An Act to amend the Charter of the City of Wilmington,
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General. Assembly met, (with the concurrence of two thirds of each branch of the Legislature) as follows, to wit : That the election of city officers by the people, heretofore held on the first Tuesday of May in every year, shall hereafter be held on the first Tuesday in September, of every year: subject to the change herein made of the day of holding the city election, all the provisions of the present charter of the city, touching the elections of city officers by the people, shall continue in force. The terms of office of officers now holding office by election of the people, shall be extended as follows, viz: of the member of the City Council, those whose term of office, but for this act, would expire on the first Tuesday of May, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven, shall continue to hold office until the first Tuesday of September of the same year; those whose term of office, but for this act would expire on the first Tuesday of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight, shall continue to hold office until the first Tuesday in September, in the same yearl and those whose term of office, but for this act, would expire on the first Tuesday of May, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine, shall continue to hold office until the first Tuesday of September, in the same year. The term of office of the present Mayor and Alderman, shall be extended to the first Tuesday of September, after the passage of this act, and that of the present Treasurer until the first day of January, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight. The inspectors and assistants of election, chosen at the last city election, shall exercise their office at the next election to be held under this act; and thereafter the inspectors and assistants, chosen at elections shall hold their offices for the year following their election. All officers hereafter to be elected at the city election shall hold their offices for the like term as heretofore, their terms of office to commence from the day of their election, except those of the Treasurer and Assessor, which shall, in all cases commence on the first day of January next after their election, and except also so far as the terms of office of members of the city council are modified by the second section, of this act. The council may require a new official bond to be given by any officer, if in its judgment, such new bond is rendered necessary by the extension herein made of such officer's term of office.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, as aforesaid, That to the end that, after the expiration of the terms of office of the present members of the city council, there may be elated one member in each ward every year, the following rule shall hereafter be observed in the election of members of the council, viz : At the city election to be hop in the present year, 1857, there shall be elected in the first ward two members, one to hold office until the city election in the year 1859, and the other until the city election in the year 1860; in the fourth ward one Member, to held office until tire city election in the year 1860; and in the fifth Ward two members, one to hold office until the city election in the year 1859, and the other until the city election in the year 1860. At the city election to be held in the year 1858, there shall be elected one member in each ward to hold office until the city election in the year 1861. At the city election, to be held in the year 1859, there shall he elected in the first ward one member to office until the city election in the year 1862; in the second ward two members, one to hold office until the city election in the year 1860, and the other until the city election in the year 1862; in the third ward two members, one to hold office until the city de-akin in the-year :18130, and the other until the city election in the year 1862; in the fourth ward one member to hold office until the city election in the year 1862; and in the fifth ward one member, to hold office until the city election in the year 1862. And at the city election to be held in each year, after the year 1859, there shall be elected, in each ward of the city, one member of the council; each member so elected to hold office for the term, of three years. Whenever, under the rule, above prescribed, two members shall be elected in the-same ward for different terms of office, their respective terms not being assigned to them by this act, the council, at its next meeting, after such members are so elected, shall by lot assign to them their respective terms of office.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, as aforesaid, That there shall be one Assessor for the city. He shall be chosen by the people at the city election annually and shall hold his office for one year. No person, shall be Assessor who shall not have been for at least six months before his election the owner of a freehold estate within the city, the value, of which, according to: the city assessment made next before his election, shall be at least five hundred dollars, clear of all incumbrances. The Assessor shall be ex-officio the Collector of the city, and, as such Collector shall give bond with surety for the faithful performance of the duties of his office, as provided by the sixth section of chapter 73 of the Revised Statutes of this State.