SENATE BILL NO. 118
AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT, BEING CHAPTER 32, VOLUME 47, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE TOWN OF FREDERICA" RELATING TO THE PROVIDING OF POWERS OF ANNEXATION.
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. Amend Chapter 32, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, as amended, by adding thereto a new section designated as Section 2A to read as follows:
A. The Town shall have the power and authority to extend its boundaries by the annexation of territory contiguous to its then existing town limits. Territory which is otherwise contiguous except for its separation from the then existing town limits by public roadway, waterways, street thoroughfare, easement or right-of-way shall be deemed contiguous for purposes of annexation under this Section.
B. Annexing Property by election:
(1) Resolution by Council:
Council shall by resolution adopted by a majority of Council specify the area to be annexed, the purpose of the annexation, and the date, time, and place of said election.
Notice of said election for annexation should be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the area to be annexed at least fifteen days prior to the election. The notice shall contain the description of the area to be annexed, time, place, and date of the election, and the eligibility of those who are entitled to vote. In addition to the publication the notice shall be posted in three different public places within the limits of the Town and the area to be annexed.
(3) Voter Eligibility:
All persons, partnerships, corporations or associations who are qualified voters or own real estate in the area to be annexed shall be entitled to one vote each. Any partnership, corporation, or association shall be entitled to one vote provided that there is present at the time of voting a resolution approved by the partnership, corporation, or association granting the authority to vote to that individual who shall cast the vote on behalf of the partnership, corporation, or association. For the purpose of this subsection "qualified voter" shall mean inhabitants of the area to be annexed.
(4) Casting of Vote:
Voting shall be by secret paper ballot or by voting machine. Every ballot or voting machine shall be designed to reflect For and "Against". For shall mean a vote in favor of annexation. "Against" shall mean a vote not in favor of annexation. A majority of votes cast shall determine the result of the election. Upon the close of the voting, the results shall be publicly announced by the election officer. After public announcement of the votes cast, the total votes cast "For" and the total votes cast "Against" shall be certified to by the election official and presented to the City Council at its next meeting. The Town Council at this meeting shall approve the votes as certified.
(5) Election Officials:
The election shall be held and regulated by the election officials of the district embracing the territory to be annexed.
(6) Resolution of annexation:
If a majority of the votes cast in an election held in a territory proposed to be annexed shall be in favor of the inclusion of that territory, the Council may thereupon adopt a resolution annexing the said territory and including same within the limits of the Town of Frederica. Upon adoption of a resolution of annexation, a copy thereof, certified by the Secretary of Council, and a plot of the area annexed shall forthwith be filed for record with the Recorder of Deeds of Kent County, and the area annexed shall for purposes thenceforth be part of the Town of Frederica.
If a majority of the votes cast in an election held in a territory proposed to be annexed shall be against the inclusion of that territory within the limits of the Town of Frederica, the proposed annexation of said territory shall be declared to have failed. Nothing in this act shall prohibit Council from resubmitting a proposal for annexation to the voters of said territory, or portion thereof, under the authority of this section and in accordance with the provisions thereof.
Any election under the provision may be contested as provided by law.
C. Annexing Town Owned Property.
Notwithstanding any provisions being to the contrary the Town by resolution of Council may extend its corporate boundaries without an election, provided, that the said territory to be annexed is owned entirely by the Town.
D. Annexing Property at the Request of All Property Owners.
Notwithstanding any provisions being to the contrary if all of the property owners of the territory contiguous to the then existing corporate limits and territory of the Town of Frederica by written Petition with the signature of each such Petitioner duly acknowledge, shall request the Town Council to annex that certain territory in which they own property, the Mayor of the Town of Frederica shall appoint a Committee composed of not less than three (3) of the elected members of the Town Council to investigate the possibility of annexation. The Petition presented to the Town Council shall include a description of the territory requested t-.) be annexed and the reasons for the requested annexation. Not later than thirty (30) days following its appointment by the Mayor, as aforesaid, the Committee shall submit a written report containing its finding and conclusions to the Mayor and Town Council of Frederica. The report so submitted shall include the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed annexation both to The Town of Frederica and to the territory proposed to be annexed and shall contain the recommendation of the Committee whether or not to proceed with the proposed annexation and the reasons therefor. In the event that the Committee appointed by the Mayor concludes .that the proposed annexation is advantageous both to the Town and to the territory proposed to be annexed, the Town Council of Frederica may then pass a Resolution annexing such territory to The Town of Frederica. Such Resolution shall be passed by the affirmative vote of a Majority of all the elected members of the Town Council.
Approved June 8, 1989.