SENATE BILL NO. 272
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 41, PART III, TITLE 9 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO KENT COUNTY; AND CONFERRING CERTAIN POWERS UPON THE KENT COUNTY GOVERNMENT.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Subchapter II, Chapter 41, Title 9 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new Section, designated as §4110, which new Section shall read as follows:
"§4110. General Powers
(a) In addition to the powers specifically enumerated by statutes in this Title and elsewhere, the government of Kent County shall assume and have all powers which under the Constitution of the State of Delaware it would be competent for the General Assembly to grant by specific enumeration, and which are not denied by statute, including, but not limited to. any powers conferred prior to the effective date of this Chapter by the General Assembly upon Kent County, or upon the Levy Court of Kent County, or upon the Levy Court Commissioners of Kent County, or upon the officers or employees of Kent County, or upon counties generally or upon Levy Court Commissioners generally, or upon the Levy Court generally.
(b) This grant of power includes the power to fix a tax rate upon the assessed valuation of an real property in Kent County, subject to assessment by the County.
(c) This grant of power does not include the power to enact private or civil law concerning civil relationships, except as incident to the exercise of an expressly granted power, and does not include the power to define and provide for the punishment of felonies.
(d) This grant of power does not repeal or modify the doctrine of sovereign immunity as it now exists so as to broaden or increase the limitations of legal actions against Kent County.
(e) This grant of power includes the right of the Levy Court to receive moneys or grants from this State or the United States of America; and the Levy Court may enter into agreements or contracts with this State or the United States relating to such moneys or grants. The Levy Court may enact resolutions providing for programs and services for purposes for which the federal or State funds are granted to the County and to spend out of County funds any share required as a condition of the grants.
(f) The powers of Kent County shall be construed liberally in favor of the County, and specific mention of particular powers in this Title shall not be construed as limiting in any way the general powers stated herein."
Section 2. Amend Subchapter II, Chapter 41. Title 9 of the Delaware Code by repealing §4111 in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof a new §4111 to read u follows:
"§4111. Creation of Debt; Authorization, Procedures and Debt Limitation and Anticipation Borrowing
(a) The Levy Court shall exercise all powers of Kent County in connection with the creation of debt, and shall have the power to authorize the issuance of bonds and notes of Kent County to finance the cost of any object, program or purpose for which Kent County. or any officer, department, board or agency thereof, is by this Title or by any other law, authorized to raise. appropriate or expend money, or for the Implementation and performance of functions. programs and purposes specified in this Title, or In any other law, applicable to Kent County; provided, however, that the Levy Court shall not have authority to create or to authorize the creating of any bonded indebtedness for any of the following purposes: The payment of any operating expenses; the payment of any judgment resulting from the failure of the County to pay any item of operating expense; or the payment for any equipment or any public improvements of a normal life of less than 3 years. The foregoing limitations shall not apply should the Levy Court unanimously declare the existence of an emergency due to public calamity.
(b) The powers conferred by this Subchapter shall be in addition to and not In substitution for or In limitation of the powers conferred by any other law. Bonds and notes may be issued under this Subchapter for any object or purpose for which Kent County is by this Chapter or any other law authorized to raise or appropriate or expend money notwithstanding that any other law may provide for the issuance of bonds or notes for the same or like purposes and without regard to the requirements. restrictions or other provisions contained in any other law. Bonds and notes may be issued under this Subchapter notwithstanding any debt or other limitation prescribed by any other law, and the mode and manner of procedure for the issuance of bonds and notes and the adoption of the ordinance authorizing issuance of the bonds or notes under this Chapter need not conform to the provisions of any other law or any other provision of this Chapter.
