HOUSE BILL NO. 764
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO RE-INCORPORATE THE TOWN OF FELTON.
WHEREAS, it is deemed advisable that the Charter of the Town of Felton, set forth in Chapter 208, Volume 24, Laws of Delaware, with subsequent amendments, be consolidated into one complete Act and in certain respects be futher amended and revised.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):
"CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF FELTON
Section 1. Incorporation
The inhabitants of the Town of Felton within the corporate limits hereinafter defined in this Charter or extended as hereinafter provided, shall be and constitute a body politic and corporate, and shall be known and identified as the "Town of Felton."
Section 2. Town Limits
(a) The bounds and limits of the Town of Felton are hereby established and declared to be as follows:
Commencing in the direction of Frederica at a point in the center of the Berrytown and Frederica county road, one-quarter of a mile distant from the center of the main track of the Delaware Railroad and the Berrytown and Frederica county road, a line shall be started at right angles to the aforesaid county road, running in a direction north from the center of said road one-quarter of a mile; thence in a direction west parallel to said county road one-half mile, and thence in a direction south at right angles with said county road one-half mile, and thence in a direction east and parallel to said county road one-half mile, and thence in a direction north to the place of beginning. A referendum held August 30,1976 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Felton Fire Hall approved the annexation of the following two parcels of land:
(b) PARCEL NO. 1 begins at a stake set on the corner of North Street and Walnut Street in the Northwest corner of the Town of Felton. From this stake the line runs for a distance of 495.00 feet along Walnut Street to a stake set by lands of David McCraken. The line then turns west and runs for a distance of 941.61 feet along adjoining lands of Casper W. Bagley. The line then turns south running along a ditch for a distance of 399.78 feet adjoining lands of Robert E. Courtney. From that point the line turns east along a ditch for a distance of 415.27 feet adjoining lands of Robert E. Courtney. The line then turns south for a distance of 212.00 feet to the existing Town of Felton line on West Street. The line then turns northeast for a distance of 388.00 feet to the Felton Town line on the corner of West Street and North Street. The line then follows along the north side of North Street east for a distance of 425.00 feet back to the corner of North Street and Walnut Street from whence was the point and place of beginning.
(c) PARCEL NO. 2 begins at a stake set on the corner of County Road No. 245 and the proposed West Street in the west part of the Town of Felton. From this stake the line runs along the proposed West Street for a distance of 669.03 feet along a stream to a stake set in the corner of lands presently owned by William C. Myers, Jr. The line then turns west and runs for a distance of 414.06 feet along a stream to a stake and then turns north and runs for a distance of 508.05 feet again along a stream and adjoining lands of William C. Myers, Jr. From that point the line turns west and runs for a distance of 442.38 feet adjoining lands of Casper W. Bagley to a stake set; and then turns south and runs for a distance of 1025.00 feet along lands presently owned by Robert E. Courtney. From that point which lies on County Road No. 245 the line turns east and runs for a distance of 912.00 feet along County Road No. 245 to the point and place of its beginning.
Section 3. Town Survey
The Commissioners of the Town of Felton may, at any time hereafter cause a survey and plot to be made of said Town, and the said plot, when made and approved by the Commissioners, shall be recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds for Kent County, State of Delaware, and the same, or the record thereof, or a duly certified copy of said survey, shall be evidence in all courts of law and equity in this State.
Section 4. Commissioners, Qualification of
There shall be five Commissioners of the Town of Felton, all of whom shall be residents therein and all of whom shall be property owners in said town. Those Commissioners who are in office at the time this Charter is enacted by the General Assembly shall hold their offices for the residue of the term for which they have been previously elected. Candidates for the office of Commissioner shall reside in the Town at least one year before the election.
Section 5. Election of Commissioners
On the first Monday in March next following the enactment of this Charter and on the first Monday in March annually thereafter, at a location chosen by the Commissioners, the Town shall conduct its annual election, by voting machine, and shall elect those persons required to fill any vacancies among the Commissioners. At the election to be held on the said first Monday in March following the approval of this Charter, the polls shall remain open from 5 P.M. until 8 P.M., and five Commissioners shall be chosen, two for two years, and three for one year. At each and every election to be held annually thereafter there shall be chosen, each for a term of two years, Commissioners in the places of the Commissioners whose terms of office shall then expire; and residents shall likewise elect Commissioners to fill vacancies of unexpired terms occasioned by death, resignation, removal beyond the Town limits or otherwise.