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, as aforesaid, That the City Council shall, at its first stated meeting after the city election, every year, appoint a Finance Committee, composed of three members, which, in addition to its other duties, shall perform the duties hereinafter provided. The council shall also, at the same meeting, appoint a board of revision, composed of one member of Council from each ward. This board shall organize itself by choosing, from its number, a Chairman and Secretary; and shall, keep minutes of its proceedings. It may adjourn from time to time. Special meetings may he called by the Chairman. Each member shall receive one dollar for attendance at a Meeting. The Board shall adopt such rules and regulations as it may deem expedient to produce fairness and equality of assessments, and shall cause a copy of such rules awl regulations, to be delivered to the Assessor, whose duty it shall be to observe the same. The Board shall have power, at any time, to examine the assessments while the Assessor is in progress of making them, and cause them to be conformed to such rules and regulations as they may have adopted in the premises.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, as aforesaid, That all real estate within the city shall be assessed, except real estate belonging to the United States, the State of Delaware, New Castle County, or the City of Wilmington, cemeteries and burying grounds, churches and meeting-houses, belonging to any religious and used for public worship, and buildings owned and occupied by, fire companies. The assessment of real estate shall be made according to the annual interest at six per centum upon the estimated value of the property assessed if sold for cash. Every freeman above age of twenty-one years, shall be rated for a capitation of a poll tax, in addition to the assessment, of his real estate, at a capital, not exceeding two thousand dollars nor less than two hundred and fifty dollars.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the assessor shall complete the assessment for the city, in each year, before the fifteenth of May, on which day he shall deliver the same to the chairman of the board of revision. The board upon receiving such assessment shall forthwith examine it, with power to revise, alter or add any assessment. On or before the twenty-fifth day of May after receiving said assessment, the board, shall cause it to be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Council who thereupon shall give public notice by advertisements, printed in two newspapers, and posted at the most public places within the city, that such assessment, being completed, is filed in his office for public inspection; and also designating the time fixed by this act for the sitting of the council for appeals. Such notice shall be continued until the time of the sitting of the council for appeals aforesaid.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That on the fifth day of June, (or if that be Sunday, then on the day following,) the City Council shall sit to hear appeals from assessments, and shall continue to sit, for that purpose, for three successive evenings, and at such other times as may be necessary to adjudge appeals. Upon appeal the City Council shall have power, to alter any assessment and to make additional assessments, and to determine and do whatever may appertain to justice and right. Appeals may be filed in writing in the clerk's office, or made directly to the Council. No appeal shall be received or heard, or adjudication of appeal made, nor shall the assessment list be altered or added to after the tenth day of' June: Provided, that real estate not assessed by the assessor may be assessed by the City Council, at any tune before the city election; previous notice of such intended assessment, designating the time at which the same will be made, being given by the clerk in writing, to the owner or owners or, if he, she or they be absent from the city, then to the person or persons in possession of the premises; and provided also that the City Council, at any before the tenth day of August, after the assessment shall be completed, upon the application of any person who was residing within the city before the completion of the assessments, and was omitted therefrom, shall rate such persons for a capitation or poll tax, and shall thereupon cause his name to be added to the assessment lists. Real Estate assessed, or persons rated as herein provided, after the completion of the assessments, shall be so assessed or rated upon both the city and school assessment lists, such real estate or persons being so assessed or rated, shall thereupon be liable to pay taxes for the current year, at the rate per centum which shall have been determined by the Council, and necessary addition shall be made to the list provided for in section 9 of this act. The assessment books of lists, shall be the property of the city, and shall be kept in the office of the clerk.
