SENATE BILL NO. 198
AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE TOWN OF FELTON.
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"
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."
I. TOWN LIMITS
The bounds and limits of the Town of Felton have heretofore been established by Act of the General Assembly and by annexation proceedings by the Town of Felton under its municipal charter as follows, such bounds and limits being hereby ratified and confirmed by this act:
A. Original Town limits established by 24 Laws of Delaware Chapter 208: 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 directions east and parallel to said county road one-half mile, and thence, in a direction north to the place of beginning.
A. By annexation referendum held August 30. 1976;
ALL THAT CERTAIN tract, piece or parcel of land situated in or contiguous to the existing Town limits of the Town of Felton, in South Murderkill Hundred, Kent County and State of Delaware, more particularly described as follows:
Beginning 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 stake set by lands of David McCracken. 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.
B. By annexation referendum held August 30. 1976
ALL THAT CERTAIN tract, piece or parcel of land situated in or contiguous to the existing Town limits of the Town of Felton, in south Murderkill Hundred, Kent County and State of delaware more particularly described as follows:
Beginning 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 408.5 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 1,025.00 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 a distance of 912.00 feet to the point and place of its beginning.
D. By annexation referendum held October 10. 1989;
ALL THAT CERTAIN tract, piece or parcel of land situated in or contiguous to the existing Town limits of the Town of Felton, in south Murderkill Hundred, Kent County and the State of Delaware, more particularly described as follows:
Beginning at a point in the northerly line of county road 245 at a corner for this lost and for lands of billy joe Smith; thence from said beginning point along line of lands Billy Joe Smith on the following two courses and distances: (1) North 10 degrees 44 minutes 57 seconds East 410.85 feet to a point; thence (2) South 79 degrees 15 minutes 03 seconds East approximately 100.00 feet more or less or such a distance to reach the existing Felton Town limits line; thence, along the existing Felton Town Limits line turning in a southwesterly direction approximately 411.00 feet more or less or such a distance to reach the North line of County Road 245; thence along the northerly line of County Road 245 running in a westerly direction approximately 100.00 feet more or less or such a distance to reach the point and place of beginning.
E. By annexation referendum held June 26. 1989
ALL THAT CERTAIN tract, piece, or parcel of land situated in and adjacent to the Town of Felton, in south Murderkill Hundred, Kent County and State of Delaware, lying on the southeast side of County Road 284 and west of the track for the "Conrail Railroad" and being bounded as follows: on the northwest by county road 284 (also known as Water Street); on the north in part by lands now or formerly of Thomas F. Bernard and Dorothy Bernard, his wife and in part by lands of Agway, Inc.; on the east by lands now or formerly of "Conrail Railroad;" on the southwest by lands now or formerly of Lynn F. Torbert and Pearl B. Torbert; on the west by "Fan Ditch;' being more particularly described as follows: Beginning at a point in southeasterly line of county Road 284 at a corner for subject lands and the southwesterly corner for lands of aforementioned Bernard. Thence from said beginning point and with said lands of Bernard the following two (2) courses and distances: (1) South 75 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds, East a distance of 112.96 feet to a point. (2) North 13 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds, East a distance of 80.50 feet to a point in line of lands of said Bernard at a corner for lands of aforementioned Agway. Thence with said land of Agway. South 70 degrees 00 minutes 00 seconds east a distance of 104.54 feet to a point at a corner for said Agway lands in line of lands of aforementioned "Conrail Railroad." Thence with said lands of "Conrail Railroad" by a line parallel to and 24.2 feet distant from center line of tracks: south 13 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds west a distance of 1947.54 feet to a point in line of said "Conrail Railroad" at a corner for lands of aforementioned Torbert. thence, with said Torbert lands: North 20 degrees 31 minutes 46 seconds west a distance of 466.06 feet to a point in line of said torbert lands in centerline of aforementioned "Fan Ditch." thence with the centerline of said "Fan ditch" the following twenty-two (22) courses and distances: (1) North 13 degrees 28 minutes 31 seconds east a distance of 103.72 feet to a point. (2) North 06 degrees 21 minutes 45 seconds east a distance of 118.61 feet to a point. (3) North 14 degrees 59 minutes 06 section east a distance of 69.51 feet to a point. (4) North 02 degrees 50 minutes 52 seconds east a distance of 63.71 feet to a point. (5) North 30 degrees 39 minutes 48 seconds east a distance of 46.53 feet to a point, (6) North 13 degrees 30 minutes 17 seconds cast a distance of 80.97 feet to a point. (7) North 16 degrees 28 minutes 07 seconds west a distance of 41.25 feet to a point. (8) North 20 degrees 25 minutes 36 seconds west a distance of 87.47 feet to a point. (9) North 22 degrees 35 minutes 41 seconds west a distance of 111.75 feet to a point. (10) North 03 degrees 22 minutes 31 seconds East a distance of 36.5 feet to a point. (1 1) North 33 degrees 53 minutes 51 seconds west a distance of 13.82 feet to a point. (12) North 24 degrees 17 minutes 37 seconds west a distance of 47.00 feet to a point. (13) North 13 degrees 25 minutes 55 second east a distance of 29.78 feet to a point. (14) North 33 degrees 30 minutes 22 seconds east a distance of 81.17 feet to a point. (15) North 15 degrees 45 minutes 39 seconds east a distance of 61.07 feet to a point. (16) North 48 degrees 25 minutes 13 seconds east a distance of 30.81 feet to a point. (17) North 21 degrees 38 minutes 21 seconds east a distance of 20.08 feet to a point. (18) North 03 degrees 36 minutes 11 seconds east a distance of 52.47 feet to a point. (19) North 00 degrees 12 minutes 18 seconds west a distance of 42.16 feet to a point. (20) North 17 degrees 00 minutes and 18 seconds west a distance of 23.49 feet to a point. (21) North 17 degrees 32 minutes 50 seconds east a distance of 68.10 feet to a point. (22) North 09 degrees 44 minutes 29 seconds west a distance of 35.18 feet to a point in the centerline of said "Fan Ditch" near the southeasterly side of aforesaid County Road #284. Thence, by a survey tie line and along the southeast line: north 50 degrees 26 minutes 10 seconds east a distance of 240.10 feet to a point at or near the Town of Felton Town boundary in the southeast line of county Road #284. Thence continuing with said southeast line: north 48 degrees 02 minutes 59 seconds east a distance of 142.38 feet to the point and place of beginning. Containing within the above described courses and distances an area of 13.12251 acres.
F. By Annexation Referendum Held June 26. 1989
ALL THAT CERTAIN tract, piece or parcel of land situated in or contiguous to the existing Town limits of the Town of Felton, in South Murderkill Hundred, Kent County and State of Delaware, more particularly described as follows:
Beginning on the east side of County Road #284 or Water Street, and lying south of, but not adjacent to, County Road #57; being bounded on the west by said Water Street on the north and east by lands now or late of Agway Co., and on the south by lands now or formerly of Bernard. Beginning at a post set in the east line of Water Street at a corner for this lot and for lands now or late of Agway Co., said point of beginning being 1,036.4 feet south of the intersection of the east line of Water Street with the center of County Road #57; thence running from said point of beginning with lands now or late of Agway Co. and with a wire fence south 76 degrees 55 minutes east 101 feet to a post set at a corner of this lot and for lands now or late of Agway Co.; thence continuing with lands of Agway Co. and with a wire fence south 7 degrees 7 minutes west 68.1 feet to an iron pipe set in line of lands of now or late of Agway Co. at a corner for this lot and for lands now or formerly of Bernard; thence running with lands of Bernard aforesaid and with a wood fence north 76 degrees west 108 feet to a pipe set at a corner for this lot and for lands of Bernard aforesaid in the east line of Water Street; thence running with the east line of Water Street north 13 degrees east 66 feet to the place of beginning.
G. Bv_Annexation Referendum Dated February 26. 1991.
ALL THAT CERTAIN tract, piece or parcel of land situated in or contiguous to the existing Town limits of the Town of Felton, in south Murderkill hundred, Kent county and State of Delaware more particularly described as follows: Beginning on the west side of U. S. #13 leading from Felton to Dover being bound on the east in part by U.S. #13 (160 feet wide), now or formerly of Michael Indell and Joan lndell, lands now or formerly of Norma G. Rodriguesz, lands now or formerly of Reba M. Wagner, and lands now or formerly of John 0. Godwin and Adolphine E. Godwin. On the southeast by lands now or formerly of Rocci Welding Service, Inc. On the southwest by lands now or formerly of Rocci Welding Service, Inc. On the southwest by lands now or formerly of Lake Forest School District. On the west by lands now or formerly of Arthur Gene Carlisle. On the north by lands now or formerly of Lott H. Ludlow and Louise Spruance Ludlow 12.18871 acres.
H. By Annexation Referendum Field February 26. 1991
ALL THAT CERTAIN tract, pierce or parcel of land situated in or contiguous to the existing Town limits of the Town of Felton, in south Murderkill Hundred, Kent county and State of Delaware, more particularly described as follows:
Beginning on the westerly side of U.S. Route 13 leading from Felton to Dover and being bounded on the east by U.S. 13 160 feet wide. On the south, west and north by lands now or formerly of Norman R. Wagner and Reba M. Wagner. Beginning at a point in the westerly line of U.S. Route 13 at the southeasterly corner for subject land and a corner for aforementioned lands of Wagner. Said point being located when measured from the intersection of the approximate northerly face of curb of State route 12 (44 feet face to face of curb) with the said line of U.S. Route #13 orth 17 degrees 06 minutes 50 seconds east a distance of 1,883.72. Thence from said beginning point and with said lands of Wagner the following three (3) courses and distances: North 72 degrees 53 minutes 10 seconds west at a distance of 120.00 feet to a point. North 17 degrees 06 minutes 50 seconds east a distance of 150.00 feet to a point. South 72 degrees 53 minutes 10 seconds east a distance of 120.00 feet to a point at a corner from said Wagner lands in the westerly line of U.S. Route #13. thence with said line of Route #13: south 17 degrees 06 minutes 50 seconds west a distance of 150.00 feet to the point and place of beginning. Contains 18,000 ± square feet or 0.4132* acres.
II. Annexation of Territory. The
Town shall have power to annex any additional contiguous territory adjoining the corporate limits of the Town as herein before set forth or as hereafter extended pursuant to the procedure set out in this section, and to apply to all such additional territory, all laws, ordinances, resolutions and policies in force in the Town so far as they may be locally applicable.
A. Initiation of Annexation Proceedings. The Town Council may, at any time, adopt a
resolution proposing the annexation of any territory contiguous to the Town. ("Territory contiguous to the Town" shall include real property which, though itself not contiguous to the Town's then-existing corporate limits, is contiguous to other real property which is so contiguous and also proposed to be included in the proposed annexation).
1. Such resolution shall describe, with reasonable certainty, the territory proposed to be annexed, state the reasons for the proposed annexation, and provide notice to the property owners and residents of both the Town and of the territory proposed to be annexed, that the Town proposes to annex that certain territory and shall fix a time and place for the holding of a special election to be held to allow the qualified voters and real estate owners of the territory proposed to be annexed to vote on the proposed annexation. Such resolution shall be published not less than 10 days nor more than 30 days before the date set for said special election in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed. In addition to such publication, the Town Council shall, not less than 10 nor more than 30 days before the date of such special election, cause a copy of such resolution to be posted in at least three public places in the Town, and in at least three places, viewable to the public, in the territory proposed to be annexed.
B. Those Entitled To Vote In Annexation Election. At such special election, any person residing in the territory proposed to be annexed who would be entitled to vote in the annual Town election if the Town election were being held on that date and the territory proposed for annexation was already included in the Town, shall be entitled to one vote. In addition, each legal entity, other than a natural person, owning property in its own name in the territory proposed to be annexed shall be entitled to one vote. These provisions shall be construed so as to permit only "one-man, 1-vote." Where a voter is entitled to vote by virtue of both residence and ownership of property, that voter shall be entitled to only one vote; where a voter is entitled to vote by ownership of two or more properties, that voter shall be entitled to only one vote. Any legal entity (other than a natural person) entitled to vote must cast its vote by a duly executed and acknowledged Power of Attorney. Such Power of Attorney shall be surrendered to the Board of Election which shall file the same with the Town Clerk. Such Power of Attorney so filed shall constitute conclusive evidence of the right of said person to vote in the special election on behalf of the legal entity granting the power.
C. Conduct of the Special Election. The Town Council may cause voting machines,
electronic voting systems, or paper ballots to be used in the special election as required by law. The form of the ballot shall be printed as follows:
FOR THE PROPOSED ANNEXATION
AGAINST THE PROPOSED ANNEXATION
The Mayor of the Town Council shall appoint three (3) persons to act as a Board of Election. One of said persons so appointed shall be designated the presiding officer. The Board of Election shall be the sole and final judge of the legality of the votes offered at such election. It shall keep a true and accurate list of all natural persons and all other legal entities voting. Voting shall be conducted in a public place as designated by the resolution calling the special election. The polling place shall be open for not less than one (1) hour on the date set for the election. All persons in the
polling place at the time of closing the polls shall be permitted to vote even though such votes are not cast until after the time for the closing of the polls.
