CHAPTER 299

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 403

AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO RE-INCORPORATE THE TOWN OF MILTON" (CHAPTER 194, VOLUME 45, LAWS OF DELAWARE)".

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

Section 1. Chapter 194, Volume 45, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by adding a new section to be designated as Section 2A to read as follows:

Section 2A. In the event that it becomes feasible or necessary in the future for the Town of Milton to enlarge its then existing limits and territory, such annexation shall be accomplished pursuant to the following procedures:

(a) If all of the property owners of a territory contiguous to the then existing corporate limits and territory of the Town of Milton, by written Petition with the signature of each such Peitioner duly acknowledged, shall request the Town Council to annex that certain territory in which they own property, the Mayor of the Town of Milton shall appoint a Committee of not less than three (3) of the elected members of the Town Council to investigate the possibility of annexation. The Petition presented to the Town Council shall include a description of the territory requested to be annexed and the reasons for the requested annexation. Not later than ninety (90) days following its appointment by the Mayor, as aforesaid, the Committee shall submit a written report containing its findings and conclusions to the Mayor and Town Council of Milton. The report so submitted shall include the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed annexation, both to the Town of Milton and to the territory proposed to be annexed and shall contain the Committee's recommendation whether or not to proceed with the proposed annexation and the reasons therefor. In the event that the Committee appointed by the Mayor concludes that the proposed annexation is advantageous both to the Town and to the territory proposed to be annexed, the Town Council of Milton may then pass a second Resolution annexing such territory to the Town of Milton. Such Resolution shall be passed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of all the elected members of the Town Council. In the event that the Committee appointed by the Mayor concludes that the proposed annexation is disadvantageous either to the Town or to the territory proposed to be annexed, the procedure to be followed shall be the same as hereinafter provided, as if the annexation were proposed by five (5) or more property owners but less than all of the property owners of a territory contiguous to the then limits and territory of the Town of Milton.

(b) If five (5) or more property owners, but less than all of the property owners of the territory contiguous to the then limits and territory of the Town of Milton by written Petition with the signature of each such Petitioner duly acknowledged, shall request the Town Council to annex that certain territory in which they own property, the Mayor of the Town of Milton shall appoint a Committee composed of not less than three (3) of the elected members of the Town Council to investigate the possibility of annexation. The Petition presented to the Town Council shall include a description of the territory requested to be annexed and the reasons for the proposed annexation; or, the Town Council by a majority vote of the elected members thereof may, by Resolution, propose that a Committee composed of not less than three (3) of the elected members of the Town Council be appointed by the Mayor to investigate the possibility of annexing any certain territory contiguous to the then limits and territory of the Town of Milton.

(c) Not later than ninety (90) days following its appointment by the Mayor, as aforesaid, the Committee shall submit a written report containing its findings and conclusions to the Mayor and the Town Council of Milton. The report so submitted shall include the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed annexation, both to the Town of Milton and to the territory proposed to be annexed and shall contain the Committee's recommendation whether or not to proceed with the proposed annexation and the reasons therefor. In the event that the Committee appointed by the Mayor concludes that the proposed annexation is advantageous both to the Town and to the territory proposed to be annexed, within thirty (30) days after receiving the report, a second Resolution shall then be passed by the Town Council proposing to the property owners and residents of the territory proposed to be annexed that the Town proposes to annex certain territory contiguous to its then limits and territory. In the event that the Committee appointed by the Mayor concludes that the proposed annexation is disadvantageous either to the Town or to the territory proposed to be annexed, within thrity (30) days after receiving the report of the Committee, the Resolution proposing to the property owners and residents of the territory proposed to be annexed shall be passed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the elected members of the Town Council. If the Resolution shall fail to receive the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the elected members of the Town Council, the territory proposed to be annexed shall not again be considered for annexation for a period of one (1) year from the date that the Resolution failed to receive the required affirmative vote. The second Resolution shall contain a description of the territory proposed to be annexed and shall fix a time and place for a public hearing on the subject of the proposed annexation. The Resolution adopted by the Town Council setting forth the above information shall be printed in a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town of Milton at least one week prior to the date set for the public hearing, or, at the discretion of the Town Council the Resolution shall be posted in four (4) public places, both in the Town of Milton and in the territory proposed to be annexed.

