council, for a period not exceeding six (6) months to permit the City Manager to accomplish the collection thereof in the manner herein provided.
Section 16. The provisions of Title 25, sections 2901 through 2905 inclusive of the Delaware Code of 1953, in effect at the adoption of this Charter, shall be deemed and held to apply to all taxes laid and imposed under this Charter, anything herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
LAYING OUT, OPENING, WIDENING AND
Section 17. The Council shall have the power and authority to lay out, open, and locate new streets, and to widen or alter existing streets or parts thereof, or to vacate or abandon streets or parts thereof, whenever they shall deem it to be in the best interests of the city. The procedure shall be as follows:
The Council shall, by a majority vote, adopt a first resolution for the opening of the new street, or the widening or altering of a street, or the vacating or abandoning a street, or any part thereof, as the case may be. Said first resolution shall contain a general description of the street, or part thereof, that is proposed to be opened, widened, altered, vacated or abandoned, and shall also state the day, hour, and place where and when the Council will sit to hear objections thereto, and if a street is to be vacated or abandoned, to hear evidence of damages to be sustained by the owners of property affected thereby. A copy of such resolution shall be posted in five or more public places in the City at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing, aforesaid, and shall be published in a newspaper published in the City at least five days prior to the hearing date. At the time and place fixed in the resolution, the Council shall hear such residents of the City or owners of the property to be affected, as may attend, and shall at said hearing or at a subsequent day as they shall deem proper, adopt a second resolution by a majority vote to proceed with or abandon the proposed opening, widening, altering or abandoning, as set out in the first resolution. In the event the Council determines to proceed with the vacating or abandoning of a street or part thereof, they shall, by a third resolution adopted by a majority vote, determine the amount of the damages, if any, to be sustained by the properties affected thereby, and direct the payment thereof by the City Manager.
In the event the Council, by a second resolution duly adopted, elects to proceed with the opening, widening or altering of a street, they shall direct the City Manager to negotiate with the owners of the properties to be affected thereby and reach agreement with the said owner or owners, subject to the approval of Council, as to the just compensation payable to said owner or owners as a result of the proposed improvement. Should the Council and the owner or owners, aforesaid, be unable to agree upon just compensation, the Council may proceed to exercise the right of eminent domain and condemn the same as hereinafter provided.
POWER TO CONDEMN
Section 18. The City shall have the power to acquire lands, tenements, real property or interests therein, by condemnation for the purpose of providing sites for public buildings, parks, sewers, sewage disposal or electric plants or the erection or construction of lines or conduits for the transmission of electricity, water, gas or sewerage, or for any other municipal purpose, whether within or without the limits of the City, and the procedure therefor shall be as contained in Title 10, Chapter 61 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1953, as amended.
CHANGE OF GRADE AND CURB LINES
Section 19. The Council shall have power to establish, change or alter the grade of streets, lands, alleys, bridges and gutters as from time to time may be deemed necessary and proper, and to establish curb lines in the same and the kind and character of gutters, and to change, alter or amend the same, but nothing in this Charter shall affect the duty of the Levy Courts of Rent and Sussex Counties with respect to the maintenance and repair of bridges over Mispillion River within the City limits.
The Council shall also have the power to name and change the name of any street, avenue, alley or other public place in said City.
PAVING, CURBING, AND GUTTERING
Section 20. The Council shall have power to cause the streets and sidewalks of the City to be paved, re-paved, curbed, and guttered under such plan and with such materials as it shall determine.
With respect to the paving or re-paving of sidewalks and the installing of curbs and gutters, the procedure shall be as follows:
Whenever a written petition of five (5) or more freeholders of the City shall be presented to the Council praying for the improvements, or any of them, the Council shall set upon said petition either at the meeting at which such petition is presented, or at the next subsequent meeting, and shall determine, in respect of curbing and guttering what part, if any, of the cost thereof shall be paid by the City, and the Council may thereupon direct in writing the owner or proprietor of any land in the City before or in front of which the improvement is to be made, to lay a pavement or install a curb and gutter, or either of them, of the kind and character, and of the width and thickness, and of the material and in the manner as may be directed by the Council.
