CHAPTER 472

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 1013

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 182, SECTION 1, VOLUME 45 LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE TOWN OF DELMAR, BY PROVIDING A METHOD FOR ANNEXATION.

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

Section 1. Amend Chapter 182, Section 1, Volume

45, Laws of Delaware, as amended, by striking the third paragraph of the said Section 1 beginning with the words, "The Mayor and Council", and substituting in lieu thereof the following third paragraph:

"In the event it becomes feasible and necessary in the future for the Town of Delmar to enlarge its then existing limits and territory, such annexation accomplished pursuant to the following procedures shall be lawful:".

Section 2. Futher amend Chapter 182, Section 1,

Volume 45, Laws of Delaware, as amended, by striking all of said section after the third paragraph and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"(a) If all of the property owners of the territory contiguous to the then existing corporate limits and territory of the Town of Delmar, 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 Delmar 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 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 Delmar. The report so submitted shall include the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed annexation both to The Town of Delmar and to the territory proposed to be annexed and shall contain the recommendation of the Committee 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 Delmar may then pass a second Resolution annexing such territory to The Town of Delmar. 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 the property owners of a territory contiguous to the then limits and territory of The Town of Delmar.

(b) If 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 Delmar 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 Delmar 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 requested annexation; or the Town Council by majority vote of the elected members thereof may, b) resolution, propose that a committee composed of not lest

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 Delmar.

(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 Delmar. The report so submitted shall include the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed annexation both to The Town of Delmar and to the territory proposed to be annexed and shall contain the recommendation of the Committee 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 proposed to the property owners and residents of both The Town of Delmar and 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 thirty (30) days after receiving the report of the Committee, the Resolution proposing to the property owners and the residents of both the Town and 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 six (6) months 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 annexa• tion. The Resolution adopted by the Town Council settink forth the above information shall be printed in a newspaper

having a general circulation in The Town of Delmar at least one (1) week prior to the date set for the public hearing, or, at the discretion of The Town Council, the said Resolution shall be posted in four (4) public places both in the Town of Delmar and in the territory proposed to be annexed.

(d) Following the public hearing, but in no event later 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 the proposed annexation. Passage of this Resolution shall ipso facto be considered the determination of the Town Council to proceed with the matter of the proposed annexation.

() The notice of the time and place of the said Special Election shall be printed within thirty (30) days immediately preceding the date of this Special Election in at least two (2) issues of a newspaper having a general circulation of the Town of Delmar, or, in the discretion of the Town Council, the said notice may be posted in four (4) public places, both in the Town of Delmar and in the territory proposed to be annexed at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date set forth the said Special Election.

(a) At the Special Election, every property owner, whether an individual, partnership or a corporation both in the Town of Delmar and in the territory proposed to be annexed shall have one (1) vote, except as hereinafter provided. Property held by a partnership or by a corporation shall vote only by a power of attorney duly executed. Every citizen of either the Town of Delmar or of the territory proposed to be annexed over the age of eighteen (18) years, who is not a property owner shall have one (1) vote. In the event that a person owns property both in the Town of Delmar and in the territory proposed to be annexed and resides in either place, he may vote only where he resides. In the event that a person owns property both in the Town of Delmar and in the territory proposed to be annexed but does not reside in either place, he may vote only in the Town of Delmar and not in

the territory proposed to be annexed. Nonresident property owners whose property is exempt form taxation or is not assessed for taxation shall not be entitled to vote. The books and records of the Town of Delmar in the case of Town property owners and citizens of the Town and the books and records of the Board of Assessment of Sussex County in the case of property owners and residents of the territory proposed to be annexed shall be conclusive evidence of the right of such property owners and citizens to vote at the Special Election.

(g) In the event that an individual holds a Power of Attorney duly executed and acknowledged specifically authorizing the said individual to vote for the owner of a property held by a parternship or by a corporation at the said Special Election, a duly authenticated Power of Attorney shall be filed in the Office of the Town Manager of the Town of Delmar. Said Power of Attorney so filed shall constitute conclusive evidence of the right of said person to vote in the Special Election for such partnership or for such corporation.

(h) Town Council of the Town of Delmar may cause either voting machines or paper ballots to be used in the Special Election, the form of ballot to be printed as follows:

For the proposed annexation

θ Against the proposed annexation

() The Mayor of the Town of Delmar shall appoint three (3) persons to act as a Board of Special Election, at least one (1) of whom shall own property in the Town of Delmar and at least one (1) of whom shall own property in the property proposed to be annexed. One (1) of the said persons so appointed shall be designated the Presiding Officer. Voting shall be conducted in a public place as designated by

the Resolution calling the Special Election. The Board of Special Election shall have available, clearly marked, two (2) voting machines or ballot boxes. All votes cast by those persons, partnerships, or corporations authorized to vote as residents or property owners in the territory proposed to be annexed shall be accomplished on one such voting machine or on one ballot box and all ballots cast by those persons, partnerships, or corporations, who are authorized to vote as residents or property owners of The Town of Delmar shall be accomplished on the other such voting machine or ballot box. The polling place shall be open from eleven o'clock in the morning, 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, even though such votes are not cast until after the time for the closing of the polls.

(j) 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 Delmar. Said Certificate shall be filed with the papers of the Town Council.

(k) In order for the territory proposed to be annexed to be considered annexed, a majority of the votes cast both from The Town of Delmar and from the territory proposed to be annexed must have been cast in favor of the proposed annexation. In the event that the Special Election results in an unfavorable vote for annexation, no part of the territory considered at the Special Election for annexation shall again be considered for annexation for a period of at least one (1) year 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 Delmar 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 said recordation be completed more than ninety (90) days following the date of the said Special Election. The territory considered for annexation shall be considered to be a part of The Town of Delmar 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 favorable Special Election.

(1) If the territory proposed to be annexed includes only territory which is exempt from taxation or which is not assessed on the books on the Board of Assessment of Sussex County, no election shall be necessary and the Town Council of the Town of Delmar may proceed to annex such territory by receiving a certified copy of a Resolution requesting such annexation if such property is owned by a corporation or by a written petition with the signature of each such Petitioner duly acknowledged, if such property is owned by an individual, requesting the Town Council to annex that certain territory in which they own property. The certified copy of the Resolution or the Petition shall include a description of the territory requested to be annexed and the reasons for the requested annexation. Upon receipt of the certified copy of the Resolution or the Petition, the Mayor of the Town of Delmar 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. 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 Delmar. The report so submitted shall include the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed annexation both to The Town of Delmar and to the territory proposed to be annexed and shall contain the recommendation of the committee 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 Delmar may then pass a second Resolution annexing such territory to The Town of Delmar. 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 Resolution shall be passed by three-fourths (3/4) of all the elected members of the Town Council. If the Resolution fails to receive the required number of votes, no part of the territory proposed for annexation shall again be proposed for annexation for a period of six (6) months from the date that the Resolution failed to receive the required votes. If the Resolution receives the required number of votes, the Town Council of The Town of Delmar 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, and in no event shall such recordation be completed more than ninety (90) days following the passage of the Resolution. The territory considered for annexation shall be considered to be a part of The Town of Delmar from the time of recordation. The failure of the Town Council to record the description and plot within the time hereinbefore specified 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 passage of the Resolution.