SEC. 8. And be it farther enacted as aforesaid. That to ,the end that the sums necessary to be raised for the public schools in Wilmington may be assessed and collected by the same proceedings had for collecting the city tax, and, as constituting a part of the said city tax, the City Council shall, so soon as the city assessment shall have been completed as aforesaid, and before the thirteenth day of June in each year, cause to be made an assessment to be called the school assessment, which shall be made as follows, viz: the assessment of real estate within the city, shall be taken from the assessments or real estate on the city assessment; and the assessment or personal estates and persons, to wit: stock, plate and other personal property, and the rates for capitation on poll taxes shall be transferred from the assessment list of Wilmington Hundred standing in the Levy Court of New Castle County for the time then being, it shall be necessary to transfer amounts only' without specification for particulars. No appeal shall be taken from the assessments so made and there shall be no variation of the assessments transferred; but if there ,be any person in Wilmington Hundred legally liable to be asses- ed for personal property, or rated for capitation or poll tax, not found on the assessment list of Wilmington Hundred, the City Council may assess such person for personal property, and rate him for a capitation or poll tax, in the school assessment as to law and right shall appertain, giving to such person due notice and opportunity to be heard. The school assessment shall not include the persons or estates of colored per- sons.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the assessments being so settled as aforesaid, the City Council, shall without delay, determine the whole amount of money necessary to be raised for the use of the city by taxation during the year of said assessment, and shall apportion such amount among the several persons and estates assumed upon the city assessment, according to a certain rate in and upon every hundred dollars of the said assessment, and so pro rata. The City Council shall also at the same time determine, according to a computation to be laid before them by the Board of Education, agreeably to the provisions a section 95 of Chapter 73 of the Revised Statutes of this State, the sum necessary to be raised for the use a the public schools in said city by taxation during the year of said assessments, and shall apportion such amount among the several persons and estates assessed, upon the school assessment, according to a certain rate in and upon every, hundred dollars of the said assessment, land so pro rata; and the amount so apportioned shall be collected, under the- provisions hereinafter contained, as other city taxes, and shall constitute part of the city taxes, within all the provisions of law applicable to the same. The Clerk of the Council shall thereupon immediately make out a correct list showing the names of persons and estates assessed upon both the aforesaid assessments, with the whole amount of tax laid upon the several persons and estates under the foregoing provisions, and the said list, being signed now by the President of the Council, and countersigned by the Clerk, shall be delivered to the receiver of taxes on or before the thirtieth day of June.
SEC. 10. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the City Council, at its first meeting in June, in each and every year, shall appoint a receiver of taxes, who shall have authority to receive all taxes paid after the said thirtieth day of June, and before the day following that on which the city election is held. On all taxes which shall be fully paid to the receiver before the first day of August, there shall be allowed to the persons or estates paying the same a deduction from the amount of the tax, at the rate of five cents on every dollar. But all taxes paid on or after the first day of August, and before the day following the day of holding the city election, shall be payable without any deduction as aforesaid, and also without any addition, as hereinafter provided in relation to taxes, paid after the day of holding the city election.
SEC. 11. And be it farther enacted as aforesaid, That all moneys collected by the receiver, under the foregoing provisions, shall be paid by him over to the Treasurer at least weekly, to wit: on every Saturday of the period during which taxes are payable to him. At the time of making such weekly payment as aforesaid, he shall file with the Treasurer a written affidavit, declaring that the sum so paid to the Treasurer, together with his to former payments to the Treasurer, includes the whole amount received by him for the city taxes of the current year up to that date. The Treasurer may administer the oath or affirmation, and shall preserve the affidavit on file with the papers of his office. For all payments made by the receiver of taxes to the Treasurer as aforesaid, the Treasurer shall give and the receiver take, duplicate receipts; one of which the receiver shall forthwith deliver to the chairman of the Finance Committee of the City Council, who shall preserve the same. At the request of any person paying a tax, which has been assessed upon his person or property, the receiver shall make out and deliver to him a bill showing, in addition to the amount of the tax, how much of it is laid upon his person and personal property, as shown by the school assessment list, and how much of it is laid upon his real estate, and if it is laid upon more than one parcel of real estate, then how much of it is laid upon each parcel, describing each parcel according to the description thereof; appearing upon the city assessment list of the current year. All books and papers filed in the office of the Clerk or the Council, touching the assessment, receiving or collection of taxes, shall he open to the inspection of any person interested in the same.
SEC. 12. And he it further enacted as aforesaid, That after the city election in every year, the receiver of taxes shall appear before the Finance Committee, at such time and place as they shall appoint, and lay before them an account, in writing, verified by affidavit, showing the taxes received by him, their several amounts, dates or payment, and by whom they were paid, and also the several gross amounts paid by him to the Treasurer from time to time; and the Finance Committee may alter, adjust and settle such accounts according to law, and the right or the matter. In making such settlement the receiver shall, in respect to the taxes received by him before the first day or August as aforesaid, be chargeable with the full amount, (without any deduction of five per centum as aforesaid,) of so much of said taxes as shall not appear to the satisfaction or the committee to have been paid over by him to the Treasurer before the first day of August as aforesaid. The committee may adjourn from time to time. The acts of a majority shall be effectual, all being present. They may examine witnesses under oath or affirmation, to be administered by their chairman, and the chairman shall have power, by process of subpoena or attachment, directed to the High Constable of the city, to compel the appearance of witnesses. Such process may be executed at any place within the State. The account being adjusted, shall be reported by the Finance Committee to the Council at its next regular meeting. From the adjustment so made the receiver shall have a right of appeal to the City Council. The appeal shall be by petition to the Council, to be presented within one calendar month after the account has been reported to the Council, as before provided, and not after. The petition shall set forth the specific objections to the adjustment made by the Finance Committee, and the appeal shall be confined to the objections stated. The account, as settled by the Finance Committee, if there he no appeal, or by the Council, upon an appeal be conclusive. If upon such final adjustment there be any balance due from the receiver to the city, the City Council shall take the necessary measures for the collection of the same.