Section 6. Voter Qualifications
Any resident who is eighteen (18) years of age or older and who has paid all Town taxes assessed against him shall be eligible to vote. All elections shall be duly advertised by notices posted in five of the most public places in said Town at least five days previous to the day of holding the same. Each notice shall state the place, day, and hour of such election; and such notices, signed by any one of the Commissioners or by the Town Clerk by authority of said Commissioners, or any one of them, shall be sufficient.
Section 7. Appointment of Town Officers
Within a reasonable time after the election, the Commissioners, by majority vote, shall appoint a Town President, Alderman, Police Chief, Assessor, Treasurer and such other officers as they may deem necessary. Each such officer shall serve for a term of one year, and until his successor has been duly appointed and qualified. The President shall be appointed from among the Commissioners.
Section 8. Official Oath of Office
The President, the Alderman, the Police Chief, the Assessor, the Treasurer, the Commissioners shall severally be sworn or affirmed to the faithful and impartial performance of their respective duties and undertakings according to the best of their skill and judgment. The said Commissioners may qualify each other and the several officers appointed by them, and any and all other persons when necessary, by administering a proper oath or affirmation suited to the case. The certificates of such qualifications shall, after being duly administered as aforesaid, be recorded in a Town book procured by the Commissioners for that and other purposes, stating the names, time and for what purposes such persons are so qualified, and shall be subscribed by the person administering such oath or affirmation, and the same shall be evidence in all cases.
Section 9. Corporate Powers
The present Commissioners of the Town of Felton, and such other persons as may hereafter be chosen Commissioners for said Town, be and they are hereby created a body politic and corporate in law, and they and their successors shall be able to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded in all courts of this State, by the corporate name of The Commissioners of the Town of Felton", and may purchase, take, hold and enjoy lands and tenements in fee or any other estate; may hold goods, chattels, rights and credits; may alien, grant, sell, bargain as they deem proper; and may do any and all other acts which a corporation may or can lawfully do, so as fully and effectually to carry into operation and secure the aim and purposes of this Charter.
Section 10. Continuing Authority
All laws, ordinances, resolutions, rules and regulations for municipal purposes now in force within the Town which are not inconsistent with, nor modified or repealed by any provision of this Charter, shall continue in force until repealed, rescinded or changed by proper authority. This Charter shall be construed liberally in favor of the Town, and nothing in this Charter shall be construed as exempting any individual or agency from the operation of this Section.
Section 11. Commission Procedure; Meetings
The Commission shall meet regularly at least once in every month at such times and places as the Commission may prescribe by rule. Special meetings may be held on the call of the President or of tour or more members and, whenever practicable, upon no less than twelve hours' notice to each member. All meetings shall be public. However, the Commission may recess for the purpose of discussing fn a closed or executive session limited to its own membership any matter which would tend to defame or prejudice the character or reputation of any person; provided however, the that general subject matter under consideration shall be expressed in the motion calling for such session, and that final action thereon shall not be taken by the Commission until the matter is placed on the agenda.
Section 12. Rules and Journal
The Commission shall determine its own rules and order of business, and shall provide for keeping a journal of its proceedings. This journal shall be a public record. Unless or until other rules are adopted, the Commission shall follow Roberts Rules of Order and parliamentary procedure.
Section 13. Voting By Commissioners
Voting, except on procedural motions, shall be by roll call; and the ayes and nays shall be recorded in the journal. Three members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in the manner, and subject to the penalties, prescribed by the rules of the Commissioners.
No action of the Commissioners, except as otherwise provided in the preceding sentence, shall be valid or binding unless adopted by the affirmative vote of four or more members. The President as an elected Commissioner is entitled to vote on all issues.