The Council shall notify in writing the owner or proprietor of any land affected to make the improvement as determined by order of the Council within sixty (60) days after the date of the notice. The notice shall be served upon such owner or proprietor personally if he resides in the City, or it may be left at the usual place of abode of such owner or proprietor in the presence of some adult person; or, if the owner or proprietor does not reside in the City, it may be lawful to deposit said notice in the mails directed to him at the last known post office address; if the owner or proprietor is unknown, it shall be a compliance with this section regarding notices to post a notice on the property.
The Council shall establish the curb and grade lines, which shall be available to all owners and proprietors of lands affected.
The notice shall inform the persons affected thereby with full information as to the materials to be used, the width of the pavement, curb, or gutter, and the thickness or depth thereof, and the time within which the improvement shall be completed.
If the owner or proprietor shall neglect or refuse to make the improvement within the time stated in the notice, the Council shall cause the improvement to be made at the expense of the owner or proprietor, and may recover the expense thereof, together with costs and any penalty which may be by ordinances established for failure or neglect to make the improvement, by an action of debt brought before the Alderman, or any Justice of the Peace residing in the City. In any action brought for the recovery of money due the City under the provisions hereof, the City shall have the right to a forthwith summons as in like cases within the jurisdiction of a Justice of the Peace, and, the jurisdiction of the Alderman or of the notice shall be proved and shall be stated in the judgment. Writs of execution may issue upon any judgment recovered as in like cases of civil nature, and upon a return of nulla bona, a certified abstract of the judgment and return shall be filed in the office of the Prothonotary in Kent or Sussex County, dependent upon the location of the property affected, and said judgment shall thereupon become a lien upon the premises affected and shall have all the force and effect of any other judgment entered in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, the said lien relating back to the date of the notice given as aforesaid and taking precedence over any other lien against the property which shall or may have been entered after the date of the notice.
If any property affected by the provisions hereof shall be held or owned by a widow in right of dower, the expense incurred shall be paid by the owner in reversion in fee simple; and if such owner be a minor, the expense shall be paid by the guardian or agent acting for such minor out of any money or effects held by such guardian or agent, or suit may be brought against said minor or the guardian of such as hereinabove provided, and the amount due the City recovered by sale of the goods and chattels, lands and tenements of the minor.
If the improvements desired is paving of any street, or part or portion thereof, upon written petition of five (5) or more freeholders as aforesaid, the Council shall by resolution fix a time and place for discussion of the proposed improvement. The resolution shall be published at least one week prior to the meeting for discussion aforesaid, in at least one issue of a newspaper published in the City and at said meeting the Council shall hear the owners or proprietors of the property affected and other citizens of the City. After such hearing, the Council either at said meeting, or at a subsequent meeting shall decide whether or not to proceed with the improvement, and if the decision shall be to proceed with the improvement, then the part or portion of the cost, if any, which shall be assessed against the owner or proprietor of the property affected shall be determined. The part or share to be paid by the owner or proprietor of the property affected shall be determined on the basis of the lineal frontage of the parcel on the street to be improved.
The Council shall thereupon proceed to cause the improvement to be made and shall assess the owner or proprietor of the land affected with the whole, or such part and expense of the improvement according to the lineal frontage as aforesaid as may have been determined; shall present to such owner or proprietor a bill or statement of the costs and expense as allocated to the land of said owner or proprietor, and if the same shall not be paid within six (6) months thereafter, shall proceed to collect the said cost and expense from such owner or proprietor in the manner and under the same power and authority and by the same processes, with necessary change as to detail as hereinabove provided in this section. The lien of any judgment rendered shall relate back to the date of the decision of the Council to proceed with the improvement, and said date shall be proved and stated in the judgment.