SEC. 13. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the receiver of taxes, before entering, upon the duties of his office, shall execute a bond, with a warrant of attorney, for the confession of judgment, in a penal sum, and with surety to be approved by the Finance Committee, or a majority, of them, and with condition that he shall well and faithfully, in all respects, perform all the duties which may devolve upon him as receiver of taxes of said city, agreeably to the charter of the city; and the ordinances of the City Council. Such bond shall be taken in the corporate name of the city and shall be filed with the Treasurer.
SEC. 14. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the City Council shall have power, by ordinance, to enjoin upon the Clerk of the Council or receiver of taxes any duty in addition to those herein specified, which it, shall deem necessary or proper for carrying into effect the provisions of this act, and may enforce by suitable penalties any duties .enjoined by this act, or by such ordinance as aforesaid.
SEC. 15. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That if, during the period herein limited for the receiving of taxes as aforesaid, the receiver of taxes should refuse or neglect, or from any cause become disqualified from performing his duties, the City Council may provide for the receiving of taxes by such measures as in their judgment the exigency requires. An ordinance for this purpose may be passed at any meeting of the Council, without having been read or proposed at a previous meeting.
SEC. 16. And be it further enacted, as aforesaid, That all taxes unpaid on the day next after the day of the city election shall be increased by the addition of five per centum on the amount thereof. A list of all such unpaid taxes showing the amount of each tax with such addition as aforesaid, and the person or estate from whom the same is due, shall be delivered by the receiver of taxes to the Council at its first regular meeting after the city election. The Council shall cause said list to be immediately delivered to the Collector, together with a warrant shall together with a warrant annexed thereto, signed by the President of the Council, and countersigned by the Clerk, commanding:, such Collector to collect and receive the several sums mentioned in said list, from the persons and estates from whom the same are payable. If the receiver of taxes shall neglect to return a list of unpaid taxes as aforesaid, the Council may take such measures as they may deem necessary to obtain such list.
SEC. 17. And be it further enacted, as aforesaid, That upon the delivery to the Collector of such list and warrant as aforesaid, he and his sureties, his and their executors and administrators shall become, and are hereby declared to be, responsible for the whole amount of money, which it shall be his duty to collect, subject only to such just allowances as shall be made to him or them upon settlement with the Finance Committee, as hereinafter is provided.
SEC. 18. And be it further enacted, as aforesaid, That if a Collector die or remove from the city, or become incapable of performing his duties, the City Council may, upon petition by the sureties of such Collector, and being satisfied that it is a proper case for relief, appoint another person to collect the residue of the unpaid taxes, and may compel the delivery, to such person, of the list and warrant, or cause a new one to be issued to him, bond with surety being first given, as above required, from the original Collector; and thereupon he and his sureties, his and their executors and administrators, shall become responsible for the then uncollected taxes, subject to allowances as aforesaid, such appointment shall not discharge the sureties of the first Collector from any part of their original responsibility, but all sums collected by the substituted Collector, shall be credited to the first. All the powers, duties and liabilities of the first Collector shall devolve upon the substituted Collector and his executors and administrators, upon the final settlement with the Finance Committee, as hereinafter provided, the said committee shall make a just apportionment between the original Collector, or his representatives, and the substituted Collector, of the compensation allowed for the collection of taxes.