(c) Bonds and notes issued pursuant to this Subchapter shall be authorized by ordinance of the Levy Court approved by not less than 5/7ths of all of the members thereof. Each such ordinance shall state in brief and general terms the objects or purposes for which the debt is to be incurred and the maximum aggregate principal amount of debt to be incurred for each such object or purpose. Such ordinance, or a subsequent resolution of the Levy Court, shall specify, or may delegate authority to the County Administrator to determine, with respect to any bonds and notes; their date or dates; their maturity; the security therefore, if any, including a pledge of the County's full faith and credit, federal or State grants or other revenues or property; provisions for either serial or term bonds; sinking fund or other reserve fund requirements, if any; provisions for redemption prior to maturity, if any, with or without premium; the interest rate or rates and any limitations with respect thereto or the manner of their determination; the times and place or places within or without this State for the payment of principal and interest; the method of execution; the form; provisions for the consolidation of debt authorized for several objects and purposes pursuant to one or more ordinances into one consolidated Issue; provisions for the receipt and deposit or investment of any good faith deposit; provisions for the public or private sale of the debt instruments; and such other terms and conditions as the Levy Court may determine to be in the best interest of the County. Debt incurred by the County pursuant to this Subchapter may be represented by uncertificated obligations of the County which may be applicable to bonds and notes which are permitted to be issued under this Subchapter, and the Levy Court by resolution may determine, or it may delegate authority to the County Administrator to determine, all procedures appropriate to the establishment of a system of issuing uncertificated debt.
(d) The Levy Court may pledge the full faith and credit of the County to secure the payment of the principal, interest and premium, if any, on any debt incurred pursuant to this Subchapter and/or may pledge any other security therefor. With respect to any debt to which the County's full faith and credit is pledged, the authorizing ordinance and the debt instruments issued shall contain the declaration that the principal, interest and premium, if any, are to be paid by ad valorem taxes on all real property subject to taxation by the County without limitation as to rate or amount and that the full faith and credit of the County are pledged for payment. The Levy Court shall annually levy and collect a tax ad valorem upon all property taxable by the County sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on each bond or note secured by the County's pledge of its full faith and credit as such principal and interest become due; provided, however, such tax may be reduced by the amount of other moneys appropriated and actually available for such purpose or provided for by local or special assessments or local service taxes.
(e) The outstanding general obligation bonded indebtedness of Kent County secured by the full faith and credit of the County may not exceed 12 percent of the assessed valuation of all real property subject to taxation within the County. the outstanding bonded indebtedness of the County not secured by the County's full faith and credit is without limitation as to amount.
(I) The proceeds from the sale of bonds and notes issued under this Subchapter shall be used only for the object or purpose or objects or purposes specified in the ordinance authorizing such bonds or notes for the payment of the principal of and interest on temporary loans made in anticipation of the sale of such bonds or notes. If for any reason any part of such proceeds are not applied to or are not necessary for such purposes, such unexpended part of such proceeds shall be applied to the payment of the principal of or interest on such bonds or notes no later than the earliest date on which such bonds or notes may be called for redemption without premium.
(g) All bonds, notes or other evidences of Indebtedness issued pursuant to this Subchapter shall recite that they are issued for a purpose or purposes as specified in the authorizing ordinance or resolution and that they are issued pursuant to the terms of the Constitution and laws of this State and the County. Upon the sale and delivery of any such bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness against payment, such recitals shall be conclusive as to the right, power and authority of the County to issue the same and of the legality, validity and enforceability of the obligation of the County to pay principal of and interest on the same. In case any County official whose signature or a facsimile thereof shall appear on any such bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness shall cease to be such officer before the delivery of such obligation, or in ease the seal of the County which appears on any such obligation shall change before the delivery of such obligation, such signature, seal or facsimile thereof shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes as if such officer had remained In office and as If such seal had not changed. The legality, validity and enforceability of such bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness shall never be questioned in any court of law or equity by the County or any person after the issuance, execution and delivery against payment for the same. All such bonds, notes and other evidences of indebtedness are hereby declared to have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the commercial code of this State anticipation of the collection of taxes or other revenues budgeted for any purposes for which taxes are levied."
Approved July 3, 1985.