Section 14. Ordinance Action
Full power and authority is hereby conferred upon the Town Commissioners and their successors In office, at any lawful monthly or annual meeting, to vote on and enact all ordinances which may be requisite to secure good government to meet the lawful needs of the Town and its residents; to define nuisances; to determine what are obstructions to the roads, streets, avenues, passes, sidewalks, ditches, or water drains therein, and to regulate travel upon said ways, roads and avenues; to provide against improper gatherings and assemblages of persons to the fear and terror of Town citizens, and of all noisy and turbulent gatherings whatsoever; for the suppression, discontinuance or removal of all dangerous chimneys or stovepipes or other dangerous and unsightly objects, sports or practices calculated to create fear and dread in near neighbors or others, to fix adequate fines and forfeitures for any violation of any such ordinances or by-laws made and established by the Commissioners; and to provide any and all proper remedies, means and processes requisite to carry into effect all and every the aims, objects and purposes of this Charter.
Section 15. Ordinances Defined
In addition to other ants required by law or by specific provision of this Charter to be done by ordinance, those acts of the Town Commissioners shall be by ordinance which:
(a) Adopt or amend an administrative code or establish, alter or abolish any Town department, office or agency;
(b) Provide for a fine or other penalty or establish a rule or regulation for violation of which a fine or other penalty is Imposed;
(c) Levy taxes with respect to the property tax levied by adoption of the budget;
(a) Grant, renew or extend a franchise;
(d) Regulate the rate charged for its services by a public utility;
(f) Authorize the borrowing of money;
(g) Sell or lease, or authorize the sale or lease of, any asset of the Town at a rate to be determined by the Commissioners;
(h) Amend or repeal any ordinance previously adopted.
Acts other than those referred to in this section may be done either by ordinance or by resolution.
Section 16. Annexation
The corporate boundaries of the Town of Felton may be enlarged by the annexation of contiguous territory. Annexation shall be accomplished by written agreement between the owners of the land to be annexed and a majority of the Town Commissioners The agreement shall include a survey description of the lands to be annexed, shall be executed by the owners of the land and by the majority of the Commissioners, shall recite that the described lands are annexed to the Town of Felton, and shall be executed as deeds conveying real estate. Upon the agreement being recorded in the Recorder of Deeds Office in Dover, Delaware, the annexed lands shall become a part of the Town of Felton just as other lands now within the Town; provided, however, that there shall be no annexation without a favorable decision by referendum of the qualified voters of the territory to be annexed to the Town of Felton.
Section 17. Planning and Zoning Committee
The President, with the advice and consent of a majority of Town Commissioners, shall appoint a Pinning and Zoning Committee consisting of seven members at large. Appointments shall be made at the first meeting of the Commissioners in July. Appointments during the transition period shall be fixed by the Commissioners, but terms shall not exceed three years. The compensation of the Planning Committee, if any, and any reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in traveling on official business, shall be approved by the Commissioners.
Section 18. Duties of Committee
The powers, duties and scope of activities of the Planning and Zoning Committee shall be determined by ordinance. The Committee shall advise the Commissioners on zoning and land subdivision matters on the comprehensive development plan, on flood plain regulation, on the official map of the Town, and on such other matters as shall be contained in said ordinance. A majority of the Committee members shall be residents of the Town of Felton.
Section 19. Authority of Committee
The Planning and Zoning Committee shall elect annually, from among its members, a Chairman and Secretary. The Committee shall have no authority to employ persons, disburse monies, make contracts, or to exercise administrative authority in any manner whatsoever; but all such employees engaged in planning matters, and all disbursements, contracts and administrative duties shall be under the direct supervision of the Commissioners.
Section 20. Opening Streets
The Commissioners or a majority of them when they shall deem such necessary for public convenience, are hereby authorized and empowered to locate, lay out, open and make any new road, street, lane, avenue, sidewalk, ditch or water-drain within said Town.
Section 21. Damages Allowable
There shall be allowed to the several owners or holders of any lands affected thereby, such Just and reasonable compensation as they or a majority of them shall deem just and proper, having due regard for all benefits and injuries, public and private consequent thereupon, and any and all awards or allowances for any lands so taken or appropriated for public uses as aforesaid shall be well, duly and fully paid to the person or persons severally entitled thereto before the same, or any part thereof, shall be so taken and appropriated to public uses.
Section 22. Appeal of Award
(a) Any person or persons who desire to appeal any aspect of an award made by the Commissioners under Section 20 or Section 21 shall, within ten days after receiving notice in writing of the award, appeal by making a written application to the Alderman or to the nearest Jtntice of the Peace in Kent County, for the appointment of a Land Compensation Appeals Board (referred to hereinafter as the "Appeals Board") to hear all matters relating to the compensation given to the person or persons appealing the award.