D. Results of Special Election If the vote is favorable to the proposed annexation, the Town Council shall, at its first meeting following the special election, adopt a resolution annexing said territory and including it within the limits of the Town. Upon the adoption of said resolution of annexation, a copy of thereof, signed by the Mayor and certified by the Town Clerk with the municipal seal affixed, together with a plot of the area annexed, shall forthwith be filed for record in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for Kent County, Delaware. The territory so annexed shall be considered to be a part of the Town from the moment that the last mentioned resolution is adopted by the Town Council. Failure to record said resolution, or the plot accompanying same, shall not invalidate the annexation, but such recording may be enforced by writ of mandamus or mandatory injunction.
E. Property owned by the State of Delaware: Highways. Streets Roads and Alleys; Ponds. Canals. Streams and Other Waters Real property owned by the State of Delaware may be annexed into the Town without the state's casting a vote in the special election, provided that the state agency having control and supervision thereof does not notify the Town, in writing, of its objection to such annexation within ten (10) days after receiving written notice of the resolution proposing the annexation.
Contiguity with the Town's existing corporate limits or with other territory which is itself contiguous with the Town's existing corporate limits, shall not be deemed to be interrupted by the existence of any highway, street, road, alley, pond, canal, stream, or other body of water which passes through, or lies within the territory to be annexed.
F. Limitations. No action contesting the annexation of any territory under this section shall be brought after the expiration of sixty (60) days from the publication of a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town and in the territory annexed, which notice shall contain the following information:
Notice that the Town has annexed such territory and a brief description thereof;
1. Notice, if applicable, that such annexation was subject to an annexation agreement with the owner(s) of such property, and specifying where copies of such annexation agreement can be inspected or obtained.
2. Notice that any person or other legal entity desiring to challenge such annexation must bring his/her/its action within sixty (60) days from the date of publication of such notice or forever be barred from doing so.
G. Annexation Agreements. The Town Council shall be empowered to enter into annexation agreements with the owners of territories proposed for annexation which annexation agreements may, by way of example and not in limitation, address zoning, subdivision approval, land development, tax abatement, public utilities, and public improvements in the territory proposed to be annexed. In the event that the Town Council approves such an annexation agreement, such annexation agreement shall be deemed to be a material part of the annexation and shall be included in all subsequent steps of the annexation procedure; that is:
1. The resolutions and notices adopted by the Town Council proposing the said annexation shall recite that the proposed annexation includes, and is subject to, an annexation agreement, shall briefly summarize the terms of the annexation agreement, and shall state that copies of the annexation agreement are available upon request at the Town Hall,
2. If the results of the election are favorable to the proposed annexation, the resolution annexing the territory [as provided in section (3.4) above] shall recite that the annexation is subject to an annexation agreement and shall incorporate the terms of such annexation agreement by specific reference.
3. The Town shall be bound to honor the provisions of any such annexation agreement unless released therefrom by the owners of the territory being thus annexed, or by their successors and assigns; provided further, however, that no annexation agreement shall extend beyond seven (7) years from the date such property is annexed into the Town, and such annexation agreements shall be null, void, and unenforceable after the expiration of said seven (7) years.
III. TOWN SURVEY
The Town Council 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 Council, 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.
IV. POWERS OF THE TOWN
A. General, The Town shall have and enjoy all the powers possible for a municipal corporation to have under the Constitution and laws of the State of Delaware, as fully and completely as though they were specifically enumerated in this Charter.
B. Enumeration of Powers Not by way of limitation upon the scope of the powers vested in the Town Council to exercise all powers delegated by this Charter to the Town (except as may expressly appear herein to the contrary), but rather by way of enumeration and for purposes of illustration and clarity, the Town Council is vested by this Charter with the following powers, that is to say, the Town Council:
1. May have and use a corporate seal which may be altered, changed, or renewed at pleasure.
2. May hold and acquire by gift, negotiation and purchase, devise, lease, or condemnation, property both real (improved or unimproved) and personal, or mixed, within or without the boundaries of the Town, in fee or lesser estate or interest, necessary or desirable for any municipal or public purpose, including but not limited to, providing sites for constructing, improving, extending, altering, or demolishing:
(a) public buildings,
(a) streets, squares, lanes, alleys, and sidewalks;
(b) sewer systems, including but not limited to sewage lines, conduits, sewage disposal or treatment plants, and all appurtenances thereto;
(c) water systems, including but not limited to, water plants, wells, lines, conduits and all appurtenances thereto;
(f) electric systems, including but not limited to, electric plants, substations, distribution systems, lines, conduits and all appurtenances thereto;
(g) gas systems, including but not limited to, storage tanks, distribution systems, conduits and all appurtenances thereto;
(h) recreational facilities, including but not limited to, public bathing beaches, gymnasiums, athletic fields, bicycle paths, tennis, basketball, or paddleball courts and all appurtenances thereto;
(i) for slum clearance and redevelopment, urban renewal, revitalization, or rehabilitation of blighted areas, or removal of dangerous buildings;
(g) for the protection of the health of the citizens of the Town;
(j) for the proper furnishing of adequate municipal services to the citizens of the Town and those persons residing in such proximity to, but beyond, the corporate limits of the Town who can be furnished with such municipal services, in the discretion of the Town Council to the mutual benefit and advantage of the Town and such non-residents thereto, upon such terms, charges, and conditions as the Town Council may determine and approve.
3. May sell, grant, alienate, lease, mortgage, manage, hold and control such property as the interests of the Town may require except as prohibited by the Constitution of the State of Delaware or as restricted by this Charter. May pay for the acquisition, construction, improvement, repair, extension, alteration, or demolition of any municipal or public property, real, personal, or mixed, from the general fund of the Town, from the proceeds of any bond issue which may be authorized and sold for any of the purposes for which lands and premises are authorized by this Charter to be acquired, and/or from the proceeds of any grant or loan made to the Town by any governmental entity of the United States or the State of Delaware where the proceeds of the grant or loan are for the purposes authorized by this Charter to be acquired.
4. May acquire, build, erect and maintain buildings and facilities necessary or required for housing and equipping the offices of the Town.
5. May purchase, take and hold real and personal property when sold for any delinquent tax, assessment, water rent, electric bill, gas bill, license fee, tapping fee, charge growing out of abatement of nuisances and the like, laying out and repairing sidewalks, or other charge due the Town; and to sell the same.
6. May ascertain, locate, lay out, establish, open, change, alter, widen, abandon, regulate the use and enjoyment of, prevent or remove any obstruction of, level, grade, flag, dress, macadamize, pave, gravel, shell, improve, dredge, erect, remove, repair and replace any new or present street, highway, lane, alley, water course, park, lake, crosswalk, wharf, dock, sewer, drain, gutter, aqueduct, or pipeline or portion thereof, or any new or present sidewalk, curb, or gutter or portion thereof in the Town to specify the grade thereof, the materials to be used in the doing thereof and the manner in which the same shall be done, to enter into contracts or agreements for the doing thereof, including contracts or agreements with the State of Delaware for the permanent maintenance, repair and upkeep of any street, lane, alley, roadway or other public thoroughfare within the Town.
7. May enforce the removal of ice, snow or dirt or other foreign substance from sidewalks and gutters by owners or abutting owners.
8. May prohibit, remove or regulate the erection of any stoop, step, platform, bay window, cellar door, gate, area, descent, sign, post or any other erection or projections in, over, upon or under any street, highway, alley, lane, water course, park, lake, strand, sidewalk, crosswalk, wharf, dock, sewer, drain, aqueduct or pipeline of the Town.
9. May provide, construct, extend, maintain, manage and control bulkheads, embankments, flood gates, or tills for the preservation of any strand or high land within the limits of the Town and contiguous thereto to the end that the same may be preserved and properly protected that the general public might enjoy the use thereof.
10. May direct, regulate and control the planting, rearing, treatment and preserving of ornamental shade trees in the streets, avenues, highways, parks and grounds of the Town and to authorize or prohibit the removal or destruction of said trees.
11. May fully control within the Town the drainage of all water and to that end to alter or change the course and direction of any natural water course, runs or rivulet within the Town, to regulate, maintain, clean and keep the same open, clean and unobstructed, and to provide, construct, extend and maintain, manage and control a surface water drainage system and facilities the health, sanitation and convenience of the inhabitants of the Town.
12. May provide an ample supply of potable water for the Town and its inhabitants and to this end May acquire, lease, erect, construct, maintain, operate, extend, enlarge, renew, replace, control and dispose of wells, reservoirs, pumps, machines, water treatment facilities, stations, tanks, standpipes, water mains, lire hydrants, and all other equipment, property, or rights used in or about the collection, storage, purification, conveyance, or distribution or sale of water, to regulate and prescribe for what public or private purposes the water furnished by the Town may be used, the manner of its use, the amounts to be paid by the users thereof, the means whereby such amounts shall be collected and the fines or penalties, or both, for any wilful or negligent injury, or damage to or interference with the water system or the equipment of the Town; to furnish or refuse to furnish water from the Town system to places and properties outside the Town limits, and to contract for and purchase water and distribute the same to users within or without the Town with the same full powers as though such water had been initially reduced to usefulness by the municipality itself.
13. May provide, construct, extend, maintain, manage and control a sewer system and/or a sewage treatment and disposal plant and facilities for the health, sanitation and convenience of the inhabitants of the Town, may regulate and prescribe for what private or public uses or purposes the system may be used, the manner of its use, the amounts to be paid by the users thereof the means whereby such amounts shall be collected and the fines or penalties or both, for any willful or negligent injury or damage to, or interference with the said system, plant or facilities. To furnish or refuse to furnish sewer disposal service from the Town system to places and properties outside the Town limits. In the interest of the public's health, to compel any and all properties in the Town to be connected to the sewer system of the Town, and to contract for and purchase sewer disposal service and to resell the same to users within or without the Town with the same full powers as though such service had been initially provided by the facilities therefor of the Town itself.
13. May provide, construct, extend, maintain, manage and control the plant and system, or plants and systems, for the generating, manufacturing and distributing of electric current or gas, or both, to the inhabitants of the Town and for lighting the streets, highways, lanes, alleys, water courses, parks, lakes, sidewalks, crosswalks, public buildings or other public places in the Town, and to this end to acquire, lease, erect, construct, maintain, operate, extend, enlarge, renew, replace, control and dispose of transmission and distribution lines, pipes, mains and other conveyances for any such current or gas as may be necessarily proper to light the Town, and to furnish proper connections for electric current and gas to the properties of the inhabitants of the Town who may desire the same, to regulate and prescribe for what private or public purpose the current or gas furnished by the Town may be used, the manner of its use, the amount to be paid by the users thereof, the means whereby such amounts are to be collected and the fines or penalties, or both, for any wilful or negligent injury or damage to or interference with the electric or gas system or systems of the Town, to furnish or refuse to furnish electric current or gas from the Town's system or systems, to places and properties outside the Town limits; and to contract for and purchase electric current or gas and distribute the same to users within or without the Town with the same full powers as though such current or gas had been initially reduced to usefulness by the Town itself.
14. May regulate, control or prevent the use or storage of gasoline, naphtha, gun powder, fireworks, tar, pitch, resin, and all other combustible or dangerous materials and the use of candles, lamps, and other lights in stores, shops, and other places, may regulate, suppress, remove or secure any fireplace, stove chimney, oven broiler, or other apparatus which may pose a danger of causing fires.
15. May provide for the organization of a fire department and the control and government thereof, may establish fire limits and may do all things necessary for the prevention or extinguishment of fires, and at the discretion of the Town Council, may contribute, donate or give an amount or amounts to any volunteer fire company or companies incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware, or any volunteer fire association or associations maintaining and operating fire fighting equipment and service to the Town, provided that any such contribution, donation or gift may be made subject to such conditions and stipulations as to the use thereof as the Town Council shall deem advisable.
16. May provide for the organization of ambulance, rescue or paramedic services(s) and the control and government thereof, may establish territories within the Town for such services; may, at the discretion of the Town Council, contribute, donate or give an amount or amounts to any such service formed or incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware, or to any volunteer service maintaining and operating ambulance, rescue or paramedic equipment and services for the inhabitants of the Town, provided that any such contribution, donation or gift may be made subject to such conditions and stipulations to the use thereof as the Town Council may deem advisable.
18. May prevent vice, drunkenness and immorality.
19. May prohibit gaming and fraudulent devices.
20. May prevent and quell riots, disturbances, and disorderly assemblages.
21. May adopt and enforce such ordinances regulating traffic, on all streets, alleys, avenues, and public ways within the Town as are not inconsistent with the motor vehicle laws of the State of Delaware.
22. May regulate or prohibit the use of public streets, alleys, sidewalks, boardwalks, parks, right-of-ways, public places and Town-owned lands for commercial uses or activities not otherwise protected from such regulation or prohibition by the Constitutions of either the United States or the State of Delaware, or by any controlling federal statute.
23. May regulate or prevent the use of guns, air guns, spring guns, pistols, sling shots, bean shooters, and any other device for discharging missiles which may cause bodily injury or injuries or harm to persons or property; and to regulate or prevent the use of bonfires, fireworks, bombs and detonating works of all kinds.
24. May provide for and preserve the health, peace, safety, cleanliness, ornament, good order and public welfare of the Town and its inhabitants.
25. May prohibit, restrain, license or regulate all public sports, exhibitions, shows, parades, productions, circuses or other public performances, amusements and games.
