CHAPTER 622

HOUSE BILL NO. 781

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT BEING CHAPTER 197, VOLUME 54, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED "AN ACT REVISING THE PRIOR CHARTER OF THE CITY OF REHOBOTH BEACH AND PRESCRIBING A NEW CHARTER THEREFOR AND PRESCRIBING THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF REHOBOTH BEACH" TO PROVIDE FOR ONE MAN ONE VOTE VOTING IN ANNEXATION ELECTIONS, TO PROVIDE FOR THE USE OF VOTING MACHINES IN ANNEXATION ELECTIONS, TO PROVIDE FOR APPEALS FROM THE ASSESSMENTS, TO PROVIDE FOR NOTICE OF ELECTIONS OTHER THAN THE ANNUAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION, TO PROVIDE A NEW TIME FOR FILING PETITIONS FOR NOMINATION, TO PROVIDE A NEW TIME FOR REVIEW OF PETITIONS FOR NOMINATIONS, TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT THAT CAN BE RAISED BY TAXATION, TO PROVIDE A PROCEDURE FOR PAYMENT OF PAVING, GUTTERING AND CURBING, TO PROVIDE A PROCEDURE FOR BORROWING MONEY AND ISSUING BONDS.

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. Subsection (d), Section 2, Chapter 197, Volume 54, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out all of the fourth paragraph thereof and substituting in lieu thereof a new paragraph which shall read as follows:

leaseholder as defined in this Charter, whether an individual, partnership or corporation, shall be entitled to cast one vote and every bona fide resident of the City of Rehoboth Beach who is not a property owner or leaseholder as defined in this Charter shall be entitled to cast one vote. At the said Special Election, every property owner or leaseholder, as defined in this Charter, of the territory proposed to be annexed, whether an individual, partnership or corporation, shall be entitled to cast one vote and every bona fide resident of the territory proposed to be annexed who is not a property owner or leaseholder as defined in this Charter shall be entitled to cast one vote. Property owners or leaseholders, as defined in this Charter, whose property or whose improvement located on leased land is exempt from taxation or is not assessed shall not be entitled to vote. The books and records of the City of Rehoboth Beach in the case of city property owners, or leaseholders as defined in this Charter or residents and the books and records of Sussex County in the case of property owners, leaseholders as defined in this Charter, or residents of the territory proposed to be annexed shall be conclusive evidence of the right of such persons, firms or corporations to vote at the Special Election."

Section 2. Subsection (d), Section 2, Chapter 197, Volume 54, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out paragraph 6 of said subsection and substituting in lieu thereof a new paragraph 6 to read as follows:

"Voting machines shall be used in any annexation election and the form of the ballot to be inserted in the machine shall be as follows:

I 1 For the proposed annexation

L Against the proposed annexation

(CHECK THE ONE BLOCK FOR WHICH YOU CAST YOUR VOTE)"

Section 3. Section 4, Chapter 197, Volume 54, Laws of Delaware, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by adding at the end thereof a new subsection to be designated as subsection (b), to read as follows:

"(b) In all elections other than the Annual Municipal Election, ballots may be cast in person or by an individual holding a duly executed Power of Attorney acknowledged and specifically authorizing the said individual to vote at the election, a duly authenticated copy of the Power of Attorney to be filled in the Office of the City Manager of the City of Rehoboth Beach prior to the date of the election. The Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach shall make provision for notice to be sent to every property owner and resident of the City of Rehoboth Beach, as shown by the tax records of the City of Rehoboth Beach, by first class mail, at least twenty days prior to the date of the election and enclosing with said Notice a form of a Power of Attorney. Such Power of Attorney shall clearly disclose to the property owner or resident his voting options, provide a place for such property owner or resident to indicate his preference, and provide a place for a Notaries Public to subscribe to the property owner's or resident's signature and indication of preference."

Section 4. Section 6-a, Chapter 197, Volume 54, Laws of Delaware, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Section 6-a and substituting in lieu thereof a new Section 6-a to read as follows:

"Section 6-a. The mode of nomination of candidates for elective offices in the City of Rehoboth Beach shall be by petition, signed by not less than ten nor more than twenty-five qualified electors of the City and filed with the Secretary of the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach, on or before 12:00 noon on the first Saturday in July of each year preceding the Annual Municipal Election."

Section 5. Section 6-b, Chapter 197, Volume 54, Laws of Delaware, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out the words "on the evening

of the second Saturday preceding the next regular municipal election" and substituting in lieu thereof the words "at the regular meeting in July".

