SENATE BILL NO. 168
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 212, VOLUME 25, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED "AN ACT TO INCORPORATE THE TOWN OF BETHANY BEACH AND GIVING IT AUTHORITY TO ISSUE BONDS", RELATING TO THE POWER OF THE TOWN TO BORROW MONEY AND ISSUE BONDS.
BE IT ENACTED BY 1HE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two. thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Section 24, Chapter 212, Volume 25 Laws of Delaware, as amended, by striking Section 24 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following new section 24 to read as follows:
"Section 24. In addition to other borrowing powers granted to the Town under this Charter or by special act, the Commissioners of the Town shall have authority to borrow money for any proper municipal purpose through the issuance of bonds or certificates of indebtedness to secure the repayment thereof, on the full faith and credit of the Town, or such other security or securities as the Commissioners shall elect, for the payment of principal thereof and interest due thereon.
(a) By way of illustration and not in limitation, "any proper municipal purpose" includes, but is not limited to:
(1) refunding any or all outstanding bonds or other indebtedness of the Town at the maturity thereof or in accordance with any callable feature or provision contained therein;
(2) erecting, extending, enlarging, maintaining, or 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;
(3) constructing, paving, laying out, widening, extending, repairing and maintaining streets, lanes, alleys and ways, and the paving, constructing, laying out. widening, extending, repairing, and maintaining of curbing and gutters, including storm sewers, along the same, and the condemning or purchasing of lands, easements or rights of way which may be required therefor;
(4) constructing, laying out, widening, extending, repairing and maintaining boardwalks, piers, Jetties, bulkheads. sidewalks, cross walks, or embankments, or any of them, and the condemning or purchasing of any lands, easements, or rights of way which may be required therefor;
(5) defraying the costs to the Town of any other municipal improvement provided for or authorized or implied by the provisions of this Charter;
(6) paying all expenses deemed necessary by the Town Commissioners for the issuance of said bonds or certificates of indebtedness, including bond discount and legal expenses of bond counsel.
(b) All bonds or other kinds or forms of certificate or certificates of indebtedness issued by the Town pursuant to the provisions of this section, and the interest thereon, shall be exempt from all State, County. or Municipal taxes.
(c) In no event shall the indebtedness- of the Town of Bethany Beach. authorized by this section, at any one time exceed, in the aggregate, fifteen percent (15%) of the assessed valuation of all real property within the corporate limits of the town of Bethany Beach and subject to assessment for the purpose of levying the annual town taxes as provided in this Charter.
(d) In order to proceed under the power granted in this section, the Commissioners of Bethany Beach shall authorize such borrowing in the following manner:
(I) The Commissioners of Bethany Beach by Resolution shall give notice to the residents and property owners of the Town that the Commissioners of Bethany Beach propose to borrow a certain sum of money for a stated municipal purpose. 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 all other pertinent facts relating to the loan which are deemed pertinent by the Commissioners of Bethany Beach and in their possession at the time of the passage of the Resolution and shall fix a time and place for a hearing on the said Resolution.
(2) Notice of the time and place of the hearing on the Resolution authorizing said loan shall be printed in two issues of a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town not less than thirty (30) days nor more than forty-five (45) days prior to the day set for the public hearing. in addition to such publication, the Town Commissioners shall cause to be posted in at least five (5) public places in the Town of Bethany Beach not less than thirty (30) days and not more than forty- five (45) days prior to the day set for the public hearing notices concerning such public hearings.
(3) If following the public hearing, the Commissioners determine to proceed with the proposcd borrowing they shall pass a second Resolution ordering a special election to be held not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days after the said public hearing to borrow the said money, the said Special Election to be for the purpose of voting for or against the proposed loan. The passage of the second Resolution calling a Special Election shall ipso facto be considered the determination of the Commissioners of Bethany Beach to proceed with the matter in issue.
(4) the notice of the time and place of holding the said Special Election shall be printed in two (2) issues of a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town of Bethany Beach not less than thirty (30) days not more than forty five (45) days prior to the Special Election.
In addition to such publication, the Commissioners of Bethany Beach shall cause to be posted in at least five (5) public places in the town of Bethany Beach not less than 30 days and nor more than forty five (45) days prior to the Special Election public notices concerning the Special Election.
in addition to the time and place of the Special Election, such notices shall contain the same information as required under §24(d)(1) above.
(5) At such Special Election, any person who is entitled to vote in the annual town election shall be entitled to one vote.
(6) any Special Election held pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be conducted by voting machines, electronic voting systems. or printed ballots as permitted by law which shall have the following designation:
[ ] For the proposed borrowing
[ ] Against the proposed borrowing
The voter shall be instructed to mark the box for which he casts his vote. The Mayor of the Town of Bethany Beach, by and with the advice and consent of the majority of the Commissioners of Bethany Beach shall appoint three (3) persons to act as a Board of Special Election. The polling places shall be opened for a minimum of six hours as specified by resolution of the Commissioners. Persons in the polling place at the time appointed for closing of the polls shall be entitled to vote.