26. May direct the digging down, draining, filling up, cleaning, cutting or fencing of lots, tracts, pieces or parcels of ground in the Town which may be deemed dangerous or unwholesome or necessary to carry out any improvements authorized by this Charter and to assess the cost thereof against the owner thereof.
27. May define, prevent, abate or remove nuisances, obstructions or any other condition detrimental to the public safety, health or welfare; and to cause the cost of such abatement or removal to be paid by the legal entity causing or permitting same to exist.
18. May adopt ordinances providing for the condemnation upon inspection, of any building or structure in the Town which is determined, on the basis of standards set forth in such ordinance(s) to be a fire hazard or otherwise unsafe, and cause the same to be torn down or removed.
19. May establish and regulate pounds and to restrain, prohibit and impound any domestic or wild animal, beast, bird or fowl running at large and to authorize the destruction of the same, and to regulate the keeping of dogs within the Town, and to provide for registration and fees thereof.
20. May provide for the punishment of a violation of any ordinance of the Town by civil penalty not exceeding $500.00.
21. May regulate and control the manner of building or removal of dwellings or other structures and to provide for granting permits for same.
22. May prohibit and prevent the currying on of construction by private persons or companies at such times and seasons of the year and at such hours of the day as the Town Council may determine necessary and appropriate for the public health and welfare.
23. May provide for or regulate the numbering of houses and lots on the streets and the naming of the streets and avenues. May, for the prevention of fire and the preservation of the beauty of the Town, establish a building line for buildings to be erected, to zone or district the Town and make particular provision for particular zones or districts with regard to building or building materials; and may prohibit any building or construction except those for which a building permit has been issued as prescribed by the Town Council, and generally to exercise all powers and authorities vested by virtue of 22 Del.0 Chapter 3, as it may hereafter from time to time be amended, or any future corresponding provision of law.
34. May license, tax and collect fees annually for any and all municipal purposes of such various amounts as the Town Council from time to time shall fix from any individual, firm, association or corporation carrying on or practicing any business, profession or occupation within the limits of the Town.
35. May impose, upon new development or construction or upon first time occupancy of new construction, such "Impact fees" and/or "connection fees" as are reasonably calculated to recover the cost of installing, enlarging, improving, or expanding public or municipal improvements which have a rational nexus to such new construction.
36. May grant licenses and impose fees for licenses, issue permits, and regulate any activity within the corporate limits of the Town.
37. May grant franchises or licenses to any responsible person, firm, association or corporation for such period of time, upon such terms, restrictions, stipulations and conditions and for such consideration as the Town Council shall deem in the best interest of the municipality, to use the present and future streets, highways, lanes, alleys, water courses, parks, lakes, strands, sidewalks, crosswalks, and other public places of the Town for the purpose of furnishing heat, light, power, gas, water, sewer, drainage, electric current, telephone, telegraph, television, fiber optic or other communication service, railroad (excepting railroads or railways engaged in Interstate Commerce), bus, taxi or other transportation, carrier or public service to the Town, unto the persons, firms or corporations residing or located therein and for the purpose of transmitting the same from or through the Town to points outside the limits thereof, provided, however, that whenever, any state or federal law grants exclusive jurisdiction over any such activity to a state or federal agency, the Town shall have no authority inconsistent therewith.
38. May regulate and control the exercise of any license or franchise mentioned in Section 5.2.40 of this Charter, or intended so to be.
39. May appropriate money to pay the debts, liabilities and expenditures of the Town, or any part or item thereof, from any fund applicable thereto, and to transfer temporarily money from one fund to another fund of the Town.
40. May inquire into and investigate the conduct of any officer, agent or employee of the Town or any municipal affair and for such purpose or purposes may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths or affirmations, and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, or other evidence by subpoena.
41. May establish a Pension Plan or a Health and Welfare Plan, or both, for the employees of the Town under such terms and conditions as the Town Council, in its discretion, may deem most appropriate. The method of funding if deemed desirable by the Town Council be accomplished through an insurance company licensed by the State of Delaware or authorized to do business in this State and approved by a majority of the elected members of the Town Council.
42. May determine what purposes are deemed to be public purposes or municipal purposes.
43. May make, adopt, and establish, alter and amend all such Ordinances, Regulations, Rules, Resolutions and By-Laws not contrary to the laws of this State and the United States as the Town Council may deem necessary to carry into effect any of the provisions of this Charter or any other law of the State relating generally to municipal corporations or which they may deem proper and necessary for the order, protection and good government of the Town, the protection and preservation of persons and property, and of the public health and welfare of the Town and its inhabitants, provided, however that any Ordinance relating to the public health of the Town and its inhabitants, or designed to prevent the introduction or spread of infectious or contagious diseases, or to prevent nuisances affecting the same shall apply not only within the corporate limits of the Town but as well to all areas and persons outside the Town within one (1) mile from said limits.
C. Liberal Construction, Manner of Exercise The powers of the Town under this Charter shall be liberally construed in favor of the Town, and the enumeration of particular powers by this Charter shall not be held or deemed to be exclusive, but, in addition to the powers enumerated herein, implied hereby, or appropriate to the exercise thereof, the Town shall have and may exercise any and all powers which, under the Constitution of the State of Delaware, it would be competent for this Charter to specifically enumerate.
C. All powers of the Town, whether express or implied, shall be exercised in the manner prescribed by this Charter, or if not proscribed herein, then in the manner provided by ordinance or resolution of the Town Council. The Council may, by resolution, do any such other act or thing incidental, necessary, or useful in connection with any of the matters in this Charter duly authorized. Intergovernmental Cooperation The Town may exercise any of its powers or perform any of its functions and may participate in the financing thereof, jointly or in cooperation, by contract or otherwise, with any one or more States or civil divisions or agencies thereof, or the United States or any agency thereof; except as prohibited or restricted by the Constitution or laws of the State of Delaware or by this Charter.
V. TOWN COUNCIL
A. Governing Body, The government of the Town and the exercise of all powers conferred by this Charter, except as otherwise provided herein, shall be vested in and exercised by the Town Council composed of five members to be chosen as hereinafter provided.
B. Qualifications, Candidates for the office of Town Council must be at least 21 years of age, a bona fide resident of the Town for a period of at least one year prior to the date of the election, and otherwise qualified to vote at the annual Town election as provided in Section 7. No person having been convicted of a felony or any crime of moral turpitude shall be qualified to be a candidate for the office of Town Council. The Town Council, by a majority vote of its disinterested members, shall be the sole and final judge of the qualifications of its members and shall interpret and apply the standards set forth in this charter.
C. Term of Office, The term of office for each member of the Town Council shall be two years. The present Commissioners of the Town of Felton (hereafter to be known as "Town Councilmembers"), and other officers appointed to serve under 63 Laws of Delaware Chapter 349, as amended, shall continue to serve as Town Commissioners and officers of the Town from and after the effective date of this charter, until their successors are duly elected or appointed. At the annual Town election in 1996, two persons shall be elected to the Town Council to fill vacancies created by the expiration of the terms of office of the two then- outgoing commissioners, and at the annual Town election in 1997, three (3) persons shall be elected to fill the vacancies created by the expiration of the terms of office of the three then out-going commissioners. Thereafter, two members of the Town Council shall be elected in even years, and three councilmembers shall be elected in odd years.
VI. VOTER QUALIFICATIONS. VOTER REGISTRATION
Any person shall be qualified to vote in the annual Town election who, on the date of the election, is a United States Citizen, who shall have attained 18 years of age, who shall be registered under the Town's voter registration ordinance(s), if any, and who shall have been a bona fide resident of the Town for at least sixty (60) days preceding the date of the election in which he or she seeks to vote. The To Council may enact such ordinances concerning the registration of qualified voters for municipal elections in the Town as it deems reasonably necessary to provide for (he orderly and efficient conduct of municipal elections; provided that no such ordinance(s) shall alter the qualifications of voters as hereinabove set forth, nor shall any such ordinance unduly impair the right to vote in a municipal election.
VII. ELECTION OF TOWN COUNCILMEMBERS
A. Notice of Candidacy In order to be listed on the ballot at any regular or special election for election of Town Councilmembers, each candidate shall file a written notice of intention to seek office with the Town Clerk at least 45 days prior to the date set for the election. If the Town Clerk determines that any candidate may not meet the qualifications for office, he/she shall notify the Mayor who shall call a special meeting of the Town Council to be held not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date set for the election, at which meeting the Town Council shall decide the matter. The candidate whose qualifications are at issue shall be notified, by registered mail, of the date, time and place of the hearing, at which he or she may appear and testify. If the Town Council determines that the candidate does not meet the qualifications for office, it shall reject his/her notice of intention to seek office and his/her name shall not appear on the ballot. In making the determination, only those members of the Town Council who are not running for re-election shall be entitled to vote on the question.
B. Date. Time. Place. and Manner of Annual elections for the Town Council shall be held on the first Monday in March of each year at such time and place, within the Town, as determined by the Town Council. The polls shall remain open for a six-hour period to be determined by the Town Council.
C. Notice of Elections, Notice of any election to elect members to the Town Council shall be given by posting notice thereof in at least five public places in the Town not less than thirty (30) days before the day of such election and by publishing notice in one newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least thirty (30) days before the day set for the election. Such notices shall state the date, time, and place of the election as well as a description of the positions to be filled.
D. Voting Machines. Paper Ballots Elections shall be by voting machine, electronic voting system or by paper ballot, as the Town Council shall determine; provided however, that voting machines or electronic voting systems shall be used if required by general statute.
E. Absentee Voting, The Town Council may (but shall not be required to), by ordinance, provide for a qualified voter (duly registered if required by ordinance) who shall be unable to appear in person, to cast his or her ballot at any municipal election (including special elections for annexations, long-term borrowings, and referendums) by absentee ballot.
F. Rules Governing Conduct of Elections, The Town Council may, by resolution, adopt such rules, not in contravention of the provisions of this charter or with applicable state or federal law, governing the conduct of elections.
G. Election Board, Every election shall be held under the supervision of an Election Board. The Election Board shall consist of one (1) Inspector of the Election and two (2) Judges of the Election. The Inspector and Judges constituting the Election Board shall be qualified voters of the Town and shall be appointed for that purpose by the Town Council at least twenty (20) days before such election. If, at the opening of the polls, there shall not be present the members of the Election Board, then in such case, the ranking Town officer available at the opening of the polls shall appoint a qualified voter or voters to act as a member or members of the Election Board to fill such vacancies caused by the absence of members of the Election Board. Members of the Election Board shall be the sole and final judges of the conduct and of the legality of the votes offered. The Election board shall have the power to subpoena persons, and officers of the Town, and books, records and papers relative to the determination of the qualifications of voters and the legality of any vote or votes offered.
H. Election Results Upon the close of the election, the vote shall be read and counted
and the persons having the highest number of votes shall be declared, by the Election Board, to be duly elected to such vacant offices as then exists, and such persons shall continue in office during the terms for which they were chosen or until their successors are duly elected or appointed and qualify.
1. Ties, in the event of a tie vote for any office, the Election Board shall determine such tie by the toss of a coin.
I. Preservation of Ballots and Records, All ballots cast and all records of the election kept by the Election Board shall be preserved in the custody of the Election Board for a period of ten (10) days, unless an appeal is filed in a court of appropriate jurisdiction in which event such ballots and records shall be preserved by the Election Board until the final conclusion of such appeal.
J. Uncontested Elections, Where there is only one official candidate of each office, if none of the official candidates has a formal opponent on the day of the election, the official candidates may assume office without the holding of a formal election.
An organizational meeting of the Town Council shall be held as soon as practicable, not exceeding seventy-two (72) hours, following the determination of the election results by the Election Board. Such meeting shall be held at the usual place for holding regular meetings. The newly elected Council members shall assume the duties of their respective office, being first duly sworn or affirmed to perform their duties with fidelity, which oath or affirmation shall be taken before a Notary Public, a Justice of the Peace, the Town Alderman, or by one of the holdover Councilmembers. At such meeting, the newly-constituted Council shall elect from among themselves, a Mayor, Vice-Mayor, Secretary, and Treasurer, each of whom shall serve for a term of one year and until his/her successor has been duly elected and qualified. Such vote may be by secret ballot if requested by one or more members of the newly-constituted Council.
IX. OATH OF OFFICE.
The oath of office for any newly-elected Councilmembers may be administered by any holdover member of the Council, Town Alderman, Justice of the Peace, or Notary Public, and to any newly appointed officer or official by any duly-installed member of the Council. Such oath of office shall be in the form substantially as follows:
I (FULL NAME) do hereby solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Delaware, the Charter and Ordinances of the Town of Felton, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of
of the Town of Felton according to the best of my ability.
The installation of any such Councilmembers or appointed officers or officials, including the name, title, date, and term of office shall thereupon be duly recorded in an official book of the Town maintained for that and other purposes and shall be subscribed by the person administering such oath, and the same shall be admissible as evidence of such installation of office in any court of law in this state.
VIII. VACANCIES: FORFEITIURF, OF OFFICE.
A. Vacancies, The office of a Councilmember shall become vacant upon his/her death, resignation, or forfeiture of office.
B. A forfeiture of office shall occur when any Town Councilmember,
1. Lacks, at any time during his or her term of office, any qualification for the
office prescribed by this charter or by law.