Section 6. Subsection (f), Section 23, Chapter 197, Volume 54, Laws of Delaware, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out all of said subsection and substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (f) to read as follows:

"f. Immediately upon receiving the annual assessment list from the Board of Assessment, the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach shall cause a full and complete copy of the same, containing the amount assessed to each taxable to be hung in a public place in the City of Rehoboth Beach, and there it shall remain for a period of at least ten days for the inspection of and examination by all concerned. Appended thereto and also in five or more public places in said City shall be posted notices advising all concerned that an appeal may be taken by any taxable by filing a notice of appeal within ten days after the date of posting of the true and correct copy of the annual assessment list and notices with the City Manager of the City of Rehoboth Beach shall sit at the first regular meeting following the expiration of the said ten-day period and fix a time and date not earlier than ten-days nor later than twenty days following said regular meeting at which time the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach will sit as a Court of Appeals to hear appeals taken from the said annual assessment. The decision of the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach sitting as a Court of Appeals shall be final and conclusive unless an appeal is taken to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, within ten days from the date of the said hearing, and the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach shall revise and complete said assessment at this sitting. No Commissioner shall sit upon his own appeal, but the same shall be heard and determined by the other Commissioners."

Volume 54, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking all of paragraph 30 of said subsection apd substituting in lieu thereof a new paragraph 30 to read as follows:

"30. To levy and collect taxes for any and all municipal purposes upon all real estate within the City, except lands belonging to the City; provided that the amount to be raised from this source shall not exceed the sum of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00)."

Section 8. Section 32, Chapter 197, Volume 54, Laws of Delaware, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out all of said Section 32 and substituting in lieu thereof a new Section 32 to read as follows:

"PAVING, GUTTERING AND CURBING

Section 32-(a). In the event that it becomes feasible or necessary in the future for the City of Rehoboth Beach to level, grade, flag, re-flag, curb or recurb, gutter or regutter, pave or repave the sidewalks, curbs, crosswalks or gutters of the City of Rehoboth Beach or to repair any curb, sidewalk, gutter or crosswalk, the following procedure shall be followed.

(b) Before any owner shall be required to lay, install or construct a new sidewalk, curb or gutter, or any or all of them, on any block on any street within the corporate limits of the City of Rehoboth Beach where more than fifty percent of lots do not have such improvement, a written petition, signed by a majority of the owners of property on any block on any street adjoining, along or in front of which block such improvement is requested shall first be received or obtained by the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach requesting that the sidewalk, curb or gutter, or either or all of them, be laid, installed or constructed in such block. For the purposes of this section, an owner shall be deemed to include a freeholder or leaseholder as defined in this Charter.

(c) Upon receipt of such petition, the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach shall direct the Secretary of the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach to forward a written notice to the owner or owners of any house or lands adjoining, along or in front of which a sidewalk, curb or gutter or any or all of them, shall be laid, installed or constructed. Such notice shall specify to the owner any rules or regulations adopted by the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach in respect to the laying, installing or constructing thereof or the materials to be used in the doing of such work.

(d) Should the owner or owners neglect or refuse to comply with said notice for the space of thirty days, the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach may proceed to have the same done, and when done, the City Manager shall, as soon as convenient thereafter, present to the owner or owners of such lands a bill showing the expenses of such paving, curbing or guttering, or any or all of them. Such bill shall be sent by certified mail with return receipt requested to such owner or owners directed to him, her or them at their last known address. If such bill be not paid by the owner or owners of such land or lands within thirty days after the mailing of such bill, as aforesaid, the City Manager may proceed to effect collection of such bill in the same manner as provided in this Charter for the collection of taxes.

() The claim for paving, curbing or guttering, or any or all of them, shall be a lien for a period of ten years on the premises adjoining, along or in front of which the said work was done and shall have priority over any other lien, encumbrance or conveyances suffered or made by the owner or owners after the presentation of said bill, as aforesaid, although such other conveyance, or lien or liens be of a date prior to the time of the attaching of such liens for paving, guttering or curbing or any or all of them.