(b) The Alderman or Justice shall thereupon compile a list (the "Freeholders List") containing the names of eleven impartial domiciliaries of said County, five of whom shall be residents of said town, and six of whom shall reside outside the limits of said town. No Alderman or Justice shall select the same name more than once in any year; nor select the same name twice in two consecutive years.
(c) The Alderman or Justice shall, after compiling the list and with agreement of appellants and Commissioners, appoint a reasonable place, day and hour, when the Commissioners and appellants shall appear before before the Alderman or Justice. The Commissioners and appellants who appear at such time shall choose Appeals Board members by alternatively striking names from the Freeholders List until all but five of the said names shall have been stricken out; but such striking of names shall be so confined and regulated as to leave of the remaining names two who are residents of said town, and three who reside outside said town limits. The names remaining shall be constituted as the "Appeal Board". The Appeal Board shall have plenary power and authority to settle and determine any and all matters in controversy between the appellants and Commissioners.
(d) In case the said appellants or Commissioners or any of them shall fall, neglect or refuse to appear before the said Alderman or justice, or otherwise fail to participate in the elimination of names to determine the Appeal Board, then it shall be lawful for the said Alderman or justice without further delay to name and select such person or persons as he may think proper to act for and on behalf of such defaulting person or persons in the manner aforesaid, so as to secure a proper Appeal Board. Any party to the matter, whether an appellant or a Commissioner, may at any time within fifteen days of the time of securing such Appeal Board, and upon due notice to all other appellants and Commissioners, authorize the said Appeal Board to begin its duties. The Appeal Board, after each member is first sworn or affirmed to faithfully and impartially perform the duties required of them according to the best of his skill and judgment, may proceed to make due inquiry concerning all matters in controversy; and shall hear the allegations of the parties and their proofs.
(e) After maturely deliberating thereupon, the Board shall proceed and do and perform all and whatsoever it may, by majority vote, deem to be fair and proper. The Appeal Board shall arrive at its decision within twenty days, or a new Board shall be chosen in like manner. The Board's decision, in writing, shall immediately be transmitted to each appellant and Commissioner, and to the Alderman or Justice. And if need be, the said Appeal Board may call to its assistance a surveyor and cause a survey and plot of any lands affected by their doings to be made, and append such plot to their report as part thereof, and shall in such report return whether damages should be assessed and if so, to whom, and the amount payable to each person. If any member of said Appeal Board shall neglect or refuse to act in any case when so chosen, in whole or in part, he shall forfeit and pay to the Commissioners for the use of the "Town the sum of Five Dollars to be recovered by action before the Alderman as debts of like amount are recovered before a Justice of the Peace of Kent County with costs.
(f) If the report of said Appeal Board is substantially the same as the damages and awards of the Commissioners under Section 21 of this Charter, the costs of such appeal shall be borne by the appellants equally, otherwise the expenses shall be borne by the town. If any person entitled to any damages or award under this Charter be a minor, non-resident or in any way incapacitated to take the same, or refuse to take and receive the same, such damage or award may be deposited in any bank in Kent County, to the credit of such person so entitled, and such deposit shall in all cases operate as payment. The said Appeal Board and the surveyor, if any, shall be paid a reasonable compensation for their services.
Section 23. Board of Health
The power of the Commissioners to adopt ordinances relating to the health of the population of the Town, or to prevent the introduction or spread of infectious or contagious disease or nuisances affecting the same shall extend to an area within one mile outside of the limits of the Town. In the event the Commissioners do not deem it necessary to appoint a Board of Health as herein provided, said Commissioners shall have all of the duties and powers herein conferred upon the Board of Health.
Section 24. Fire Regulations
(a) The Town shall, in like manner, have the power to promulgate, amend and repeal regulations for the safe-guarding of life and property from the hazards of fire and explosion.
Such regulations, amendments or repealers shall be in accordance with standard safe practice as embodied in widely recognized standards of good practice for fire prevention and fire protection. In their interpretation and application, the regulations promulgated under this Section shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the safeguarding of life and property from the hazards of fire and explosion. The Town may, in lieu of adopting its own regulations, enforce the regulations to Chapter 66, Title 16 of the Delaware Code.