than thirty (30) days thereafter, a Resolution shall then be passed by a majority of the Town Council ordering a Special Election to be held not less than thirty (30) nor more than sixty (60) days after the said public hearing on the subject of proposed annexation. The passage of this Resolution shall ipso facto be considered the determination of the Town Council to proceed with the matter of the proposed annexation. If the Resolution shall fail to receive a majority vote of the members of the Town Council, the territory proposed to be annexed shall not again be considered for annexation for a period of one (1) year from the date that the Resolution failed to receive the required affirmative vote.

(e) The notice of the time and place of holding the said Special Election shall then be printed within thirty (30) days immediately preceding the date of the said Special Election in at least two (2) issues of a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town of Milton, or, in the discretion of the Town Council, the notice may be posted in four (4) public places, both in the Town of Milton and in the territory proposed to be annexed at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the said Special Election. At the said Special Election, every property owner, whether an individual, a partnership, or a corporation in the territory proposed to be annexed shall have one (1) vote on the matter of annexation. Every citizen of the territory proposed to be annexed who is not a property owner shall have one (1) vote. In the case of property owned by a husband and wife jointly, both the husband and wife shall have one (1) vote. Property owners whose property is exempt from taxation or is not assessed shall not be entitled to vote. The books and records of the Board of Assessment of Sussex County shall be conclusive evidence of the right of property owners to vote at the said Special Election. In the event that an individual holds a Power of Attorney duly executed and acknowledged specifically authorizing the said individual to vote at the said Special Election, a duly authenticated copy of the Power of Attorney shall be filed in the Office of the Town Clerk of the Town of Milton. Said Power of Attorney so filed shall constitute conclusive evidence of the right of said person to vote in the said Special Election. The vote to be taken pursuant to the terms of this section shall be by paper ballot and the Town Council of the Town of Milton shall cause to be printed and have available a sufficient number of ballots, not less than five (5) days prior to the date of the Special Election. The form of the ballot shall be as follows:

TOWN OF MILTON
SPECIAL ELECTION
DAY OF , A D 19

Description: _Pic1282

For the Proposed Annexation Against the Proposed Annexation (Check One)

(0 The Mayor of the Town of Milton shall appoint three persons to act as a Board of Special Election, at least one of whom shall own property in the Town of Milton and at least one of whom shall own property in the territory proposed to be annexed. One of the said persons so appointed shall be designed Presiding Officer. Voting shall be conducted in a public place as designated by the Resolution calling the Special Election. The polling place shall be open from one o'clock in the afternoon, prevailing time, until seven o'clock in the evening, prevailing time, on the date set for the Special Election. All persons in the polling place at the time of the closing of the polls shall be permitted to vote, notwithstanding that their votes might be deposited in the ballot box after seven o'clock in the evening.

(g) Immediately upon the closing of the polling place, the Board of Special Election shall count the ballots for and against the proposed annexation and shall announce the result thereof. The Board of Special Election shall make a certificate under their hands of the votes cast for and against the proposed annexation and the number of

void votes and shall deliver the same to the Town Council of the Town of Milton. Said Certificate shall be filed with the papers of the Town Council.

(h) In the event that the Special Election results in an unfavorable vote for annexation, no part of the territory considered at the said Special Election for annexation shall again be considered for annexation for a period of six (6) months from the date of the said Special Election. If a favorable vote for annexation shall have been cast, the Town Council of the Town of Milton shall cause a description and a plot of the territory so annexed to be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, but in no event shall such recordation be completed more than ninety (90) days following the favorable referendum. The territory considered for annexation shall be considered to be a part of the Town of Milton from the time of recordation. The failure to record the description or the plot within the specified time shall not make the annexation invalid, but such annexation shall be deemed to be effective at the expiration of the ninety (90) day period from the date of the said Special Election.