(7) The Board of Special Election shall he the sole and final judges of the legality of the votes offered at such special election. It shall keep a true and accurate list of all persons voting. It shall count the votes for and against the proposed borrowing and shall announce the result thereof. The Board of Special Election shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and against the proposed borrowing and the number of void votes and shall deliver the same to the Commissioners of Bethany Beach which said certificate shall be retained by the Commissioners of Bethany Beach with the other papers of the Commissioners of Bethany Beach.
(8) If a majority of the votes cast at such special election shall be In favor of such borrowing, the Commissioners shall proceed with the issuance of the said bonds or certificates of Indebtedness.
(e) 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, the name thereof and any other matter relative or appurtenant matter pertaining thereto shall all be determined by the Commissioners of Bethany Beach after said Special Election.
(I) The bonds may be sold at either public or private sale. If the bonds shall be offered for public sale they shall be sold to the best and most responsible bidder(s) therefore after advertisement In a manner to he prescribed by the Commissioners of Bethany Beach for at least one (1) month before offering the same for sale.
(g) The Commissioners of Bethany Beach shall provide for the payment of Interest on and principal of the said bonds or certificates of indebtedness at the maturity thereof. The said Commissioners are authorized and empowered, at their discretion, to levy a special tax upon all the real estate within the Town or only upon such real estate as is directly benefited by the improvements paid for by the proceeds of such borrowing to pay interest on said bonds and/or principal; and at their discretion, to establish a sinking fund adequate to the redemption, at or before maturity, of all bonds or certificates of Indebtedness which may be Issued under the provisions of this Section; provided however, that the amount to be raised under any special tax for this purpose shall not in any one year exceed a sum equal to five per centum of the total bonded indebtedness. The special tax provided for in this Section shall be collected from the owners of real estate in the same manner as the other taxes levied by the said Commissioners are collected. Said Commissioners may also appropriate and set aside for such sinking fund so much of the general funds of said town as they may from time to time think advisable. The sinking fund provided for by this Section shall be deposited in federally insured deposits in a bank, trust company, or other banking institution until such time as it may be needed for the redemption of the bonds.
(h) Unless any such bond(s) or certificate(s) of Indebtedness shall provide otherwise, the full faith and credit of the Town of Bethany Beach shall deemed to be pledged for the due payment of the bonds and the Interest thereon Issued under the provisions of this section when the same shall have been properly executed and delivered for value notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter.
(I) No action contesting the authorization of any bonds or certificates of Indebtedness Issued under this section shall be brought after the expiration of sixty days from the publication of a notice in at least two newspapers, one of which shall be of general circulation in the Town of Bethany Beach and one of which shall be of general circulation in the State of Delaware, which notice shall announce the following information:
(1) that the Commissioners of Bethany Beach have determined to borrow a certain sum of money and to issue bonds or certificates of Indebtedness therefor;
(2) that the proposal has been approved by a majority of those casting votes at a special election in the Town called for the purpose of voting for or against the borrowing;
(3) the amount of money to be borrowed;
(4) the purpose for which it is to be borrowed;
(5) that any person desiring to challenge the authorization of such bonds(s) or certificate(s) of indebtedness must bring his or her action within sixty (60) days from the date of publication of such notice or forever be barred from doing so.
In the event that the two newspapers do not publish the notice on the same date, the date of the last publication shall control.
Such notice shall be in bold print or bordered in black in such manner as to call attention thereto.
Section 2. Amend Section 15, Chapter 212, Volume 25 Laws of Delaware as amended, by striking the last two paragraphs thereof and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
"The Commissioners shall have the power to borrow money on the full faith and credit of the Town, without approval of the voters and without regard to the provisions of Section 24 of this Charter, such sum or sums not exceeding in the aggregate Four Hundred Thousand Dollars ($400,000.00), for general purposes and an additional sum or sums not exceeding Nine Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($950,000.00) for the specific purpose of improving or expanding the water plant and system, when, in the opinion of the majority of the Commissioners elected, the needs of the Town require it; provided, however, that any new borrowings under this Section made after the effective date of this Act shall, by their terms, be repayable in full within five (5) years of the date of each such borrowing. Any sum or sums so borrowed shall be secured by a promissory note or notes or other evidence of indebtedness of the Commissioners duly authorized by Resolution of the Commissioners and signed by the President and attested by the Secretary of the Commissioners with the town seal affixed. No Commissioner shall be liable for the payment of any such note or any other evidence of indebtedness because it Is signed by him as a Commluioner, provided that he is so authorized by Resolution of Commissioners. Such notes or evidences of Indebtedness and the interest thereon shall be exempt from all taxation by the State of Delaware, its agencies and political subdivision.
general funds of the Town. At no time shall the amount of outstanding principal from any such borrowing or borrowings under this section exceed the sum of One Million Three Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($1,350,000.00).
Approved September 6, 1985.