SEC. 19. And be it further enacted, as aforesaid, That if any person assessed as aforesaid, shall neglect or refuse to pay the sum which such collector shall be required to collect from him; or any part thereof for five days after demand made, the said collector shall levy and make the same by distress and sale of the delinquent's goods and chattels, rendering the overplus if any, after deducting reasonable charges, to the owner or owners thereof; or if no such distress can be found by the collector, the said tax may be collected from or levied upon the goods and chattels of any of his tenants, if such there be, who shall be allowed to set off the amount thereof against any demand for rent on the part of such delinquent landlord ; or if there be not rent sufficient to cover the amount so paid or levied it may be recovered by such tenants from the landlord with costs. And if any grounds, buildings or estate belong to a minor or minors, or person or persons, absent from the city, the tax laid upon the assessment of such grounds, buildings or estate, may be collected from the person or persons having the care of such grounds, buildings or estate; and the receipt of the collector for money so paid, shall be a sufficient voucher to all executors, administrators, guardians, trustees or against those whom they represent. If any person, from whom any tax is required to be collected, or their executors, administrators, guardians, trustees, or attorneys cannot be found, or shall refuse to pay the tax as aforesaid, and no goods or chattels of such person, sufficient to satisfy such tax, can be found, and the same cannot be collected from an tenant or tenants of such person, the Collector shall make, and file in the office of the Clerk of the City Council, a certificate of the facts, under oath or affirmation, and thereupon ho may levy the said tax upon any grounds, buildings, or estate, which was the property of such delinquent at or after the laying of the said tax, by selling the same at public auction, alter ten days’ notice by advertisement, in two newspapers printed in said city of Wilmington, if such there be, for the shortest term which will satisfy said tax and costs, and shall execute a, deed conveying to the purchaser or purchasers all the estate and interest of such delinquent person in the premises sold; or if no such grounds, buildings or estate be found, the Collector shall take the body of such delinquent person, and deliver him to the keeper of the common jail of New Castle County, to be detained in safe custody until the said tax, with cost, be paid, or such person be legally discharged. All the powers herein vested in a Collector shall devolve upon, and be exercised by, his executors and administrators, except in cases where, upon the death of a Collector, a substitute shall be appointed by the Council, under section 18 of this act.
SEC. 20. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the Collector shall pay to the City Treasurer, at least weekly to wit: on every Saturday, such sums as he shall from time to time collect, and upon making such weekly payments, shall file with the Treasurer a written affidavit that the sums so paid, together with the sums previously paid, constitute the whole amount of taxes which shall have been collected or received by him, under his aforesaid order, up to the date of such affidavit. The Treasurer may ad- minister the oath or affirmation. The Collector shall take from the Treasurer, (who shall give the same,) duplicate receipts forthwith each payment, and shall forthwith deliver one of said receipts to the chairman of the Finance Committee.
SEC. 21. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That within the first week of December, or if the aforesaid list and warrant shall not have been delivered to the Collector before the tenth day of October, then at the expiration of two months after such delivery, the Collector shall appear before the Finance Committee, at such time and place as they shall appoint, and produce to them the list or taxes, with the warrant annexed, as aforesaid, together with his receipts for payments to the Treasurer; and thereupon the said committee shall ascertain and determine whether, a just allowance for errors, delinquencies or otherwise, any and what sum is due and unpaid from such Collector to the city. The said committee, or a majority of them, shall make and sign two certificates of their determination in the premises, one of which shall be delivered, to the Collector, and the other to the City Treasurer if by such certificate any balance appears to be due and unpaid to the city, the Collector shall pay the same with- in fifteen days thereafter to the City Treasurer;, and if such balance be not so paid, the City Treasurer shall certify the fact to City Solicitor, who shall forthwith take legal process for the col- lection of the same from the Collector and, his sureties.
SEC. 22. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That nothing in this act shall effect the provisions of the first section of the act entitled "A supplement to the act entitled An act for the benefit of public schools in Wilmington,'" passed at Dover, February 10th, 1855; but the taxes therein provided for shall be assessed and collected according to the provisions of said supplement, except that the warrant for the collection of such taxes shall be issued to the Collector of the city of Wilmington, who shall receive and collect the same, subject to all the provisions therein contained respecting the Collector of the first ward of said city.