2. Willfully violates any express prohibition of this charter.
3. Is convicted of a felony or of any crime involving moral turpitude.
4. Fails to attend three consecutive Town Council meetings, regular or special, without being excused by a majority vote of the remaining Town Councilmembers.
5. Ceases to be a bona fide resident of the Town.
C. Determinations Concerning Forfeiture,
Determinations concerning any alleged forfeiture of office shall be made by the Town Council, but the affected party shall not have a vote in any such decision. Such deliberations may be made in executive session, and if the Town Council subsequently determines, by a unanimous vote of the Town Councilmembers entitled to vote on the question in open session, that a forfeiture has occurred, it shall, within 48 hours of that determination, provide written notice thereof to the affected Town Councilmember, stating specific reasons. The affected party shall have ten (10) days in which to make a written demand for a public hearing before the Town Council, such hearing to be held within twenty (20) days of the written demand, at which hearing he or she may appear with the assistance of legal counsel, and present evidence on the relevant issues. Thereafter, the Town Council shall hear any other relevant evidence and shall vote again on the question of forfeiture; and if a determination of forfeiture is again made by the unanimous vote of the Town Councilmembers entitled to vote on the question, the decision shall be final. During, or in connection with, any such proceedings, the Town Council shall have authority to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, and require the production of documentary or physical evidence, all or any of which shall be done if requested in writing by the affected Town Councilmember.
Failure to make a written demand for a public hearing by the affected Town Councilmember as hereinabove provided shall be an absolute bar to his/her right to challenge the Council's initial decision.
D. Filling Vacancies on the Town Council,
In the case of any vacancy occurring on the Town Council, the remaining Councilmembers shall appoint another qualified person to serve for the remainder of that vacant seat's term.
XI. APPOINTMENT AND COMPENSATION OF TOWN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES
A. Appointment, Within a reasonable time after the election, the Town Council shall, by majority vote, appoint a Town Assessor, and may appoint such other officers and employees (including by way of example, a Town Manager, Town Clerk, Town Alderman, and/or Police Chief) as the Town Council deems necessary or appropriate. The Town Assessor shall hold office for a term of one year and until his/her successor has been qualified and appointed. All other officers and employees shall be appointed for an indefinite term and shall be removable with or without cause, at the pleasure of the Town Council.
A. Compensation All appointed officers and employees of the Town shall be entitled to reasonable compensation for their services, as determined by the Town Council.
B. Vacancy Any vacancy in the office of any appointed officer or employee may be filled by the Town Council.
XII. INDEMNIFICATION OF TOWN COUNCILMFMBERS AND OFFICIALS
A. Right to Indemnification, The Town of Felton shall indemnify, from the general funds of the Town's treasury, to the extent not otherwise covered by appropriate insurance, any person who is a party to or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending, or completed action, suit, or proceedings, whether civil, criminal, administrative, or investigative (other than an action by or in the right of the Town of Felton itself), by reason of the fact that he or she is or was a Town Councilmember, or other duly elected or appointed Town official of the Town of Felton, or arising out of actions taken by each or any of them in connection with the performance of their official duties, against expenses (including attorneys fees, judgments, lines, and amounts paid in settlement), actually and reasonably incurred by him or her in connection with such action, suit or proceeding, if and only if he or she acted in good faith and in a manner he or she reasonably believed to be in, or not opposed to, the best interests of the Town; and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was unlawful. The termination of any action, suit, or proceeding by judgement, order, settlement, conviction, or upon a plea of nolo contendere or nolle prosequi or its equivalent shall not, of itself, create a presumption that the person did not act in good faith and in a manner which he or she believed to be in, or not opposed to, the best interests of the Town of Felton, and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had reasonable cause to believe that his or her conduct was unlawful.
Indemnification, as provided in this charter, shall be made by the Town only as authorized in the specific case upon a determination that indemnification of the Town- Council, of any individual Town Councilmember(s), and/or any Town officers is proper in the circumstances because he, she, or they met the applicable standards of conduct set forth above, and, in the case of a monetary settlement, that the amount and terms of the settlement are reasonable under the circumstances. Such determination shall be made:
(a) If there are at least three disinterested Town Councilmembers who are not parties to or the subject of such action, suit, or proceeding, by a majority vote of such disinterested Councilmembers, or
(b) By written opinion of independent legal counsel if: (i) a majority of the disinterested Councilmembers so elect or; (ii) if there are less than three disinterested Councilmembers.
B. Insurance, In applying this §13 regarding indemnification, any applicable or potentially applicable contract of insurance shall be construed and applied as if there were no right of indemnification hereunder, and the right of indemnification hereunder shall be secondary to any such insurance and shall attach only to the extent that there is no applicable insurance or to the extent there remains any unreimbursed amounts after any such applicable insurance has been exhausted.
A. Regular Meetings, The Town Council shall meet regularly, not less than once each month during the year. The time and place of each regular meeting shall be set by Council each year at their organizational meeting, but Council shall not hereby be prohibited from rescheduling such meetings from time to time during the year as need arises.
B. Special Meeting: Waiver of Notice Special meetings shall be called by the Town Clerk upon the written request of the Mayor, or upon the written request of any three members of Council, stating the day, hour and place of the special meeting requested and the subject or subjects proposed to be considered thereat. Such notice must be personally delivered not less than twenty-four (24) hours, or deposited in the U.S. mail in the main post office in the Town at least 72 hours, prior to the time set for such special meeting, provided, however, that a waiver of such notice, (written, telegraphic, or telephonic message) by all members of Council prior to or immediately upon the convening of such special meeting shall make the prior written notice unnecessary and shall authorize and make valid the holding of a special meeting at any time and for any purpose named in such waiver, or the transaction of any other business at the meeting, if the waiver so states. Subject to the scope of the notice, the Town Council of the Town shall have the same power and authority to enact all ordinances, adopt all resolutions, pass all motions, make all orders and transact all business at any such special meeting, called as aforesaid, as Council has at a regular !meting.
C. Adjourned Meetings, The Town Council may adjourn its meetings from time to time, stating the date, place, and time to which such meeting shall be adjourned.
D. Reimbursement of Expenses: Compensation,
1. Each Town Councilmember shall be entitled to be reimbursed for his or her reasonable and necessary out-of-pocket expenses incurred in carrying out the responsibilities of office; provided however that such reimbursements shall be approved by a majority of the entire Council.
2. Compensation, Each Councilmember shall be paid the sum of $40.00 for attendance at each regular and each special meeting of the Town Council where a quorum is present, for up to but not exceeding attendance at thirty (30) such Council meetings per year.
XIV. Manner of Acting
A. Rules of Procedure. Record of Proceedings The Town Council may determine its own rules of procedure and order of business. It shall keep a record of its proceedings.
A. Quorum. Three members of the Town Council shall be physically present in order to constitute a quorum to conduct business, but if a lesser number be present at any regular or properly called special meeting, they may adjourn from time to time and compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by ordinance adopted by the majority of the entire Council.
B. Voting by Councilmembers Voting, except on procedural motions, shall be by roll call and the ayes and nays shall be recorded in the minutes. No action of the Councilmembers, except as otherwise provided regarding compelling the attendance of absent members, shall be valid or binding unless adopted by the affirmative vote of three (3) of the five (5) Councilmembers.
A. Ordinances The Council is hereby vested with the authority to enact ordinances or resolutions relating to any subject within the powers and functions of the Town, or relating to the government of the Town, its peace and order, its sanitation, beauty, health, safety, convenience and property, and to fix, impose and enforce the payment of fines and penalties for the violation of such ordinances or resolutions, and no provision of this Charter as to ordinances on any particular subject shall be held to be restrictive of the power to enact ordinances or resolutions on any subject not specifically enumerated.
In addition to other acts required by law or by specific provisions of this Charter to be done by ordinance, those acts of the Town Council shall be by ordinance which:
1. adopt or amend an administrative code or establish, alter, or abolish any Town department, office, or agency;
2. provide for a tine or other penalty or establish a rule or regulation for a violation of which a fine or a penalty can be imposed;
3. levy a real estate transfer tax;
4. establish permit fees, and provide for the collection thereof;
5. levy impact fees or connection fees;
6. grant, renew, or extend a franchise;
regulate the rates charged for its services by any public utility operating within the Town subject to regulation by the Town;
7. amend or repeal any ordinance previously adopted.
Acts other than those referred to in the preceding may be done either by ordinance or by resolution. Every ordinance shall be introduced in writing.
XV. TOWN TREASURERL EXPENDITURE OF TOWN MONEY: SURETY BOND; ANNUAL REPORT,
A. Town Treasurer: Expenditure of Town Monies, The Treasurer shall generally oversee the Town Manager, Town Clerk, and other authorized Town employees in their handling of and denting with all monies owed or belonging to or in the possession of the Town, in those individuals' handling of all expenditures of Town monies, and in those individuals incurrence of accounts payable, debts, or other financial obligations by, for, or in the name of the Town.
All accounts payable, debts, or other financial obligations incurred by, for, or in the name of the Town, shall be presented to the Town Council for prior approval or subsequent review by u majority thereof as follows:
(a) Any normal, routine, and recurring debt, bill, account payable, or financial obligation (hereinafter "routine bill") may be incurred and paid without prior approval by a majority of the entire Council provided that all such payments shall be presented to the Town Council for subsequent review at the Town Council meeting next following their payment.
(a) Any financial obligation in the amount of less than $500, other than a routine bill, may be incurred and paid without prior approval by a majority of the entire Council if approved in advance by at least one member of the Town Council, and further provided that any such expenditure shall be presented to the Town Council for subsequent review at the Town Council meeting next following its incurrence.
(b) All other accounts payable, bills, debts, or financial obligations incurred by, for, or in the name of the Town shall be presented for prior approval by a majority vote of the entire Council before such obligation shall become binding upon the Town; and any such account payable, debt, bill, or other financial obligation incurred without the Town Council's prior approval shall be deemed to be incurred conditionally and contingent upon the Town Council's approval as hereinabove provided.
(c) No payment shall be made by the Town except by cheek or draft drawn upon duly authorized Town of Felton accounts and signed by any two members of the Town Council.
B. Surety Bonds As determined by the Town Council, the Town Treasurer, the Town Manager, the Town Clerk, and/or any other such Town employee or Town official who handles the Town's financial affairs may be required to give to the Council bond and security, sufficient in amount, and conditioned on the faithful performance of each and every financial duty and undertaking; including the prompt and timely payment and delivery to his or her successor, when the successor is duly installed and qualified, all moneys, books, papers, and other things or effects in their care and keeping, or with which he or she may properly be chargeable.
C. Annual Treasurer's State of the Town Report, At the regular monthly
meeting or the Town Council held in February of each year, the Treasurer shall present a "State of the Town" report which shall include a true, just and complete summary of the Town's finances over the preceding calendar year, including, by way of example and not in limitation, the amount of all monies received by the Town and the source (by category) thereof; the amount of all monies expended by the Town and the purpose (by category) thereof; the amount of all monies held by the Town and the location thereof; the amount of all monies owed to, and owed by, the Town and the source or purpose (by category) that such monies are owed; the names and amounts of delinquent taxables; and a listing of all assets owned by the Town, with a corresponding list of reasonable values. Such report shall include such other information as may be properly called for so as to set before the taxable of the Town a just and true statement or the financial condition of the Town.
XVI. ANNUAL BUDGET; PROPERTY TAXES: MAXIMUM AMOUNT,
A. Annual Budget, On or before its first regular meeting in February of each year, the Town Council shall commence work on a budget for the Town's next ensuing fiscal year. The budget for that next ensuing fiscal year shall be finalized and adopted no later than the Town's first regularly scheduled meeting in May.
A. Property Tax: Limit, The Town Council shall, not later than its first regularly scheduled meeting in May of each year determine the amount of money to be raised by the annual property tax during the next ensuing year which amount shall not, based upon the then-assessed value of all taxable property in the Town and the tax rate per $100 of assessed value established by the Town Council, be projected to exceed $175,000.
XVII. ASSESSMENT FOR TAXES
A. Adoption of Kent County Assessment List, Anything herein to the contrary
notwithstanding, the Town Council may adopt the assessed values as shown on the assessment lists of Kent County for all property located within the corporate limits of the Town in lieu of making its own independent valuation and assessment. In such event, the assessed values established by Kent County shall be conclusive for the purpose of levying Town taxes, and the Town Council shall have no authority to hear appeals regarding such assessments; provided however, that the Town Council may sit to hear and determine any appeal concerning an addition to a tax bill under § 18.5 hereof. If the Town Council elects to adopt the assessed values as shown on the assessment list of Kent County, it shall do so on or before April 1 of each year.
B. Assessment Procedure if Kent County Assessment is not
If the Town Council does not elect to adopt the assessed values shown on the Kent County Assessment List, the Town Assessor shall, between the months of January and March inclusive, of each year, make a just, true and impartial annual valuation or assessment of all real estate and improvements located within the Town of Felton. The Town Council may retain the services of professional appraisers or assessors to assist the Town Assessor, but the Town Assessor shall be responsible for making the final determination. All real estate shall be described with sufficient particularity to be identified. Real estate shall be assessed to the owner or owners if known. If the owner or owners of real estate cannot be found or ascertained, it may be assessed to 'Owner Unknown'. A mistake in the name of the owner or owners or an assessment to 'Owner Unknown' shall not affect the validity of the assessment or of any municipal tax based thereon; provided, however, the assessment shall specify the last record owner or owners thereof as the same shall appear from the records in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Kent County.