Section 21. The Council is vested with authority on behalf of the City to enter into contracts for the rendering of personal service to the City and/or the purchase of supplies and doing of work for any municipal purpose for the City: provided;
(A) No contract shall be made by Council for any purpose, the contract price of which is in excess of $5,000, without public competitive bidding; and
(B) The contract shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, but Council may reject any and/or all bids for any cause by it deemed advantageous to the City; and
(C) All formal contracts shall be signed by the Mayor with the Seal of the City attached attested by the Secretary.
POWER TO BORROW MONEY AND ISSUE BONDS
Section 22. (A) The Council may borrow money and issue bonds or Certificates of Indebtedness to secure the payment thereof on the faith and credit of the City of Milford to provide funds for the erection, the extension, the enlargement or the repair of any plant, machinery, appliances or equipment for the supply, or the manufacture and distribution of electricity or gas for light, heat or power purposes; for the furnishing of water to the public; for the construction, repair or improvement of highway, streets or lanes or the paving, curbing or erection of gutters along the same; for the construction or repair of sewers or sewage disposal equipment; or to defray the cost or the share of the City of the cost of any permanent municipal improvement; Provided, however, that the borrowing of the money therefor shall have been authorized by the City Council and shall have been approved by the electors in the manner and at the time following:
1. Council by resolution shall propose to the electors of the City that a stated amount of money be borrowed by the sale and issuance of bonds or Certificates of Indebtedness. The resolution shall state the amount of money proposed to be borrowed, the purpose for which it is to be used, the manner of securing the same, and all other pertinent facts relating to the loan, including the method of repayment, and the resolution shall also fix a time and place for a public hearing to be held on the proposed borrowing.
0. Notice of the time and place of the aforesaid hearing to be held on the resolution authorizing the loan shall be given by printing a copy of said resolution in a newspaper published in the City at least one week prior to the date fixed for the hearing.
1. Before the loan may be authorized, the Council, following the aforesaid public hearing, shall adopt a second resolution ordering a special election or referendum to be held at a time and on a date specified in the resolution, which date shall not be less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days following the adoption of said second resolution, and at such special election or referendum, votes shall be cast for or against the proposed loan.
2. The notice of the time and place for holding the said special election shall be printed in a newspaper in the City once a week for three (3) successive weeks prior to the election, and the special election shall be conducted by a Board of Electors as herein provided in the case of an annual election.
5. The Council shall cause to be prepared, printed and have available for distribution a sufficient number of ballots, not less than five (5) days prior to the day of the special election, which shall be substantially in the following form:
FORM OF PRESCRIBED BALLOT
FOR SPECIAL ELECTION
Number of Bond For Against
(Fold on Dotted Line)
6. At the special election or referendum, every person residing in the City, who would be qualified to vote at an annual City election, if it were held on the same day, shall be entitled to one vote which shall be cast in person and deposited in a separate ballot box provided for that purpose, and every owner of real property, within the City, whether an individual, partnership, association or corporation shall be entitled to one vote for each one hundred dollars of the assessed valuation thereof for City tax purposes, and said votes shall be deposited in a separate ballot box provided for that purpose; Provided, however, that the owners of real property exempt from City taxes shall not be entitled to vote based upon the value thereof whether assessed or not assessed. Every ballot cast, to be valid, shall be marked either in the space designated "For" or "Against" in a manner clearly indicating the intent of the voter. No vote shall be cast by a partnership except by a partner, and no vote shall be cast by an association or corporation except by a person holding a certified copy of a resolution of said association or corporation authorizing the person named therein to cast the votes of said association or corporation, which certified copy of the resolution shall be filed with the Board of Elections at the time said ballot is cast.
7. The Board of Elections shall count separately the votes cast for and against the bond issue in each of the ballot boxes and shall announce separately the result thereof, shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and against the bond issue by the qualified electors of the City, and the number of votes cast for and against the bond issue by the owners of property based upon assessed valuation, and shall deliver the same to the Council, and the original shall be filed with the records of the Council.
In order for the bond issue to be deemed to be authorized, the majority of the votes cast by the electors of the City, and the majority of the votes cast by the owners of property based upon assessed valuation, must be cast "For" the proposed bond issue.