(a) If more than fifty percent of the lots in any block on any street have a sidewalk, curb or gutter, or if the work to be accomplished is a repair or replacement of existing sidewalks, curbs or gutters or any or all of them, no Petition shall be required but the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach shall adopt a resolution stating that on a named day and at a named hour and place, the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach will meet to consider the question of laying, installing or constructing of new sidewalks, curbs or gutters, or any or all of them, adjoining, along or in front of property where more than fifty percent of the lots in the block have such improvement or repair or replacement of particular sidewalks, curbs or gutter or any or all of them of the City on a named street adjoining, along or in front of the property of a named owner or owners and an assessment of the costs thereof against such owner or owners. The resolution shall be printed at least one week prior to the meeting in a newspaper having a general circulation in the City of Rehoboth Beach. The Commissioners shall hold a public hearing pursuant to said resolution and thereat shall hear the aforesaid owner or owners of property and other residents of the City appearing on the question referred to said resolution.

(g) After such public hearing, the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach, either at said public hearing, or at a subsequent regular or special meeting, shall decide whether to proceed with the improvements referred to in said resolution, and if it shall be determined to proceed, the Commissioners shall determine whether the whole or some specified portion of the cost of the improvement adjoining, along or in front of the property of the owner or owners named in the aforesaid resolution shall be borne by said owner or owners. If said determination shall be that the whole or specified proportion of said cost shall be borne by the said owner or owners, then and in that event, the said owner or owners shall be compelled to pay the whole or specified proportion of costs aforesaid, as the case may be, the amount to be paid by the owner of each parcel of their property affected to be determined by the lineal footage of the parcel adjoining, along or in front of which the improvement or improvements were made.

(h) Whenever the laying, installing or constructing of new sidewalks, curbs or gutters or any or all of them, as described in subsection (c) hereof or replacement or repair of the sidewalks, curbs or gutters or any or all of them have been made, and the cost thereof ascertained, the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach shall ascertain the amount that the owner or owners of each parcel of property shall pay as hereinbefore stated, and shall give written notice thereof to said owner or owners by mailing the same by certified mail with return receipt requested to his, her or their last known address. If such owner or owners shall fail to pay the specified amount within thirty days after the mailing of such notice, the same, together with interest costs, may be collected by the same procedures as are set forth herein for the collection of taxes. The amount so assessed shall be and constitute a lien upon all the property adjoining, along or in front of which the said work was accomplished, and such liens shall have preference and priority for a period of ten years from the date of mailing of the notice, although such other lien, encumbrance or conveyance was suffered or made by the owner or owners after the presentation of the said bill although such other conveyance, or lien or liens be of a date prior to the time of the attaching of such liens for the improvements.

(i) The word 'owner' as used in this section shall be deemed to mean the freeholders or leaseholders of the property at the time the petition is received by the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach pursuant to subsection (b) hereof if a new sidewalk, curb or gutter or any or all of them is to be laid, installed or constructed are the freeholders or leaseholders of the property at the time the resolution to repair or replace existing sidewalks, curbs, or gutters or any or all of them is passed and any change in ownership thereafter shall not be deemed or held to affect any of the proceedings mentioned in this section. The Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach, in exercising the authority granted by this section, may use such materials and substances and such methods of construction and may employ such contractors, engineers and inspectors and others as the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach may deem expedient and may use different materials and different methods of construction as the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach deem advisable."

Section 9. Section 40, Chapter 197, Volume 54, Laws of Delaware, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out all of Section 40 and substituting in lieu thereof a new Section 40 to read as follows:

"BORROWING OF MONEY

AND ISSUANCE OF BONDS

Section 40-a. The Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach may borrow money and issue bonds or certificates of indebtedness to secure the repayment thereof on the faith and credit of the City of Rehoboth Beach or such other security or securities as the Commissioners shall elect for the payment of principal thereof and interest due thereon.

b. All bonds or other kinds or forms of certificate or certificates of indebtedness issued by the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be exempt from all State, county or municipal taxes.

c. The power of authority to borrow money may be exercised by the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach to provide funds for, or to provide for the payment of, any of the following objects and purposes: (1) refunding any or all outstanding bonds or other indebtedness of the City at the maturity thereof or in accordance with any callable feature or provision contained therein; (2) meeting or defraying current operating expenses of the City; (3) erecting, extending, enlarging, maintaining, and repairing any plant, building, machinery or equipment for the manufacture, supplying or distribution of gas, water, electricity, sewerage or drainage system, or any of them, and the condemning or purchasing of any lands, easements and rights-of-way which may be required therefor; (4) constructing, paving, laying-out, widening, extending, repairing and maintaining streets, lanes, alleys and ways and the paying, construction, laying-out, widening, extending, repairing and maintaining of curbing and gutters along the same and the condemning or purchasing of any lands, easements or rights-of-way which may be required therefor; (5) constructing, laying-out, widening, extending, repairing and maintaining boardwalks, piers, jetties, bulkheads, sidewalks, crosswalks, or embankments, or any of them in the condemning or purchasing of any lands, easements or rights-of-way which may be required therefor; (6) defraying the costs to the City of any other municipal improvement provided for or authorized or implied by the provisions of this Charter.