B. Assessment of the Town Assessor. The real property of the Town Assessor shall be assessed by the Town Council.
C. Delivery of Assessment List. The Town Assessor, after making such annual assessment, shall deliver to the Town Council a list containing the names of owners of all properties assessed and the amount of assessment against each. Such list shall be delivered to the Town Council by April 1 of each year.
D. Additions to Tax Bills. Whether utilizing the Kent County assessments or those prepared by the Town's own Assessor, the Town Council shall annually, prior to the posting of the assessment list, by resolution, provide a list of any and all charges, costs or other assessments owed to the Town, which list of charges incurred shall include, but not be limited to, the following: Municipal Bond Sinking Fund assessments, curb and gutter assessments, water and sewer assessments, weed and grass cutting bills, trash collection bills, and past due utility bills. Said amounts, when adopted and set forth by resolution of the Town Council, shall be shown on the copies of the assessments posted pursuant to the provisions of Section 18.6 below.
E. Posting of Assessment List: Notice, Promptly following its first regularly scheduled meeting in April, the Town Council shall cause a full and complete copy of the assessment list, containing the amount assessed to each taxable, to be made available for public inspection at the Town office, and there it shall remain for a period of at least ten (10) days for the information of and examination by all concerned. Appended thereto, and also in three or more public places in the Town, shall be posted notice advertising to all concerned the date and place where the assessment list has been made available, and that, upon a certain day mentioned therein (not earlier than 10 days after the availability of the true and correct copy of the assessment list), the Town Council will sit as a Board of Revision and Appeal to hear appeals from the said assessment and to make such corrections and revisions as it deems appropriate and lawful.
Such notice shall also be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of Felton not less than 10 days prior to the date set for such appeals.
F. Appeals Day, On the fourth Monday in April, or such other day established by Council not less than 10 days following the posting of the assessment list, the Town Council shall sit as a Board of Revision and Appeal to hear appeals from the said assessment and to correct and revise the assessment as they deem appropriate. The Town Council shall have full power and authority to alter, revise, add to, and lake from the said assessment. The decision of three members of the Council shall be final and conclusive, unless an appeal (by appropriate writ) is taken to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for Kent County within ten (10) days from the date of the Town Council's decision.
No member of the Town Council shall sit on his/her own appeal, but the same shall be heard and determined by the other members.
Unless the Town shall have adopted the assessment values as shown on the Kent County Assessment List, the Town Assessor shall be present on the day fixed for hearing appeals and shall furnish to the Town Council such information and answer such questions as the Town Council may require in respect to any assessment for which an appeal has been taken. The Town Council shall have the authority to enforce the attendance of the Town Assessor by appropriate process.
H. Exemption From Taxation, All property which would be exempt from property tax under 9 Del C, Chapter 81, as amended, or any future corresponding provision of law, shall be exempt from municipal property tax by the Town of Felton. Additionally, anything in this charter to the contrary notwithstanding, the Town Council shall have the power and authority to exempt, in whole or in part, such property from municipal property tax when, in the opinion of the Town Council, it will best promote the public welfare.
XVIII. LEVY OF TAXES; DELIVERY OF ASSESSMENT LIST TO TREASURER
Promptly after the 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 Town Council or the Assessor for future reference if need be, and as a precaution against the possible loss or destruction of the duplicate. The said duplicate shall, as soon as practicable after the appeal meeting, be delivered to the Town Treasurer with the Town Council's direction to receive and collect from the taxables named therein, taxes at a rate specified therein per one hundred dollars (or fractional part thereof) of assessed value, whereof they shall stand severally assessed. The delivery of the duplicate assessment list shall constitute the levy and imposition of such taxes, and all such taxes shall be and constitute a lien on the property so taxed from the date thereof until collected or for a period of ten (10) years whichever occurs first.
XIX. PAYMENT OF TAXES TO TREASURER: PENALTY FOR LATE PAYMENT: COSTS OF COLLECTION
A. Treasurer to Collect Town Taxes: Due Date, The Town Treasurer is and shall be the Receiver of Taxes for the Town. On or before June 1 of each year, the Town Treasurer shall cause the annual property tax bills to be mailed to the taxables of the Town. Such mailing shall be by regular mail, proper postage affixed, to the taxable at the address shown on the Town's tax records. However, the failure of any taxable to receive a tax bill because of incorrect postage, incorrect address, or other cause shall not excuse late payment or nonpayment.
All Town property taxes shall be considered due and payable as of July 1 of each year.
A. DISCOUNT FOR EARLY PAYMENT, PENALTY FOR LATE PAYMENT The Town Council may provide, by resolution adopted prior to the mailing out of the tax hills, that taxables paying their annual property tax bills on or before August 1 of each year shall be entitled to a discount, the amount of such discount to be set forth in such resolution. After August 31st of each year, there shall be added a penalty in the amount of 2% per month for each month or fraction thereof such taxes shall remain unpaid, said penalty to be effective on the first day of September, and said penalty shall be collected in the same manner as the original amount of the tax. The Town Council shall have the power to make just allowances for delinquencies in the collection of taxes.
COLLECTION OF TOWN TAXES
A. Lien. All taxes laid or imposed by 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 ten years from the date such taxes were levied and imposed.
D. Tax Collection Powers In the collection of any property taxes due to the
Town, the Town Treasurer shall have, in addition to the powers hereinafter set out, all of the same powers, remedies, means, and processes as by law conferred upon the Collector of Taxes for Kent County. In effecting a collection of any delinquent tax, the Town Council may impose a collection charge reasonably calculated to recover the costs of collection, including court costs and reasonable attorneys fees.
Before exercising any of his/her powers for the collection of taxes, written notice of the amount due (including all penalties, interest, and costs of collection) shall be mailed to the taxable at his/her/its last known address, with notice that collection proceedings will commence without further notice if such taxes are not paid within 30 days from the mailing of such notice. At any time thereafter, the Treasurer shall have (among others) the following powers for the collection of taxes and may, in the name of the Town:
1. Distraint Distrain the goods and chattels of the taxable.
2. Debt Action Institute suit in any court of competent jurisdiction of the State of Delaware, or before the Town Alderman, for the recovery of the unpaid tax, in an action for debt, and upon judgment obtained, have issued writs of execution and/or garnishment.
3. Sale of Lands Should the Treasurer so elect, and without necessity of employing any or all of the other remedies provided herein, the Treasurer is authorized and empowered to sell the lands and tenements of a delinquent taxpayer, or the lands and tenements alienated by a delinquent taxpayer, subsequent to the levy of the tax by the following procedure:
(A) The Treasurer shall present in the name of the Town of Felton to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Kent County, a petition in which shall be stated:
(1) The name of the taxable or assessee;
(2) The year(s) for which the tax was levied, assessed, or charged;
(2) The rate of tax, assessment, or other charge;
(3) The total amount due;
(4) The date(s) from which the penalty for nonpayment, if any, shall commence and the rate of such penalty and any collection charge permitted;
(5) A short description of the lands and tenements proposed to be sold, sufficient to reasonably identify same;
(6) A statement that the bill of said tax, assessment or other charge has been mailed to the taxable at his/her last known post office address with return receipt requested by certified mail and postage prepaid, together with a notice that the Treasurer would proceed to sell the lands and tenements of the taxable for payment of the tax, assessment, or other charge due the Town; and the date of such mailing;
(7) The petition shall be signed by the Treasurer and shall be verified before a Notary Public.
(B) At least ten (10) days prior to the filing of any such petition as described herein, the Treasurer shall deposit in the mail in a sealed and stamped envelope and addressed to the taxable at his/her last known address requiring a registered receipt returnable, an itemized statement of the tax, assessment or other charge due, together with all penalties, collection charges, and costs then due thereon, together with a notice to the delinquent taxpayer that he/she shall proceed to sell the lands and tenements of the taxpayer for the payment of the tax, assessment, or other charge. The Treasurer shall exhibit the return registry receipt to the Court by filing the same with the petition; provided, however that if the taxpayer cannot be found, or if delivery is refused or unclaimed, it shall be sufficient for the Treasurer to file with said petition the evidence that such statement has been mailed in accordance with this subsection and has been returned.
(C) Upon the filing of the petition, the Prothonotary shall record the same in a properly indexed record of the Superior Court, in and for Kent County, and shall endorse upon the said record of said petition the following:
This petition, having been filed this day of , A.D.
_________ (giving year and date), the Treasurer of the Town of Felton is hereby authorized to proceed to sell the lands and tenements herein mentioned or a sufficient part thereof as may be necessary for the payment of the amounts due.
This endorsement shall be signed by the Prothonotary.
(D) Any sales of lands and tenements of a delinquent taxpayer shall be advertised in three (3) public places in the Town of Felton, one of said public places shall be the Town Office and one of which shall be on the premises and by printing the notice of said sale at least one (1) time in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town. The notice shall contain the day, hour, place of sale and a short description of the premises sufficient to identify the same. The handbills shall be posted at least ten (10) days before the day fixed for the sale and the newspaper advertisement shall be published at least ten (10) days before the day of the sale.
(E) Each sale of lands and tenements shall be returned to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Kent County, at the next Motion Day thereof following the sale, and the Court shall inquire into the circumstances and either approve or set aside the sale. If the sale be set aside, the Superior Court may order another sale and so on until the tax be collected. No sale shall be approved by the Superior Court if the owner be ready at court to pay the taxes, penalty, collection fees and costs. If the sale be approved, the Treasurer making the sale shall make a deed to the purchaser which shall convey all the right, title and interest of the delinquent taxpayer provided however, that no deed shall be delivered to the purchaser until the expiration of one (1) year from the date of the sale within which time the delinquent taxpayer, his/her/its, heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns shall have the power to redeem the lands on payment to the purchaser, the delinquent taxpayer's personal representatives or assigns, the costs, the amount of the purchase price, plus twenty percent (20%), and the expense of having the deed prepared. All taxes assessed and all documented reasonable and necessary costs for maintenance and preservation of the property (including insurance) after the sale and before the delivery of the deed shall be paid by the purchaser at said sale who shall be reimbursed by the delinquent taxpayer in the event of redemption to which shall be added twenty percent (20%) thereon.
In the event the purchaser refuses to accept the same, or in the event the purchasers, heirs or assigns cannot be located within the State of Delaware, it shall be lawful for the owner, his/her heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, to pay the redemption money to the Treasurer of Felton and upon obtaining from him a receipt therefore, such receipt shall be considered for all intents and purposes a valid and lawful exercise of the power to redeem the said lands.
In the event the lands have not been redeemed within the redemption year, the Treasurer shall deliver to the purchaser, the purchaser's heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns, a deed which shall convey the title of the delinquent taxpayer.
The petition, return and deed shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity of the proceeding.
(F) After satisfying the tax, assessment, or other charge 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. If he/she shall refuse to accept said residue, or if the owner is unknown or cannot be found, the amount remaining shall be deposited in some bank either to the credit of the owner or in a manner in which the fund may be identified.
(G) In the sale of lands for the payment of delinquent taxes, assessments, or other charges the following costs shall be allowed to be deducted from the proceeds of the sale or chargeable against the owner, as the case may be, in the amount customarily , charged:
(1) To the Prothonotary for filing and recording the petition.
(1) For filing and recording the return of sale.
(2) To the Treasurer for (a) preparing the Certificate, (b) making the sale of lands, (c) preparing and filing a return, (d) posting sale bills. In addition, the costs of printing handbills, the publication of the advertisement of sale in a newspaper, and the auctioneer's fee, if any, shall be chargeable as costs. The costs of the deed shall not be chargeable as costs, but shall be paid by the purchaser of the property of the delinquent taxpayer. The total of any realty transfer tax shall be paid by the purchaser of said lands at the tax sale.
(2) Reasonable attorneys fees incurred by the Town in connection with such sale.
(H) 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 and in the Petition to the court.
(I) If any person is assessed for several parcels of land and tenements in the same assessment in the Town of Felton, the total of said taxes, assessments, or other charges may be collected from the sale of any part or portion of said lands and tenements.
(J) In the event of death, resignation or removal from office of the Treasurer of the Town of Felton before the proceedings for the sale of lands shall have been completed, his/her successor in office shall succeed to all of his/her powers, rights, and duties in respect to said sale. In the event of the death of the purchaser of said sale prior to his/her receiving a deed for the property purchased thereat, the person having right under him/her by consent, devise, assignment. or otherwise, may refer to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Kent County, a petition representing the facts and praying for an order authorizing and requiring the Treasurer to execute and acknowledge a deed conveying to the petitioner the premises so sold, and thereupon the court may make such order touching the conveyance of the premises as shall be according to justice and equity.
4. Treasurer's Assistance From The Treasurer shall have the same right to require the aid or assistance of any person or persons in the performance of his/her duty of sale which the Sheriff of Kent County now has by law or may hereafter have.