(B) The form of Bond or Certificate of Indebtedness, the times of payment of interest, the classes, the times of maturity, and provisions as to the registration shall be determined by the Council. The bonds shall be offered for sale to the best and most responsible bidder therefor after advertising in a newspaper of the City or one of general circulation within the State of Delaware or otherwise for at least once a week for two weeks immediately preceding the offering of the same for sale. The Council shall provide, in its budget, and in fixing the rate of tax, for the payment of interest and principal of said bond at the maturity or maturities thereof, and a sinking fund therefor. The faith and credit of the City of Milford shall be deemed to be pledged for the due payment of the bonds and interest thereon issued under the provisions hereof, when the same have been properly executed and delivered for value.
(C) The bonded indebtedness shall not at any one time in the aggregate exceed the total sum of 15 per centum of the value of the real property situate within the limits of the City as shown by the last assessment preceding the creation of the said indebtedness.
Section 23. The Council is hereby vested with the authority to enact ordinances or resolutions relating to any subject within the powers and functions of the City, or relating to the government of the City, its peace and order, its sanitation, beauty, the health, safety, convenience and comfort of its population, and the protection and preservation of property, and to fix, impose and enforce the payment of fines and penalties for the violation of such ordinances or resolutions, and no provision of this Charter as to ordinances on any particular subject shall be held to be restrictive of the power to enact ordinances or resolutions on any subject not specifically enumerated.
All ordinances or resolutions of general character relating to the government of the City shall not be effective until ten (10) clays after a copy of the same shall have been posted in four (4) public places within the City of Milford.
It shall be the duty of the Council to compile the ordinances of the City, to have a reasonable number of copies printed for the use of the officials of the City and for public information; and from time to time, upon the enactment of new ordinances, or the amendment of existing ordinances, to enroll the same in the minutes of the Council, and to keep copies thereof in a book to be provided for that purpose, so that the same may be readily examined; and also to furnish the Alderman with copies thereof as they are enacted and published.
Section 24. The Council shall have power to enact ordinances defining nuisances and providing for the removal or abatement thereof, and prescribing the fines, penalties and forfeitures for causing or continuing the same. The Council may upon their own view, or upon information, determine that a nuisance does in fact exist, upon which determination they shall have the right to remove or abate the same in a summary manner; and the operation of any instrument, device, or machine that shall cause electrical interference with radio or television reception within the limits of the City, shall at the option of the Council, be deemed to be a nuisance. Encroachments and obstructions in and to streets by porches, bay windows, awnings and poles, or the accumulation of snow or ice on sidewalks may be deemed to be nuisances and may be abated or removed at the expense of the persons responsible therefor, as by ordinances provided.
Section 25. The Council shall have the power to adopt ordinances relating to the health of the population of the City, or to prevent the introduction or spread of infectious or contagious diseases or nuisances affecting the City, shall extend to the area outside of the City limits and within one mile from said limits.
Section 26. The Council shall have the power to adopt all measures requisite or appropriate for protection against fire, and to appropriate money for the purpose of fire equipment, whether owned by the City or by a volunteer fire company.
For protection against Fire, the Council may adopt ordinances to zone or district the City and to make particular provisions for particular zones or districts with regard to buildings and building materials; to prohibit the use of building materials that may be deemed to create a fire hazard, and this power shall embrace new buildings or additions to or alterations of existing structures of every kind; to condemn buildings or structures, or portions thereof, that constitute a fire menace, and to require or cause the same to be torn down, removed, or so altered as to eliminate the menace of fire; to prescribe the height and thickness of walls of any building and the kind and grade of materials used in the construction thereof.
PLANNING AND ZONING
Section 27. (A) The Council may adopt a comprehensive zoning ordinance as authorized by Chapter 3, Title 22, Delaware Code of 1953, as amended.
(B) The Council may, if it deems it to be in the best interests of the City, appoint a Planning Commission, adopt a comprehensive development plan, and otherwise exercise the powers granted to municipalities by the provisions of Chapter 7, Title 22, Delaware Code of 1953, as amended.