(b) The Town shall have the power to condemn, under the provisions of Chapter 61, Title 10 of the Delaware Code, buildings and structures which are a fire and health hazard. The Commissioners are empowered to define, state, demolish, and remove dangerous buildings and other dangerous structures in the Town, including the power to condemn and cause to be torn down and removed any structure which, upon inspection, is determined to be a fire hazard or otherwise be unsafe; provided however, that any such ordinance shall provide procedures for notice and opportunity to be heard and to correct the hazardous condition by the affected property owner and/or lienholders, and to otherwise comply with Chapter 39, Title 25 of the Delaware Code.
(a) The Commissioners may appropriate annually such sums as are deemed desirable to any duly organized fire company operating within the Town.
Section 25. Maintenance of Lots
The Town shall further have the power and authority to compel the owners of property within the limits of the Town to keep the same tree from unsanitary or unsightly conditions, clear of tall weeds and rubbish, and to fill in any low lots if the Town Commissioners, in their opinion, shall deem the same to be unsanitary or unsightly or in any other manner prejudicial to the welfare of the Town or adjoining lot owners. The Commissioners shall have the power and authority to pass any ordinance prohibiting or regulating the same.
Section 26. Town Treasurer
The Treasurer shall be the receiver of all taxes and all other moneys due or belonging to the Town, and subject to be drawn upon at any time by the Commissioners by a majority vote for the uses of the Town, and such orders so drawn when fully paid by the Treasurer shall be sufficient voucher for all payments so made.
Section 27. Treasurer's Bond
The Town Treasurer shall be required to give to the Commissioners bond and security, sufficient in amount, and conditioned on the faithful performance of each and every duty and undertaking; including the payment and delivery to his successor, when the successor is duly installed and qualified, of all moneys, books, papers and other things or effects in the Treasurer's care and keeping, or with which he may properly be chargeable.
Section 28. Annual Settlement of Accounts
There shall be held in the Town Hall of Felton, on the first Saturday next after every election, the annual Town meeting, organized and conducted by said Commissioners, for the purpose of settlement of all accounts of the then past year. The meeting shall be open to the public.
Section 29. Annual Meeting to be Advertised
The said annual meeting shall be duly advertised by the Town Clerk or Commissioners by notices posted in three of the most public places in the Town of Felton at least three days before the day of such meeting. Each notice shall state the day, hour, and place of the meeting. At all annual meetings the President or his designate shall assume the chair and the Town Secretary shall record and keep a record of the proceedings.
Section 30. Minimum Sum to be Raised by Taxation
The Commissioners shall determine the amount of money to be raised by tax during the ensuing year for Town purposes, which amount shall not exceed seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000).
Section 31. Annual Report
At said annual meeting there shall be produced a true and Just report of the activities of the past year showing the amount of money received from all sources; the names and amounts of delinquent taxables; all expenditures, for what purpose and to whom made, including the unexpended residue; the amount owing, to whom and for what purpose; and such other information as may properly be called for at said meeting, so as to set before the taxables present a just and true state and condition of the finances of the said Town.
Section 32. Monthly Meeting
in addition to the said annual meeting there shall be held on the first Monday In each and every month of the year, the monthly meeting of the Commissioners for the purpose of hearing, determining or acting upon any matter or business relating to or concerning the said Town, which may be properly and lawfully there entertained and acted upon.
Section 33. Compensation of Officials
The Assessor, Treasurer and Town Clerk shall each receive a reasonable compensation for his respective services, as determined by the Commissioners; but no allowances shall be made for personal services rendered in conducting any election.
Section 34. Town Assessment
The Assessor shall immediately after the annual meeting make a just, true and impartial assessment and valuation of all the real estate in the Town limits, and of all the citizens therein of the age of eighteen years and upwards.
Section 35. Completion of Assessment
The assessment shall be completed and delivered to the Commissioners within thirty days after the annual meeting for their examination; and if corrections need to be made, the Commissioners, by recorded majority vote, may make all needed corrections.
Section 36. Assessment Publicly Posted
A true copy of the assessment, as approved by the Commissioners, or as many copies as are necessary, shall be displayed at a public place for the inspection of all residents. Notice that such copy has been made shall be given by the said Commissioners or the Assessor, and posted in two of the most public places in said Town at least five days previous to the day on which they and the Assessor shall sit together to hear and determine assessment appeals. The notice shall state that the assessment appeals meeting shall continue from 7 P.M. to 9 P.M.