Section 2. Section 8, Chapter 194, Volume 45, Laws

of Delaware, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out all of the last paragraph of said Section 8 and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

If any elective officer shall be found guilty of any crime or misdeanor, other than traffic offenses, and including a second offense for driving under the influence of alcohol, during his term, he shall be disqualified to act further and his office shall, ipso facto, be vacated and shall be filled as in the case of other vacancies. Such fact, however, shall not disqualify such elective officer from becoming a candidate for an elective office at any annual election after his conviction; provided, however, that all other qualifications of a candidate for the elective officer in which he may thereafter aspire to serve, shall receive compliance.

Section 3. Section II, Chapter 194, Volume 45, Laws of Delaware, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Section II and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

Section II. At such Annual Municipal Election,every person, male or female, above the age of eighteen (18) years on the day of the election and who shall be a bona fide resident of the State of Delaware for a period of six (6) months and of the Town of Milton for at least three (3) months on the day of the Annual Election, shall have one (1) vote, provided he or she is registered on the "Books of Registered Voters" of the Town of Milton. The Town Council of Milton shall provide two (2) Registers to be known as the "Books of Registered Voters" which are to be kept at the office of the Town Clerk. The Books of Registered Voters shall contain the following information of each registrant: the name of the voters arranged in alphabetical order, the per-4anent address of the voter, the local address of the voter, the birth date of the voter, the date the registrant became a resident of the State of Delaware, the date the registrant became a resident of the Town of Milton, and other pertinent information. No person shall be registered upon the Books of Registered Voters unless he or she will have acquired the qualifications to vote in the Annual Municipal Election for the year in which he or she registers. A voter shall only be required to register one time; provided, however, that if a registered voter fails to vote in two consecutive contested annual elections, his name shall be removed from the Books of Registered Voters and notice sent to said registered voter at his or her last known address by registered mail with return receipt requested advising that his name has been removed from the list of registered voters and that it will be necessary to register again in order to be eligible to vote in the Annual Muncipal Election. The Books of Registered Voters shall be maintained at the office of the Town Clerk and shall be conclusive evidence of the right of any person to vote in the Annual Municipal Election. A person may register at the office of the Town Clerk during theregular business hours of the office on any day to and including the close of business on the fourth Friday in February.

Section 4. Section 17, Chapter 194, Volume 45, Laws of Delaware, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Section 17 and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

Section 17. Before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, the Mayor Elect and the Councilman Elect, shall be sworn by a Notary Public to faithfully and impartially peiform the duties of their respective offices with fidelity. At eight o'clock in the evening at the first regular meeting day following the date of the Annual Municipal Election, the Mayor and Town Council shall met at the usual meeting place of the Mayor and Council, and the newly elected officers shall assume the duties of office, first being duly sworn or affirmed to perform their duties with fidelity, as aforesaid.

The Mayor and Council shall then proceed to organize for the ensuing year. The Mayor shall be the Chairman of the Town Council and of all such standing committees as shall be established by Ordinance or Resolution for the better government of the Town and the management of its affairs. There shall be selected from among the members of Council, a Vice- Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and the members of such other standing committees as shall have been established by Ordinance or Resolution, as aforesaid. An Assistant Secretary and an Assistant Treasurer, either of whom may or may not be member of Council, may also be appointed.

All such officers and appointees, as aforesaid, shall hold office until the next succeeding annual organizational meeting or until their respective successors have been duly appointed and qualified.

All such officers and appointees, as aforesaid, excepting members of standing committees and minor, appointive officers, employees and agents, as aforesaid, shall take and subscribe the oath of office before entering upon the duties of their respective offices.

The Secretary of the Town Council shall enroll in an appointment book to be provided by the Mayor and Council the name of each appointment to each appointive officer of the Town. Such minutes shall set forth the name of the appointee, the date of his appointment, the rate of compensation, if any, to be by him received and the term of his appointment. The appointment book containing such minutes shall be preserved by the Mayor and Council, shall be open to the public inspection at all reasonable times, and shall be evidence in any Court of Law or Equity.

If for any reason, a vacancy occurs in any appointed office, as aforesaid, the same shall be filled for the unexpired term thereof as soon thereafter as may be practicable by the Mayor and Council at any regular or special meeting thereof held thereafter.

All appointive officers except those named in this Section shall be appointed for an indefinite term.