SEC. 23. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That before any property or ground shall be taken or occupied for the purpose of extending, widening, laying out or opening any street, square, lane or alley, under section (63 of chapter 73, of the Revised Statutes, the owner or owners of such property or ground shall be paid or tendered such damages as they shall respectively be entitled to receive ; which damages shall be assessed as follows, viz: upon the written application of the Mayor, under the direction of the Council, and reasonable notice to the persons interested, if residing in the city, the Associate Judge of the Superior Court of this State resident in New Castle County, shall issue a commission, under his hand, directed to five impartial freeholders of said county; two being freeholders within the city, and three being freeholders without the city, commanding them to assess the damages that may result from the extending, widening laying out or opening of such street, square, lane or alley, to the owner or owners of property or ground necessary to be taken or occupied therefor, taking into consideration all the circumstances of benefit and convenience, as well as of detriment, to result to such owner or owners, and to make return of their proceedings to the said Judge at a time therein appointed. The freeholders named in such commission, being first sworn or affirmed, as in said commission shall be directed, shall view the premises, and they, or a majority of them, shall assess the damages as aforesaid, and shall make return in writing of their proceedings in the premises to the said Judge, who shall file the same in the office of the Clerk of the Council.. The return upon one commission shall not be con elusive; but upon application by the Mayor as aforesaid, or of any person' interested, within fifteen days after the filing of such return, the Judge shall issue a commission of review, appointing five other freeholders as aforesaid, with like instructions as were contained in the first commission: Provided, that if a review be granted upon the application of a person or Towns interested, the review shall extend only to the assessment of damages made in respect to the person or persons making such application. If the return to a commission of review vary in the damages assessed, from the return to the original commission, the Judge shall grant a second commission of review upon the application of the Mayor as aforesaid, or if- any person interested in the return to the commission of review within ten days after the filing of such return. If a review be not applied for in due time, the return to the original commission shall be conclusive as to the amount of damages. If the return to any two commissions correspond as to the amount of damages, such amount shall be conclusive. But if there be more than one return and none conclusive under the foregoing provisions, the Judge shall -confirm such one of them as he shall deem most just, and the return so confirmed shall be conclusive. The Judge may set aside a return to a commission for inequality, in which case he shall issue another commission in its place; he shall also have power to issue commissions for his own information. The Judge shall have power to fill any vacancy ill a commission. There shall be allowed to the commissioners, for their services, one dollar per day, to be paid by the party applying for the commission. The amount of damages being so ascertained, the City Council may pay or tender time same to the person or persons entitled thereto within two calendar months after the same shall have been finally ascertained, or if the person or persons so entitled reside out of, or are absent from the city during said period two months, then the same may be deposited to his or their credit, in the Bank of Delaware within said time, and thereupon the said property or ground may be taken or occupied for the uses afore- said. All proceedings heretofore had under section 04 of chapter 73 of the Revised code, in which the damages assessed have not been paid or tendered by the city, are hereby vacated; and new proceedings for the same purpose may be had under this act.