Section 9-04. Assessment Appeal Meeting
The assessment appeal meeting shall be kept open from 7 P.M. until 9 P.M. of the evening of the announced day, which shall also be stated in said notices, and shall be held at such place as named in said notices, and as soon after the posting of said list as conveniently may be. At the said assessment appeal meeting the Commissioners shall hear and determine the appeals and make such changes or alterations in all appeal cases as to them shall seem just and proper.
The Commissioners may alter and amend the assessment so as to secure, according to the best of their skill and judgment, a fair and impartial assessment throughout. All such corrections, additions and alterations, if any, shall be made on the day and within the hours of appeals as advertised and not thereafter.
Section 38. Assessment to Treasurer
Immediately after every appeal meeting the original assessment list shall be corrected and made to agree verbatim with the duplicate so corrected and adjusted, and shall be retained by the Commissioners or the Assessor for future reference if need be, and as a precaution against the possible loss or destruction of the duplicate and warrant delivered to the Treasurer. The said duplicate shall, as soon as possible or practicable after the appeal meeting, be delivered to the Town Treasurer with the Commissioner's warrant thereon written, commanding him to receive and collect from the several persons therein named a rate in said warrant named on every hundred dollars and a fractional part thereof, whereof they shall stand severally assessed.
Section 39. Taxes to be Received by Treasurer
The said Treasurer immediately after receiving said duplicate assessment with the Commissioners' warrant thereon written, shall proceed to collect from the persons therein named and as by said warrant commanded; and for that purpose all the remedies, powers, means and processes as by law conferred upon the collectors of school taxes, and of county taxes, are hereby conferred upon said Treasurer, who is hereby constituted also the Receiver of Taxes for the said Town.
Section 40. Collection of Town Taxes
(a) All taxes laid or imposed by the Commissioners of the Town of Felton shall be and constitute a lien upon all the real estate of the taxable against or upon whom such taxes are laid or imposed of which such taxable was seized at any time after such taxes shall have been levied and imposed, situate in the Town of Felton, and such lien shall have preference and priority over all other liens of record on such real estate created or suffered by the said taxable, although such other lien or liens be of a date prior to the time of the attaching of the Town lien for taxes; provided however, that the lien for Town taxes shall remain a lien for the period of three years from the fifteenth day of May of the year in which such tax shall have been Imposed and no longer.
(b) The Treasurer shall have the following powers for the collection of taxes:
(1) By distraint of the goods and chattels of the taxable;
(2) At any time after the delivery of the tax list and warrant, the Treasurer may, in the name of the Town of Felton, institute suit before any Justice of the Peace in any county of this State, or before the Alderman of the Town, for the recovery of the unpaid tax, in any action of debt, and upon judgment obtained, may issue writs of execution as in case of other judgments recovered before a Justice of the Peace.
(i) The said execution shall constitute a lien upon all the personal property of the taxable within the County where the judgment shall have ben obtained, which, by virtue of such execution, shall be levied upon within thirty (30) days after the issuance thereof, and such lien shall have priority over all other liens against the said personal property created or suffered by the taxable, except such liens thereon, which may have been created in respect to county taxes, although such other liens be of a date prior to the time of the attachment of said the Town tax lien.
(3) At any time after the delivery of the tax list and warrant the Treasurer 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 Treasurer 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 wage, 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 Treasurer within ten (10) days. The Treasurer shall give to the employer a certificate of payment which shall be allowed in any suit or accounting between the employer and the employee. 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 any 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.
(1) The Treasurer may make a complaint under oath before any Justice of the Peace of Kent County, or before the Alderman, that the tax of any taxable is due and unpaid, and that he has been unable to make collection of the tax by any of the methods for the recovery of taxes prescribed in this Charter; and thereupon a warrant shall be issued for the arrest of such taxable, and if, after hearing, it shall be found that the tax of the person arrested is due and unpaid, and if the taxable shall thereupon fail to pay the tax, together with accrued costs, the Justice or Alderman may take such further action as he may lawfully be empowered to take.