Section 28. In order to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the inhabitants of the City, the Council may, by ordinance, adopt a comprehensive building code regulating the construction of new buildings or the alteration of existing buildings, require the issuance of building permits and provide reasonable rules and regulations governing the issuance thereof.
LOCATION OF POLES AND WIRES
Section 29. The Council shall have full power to fix and determine the placing or replacing of poles or other structures within the City limits for the carrying of telegraph, telephone, power, cable television or other wires, and the attachments thereto, and to cause existing poles or structures to be removed whenever the same shall be deem to be obstructions or detrimental to the beauty of the City, or when such poles or structures are so placed as to inconvenience persons or render property less desirable. This power shall extend as well to 'the location as the relocation of such poles and to time as occasion shall arise.
Section 30. The Council shall have the power by a vote of three-fourths of the members thereof to grant franchises or licenses to public utilities, common carriers or any responsible person, firm or corporation, for such period of time, upon such terms, restrictions, limitations and conditions and for such considerations as the Council may deem proper, to use the present and future streets, highways, lanes or alleys, or other public places in the City for the purpose of transmitting light, heat, power, gas, water, electric current, telephone, telegraph or cable television reception, or for the transportation or carriage of persons or property, within or through the City; provided, that no exclusive franchise or license shall be granted for any such purpose to any person, firm, association or corporation.
Section 31, The Council shall have the right to grant or refuse licenses for boxing exhibitions and other sports, to circuses, theatrical or minstrel companies, or like things, and exhibits or parades thereof, or the posting of bills for the advertisement thereof; to pool or billiard rooms and other places of amusement; to peddlers or canvassers; to any person having only a temporary place of business for selling or offering for sale goods, wares and merchandise; to peddlers of meats, fish, oysters or vegetables and the location of wagons or stalls, provided that the Council shall not have the power to permit, by the license, interference with any place of business or with the convenience of public travel; to provide, by ordinance, a reasonable charge for the issuance thereof, and for fines or penalties for the violation thereof.
Section 32. Trees being among the chief beauties of the City, and their preservation requiring that they be treated with special care and intelligence, the Council is empowered to create a Tree Commission for the trees in the streets, and other public places of the City, and to appropriate annually an amount of money adequate for their care and preservation. The Tree Commission may be given authority to take necessary or appropriate action to prevent injuries to trees from electric wires or from any other source or cause whatsoever, and to combat the pests and diseases to which they are subject, and when necessary, to employ tree experts, provided that they do not exceed the appropriation made by the Council.
SEWERS AND SEWAGE DISPOSAL
Section 33. The Council shall have the oversight, management and control of the sewers, sewer systems, and sewage disposal of the City, together with the authority to install additional sewers, and to change, alter or repair existing sewers. The Council also shall have the power to enact ordinances, rules and regulations in relation to the sewers and sewer systems, and the use thereof; to require any property in the City to be connected with the water and sewer mains and the manner of such connection, and to compel the owner of any property to pay the cost of such connection, and the tapping fee or charge therefor, and to fix fines and penalties for the violation or nonobservance of such ordinances, rules or regulations, and otherwise to provide for the collection of the costs of making such connections, the tapping fee and charges.
The Council is hereby authorized to levy a sewer service charge on each person, firm or corporation owning property connected to the municipal sewerage system, which charge may, in the discretion of Council, be a fixed rate for all users of the sewerage system, or may be related to the volume of water consumed on the premises, or upon the volume of sewerage discharged from the premises into the municipal sewerage system or by a fixed formula reasonably related to the nature of the sewerage so discharged, by chemical composition, pH, Biochemical Oxygen Demand or suspended solids, and the said sewer service charge shall be collectible quarterly and in the same manner as municipal taxes upon real estate, provided that the money raised by the City through such sewer service charge shall be expended for no other purpose than the maintenance, improvement, repair, extension or enlargement of the City's sewerage system, including any treatment or disposal plants maintained in connection therewith, or in payment of obligations incurred by the City as a result of combining its sewerage disposal system with that of any County sewer district created under the provisions of Chapter 46, Title 9 of the Delaware Code of 1953, as amended.