SEC. 24. And he it further enacted as aforesaid, That the City Council are hereby authorized, in their discretion, upon the application of ten or more freeholders residing or holding property on any street, to cause said street or any part thereof to be paved between the curb lines, agreeably to the true regulation of said street, under the direction of the street committee ; and the said paving being completed, the City Commissioner shall with assess the expense thereof upon all the owners or property bordering or fronting on the streets where it is so paved, according to the number of feet contained in the street line of the property of such owners respectively, and shall lay Such assessment before the City Council at its first stated meeting after the completion of the work. It such assessment shall be approved by the City Council, the Clerk of said City Council shall immediately enter the said approved assessment in a record book to be kept for that purpose, and the same being so recorded, shall, from the time of its entry as aforesaid, be and remain a lien upon the lands and buildings, or each or said owners, fronting on such street as aforesaid to the extent or the amount of his improved assessment, and as such lien shall have priority against any lien, incumbrance, or conveyance made or suffered by the owner or owners of such property after the recording or such assessment as aforesaid, and the City Commissioner shall forthwith present to each of said owners, or other persons haying charge of said property, a bill for the proportion of such expense so assessed to such owner, and if the amount of said bill be not paid within sixty days after such presentation thereof, it shall be the duty of the Mayor of said city to issue a warrant, directed to the said City Commissioner, commanding him to levy the same, with all costs thereon, upon the goods and chattels or such owner, or if no such goods and chattels can be found within said city sufficient to satisfy said debts and costs, then to levy the same on the grounds or buildings or such owner fronting on such street as aforesaid, which said grounds or buildings, or any part thereof, shall be sold by said City Commissioner at public action, upon ten days' notice, in two newspapers published in said city, and it deed from said City Commissioner Shall convey or the purchaser of said ground or buildings, as full and complete a title to said premises, in fee simple, or other- wise, as if the same were executed by said owner thereof; and it shall be the duty of said City Commissioner out or the purchase money of the said promises so sold as aforesaid, to pay all costs arising from said process and sale, to the parties entitled thereto respectively and to pay to the City Treasurer the amount of said approved assessment so assessed to such owner as said, for which he shall take, and the said City Treasurer shall give duplicate receipts, one or which shall be retained by said City Commissioner, and the other shall be by him forthwith transmitted to the chairman of the Finance Committee. The residue of said purchase money shall be immediately deposited by said City Commissioner in the Bank of Delaware, to the credit, of the owner of the property so sold, for which said City Commissioner shall take front the cashier of said bank a certificate of said deposit, and file the some in the office of the Clerk of the City Council; and the said City Commissioner shall make return under his hand, of his proceedings under such warrant as aforesaid, into the office of said Clerk, to be there filed by said Clerk, who shall also enter said return upon the return of said assessment so kept by him as aforesaid.
SEC. 25. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the provision of the foregoing section 24, for the assessment of the expense of paving a street upon the owners of the property fronting thereon, and the lien and collection of said assessment, shall be taken and construed to apply to the re-paving of a street which shall have, been paved previously; and shall also be taken and construed to apply to the paving and curbing of the sidewalks of any street under the provisions, of the present charter.
SEC. 26. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the 67th section of chapter 73 of the Revised Statutes of this State is hereby amended, so that hereafter if there be less than fifteen freeholders residing or holding property in any street, lane, or alley in said city, the City Council may, upon the application of a majority of such freeholders, issue their precept for the paving and curbing of the footways it gutters of such street, lane or alley as in said section is provided.
SEC. 27. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the City Council are hereby declared to have, and shall have authority in its discretion, to let or demise for any term of years, not exceeding ten, and subject to such rents and reservations as it may deem expedient, the landings at the ends of the streets terminating upon the Brandywine Creek or the Christiana Creek and may by the terms of any such demise or otherwise, and subject to such regulations as it may prescribe, permit such lessee or lessees, or other persons interested under such demise as aforesaid, to make or erect improvements for the purpose of manufacture or trade upon ground so demised: Provided, That in all cases any person or persons owning or holding land bounding upon such landings as aforesaid shall have, unobstructed, the reasonable use of so much and such part thereof as may be necessary for ingress and egress between said street and the land so owned or held. All demises heretofore made by the City council, of any such landing as it or permission given by the City Council for making such improvements as aforesaid, are hereby confirmed and declared to be, and the same shall be valid and effectual.
SEC. 28. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the City Council shall cause to be made a map or plan of the city, showing all the streets, squares, lanes and public alleys of the said city, with their several dimensions, ascents and descents, in conformity, as far as practicable, with the charter or ordinances of the city it the time such map is made. When completed and approved by the City Council, such map shall be signed by the posed or. Mayor and President of the City Council, sealed with the corporate seal, and deposited and kept in the Clerk's office. A duplicate of said map shall in like manner be signed and sealed and deposited and kept in the office for recording deeds in and for New Castle County. Such map, and the duplicate thereof, being so signed, sealed and deposited as aforesaid, shall be public be public records, and the same, or an office copy thereof, shall be competent evidence. The said map shall be deemed and taken to be the tine map, plan or ground plot of said city; and all the streets, squares, lanes and alleys of the city shall be, and remain as they shall be laid down upon said map, with such extensions and alterations as may hereafter be made by authority of the laws of this State. The ascents and descents of all streets, lanes and alleys within the city shall be regulated and fixed conformably to said map. But the City Council may, by ordinance, regulate and fix the ascents and descents of all streets, lanes and alleys within the said city, the ascents and descents of which are not marked and laid down on the aforesaid ma p or plan: Provided, That the said ordinances shall be first sanctioned and approved by the citizens of the city, in general meeting assembled.