Section 4l. Collection of Delinquent Taxes
(a) For the purpose of collecting the tax of any taxable, and without the necessity of first employing the other remedies provided herein, the Treasurer is empowered to sell the lands and tenements of a taxable, or the lands and tenements of a taxable alienated subsequent to the levy of the tax. The Treasurer shall present to the Superior Court in Kent County wherein the lands and tenements are situated, a petition In which shall be stated:
(1) The name of the taxable;
(2) The year for which the tax was levied;
(3) The rate of tax;
(4) 'fhe total amount due.
(5) The dote from which the penalty for non-payment, if any, shall commence, and the rate of such penalty.
(6) A short description of the lands and tenements proposed to be sold sufficient to identify the same.
(7) A statement that a bill for said tax has been mailed to the taxable at his last known post office address, and that it has been found impractical to collect the said tax by any of the other remedies provided in this Charter. The petition shall be signed by the Treasurer, and shall be verified before a Notary Public.
(b) 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 Town of Felton, and publishing the notice of the said sale in a newspaper published and having general circulation in Kent County. The notices shall contain the day, hour and place of the sale and a short description of the premises sufficient to Identify the same. 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.
(c) 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 Treasurer 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 is collected. The petition, return and deed shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity of the proceeding.
(d) 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 prchase money and twenty per cent (20%) interest thereon, and the expense of the deed; provided however, that if the purchaser refuses to accept the same, or in the event the purchaser, or his heirs or assigns, cannot be located within the State of Delaware, then, in either event, it shall be lawful for the owner, his heirs, executors or assigns, to pay the amount of redemption to the Treasurer making the sale, taking from him a good and lawful receipt therefor, and such receipt shall be considered for all intents and purposes as a valid and lawful exercise by the owner, his heirs, executors or assigns, of his or their power to redeem the land so sold.
(e) 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 he found, the amount remaining shall be deposited in some bank within the Town of Felton either to the credit of the owner or in a manner by which the fund may be identified.
(f) In the sale of lands for the payment of taxes, the following costs shall be allowed to be deducted from the proceeds of sale, or be 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 costs of the deed shall not be chargeable as costs, but shall be paid by the purchaser.
(g) 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 tenements, provided that land alienated by the taxable shall not be sold until other property of the taxble shall have ben disposed of.
(a) If the Treasurer shall be unable by the thirty-first day of December of each year of the date of tax list to collect the tax of any taxable, he is empowered, having first paid the amount thereof to the Town, to collect said tax from such taxable for his own use by any of the processes of law herein prescribed within the space of one further year from said thirty-first day of December, after which the said tax shall be extinguished and all authority to the Treasurer under said tax list and warrant shall cease.
(i) During the month of February next following the date of the tax list and warrant the Treasurer shall make full, final and complete settlement with the Commissioners. The Commissioners shall fix such time and place during the said month for settlement with the Treasurer, of which he, the said Treasurer, shall have due notice. At said settlement the Commissioners shall allow to the Treasurer all taxes which shall have been impossible to collect by reason of errors in the assessment lists or otherwise, and not through the default or neglect or delay of the Treasurer, and said settlement shall be final and conclusive, and no other allowance in any form shall be made to the Treasurer by the Commissioners. Upon the conclusion of the said settlement the Treasurer shall forthwith pay over to the credit of the Town the aggregate amount of taxes found to be due to the Town, and upon his failure or neglect to do so, it shall be the duty of the Commissioners to proceed to collect the same from the Treasurer and/or his surety.
Section 42. Commission Vacancies
If a vacancy shall happen among the Commissioners, such vacancy may be filled by appointment at any of the regular meetings, yearly or monthly, by the remaining Commissioners; and if there be none to make such appointment, then the persons present being taxables may appoint suitable persons, possessing the requisite qualifications to serve until the next election.
Section 43. Treasurer Vacancy
If the Town Treasurer should die or become incapacitated to perform the duties of the office before the end of the term, then the person or persons named in the surety bond shall fill the office of Treasurer and Receiver, and exercise the powers conferred on said Treasurer until a successor be duly appointed and qualified.