XX. ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION OF TAXES ON NEWLY CONSTRUCTED REAL PROPERTY Anything in this charter to the contrary notwithstanding, the Town shall be authorized and empowered to re-assess and collect taxes on all newly-constructed real property as follows:
Beginning in October of 1995 and for each quarter of each year thereafter, there shall be a true, just, and impartial valuation and assessment of all newly constructed real property within the Town, locating each parcel of real property by street and number or other description. Property shall be deemed to be newly constructed when the city or county permits occupancy and use. The said valuation and assessment shall be made by an assessor who shall be appointed by Council in accordance with the provisions of this charter; or the Town Council may adopt the revised assessment from Kent County if available.
The assessment as aforesaid shall be during the months of January, April, July, and October of each year beginning in October of 1995.
The assessment as described hereinabove shall be deemed a general assessment for all property with new construction.
The assessment for new construction shall be set down by the assessor in two (2) or more copies as the Council shall direct, and shall be delivered to the Council as soon as made.
The Council may direct appeals from any general assessment for new construction in accordance with Section 18.7 of this charter.
Nothing in this section contained shall be deemed or held to invalidate or otherwise affect any assessment made prior to the approval of this section or any tax levied thereunder.
In the months of February, May, August, and November, beginning in November, 1995, the council shall deliver to the Town Treasurer a list containing the names of taxable under this section and opposite the name of each the amount of the real property assessment, the tax upon the total of the assessment, and the rate per hundred dollars. The said list shall be signed by the Town Clerk.
All taxes shall be paid to the Town Treasurer. Said taxes shall be paid within thirty (30) days of billing and those taxes not timely paid shall accrue a penalty in the amount of one and one-half percent (2%) per month for each month or fraction thereof that such taxes remain unpaid. For every tax that is not paid as prescribed herein. the Town Treasurer shall have all the powers conferred upon or vested in the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer for Kent County.
The Council shall have the authority to allow errors and delinquents in the assessment.
This section shall become effective July 1, 1995, and not pertain to any construction which had building permits prior to June 30, 1995.
The provisions of 9 Del. C, §8705 and 25 Del. C §§2901 through 2905 of the revised Code of Delaware, 1974 as hereafter amended from time to time, or any future corresponding provision of law, shall be deemed and held to apply to all taxes laid and imposed upon the provisions of this charter.
XXI. BORROWING POWERS: SHORT-TERM BORROWINGS The Town Council shall have the power to borrow money on the full faith and credit of the Town, without approval of the voters such sum or sums not exceeding in the aggregate $150,000.00 for general purposes when, in the opinion of the Town Council the needs of the Town require it; provided, however, that any new borrowing(s) under this Section 23 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 Town Council duly authorized by Resolution of the Town Council and signed Mayor and attested by the Secretary of the Town Council with the Town seal affixed. No Council member shall be liable for the payment of any such note or any other evidence of indebtedness because it is signed by him or her as a Councilmember, provided that he or she is so authorized by Resolution of Town Council. 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 subdivisions. Any sum(s) of money borrowed on the full faith and credit of the Town shall be paid from the general funds of the Town. The aggregate amount of outstanding principal from any such borrowing(s) under this Section 23 shall at no time exceed $150,000.00.
XXII. LONG-TERM BORROWINGS. VOTER APPROVAL REQUIRED In addition to other borrowing powers granted to the Town under this Charter or by special act, the Town Council 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 Town Council shall elect, for the payment of principal thereof and interest due thereon.
A. Proper Municipal Purpose, 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, supply, or distribution of gas, water, electricity, sewerage, or drainage system, or any of them, and the condemning or purchasing of any lands, easements, and right-of-ways which may be required therefore;
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 ways which may be required therefore;
4. constructing, laying out, widening, extending, repairing and maintaining boardwalks, 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 therefore;
5. defraying the costs to the Town of any other municipal improvement provided for or implied by the provisions of this Charter authorized; or
6. paying all expenses deemed necessary by the Town Council for the issuance of said bonds or certificates of indebtedness, including bond discount, bond insurance and legal expenses of bond counsel.
B. Exempt From Taxation 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 taxation by the State of Delaware, its agencies and political subdivisions.
C. Limit of Aggregate Long-Term Indebtednes. In no event shall the indebtedness of the Town authorized by this Section 24, at any one time exceed, in the aggregate, fifteen per cent (15%) of the assessed valuation of all taxable real property within the corporate limits of the Town of Felton.
D. Procedure. Notice. Hearing. Election In order to proceed under the power granted in this section, the Town Council shall authorize such borrowing in the following manner:
1. The Town Council by resolution shall give notice to the residents and property owners of the Town that the Town Council proposes to borrow a sum of money, not to exceed a stated amount, for a stated municipal purpose or purposes. The resolution shall state the amount of money desired to be borrowed (which may be stated as a not to exceed" amount as to each purpose), the purpose(s) for which the amount(s) is/are desired, the manner of securing same, and such other facts relating to the borrowing which are deemed pertinent by the Town Council and in their possession at the time of the passage of the Resolution; and they shall fix a time, dale and place for a hearing on the said resolution.
1. (a) Notice of the time, date, and place of the hearing on the resolution authorizing said loan shall be published in two newspapers of general circulation in the Town not less than 10 days, nor more than 60 days, prior to the date set for the public hearing. Such notice shall be in bold print or bordered in black so as to call attention thereto. In addition to the time, date, and place of the public hearing such notices shall contain the same information as required under §24.4.1 above.
24.4.2(b) In addition to publication as herein provided, the Town Council shall, not less than 10 days nor more than 60 days prior to the date set for the hearing, cause a public notice containing the information required above to be posted in at least five public places in the Town. In the event the publications and/or postings do not appear on the same date, the date of the last publication or posting shall control.
2. If, at any time following the public hearing, the Town Council determines to proceed with the proposed borrowing, it shall pass a second resolution ordering a special election to be held, upon not less than 10 nor more than 60 days public notice, for the purpose of voting for or against the proposed borrowing. The passage of the second Resolution shall ipso facto be considered a determination by the Town Council to proceed with the matter in issue; provided however, that the Town Council may, at any time subsequent thereto, and based upon a significant change in the relevant circumstances, act by resolution to cancel the Special Election and abandon the proposed borrowing.
4. (a) The notice of the time and place of holding the said Special Election shall be printed in two newspapers of general circulation in the Town, not less than 10 days nor more than 60 days prior to the date set for the Special Election. In addition to the time, date and place of the election, such notice shall contain the same information as required under §24.4.1. Such notice shall be information in bold print or bordered in black so as to call attention thereto.
24.4.4(b) In addition to such publication as herein provided, the Town Council shall, not less than 10 days nor more than 60 days before the date set for the election, cause public notice, containing the information set out in subsection 24.4.4(a) above (using date of "posting.' for date of "publication"), posted in at least 5 public places in the Town. In the event the publications and/or postings do not appear on the same date, the date of the last publication or posting shall control.
4. At such special election, any person who is entitled to vote in the annual
Town election if it were held on that day, shall be entitled to one vote. (For purposes of this section, "entitled to vote" shall include "registered to vote" if voter registration is required for the annual Town election.) 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/she casts his/her vote.
The Mayor of The Town of Felton, by and with the advice and consent of the majority of the Town Council shall appoint three (3) persons to act as a Board of Election. The polling places shall be open for a minimum of six hours as specified by resolution of the Town Council. Persons in the polling place at the time appointed for closing of the polls shall be entitled to vote.
5. The Board of Election shall be 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 Election shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and against the proposed borrowing(s) and the number of void votes and shall deliver the same to the Town Council which said certificate shall be retained by the Town Council with the other papers of the Town.
E. If a majority of the votes cast at such election shall be in favor of such borrowing(s), the Town Council shall proceed with the issuance of the said bonds or certificates of indebtedness; provided, however, that the Town Council may, at any time prior to entering into a binding agreement for the public or private sale of such bond(s) or evidence(s) of indebtedness, abandon the proposed borrowing(s).
F. Form of Bonds. 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 relative or appurtenant matter pertaining thereto shall all be determined by the Town Council after said Special Election.
G. Public or Private Sale, 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 tiller advertisement in a manner to be prescribed by the Town Council.
H. Provision for Payment: Special Tax Sinking Fund, The Town Council shall provide for the payment of interest on and principal of the said bonds or certificates of indebtedness at the maturity or maturities thereof. The said Town Council is authorized and empowered, at its 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, 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 24.7 shall be collected from the owners of real estate in the same manner as the other taxes levied by the said Town Council are collected. Said Town Council 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 24.7 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.
I. Full Faith and Credit Unless Otherwise Stated Unless any such bond(s) or certificate(s) of indebtedness shall provide otherwise, the full faith and credit of the Town of Felton 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.
J. Statute of Limitations. 60 days No action contesting any proceedings conducted, or action taken by the Town Council hereunder regarding the authorization of any bonds or certificates of indebtedness issued under this Section 24 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 Felton and one of which shall be of general circulation in the State of Delaware, which notice shall announce the following information:
(A) That the Town Council has determined to borrow a certain sum or sums of money and to issue bonds or certificates of indebtedness therefore.
(B) That the proposal(s) has/have 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(s).
(A) The amount(s) of money to be borrowed.
(C) The purpose(s) for which it is to be borrowed.
(D) That any person desiring to challenge the authorization of such bond(s) or certificate(s) of indebtedness must bring his or her action within 60 days from the date of publication of such notice or forever be barred from doing so.
(B) Such notice shall be in bold print or bordered in black in such manner as to call attention thereto. In addition to publication as herein provided, the Town Council shall cause a public notice, containing the information set out in subsections (A) through (E) above (using date of "posting" for date of "publication") to be posted in least 5 public places in the Town. In the event the publications and/or postings do not appear on the same date, the date of the last publication or posting shall control.ol
A. Appointment, The Town Council may appoint a suitable person to serve as Alderman who shall serve for a term of one year, or until his/her successor is duly appointed, subject however, to being removed from office for just cause, at any time by the Town Council.
A. Qualifications Any person appointed to serve as Alderman shall be at least twenty-one (21) years of age, a United States citizen, of good character and reputation, shall live within five miles of the limits of the Town, and shall not be a member of the Town Council or otherwise an officer or employee of the Town of Felton.
C. Oath of Office Before entering upon the duties of his/her office, the person appointed to serve as Alderman shall be sworn or affirmed by the Mayor of the Town Council to perform the duties of his/her office honestly, faithfully and diligently and to uphold and enforce the Charter of the Town of Felton and ordinances duly enacted by the Town Council of the Town of Felton.
D. Duties, It shall be the duty of the Alderman to hear and decide all complaints, charges, and arrests concerning violations of all laws and ordinances within the jurisdiction of the Alderman's Court.
E. Alderman's Docket, The Town Council shall procure suitable records for the use of the Alderman. Such records shall be known as the "Alderman's Docket". The Alderman shall record all official acts and proceedings in the Alderman's Docket.
F. Jurisdiction The Alderman shall have jurisdiction and cognizance of all breaches of the peace, offenses, and violations of any ordinance of the Town committed within the corporate limits of the Town of Felton. As to such offenses or violations over which he/she is given jurisdiction by this Charter or by any other law of the State of Delaware, the Alderman shall be authorized and empowered to hold for bail, set bail, impose fines, or imprison, for each offense or violation in accordance with the penalties provided by this Charter, by any Town Ordinance enacted hereunder, or as provided by any law of the State of Delaware; provided however, that the maximum fine which the Alderman may impose shall never exceed the limits established by this charter.
G. Civil and Criminal Penalties: Costs. The Alderman shall not impose any penalty in excess of Five Hundred Dollars ($500) exclusive of costs except as otherwise specifically provided in this Charter; but the Alderman may, in addition to any other fine permitted to be assessed or imposed, impose and collect such costs as are set by ordinance or resolution of the Town Council, provided that no costs shall be imposed which are in excess of that which may be imposed by a Justice of the Peace for like service.
H. Monthly Report to Town Council, The Alderman shall prepare and submit a monthly report to the Town Council reporting all fines and penalties imposed during the preceding calendar month and shall pay to the Treasurer of the Town all such fines and penalties at such times as the Town Council shall direct.
I. .Compensation The Alderman shall receive such compensation as may be fixed from time to time by Resolution of the Town Council, which compensation shall not be contingent upon or related to the amount of any civil or penal fines imposed or collected.
J. Removal from Office . If any Alderman shall be removed from office as hereinbefore provided, he/she shall deliver to the Mayor within five (5) days after his/her removal from office, all the books and papers belonging to his/her office, and shall pay over to the Treasurer all moneys in his/her hands within five (5) days after receiving the notice of his/her removal from office. Immediately after the receipt of the books and papers belonging to the office of the Alderman, the Mayor may require the auditor of the Town to make an audit of the books and papers of the official so removed from the office. Upon the neglect or failure to deliver all the books and papers to the Mayor within the time specified by this Charter, or to pay over all of the moneys to the Treasurer within the time specified, the Alderman, so removed, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than Twenty-five Dollars ($25) nor more than One Hundred Dollars ($100) for each day that he/she fails to deliver the books and papers to the Mayor or to pay over all moneys to the Treasurer.
XXIV. POLICE FORCE
A. Chief of Police: Police Officers, The Chief of Police and subordinate members of the police force shall each be appointed by the Town Council for an indefinite term and may be removed for just cause by the Town Council, subject to the provisions of 11 Del, C. Chapters 92 and 93 as amended, or any future corresponding provision of law applicable, by its terms, to the Town of Felton. Operational control of the daily routine of the Police Department shall be the responsibility of the Chief of Police. The authority of the Chief of Police shall be subordinate and answerable to the Town Council.