SEC. 29. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the Mayor and Alderman of the city shall each keep a record of all judicial proceedings had before him under the charter or ordinances of the city: which record shall be the property of the city, and shall be kept in such custody and disposed of as the City Council may direct.
SEC. 30. Awl be it further enacted aforesaid, That section 88 of chapter 73 of the Revised Statutes of this State is hereby amended by striking out the word "Assessor" wherever it occurs, and inserting in lieu thereof the word "Inspector."
SEC. 31. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the power of a Justice of the Peace under section 8 of chapter 97 of the Revised Statutes, to punish offences against ordinances of a city or town, shall not hereafter extend to or include any offence against an ordinance of the city of Wilmington.
SEC. 32. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the City Council shall have power to cause the pavements or footways on the northerly side of Water street, or any other part thereof, to be widened to any breadth not exceeding in the whole twelve feet.
SEC. 33. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That if any person elected or appointed to any office in the city of Wilmington shall be ineligible to the same, or shall fail to give bond for the faithful performance of the duties of such office, (when such bond is required by law,) before the time fixed for entering upon the duties of his office, such office shall be thereupon vacant, and shall be filled as is provided by Section 11 of chapter 73 of the Revised Statutes.
SEC. 34. And be it farther enacted, as aforesaid, That the City Council shall have power by ordinance, to adopt any measures which it may deem necessary for carrying into full effect the provisions of this act, and the powers herein granted, touching the assessment, receiving and collection of taxes.
SEC. 35. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the fifty-third, fifty-fourth, fifty-fifth, fifty-sixth, fifty-seventh, fifty- eighth, fifty-ninth, sixty-first, sixty-fourth, sixty-fifth, sixty-sixth and sixty-ninth sections of chapter 73 of the Revised Statutes or this State, and all other provisions of said chapter, or of any act of the General Assembly of this State, which are inconsistent with the provisions of this act, are hereby repealed.
SEC. 36. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That this act shall take effect from the time of its acceptance, as hereinafter provided. For this purpose Eli Todd is hereby appointed the Assessor of the city, to hold said office under and subject to all the provisions of this act, until the first day of January next after the passage of this act. The first election or Assessor under this First election of act, shall be made at the city election, to be held in September of the present year. The offices of Assessor for the several wards of the city, as the same exist at the passage of this act, are vacated and abolished.
SEC. 37. And be it further enacted as aforesaid, That the High Constable and other City Constables of the city of Wilmington shall no longer be appointed by the City Council, as now provided by the 27th section of chapter 73 of the Revised Statutes of this State, but after the expiration of their present terms of office, the Mayor of the city of Wilmington for the time being, shall have the power and authority, and shall annually appoint said Constables, and shall have the power to supply, by new appointment, all vacancies that may occur in said office of Constable, and for good and sufficient cause may remove or suspend any Constable from office, stating in writing to the City Council the cause and reason for such suspension or removal. The Constable so removed or suspended may appeal to the City Council who shall, in a summary way, inquire into such causes and reasons assigned by the Mayor, and a decision of two-thirds of all the members of the City Council unity annul the action of the Mayor in all such cases, otherwise the action of the said Mayor, shall stand approved and final. Appointments made by the Mayor under this section, shall not take effect until approved by the City Council, and for this purpose the Mayor shall make such appointments by communicating the same in writing to the Council.
SEC. 38. And he it further enacted, as aforesaid, That the of the Mayor and Council of Wilmington, shall before the first day of April, in the year or our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven, certify to the Governor their acceptance of this act, or it shall be void. The certificate of such acceptance shall be made in pursuance of a resolution of the City Council. It shall he under the hand or the Mayor and the President of the City Council, rind be sealed with the seal of' the corporation; and it shall he filed in the Secretary's office.
Passed at Dover, February 20, 1857.