Section 44. Paving, Curbing
If any of the Commissioners shall at any time think it proper, they may order and direct any owner or holder of lands along which any sidewalk is now made or hereafter is made, to build, or repair and alter or reconstruct the same, with pavements thereon, and the said curbing thereto and in making such order or giving such directions shall specify the width of such sidewalk, the width of the pavement to be laid thereon, and of the general height and character of curbing next to the street for the support of such sidewalk; and the Commissioners shall also state in such order or directions the kind and character of the materials to be used in making the same, and that the said sidewalks and pavements and curbs shall be made to conform with the general grade of the street or sidewalk and pavement of which the same is a part; and shall also state the time within which all such work shall be completed.
Section 45. Town May Pave When Owner Refuses
If any person shall fail, neglect or refuse to perform any work lawfully ordered by the Commissioners under Section 44, when and as commanded, then and in such event the Town Commissioners are hereby authorized and empowered to contract for said work and repair, and procure the material needed.
Section 46. Expenses, How Recovered
When work ordered under Section 44 is completed, the Town shall recover all the costs and charges incurred, including any skillful superintendent's charges for his services in managing and directing the same, by action in the name of "the Commissioners of the Town of Felton" before the Alderman of said Town; and if there be no Alderman at the time, then before any Justice of the Peace in said County or any Court of this State, as circumstances of jurisdiction may require.
Section 47. Fines, How Recoverable
Fines and penalties authorized by this Charter for infraction of the same or of any ordinance or by law hereunder shall in no case exceed the sum of twenty-five dollars, ($25.00) recoverable before the Alderman of said Town; and if there be no Alderman at the time, then before any Justice of the Peace in Kent County, with costs; and on a failure to pay, the said Alderman or Justice may take such further action as he may be lawfully empowered to take.
Section 48. Alderman, Jurisdiction of
The Alderman of the said Town shall have within Town limits all the powers, authority, Jurisdiction and cognizance of a Justice of the Peace of and over all breaches of the peace and other offenses thereon; to arrest, hold to bail or fine and imprison all offenders and have concurrent jurisdiction over all fines, forfeitures and penalties mentioned and prescribed by this Charter or by ordinances established by the Commissioners; and over all neglects, omissions or defaults of any of the officers of said Town.
Section 49. Alderman Fees
The fees charged by the said Alderman shall be the same as are by law allowed to Justices of the Peace for similar purposes.
Section 50. Alderman's Records
The Alderman shall keep a book of record, called "Docket: Felton Alderman," procured for him by the Commissioners in which all his official acts shall be entered, and he shall deliver all books, papers and effects belonging to his office to his successor in office when such successor is appointed and qualified.
Section 51. Police; Powers and Duties
The Police Chief appointed by the Commissioners shall have and exercise all the powers and authority within the limits of said Town, and two miles beyond for the purposes of pursuit, as police of the State of Delaware in and for Kent County have. He shall not serve any civil process, except to carry out the provisions of this Charter. It shall be his duty to execute the office of Police Chief, as fully and effectually and to all intents as largely, in all cases within the Town or arising under this Charter, as police of the State of Delaware in and for Kent County may or can do.
Section 52. Zoning
The Commissioners may adopt zoning ordinances limiting and restricting specified areas or districts of the Town; and the regulation therein of buildings, houses, and other structures according to their construction and the nature and extent of their use.
Section 53. Parks and Recreation
Commissioners shall have the right to acquire by gift, purchase, or designation of town public lands, areas suitable for municipal parks or recreation areas.
Section 54. Development of Parks
Park and recreation areas may be developed through the gift or purchase of safety approved playground and other equipment for the benefit of the Town.
Section 55. Funding
Whenever needed, the Town shall have full power and authority to appropriate funds, or to make application for grants of money for this purpose from the State of Delaware or from the Federal Government.
Section 58. Tree Care and Preservation
The Town of Pelton shall have authority to plan, remove, replace, and maintain all trees located on public property and/or public right-of-way within the Town limits.
Section 57. Injuring Trees, Shrubs and Plants Prohibited
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to injure or carry away any tree, shrub or plant that has been planted in any public place; provided however, that nothing in this Section shall prevent the Town Commission or any future park, playground or tree committee or its authorized agents from properly trimming and pruning trees, shrubs, or plants.
(b) Only the Town of Pelton or its authorized agents shall have the authority to plant, remove, or maintain any planting on public property and/or public right-of-way within the limits of the Town of Pelton, except where abutting property owners, with town approval desire to plant and maintain plantings on public property."
Approved July 8, 1982.