d. The Commissioners shall adopt a resolution proposing unto the electors of the City by resolution that an amount of money shall be borrowed for any of the above purposes. 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 Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach and in their possession, and shall fix the time and place for a public hearing on said resolution.

e. Notice of the time and place of the hearing on the resolution authorizing said loan shall be printed in a newspaper having a general circulation in the City of Rehoboth Beach at least one week before the time fixed for the public hearing.

f. After the public hearing, a second resolution may then be passed by the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach ordering a Special Election to be held not less than thirty days and no more than sixty days after said public 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 the determination of the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach to proceed in the matter in issue.

. The notice of the time and place of holding the said Special Election shall be printed in two issues of a newspaper having a general circulation in the City of Rehoboth Beach within thirty days prior to the date of the said Special Election.

h. At the said Special Election, every owner or leaseholder, as defined in this Charter, of property, whether an individual, partnership or corporation, shall have one vote and every person who is a bona fide resident of the City of Rehoboth Beach, but who is not an owner or leaseholder, as defined in this Charter, of property within the corporate limits of the City of Rehoboth Beach and who would be entitled at the time of holding of the said Special Election to register and vote in the Annual Municipal Election if such Annual Municipal Election were held on the day of the Special Election shall have one vote whether or not such person be registered to vote in the Annual Municipal Election.

. Any Special Election held pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be conducted by voting machines which shall have the following designations:

θ For the proposed borrowing

θ Against the proposed borrowing

The voter shall be instructed to mark the box for which he casts his vote.

a. In the event that an individual holds a power of attorney duly executed and acknowledged or another person or of a firm or corporation specifically authorizing the said individual to vote at the said Special Election, a duly authenticated copy of which has been filed in the Office of the City Manager of the City of Rehoboth Beach, such individual shall be entitled to cast the vote of said person, firm or corporation.

b. The Mayor of the City of Rehoboth Beach shall appoint a Board of Special Election, whose members shall have the same qualifications as provided in this Charter in the case of the Board of Elections of an Annual Municipal Election of the City of Rehoboth Beach.

1. The polling places shall be opened from eleven o'clock (11:00) in the morning, prevailing time, until seven o'clock (7:00) in the evening, prevailing time, on the date set for the Special Election. Persons in the polling place at 7:00 in the evening shall be entitled to vote even though such votes may be cast after 7:00 in the evening.

m. Immediately upon the closing of the polling places, the Board of Special Election shall count the ballots for and against the proposed borrowing and shall announce the result thereof and shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and the number of votes cast against the proposed borrowing and the number of void votes and shall deliver such certificate, in duplicate, to the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach. The said certificate shall be filed with the papers of the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach.

. The form of the bonds or certificates of indebtedness and the thereunto attached coupons, if any, the time or times of payment, the interest rate, the classes, the series, the maturity, the registration, any callable or redeemable feature, the denomination and the name thereof and any other relative or appurtenant matter pertaining thereto shall all be determined by the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach after said Special Election.

a. The faith and credit of the City of Rehoboth Beach shall be deemed to be pledged for the due payment of the bonds and the interest thereon issued under the provisions hereon when the same shall have been properly executed and delivered for value notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter.

b. The bonds may be sold at either public or private sale. If it is determined to sell the said bonds at public sale, the bonds shall be offered for sale to the best and most responsible bidder therefor after advertisement in the newspaper having a general circulation in the City of Rehoboth Beach and otherwise if the Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach shall deem it advisable for at least fifteen days before offering the same for sale.

q. In no event shall the indebtedness of the City of Rehoboth Beach authorized by this section at any one time exceed in the aggregate twenty-five percent of the assessed valuation of all real property situate within the corporate limits of the City of Rehoboth Beach and subject to assessment for the purpose of levying the annual tax as provided in this Charter."

Section 10. Section 4 of this Act shall become effective on September 1, 1976. All other Sections of this Act shall become effective one day after it becomes law.

Approved July 22, 1976