The City of Milford shall have complete charge and supervision over all the sewers on all streets within the limits of the City, including all sewer lines leading from the street to the property line. All stoppages or damage to sewer lines leading to the property line shall be repaired by the City, without any cost whatsoever to the owner or owners thereof, within 48 hours after the report thereof has been received at the City Office; otherwise the property owner or owners are hereby authorized and empowered to have the work necessary for the repair of said damage or stoppages performed and shall be permitted to deduct the costs thereof from the sewer taxes which may be levied against said property.
Section 34. The Council shall have the power to enact ordinances, rules and regulations and to fix the penalties for violations thereof, relating to the use of streets, highways, lanes, and alleys, the parking of vehicles thereon, with the power to prohibit parking on streets, or portions thereof, entirely or within certain hours, or for certain lengths of time.
Section 35. The Council may build and maintain a jail for the City, which shall be used as a place of detention for persons convicted of violation of law or ordinances, or for the detention of persons accused of violations of law or ordinances for a reasonable time, in cases of necessity, prior to hearing and trial. Nothing in this Section shall prevent the sentencing of offenders, or the detention of accused persons in either of the county jails of Kent or Sussex County, as may be otherwise provided in this Charter.
Section 36. No ordinance shall be adopted or enacted by the Council authorizing the imposition of any fine or penalty in excess of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor for a term of imprisonment exceeding thirty (30) days; provided, however, that for violation of any ordinance which, if it had occurred outside the limits of the City, would constitute a violation of a Law of the State of Delaware, the fine, forfeiture, penalty or term of imprisonment imposable by the State for such offense shall be the maximum which may be prescribed by the City Ordinance.
ANTICIPATION OF REVENUE
Section 37. The Council shall have the power and authority to anticipate revenue by borrowing upon the faith and credit of the City of Milford, a sum or sums not exceeding in the aggregate One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) whenever, in the opinion of a majority of the Council, the current receipts are insufficient to provide for the needs of the City, and the sums borrowed shall be repaid from current revenue received thereafter. The indebtedness created hereunder may be secured by a promissory note duly authorized by resolution of the Council and signed by the Mayor and City Manager, or attested by the Secretary, and no officer or member of Council shall be personally liable for the payment of said note or notes because their signatures appear thereon or because authorized by a resolution of the Council; provided, however, that no promissory note executed pursuant to the provisions of this section shall provide for payment over a term in excess of five (5) years.
Section 38. The Council shall have the authority to establish and maintain a pension system for employees of the City of Milford, to be paid to such employees of the City of Milford, former employees, or widows of former employees, in such amounts, at such times, and in accordance with such rules and regulations as the City Council shall from time to time by ordinance decree; provided, however, that the City Council shall not have the power to establish any plan for the payment of pensions which cannot be increased, decreased, otherwise amended, or repealed altogether, as the respective individuals comprising the City Council shall from time to time deem to be for the best interest of the City of Milford.
INVESTIGATIONS BY COUNCIL
Section 39. The Council shall have power to inquire into the conduct of any office, officer, or employee of the City, and to make investigations as to municipal affairs, and for that purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and compel the production of books, papers and other evidence.
ANNEXATION OF TERRITORY
Section 40. The City shall have the power and authority to extend its boundaries by the annexation of territory contiguous to its then existing city limits, provided such annexation shall be approved at a special election or referendum held for that purpose and conducted in the same manner as provided herein for a special election on the proposed issuance of bonds by the City.