Section 5. Section 20, Chapter 194, Volume 45, Laws of Delaware, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Section 20 and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

Section 20. There shall be twelve (12) stated regular meetings of the Town Council to be held on the first Monday of each month at a place to be designated by the Town Council. If the first Monday of the month shall be a legal holiday, the monthly meeting of the Town Council of Milton shall be held on the second Monday of the month.

Section 6. Subsection (39), Section 26, Chapter 194, Volume 45, Laws of Delaware, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Subsection (39) and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

(39) To sell and convey or lease and demise any or all real and/or personal property, or both, now or hereafter owned by the Town at public or private sale and to execute to the purchaser or purchasers thereof proper deeds,

assignments, bills of sale, or other legal assurance of title for the same.

Section 7. Section 50, Chapter 194, Volume 45,

Laws of Delaware, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Section 50 and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

Section 50. The Town Council may borrow money and issue bonds or certificates of indebtedness to secure the payment thereof on the full faith and credit of the Town of Milton, to provide funds for any municipal purpose, either within or without the corporate limits of the Town of Milton; provided, however, that the borrowing of the money therefor shall have been authorized by the Town Council and shall have been approved by the voters in the manner at the time following:

(a) Town Council, by Resolution, shall propose to the electors of the Town that a stated amount of money shall be borrowed for any municipal purpose, as aforesaid. The Resolution shall state the amount of money desired to be borrowed, the purpose for which it is desired, the manner of securing the same, and other pertinent facts relating to the loan which are deemed pertinent by the Town Council and in their possession, and shall fix a time and place for a public hearing on the said Resolution.

(b) Notice of the time and place of the hearing on the Resolution authorizing said loan shall be printed in a newspaper of general circulation within the Town of Milton at least one week before the time set for the said public hearing.

(c) Following the public hearing, a second Resolution shall then be passed by the Town Council ordering a Special Election to be held not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days after said hearing to borrow the said money, for the purpose of voting for or against the proposed loan. The passing of the second Resolution calling the

Special Election shall, ipso facto, be considered Council's determination to proceed with the matter in issue.

(d) The notice of the time and place of holding the said Special Election shall be printed in two (2) issues of a newspaper having a general circulation within the municipality within thirty (30) days prior to the said Special Election.

() At the said Special Election every owner of property and every bona fide resident of the Town of Milton shall have one (1) vote, and the said vote may be cast either in person or by proxy.

(a) The vote to be taken pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall be by paper ballot and the Council shall cause to be prepared, printed and have available for distribution a sufficient number of ballots not later than five (5) days prior to the date of the Special Election.

(b) The Board of Election shall count the voters for and against the proposed loan; shall announce the result thereof; shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and against the proposed loan; shall deliver the same to the Council, which said certificate shall be entered on the minutes of the Council, and the original shall be filed with the papers of the Council.

(c) The form of bond or certificate of indebtedness, the interest rate, the time of payment of interest, the classes, the time of maturity, and the provisions as to registration shall be determined by the Council after said Special Election. The bonds or certificates of indebtedness may be sold at either public or private sale.

() The Council shall provide in its budget and in the fixing of the tax rate for the payment of interest and principle of said bonds at the maturity or maturities thereof, and a sinking fund therefor.

(j) The faith and credit of the Town of Milton shall be deemed to be pledged for the due payment of the bonds and interest thereon issued under the provisions hereof when the same shall have been properly executed and delivered for value, notwithstanding any other limitation in this Charter relating to the amount of funds raised by taxation.

(k) The bonded indebtedness of the Town of Milton shall not at any one time exceed in the aggregate the total sum of twenty-five percentum (25%) of the value of the real property situate within the limits of the Town as shown by the last assessment preceding the creation of the said indebtedness.

Section 8. Section 51, Chapter 194, Volume 45,

Laws of Delaware, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Section 51 and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

Section 51. In every case in which the power of eminent domain may be lawfully exercised by the Town under this Act, and the Town shall be unable to agree upon the amount of just compensation for the property sought to be acquired, the procedure by way of condemnation and the exercise of such power of eminent domain shall be pursuant to Chapter 61, Title 10, Delaware Code of 1953, as heretofore or hereafter amended.

Approved January 20, 1976