B. Power and Duties, The Chief of Police and each member of the police force shall have all the police powers and authority of a State Peace Officer and shall be conservators of the peace throughout the Town of Felton. Within the corporate limits of the Town, the Police shall have the affirmative duty to preserve peace in good order; to suppress all acts of violence and all riotous, disorderly, or turbulent assemblages of persons on all public ways and places; to enforce all ordinances enacted by the Town Council of the Town of Felton and all criminal laws and motor vehicle laws enacted by the State of Delaware. The police shall also have such other duties as the Town Council shall, from time to time, prescribe and delegate to the police force. Upon view of the foregoing, or upon view any violation of any ordinance of the Town, the police force shall have the right and power to issue a summons or to arrest without a warrant. In the case of actual pursuit of an offender, the power and authority of the police force shall extend outside the territorial limitations of the Town of Felton to any part of the State of Delaware.
C. Arrest Where Alderman Is Not Available In the case of an arrest at any time when the Alderman of the Town of Felton shall not be available or if no such Alderman has been appointed, the person arrested may be taken before the nearest Justice of the Peace Court in session in Kent County who shall hear and determine the charge, and which, in such case, shall be vested with all the authority and powers granted by this Charter unto the Town of Felton Alderman. In the case of an arrest at a time when the Alderman or the Justice of the Peace shall not be available to hear and determine the charge, the person arrested may be delivered to the correctional institution located in Kent County or held in appropriate holding facilities until such reasonable time thereafter as shall enable the Alderman or the Justice of the Peace to hear and determine the charge against such person.
XXV. BOARD OF HEALTH The Town Council shall have the power 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. In the event the Town Council does not deem it necessary to appoint a Board of Health as herein provided, said Town Council shall have all of the duties and powers herein conferred upon the Board of Health.
XXVI. CODE ENFORCEMENT The Town Council may, at its discretion, appoint, employ. or designate any qualified person, firm, or agency, for such definite or indefinite term as the Town Council deems appropriate, to act as Code Enforcement Constable(s) for the enforcement of any Town or state zoning, building, housing, plumbing, electric, health or other code, ordinance. regulation, or statute. Such officials shall be authorized and empowered to act pursuant to 10 Del, C. Chapter 29, as amended, or in accordance with any future corresponding provision of law. No person, firm, or agency shall be appointed, employed, or designated as a Code Enforcement Constable unless properly qualified, in the opinion of the Town Council, by trade experience, training and education, or appropriate certification, to carry out the duties assigned.
XXVII. 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 free from unsanitary or unsightly conditions, clear of tall weeds and rubbish, and to till in any low lots if the Town Council reasonably determines the same to be unsanitary or unsightly or in any other manner prejudicial to the welfare of the Town or adjoining lot owners. The Town Council shall have the power and authority to adopt ordinances defining, regulating, or prohibiting such conditions, including penalties for violations thereof and/or for the correction thereof by the Town, and for the collection of all costs necessitated thereby (including reasonable attorneys fees) from the property owner after notice and hearing. Any such costs incurred by the Town pursuant to such ordinances, together with interest thereon at the legal rate until paid, shall constitute a lien upon the property until the same be collected.
XXVIII 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 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 adopted by the State Fire Prevention Commission pursuant to 16 Del C Chapter 66. et seq. as from time to time hereafter amended, or any future corresponding provision of law.
B. Town Council may appropriate annually such sums as are deemed desirable to any duly organized fire company operating within the Town; or in lieu of in addition thereto, may provide free public utility services supplied by the Town.
XXIX. CONDEMNATION OF DANGEROUS BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES
The Town shall have the power and authority to adopt ordinances to define, and provide procedures for the condemnation, demolition and removal of dangerous buildings and other structures in the Town which, upon inspection, are determined to be a fire hazard or otherwise unsafe. Such ordinances shall provide procedures for prior notice and opportunity to be heard (except in cases of imminent danger, to persons or property), and for an opportunity to correct the hazardous condition by the affected property owner(s) and/or lienholder(s) prior to demolition and removal (except in cases where the Council determines, based upon the evidence presented, that it is not economically feasible to restore such building so as to meet applicable safety and building codes). Such ordinances may be adopted pursuant to or in accordance with the Delaware State Housing Code (31 Del. C, Chapter 41 as from time to time hereafter amended or any future corresponding provisions of law) and/or pursuant to such reasonable standards for the demolition and removal of dangerous buildings as the Town may adopt. The Town may provide for the collection of all costs incurred in the demolition and removal of any such dangerous building or structure, including reasonable attorneys fees, in accordance with 25 Del C Chapter 29, as from time to time hereafter amended or any corresponding provision of law.
XXX. ZONING The Town of Felton shall have all powers granted to municipalities under 22 Del C. Chapter 3, as amended, or any future corresponding provision of law.
XXXI. PLANNING AND ZONING_COMMITTEE
A. Appointment, The Mayor, with the advice and consent of a majority of the Town Council, shall appoint a Planning and Zoning Committee consisting of not less than five nor more than seven members, who shall be appointed for terms not exceeding three years each. Terms shall be staggered so that the term of at least one member shall expire each year. A majority of the committee members shall be residents of the Town of Felton.
B. Powers. Duties. Scope of Activities, The powers, duties, and scope of activities of the Planning and Zoning Committee shall be established by ordinance, and may include, by way of example and not in limitation, any of the following: land subdivision approval, creation and maintenance of a comprehensive development plan, flood plain regulations, an official map of the Town; and recommendations to the Town Council concerning amendments to the Town's Zoning Ordinance and/or zoning map.
C. Organization. The Planning and Zoning Committee shall elect annually, from among its members, a Chairman and Secretary. The committee she)) 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 Town Council.
XXXII. SUBDIVISION AND LAND DEVELOPMENT
A. Power to Regulate, In order to provide for the orderly growth and development of the Town, to promote the health, safety, prosperity, and general welfare of the present and future inhabitants of the Town, to insure the conservation of property values and natural resources, including the protection of the Town's open lands, water resources, and recreational potential, and to afford adequate provisions for public utilities, water supply, drainage, sanitation, vehicular access, educational and recreational facilities, parkland and open space, among other and related activities, the Town may regulate the subdivision of all land in the Town. Such regulation may, through ordinance, include;
i.1. Varying procedures for insuring the processing of combining, partitioning, or land subdivision plans, within a reasonable period of time, relative to the number of lots or parcels and the extent of improvements required;
2. Procedures for insuring that the arrangement of the lots or parcels of land or improvements thereon shall conform to the existing zoning at the time of recordation and that streets, or rights-of-way, bordering on within subdivided land shall be of such widths and grades and in such locations as may be deemed necessary to accommodate prospective traffic, that adequate easements or rights-of-way shall be provided for drainage and utilities, that reservations of areas designed for their use as public grounds shall be of suitable size and location for their designated uses, that sufficient and suitable monuments and signage shall be required, that land which might constitute a menace to safety, health or general welfare shall be made safe for the purpose for which it is subdivided, and that adequate provision for water supply, sanitary sewage, and surface water drainage is made;
2. Procedures for encouraging and promoting flexibility and ingenuity in the layout and design of subdivisions and land development, and for encouraging practices which are in accordance with contemporary and evolving principles of site planning and development.
3. Requiring, through dedication of land, money in lieu of land, "impact fees," "connection fees," or otherwise, those subject to such regulation to provide, at their own expense, such municipal or public improvements (including enlargement, expansion, improvement, or enhancement of existing municipal or public improvements) which have a rational nexus to the proposed land subdivision, combining, or partitioning, including, by way of example and not in limitation, the laying out and paving of streets, installation of sidewalks, curbs, storm sewers, water lines, sanitary sewer lines, electric distribution lines, street signs, access roads, playgrounds, parks, and open areas. In imposing such requirements, the Town may consider and take into account future as well as immediate needs, and potential as well as present population factors affecting the neighborhood in question.
4. Procedures for insuring that any improvements to be constructed on such lands are in compliance with all appropriate Town ordinances and engineering standards and that the placement and location of such improvements will not have a significant negative impact on adjoining properties.
5. Procedures for securing financial guarantees from the developers of such lands to insure satisfactory completion of all such required improvements, which may include extending the term of such guarantee for a reasonable period of time (not exceeding three years) beyond the actual completion of such improvements by the developer or acceptance of such improvements by the Town.
B. Recording Unapproved Plans, In the event an ordinance of the Town so provides, no plat, plot, or plan of land regarding a proposed subdivision, combining or partitioning shall be received for filing or recording by the Recorder of Deeds in and for Kent County unless and until such plat, plot, or plan shall have been approved by the Town Council and the fact of such approval shall have been endorsed in writing on such plan. Any such plat, plot, or plan recorded without compliance with any ordinance adopted pursuant to this subparagraph shall be voidable by action of the Town Council in an action in any court of competent jurisdiction.
XXXIII. PARKS AND RECREATION The Town Council shall have the right to acquire by gift, purchase, or designation of Town public lands, areas suitable for municipal parks or recreation areas, and to develop such areas through the installation of suitable playground and recreational equipment or facilities and/or by the placement of trees, flowers, shrubs, walks, pathways, seeding or other landscaping, and/or all of which shall have been acquired by the Town by gift, purchase, or grant from any legal entity or from any local, county, state, or federal government or agency thereof.
XXXIV. STREETS, DRAINAGE WAYS
A. Power to Lay Out. Locate. Open. Widen. Alter. Close. Vacate or Abandon The Town Council shall have the power and authority to lay out, locate, and open new streets and drainage ways, or to widen or alter existing streets and drainage ways, and/or to close, vacate, or abandon existing or proposed streets and drainage ways, or parts thereof, whenever the Town council shall deem it in the best interests of the Town.
B. Definitions, For all purposes of this section, the word "street" shall be deemed to comprehend and include all public streets, avenues, highways, lanes, roadways and alleys; and the word "drainage way" shall be deemed to comprehend and include all- ditches, swales, gulleys, drains, storm sewers, and catch basins.
C. Public Utility Purposes, The Town Council is hereby authorized and empowered to use, or permit the use by others, of any dedicated streetbed, whether open to the public or not, for public utility purposes, above or below ground, including electric, water, gas, sewage, telephone, cable television, fiber optic cable, or other communications medium.
D. Initiation of Proceedings: Notice. Hearing, Any proceeding initiated under this section of the Town Charter may be by resolution. Any such resolution shall contain a description of the proposed action and shall fix a time, date, and place when the Town Council shall sit to hear comments and objections concerning the proposal. At least ten (10) days before the date set for such hearing, the resolution adopted by the Town Council shall be printed in a newspaper of a general circulation in the Town and shall be posted in three (3) public places in the Town.
E. Notice to Affected Property Owners, The Town Council shall also cause to be sent, certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner(s) of record of the real estate through or over which such street or drainage way may run, a copy of such resolution. If the address of the owner be unknown, a copy shall be delivered to any persons occupying the premises, or if none, posted thereon. Notice to affected property owners under this section shall be provided at least ten (10) days before the date set for the hearing.
F. Hearing, At the time and place set in the resolution, the Town Council shall hear such residents or taxable of the Town, or owners of the property affected thereby, as shall attend the hearing. After hearing all comments, the Town Council shall, at said meeting, or at a subsequent date, as it may deem proper, adopt a resolution to proceed with, or to abandon, the proposed locating, laying out, widening, altering, closing, vacating, or abandoning of any street(s) or drainage way(s) or parts thereof contemplated in its aforementioned prior resolution. Payment of Just Compensation In every case where the Town Council shall resolve to proceed with the plan contemplated, or a portion thereof, the Town Council shall award just and reasonable compensation to any person or persons who will thereby be deprived of property by virtue of the execution of the plan so contemplated. Such compensation, if any be awarded, shall be paid by the Treasurer of the Town of Felton, on a warrant drawn upon him by authority of the Town Council) upon delivery of a good and sufficient deed conveying a fee simple title (or such lesser estate as deemed appropriate by the Town Council unto 'The Town of Felton' which title the Town Council may require to be clear and free of all liens and encumbrances. Notice of compensation shall be given to affected property owners as provided in subsection 36.5 above.
G. Property Owner's Right of Appeal,
1. Any person or persons desiring to appeal any aspect of an award made by the Town Council under subsection 36.7 above, shall within ten (10) days after receiving notice in writing of the award, appeal by making a written application to the Alderman or to the adjacent Justice 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.
2. The Alderman or Justice shall thereupon compile a list (the "Freeholder 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.
3. The Alderman or Justice shall, after compiling the list and with agreement of appellants and Town Council, appoint a reasonable place, day and hour, when the Town Council and appellants shall appear before the Alderman or Justice. The Town Council 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; two of whom shall be residents of said Town, and three of whom shall reside outside said Town limits. Those five names remaining shall constitute 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 Town Council.
4. In case the said appellants or Council members or any of them shall fail, 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/she may think proper to act for an 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 Councilmember, may at any time within fifteen (15) days of the time of securing such Appeal Board, and upon due notice to all other appellants and Councilmembers, 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/her 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.
5. 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 (20) 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 Councilmember and to the Alderman or Justice. 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/she shall forfeit and pay the Councilmembers for the use of the "Town" the sum of Twenty-live Dollars ($25.00) 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.