At the special election or referendum, every person residing in the City who would be qualified to vote at an annual City election, if it were held on the same day, shall be entitled to one vote which shall be cast in person and deposited in a separate ballot box provided for that purpose, and every owner of real property within the City, whether an individual, partnership, association or corporation shall be entitled to one vote for each one hundred dollars of the assessed valuation thereof for City tax purposes, and said votes shall be deposited in a separate ballot box provided for that purpose; and in like manner every person residing in the territory to be annexed who has resided therein for more than six (6) months preceding the election or referendum and who shall be over the age of twenty-one (21) years is entitled to one vote which shall be cast in person and deposited in a separate ballot box provided for that purpose, and every owner of real property within the territory to be annexed whether an individual, partnership, association or corporation shall be entitled to one vote for each one hundred dollars of the assessed valuation thereof for County tax purposes, and said votes shall be deposited in a separate ballot box provided for that purpose;
Provided, however, that the owners of real property exempt from City or County taxes shall not be entitled to vote based upon the value thereof whether assessed or not assessed. Every ballot cast, to be valid, shall be marked either in the space designated "For" or "Against" in a manner clearly indicating the intent of the voter. No vote shall be cast by a partnership except by a partner, and no vote shall be cast by an association or corporation except by a person holding a certified copy of a resolution of said association or corporation authorizing the person named therein to cast the votes of said association or corporation, which certified copy of the resolution shall be filed with the Board of Elections at the time said ballot is cast.
The Board of Elections shall count separately the votes cast for and against the bond issue in each of the ballot boxes and shall announce separately the result thereof, shall make a certificate under their hands separately stating the number of votes cast for and against the bond issue by the qualified electors of the City; by the residents of the territory to be annexed; and the number of votes cast for and against the bond issue by the owners of property both within the City and the territory to be annexed based upon assessed valuation, and shall deliver the same to the Council, and the original shall be filed with the records of the Council.
In order for the bond issue to be deemed to be authorized, the majority of the votes cast by the electors of the City, by the residents of the territory to be annexed, and the majority of the votes cast by the owners of property both within the City and the territory to be annexed, based upon assessed valuation, must be cast "For" the proposed bond issue.
SURVIVAL OF POWERS AND VALIDATION SECTIONS
Section 41. All powers conferred upon or vested in the City of Milford by any Act or Law of the State of Delaware, not in conflict with the provisions of this Charter, are hereby expressly conferred upon and vested in the City of Milford as though herein fully set out.
Section 42. All ordinances adopted by the City Council of the City of Milford, or which are in force for the government of the City of Milford at the time of the approval of this Charter, are continued in force and effect as ordinances of the City of Milford until repealed, altered or amended under the provisions of this Charter, and the acts of the Council of the City of Milford and of the officials thereof lawfully done or performed under the provisions of the Charter of the City of Milford or ordinance thereof, or of any law of this State, prior to the approval of this Act, are hereby ratified and confirmed.
Section 43. All taxes, fines, penalties, forfeitures, assessments or debts due the City of Milford and all debts due from the City of Milford, at the effective date of this Charter shall, respectively, be deemed due to or from the City of Milford and said obligations shall severally remain unimpaired until paid, and the power, right and authority to collect taxes imposed under the provisions of this Charter, and the processes which may be employed for that purpose, shall be deemed to apply and extend to all unpaid taxes, assessments or charges imposed under the Charter of the City of Milford immediately preceding the adoption of this Charter.
Section 44. The bonds heretofore given by or on account of any official of the City of Milford shall not be affected or impaired by the provisions of this Act but shall continue in full force for the benefit of the City of Milford.
Section 45. Printed copies of this Charter, ordinances, and resolutions of the Council and published or distributed by authority thereof shall be evidence in any court of law or equity.
Section 46. This Act shall operate to amend, revise and consolidate "An Act Changing the Name of 'The Town of Milford to 'The City of Milford' and Establishing a Charter Therefor", being Chapter 162, Volume 37, Laws of Delaware, and the several amendments and supplements thereto, and to repeal such parts thereof as may be inconsistent herewith. The Act shall be deemed to be a public Act and the parts hereof shall be severable and, in the event any part or section hereof shall be held unconstitutional, such holding shall not in anywise invalidate the remaining provisions of this Act.
Section 47. This Charter of the City of Milford shall take effect at 12:01 o'clock, A.M., Eastern Daylight Saving Time on the First day of October 1970.
Approved July 19, 1970.