6. If the report of said Appeal Board is substantially the same as the damages and award of the Town Council under §36,7 of the Charter, the costs of such appeal (including the cost of any survey) 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, a nonresident or incapacitated in any way 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 reasonable compensation for their services.
H. Disposal of Abandoned or Vacated Streets or Drainage Ways Whenever the Town owns any interest in any of the lands comprehended or included in any street or drainage way (or part thereof) vacated or abandoned by the Town under this section, the Town Council may in its discretion, sell such land (or its interests therein) at public or private sale and for such consideration as the Town Council shall deem proper, The Town Council shall have the right and power to convey to the purchaser or purchasers thereof, a good and sufficient title thereto for whatever estate the Town may have therein.
XXXV PAVING GUTTERING AND CURBING
In the event that it becomes feasible or necessary in the future for the Town to level, grade, flag, or reflag, curb or recurb, gutter or regutter, pave or repave the sidewalks, curbs, crosswalks or gutters of the Town of Felton or to repair or improve any curb, sidewalk, gutter or crosswalk, the following procedure shall be followed:
A. Resolution, The Town Council shall adopt a resolution stating that on a named day and at a named hour and place, the Town Council will meet to consider the question of laying, installing or constructing new sidewalks, curbs or gutters, or any or all of them, or the repair or replacement of particular sidewalks, curbs or gutters or any or all of them, in the Town, 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 published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town of Felton at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting. The Town Council 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 Town appearing on the question referred to in said resolution.
A. Determination to Proceed After such public hearing, the Town Council, either at said public hearing, or at a subsequent regular or special meeting, shall decide whether or not to proceed with the improvements referred to in said resolution, and if it shall determine to proceed, the Town Council 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 said 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 a 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 a specified proportion of costs aforesaid, as the case may be. The amount to be paid by the owner of each parcel for their property affected shall be determined according to the lineal footage of their parcel(s) adjoining, along or in front of which the improvement or improvements were made.
B. Assessment and Collection of Costs; Lien Whenever the laying, installing or constructing of new sidewalks, curbs or gutters or any or all of them, or replacement or repair of the sidewalks, curbs or gutters or any or all of them have been made, and the costs thereof ascertained, the Town Council shall ascertain the amount that the owner or owners of each parcel or property shall pay as hereinbefore stated, and the terms for payment and shall give written notice thereof to said owner or owners. If such owner or owners shall fail to pay the specified amount within sixty days alter the mailing or such notice, the same, together with interest and 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 over any other liens or encumbrances against said property for a period of ten years from the date of mailing of the notice, although such other lien or encumbrance be of a date prior to the time of the attaching of such liens for the improvements as provided hereunder.
C. Notice, Whenever written notice is required to be given to any "owner" by this Section 37, notice to one co-owner shall be notice to all. Notice shall be given by mailing same, certified mail, return receipt requested, proper postage affixed, to said owner at his or her last known address; provided however, that the failure of any owner to actually receive such notice, (being returned as, among other reasons, "unclaimed", "refused to accept", ''moved, no forwarding address") shall not invalidate any action taken under this section.
D. Change in Ownership, The word "owner" as used in this section shall be deemed to mean the freeholders of the property at the time of the resolution adopted under (a) above, and any change in ownership thereafter shall not be deemed or held to affect any of the proceedings described in this section.
E. Construction Supervision. Standards, The Town Council 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, inspectors and others as the Town Council may deem expedient.
A. Referendum Power, The qualified voters of the Town of Felton shall have the power to require reconsideration by the Town Council of any adopted ordinance and to approve or reject it at an election as provided herein; provided however that such power of referendum shall not extend to; the budget, any capital improvements, any emergency ordinance, or to any ordinance relating to the appropriation of money, or any ordinance relating to the levy of taxes.
B. "Qualified Voters": Persons Entitled to Vote In Referendum
At any referendum election conducted under this section, a "qualified voter shall mean any person who is entitled to vote in the annual town election if it were held on that day. Each qualified voter shall be entitled to one vote.
C. Referendum Petition In order to initiate a referendum under this section,
a referendum petition, signed by those persons who are qualified voters (as defined above) at the time such petition is presented to the Town Council (as hereinafter provided) equal in number to 15% of the "qualified voters" of the Town, with the local address of the person so signing, shall be presented to the Town Council. Each copy of such petition shall contain and have attached thereto throughout its circulation the full text of the ordinance subject to be reconsidered.
Each copy of the petition shall have attached to it, when filed, an affidavit executed by the signer thereof stating that he/she personally circulated the petition, the number of signatures thereon, that all signatures were affixed in his/her presence, that he/she believes them to be the genuine signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be, that each person who signed it is qualified to sign the petition and that each signer had an opportunity, before signing, to read the full text of the ordinance sought to be reconsidered.
D. Determination of Sufficiency of Petition
1. Determination by Town Council The Town Council may examine, or
2. direct the Town Treasurer to examine and report back to the Town Council, any petition filed under this section in order to determine its sufficiency. If the Town Council determines that such petition is insufficient for any reason, it shall publicly state such fact and the reasons therefore, and shall return such petition(s) to the person(s) submitting same. Any petition rejected as insufficient on account of an insufficient number of signatures may be "cured" by the addition of additional signatures of qualified voters and re-submitted within 60 days from the date such petition was first rejected by the Town Council.
3. Appeal of Town Council Decision Any person or
person, jointly or severally, aggrieved by the decision of the Town Council may present to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, a petition duly verified, setting forth that such decision is invalid, in whole or in part, specifying the grounds of such invalidity. Such petition shall be presented to the Court within thirty (30) days following the determination by the Town Council as to the insufficiency of such petition. Upon presentation of the petition, the Court may allow a Writ of Certiorari directed to the Town Council to review such decision of the Town Council and shall prescribe therein the time within which a return thereto must be made and served upon the petitioner or his/her attorney, which shall not be less than ten (10) days and may be extended by the Court. The Court may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the determination brought up for review.
1. Reconsideration of Ordinance Upon Receipt of Petition Upon determination that a Petition is sufficient (either by the Town Council or by the Superior Court on appeal from decision of the Town Council) the Town Council shall reconsider the referred ordinance at its first regular meeting after the Petition has been finally determined to be sufficient. If the Town Council fails to repeal the referred ordinance, it shall be submitted to the qualified voters as hereinafter provided.
E. Referendum Election.
The election on a referred ordinance shall be held not less than sixty (60) days and no later than ninety (90) days from the date that the petition is determined to be sufficient. If the Annual Town Election is to be held within ninety days from the date the Petition is determined to be sufficient, such referendum shall be considered as part of that election. If the Annual Municipal Election is not to be held within ninety (90) days from the date the Petition is determined to be sufficient, the Town Council shall provide for a special election. If the Town Council fails to hold a referendum within the time specified in this section, the ordinance for which the petition was filed shall be deemed to be repealed at the expiration of ninety (90) days from the date that the petition was considered to be sufficient, and shall not be passed in the same form for a period of six (6) months from the effective date of repeal.
2. (a) Notice of the time, date, and place of holding the said Special Election shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town, and posted in three (3) public places in the Town, not less than 10 days prior to the date set for the Special Election. The published notices shall be in bold print or bordered in black so as to call attention thereto. In the event the publications and/or postings do not appear on the same date, the date of the last publication or posting shall control.
38.5.2(b) The Mayor shall appoint three persons to act as a Board of Election, if a Special Election is required. The polling place shall be open a minimum of six consecutive hours, the times to be set by resolution of the Town Council. Persons in the polling place at the time set for the closing of the polls shall be entitled to vote even though such votes may be cast after the time set for the closing of the polls.
38.5.2(c) Immediately after the closing of the polling place or places, the Board of Election, is held on the day of the Annual Municipal Election, as the case may be, shall count the ballots for and against the proposition as presented, and shall announce the results thereof. The Board of Election shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and against the proposed ordinance and the number of void votes, and shall deliver the same to the Town Council. The said certificate shall be filed with the papers of the Town of Felton.
3. The form of the ballot of the said Election, whether the same be considered at the Annual Municipal Election or at a Special Election shall be as follows:
( ) For Repealing the Referred Ordinance
( ) Against Repealing the Referred ordinance
(Check your preference)
4. At any such Special Election, or Annual Municipal Election as the case may be, voting may be conducted by voting machine, electronic voting system, or paper ballot as the Town Council shall determine in accordance with any controlling federal or state law.
5. If the majority of the qualified voters voting on a referred ordinance vote against such ordinance, it shall he considered repealed upon the certification of the result of the election by the Board of Election in the case of a Special Election or upon the certification by the Board of Election in the case of such referendum being held on the day of the Annual Municipal Election. No ordinance which has been repealed as the result of a referendum shall be passed again in the same form by the Town Council of Felton for a period of six (6) months from the date of the referendum.
XXXVII.NON-BINDING REFERENDUM Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter to the contrary, the Town Council may, on its own initiative, by, resolution, determine to hold an election (either a Special Election or in conjunction with the Annual Municipal election) to obtain the opinion of the qualified voters (as defined herein) of the Town on any subject which the Town Council has under consideration.
Any such election shall be conducted in such manner and with such public notice, as the Town Council shall determine by resolution; provided however that any such resolutions, and any public notices regarding such non-binding referendum election, shall clearly specify that such referendum election is "non-binding". The results of any "non-binding' referendum election conducted under this section shall have no legal effect whatsoever and shall not bind or obligate the Town Council to take any action or refrain from taking any action on the subject referred, but shall merely be informational in nature regarding the opinion of those qualified voters who expressed a preference at such non-binding referendum election.
XXXVIII ACTIONS OR SUITS
No action, suit, or proceeding shall be brought or maintained against the Town of Felton, its officers (including the members of any board, commission, or agency), employees, or agents, whether now, hereafter, or previously serving as such, and no judgment, damages, penalties, costs, or other money entitlement shall be awarded or assessed against the Town, its officers, (including the members of any board, commission„ or agency) employees or agents, whether now, hereafter or previously serving as such, in any civil suit or proceeding at law or in equity, or before any administrative tribunal, arising out of, connected with, or on account of any physical injury or injuries, death, or any other type of personal injury, (including libel or slander), or injury to property (whether real or personal) unless the person by or on behalf of whom such claim or demand is asserted, within one year from the happening of the incident giving rise to such injury shall notify the Town of Felton in writing of the time, place, cause, character and extent of the injury sustained or damages suffered. Such notice shall be directed to the Town Council by certified mail with return receipt requested and postage prepaid.
The Town Council may, at reasonable times, compile the ordinances, current regulations, orders and rules of the Town of Felton. The Town Council may have a reasonable number of copies printed for the use of the officials of the Town and for public information. From time to time, upon the enactment of new ordinances, current rules and regulations, or upon the enactment of amendments to same, the Town Council may enroll the same in the minutes of the Town Council and shall keep copies of the same in a book to be provided for that purpose so that the same may be readily examined. It shall furnish the members of the Town Council copies thereof as they are enacted and thereafter may cause supplements to be compiled and printed to any compendium thereof theretofore printed as above provided.
XXXIX.SURVIVAL OF POWERS AND VALIDATING SECTION
A. All powers conferred upon or vested in the Commissioners of the Town of Felton by any act or law of the State of Delaware not in conflict with the provisions of this Charter are hereby expressly conferred upon and vested in the Town of Felton and/or the Town Council of Felton precisely as if each of said powers was expressly set forth in this Charter.
A. All ordinances adopted by the Commissioners of the Town of Felton and in force at the time of approval, acceptance and going into effect of this Charter are continued in force until the same or any of them shall be repealed, modified or altered by the Town Council of the Town of Felton under the provisions of this charter.
B. An of the acts and doings of the Commissioners of the Town of Felton or of any official, or of the President of the Board of Commissioners or the Town which shall have been lawfully done or performed under the provisions of any law of this State or of any ordinance of the Town of Felton under any provision of any prior Charter of the Town of Felton, prior to the approval, acceptance and going into effect of this Charter, are hereby ratified and confirmed, unless otherwise provided herein.
C. All taxes, assessments, license fees, penalties, fines, forfeitures, and other charges due to the Town of Felton shall be and remain due to the Town of Felton and all debts due from the Town of Felton shall remain unimpaired until paid by the Town of Felton.
D. All powers granted by this Charter in respect to the collection of taxes, license fees, assessments or other charges shall be deemed to apply and extend to all unpaid taxes, license fees, assessments or other charges heretofore lawfully imposed by the Town of Felton.
A. The bonds given by or on account of any official of the Town of Felton shall not be impaired or affected by the provisions of this Charter.
E. Each member of the Commissioners of the Town of Felton who holds office at the time of approval of this Mt shall continue to serve until the expiration of his/her term of office.
F. All acts or parts of acts inconsistent with or in conflict with the provisions of this Charter shall be and the same are hereby repealed to the extent of any such inconsistency.
XL. SEPARABILITY If any provision, section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, or clause of this Charter shall be held to be unconstitutional, invalid, or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not be deemed to invalidate the remaining provisions, sections, subsections, paragraphs, sentences or clauses of this Charter.
XLI. PUBLIC ACT This Charter shall be taken as and deemed to be a Public Act of the State of DeInseam.
XLI. EFFECTIVE DATE This Act shall take effect immediately upon its enactment into law.
Approved June 23, 1995