TITLE 9

Counties

Provisions Affecting All Counties

CHAPTER 3. COUNTY GOVERNMENTS GENERALLY

Subchapter I. General Provisions


(a) There shall be a county government in Kent County which shall consist of not less than 3 members.

(b) The government of New Castle County shall be as provided in Chapter 11 of this title. Wherever the words "county government" are used in this title, the words "county council" should be substituted as to New Castle County except in §§ 1501 and 1521(b) of this title. Wherever the words "officials of the county governing body" are used in this title, the words "county councilperson" should be substituted as to New Castle County.

(c) The governing body of Kent and Sussex Counties, whether Levy Court, or County Council, unless otherwise indicated, shall be referred to in Part I of this title as "the county government."

21 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 2; 22 Del. Laws, c. 50, § 6; 22 Del. Laws, c. 52; 22 Del. Laws, c. 54, § 2; 24 Del. Laws, c. 52, § 1; Code 1915, §§ 1014, 1036, 1045, 1046; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, §§ 1, 2; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 3; 40 Del. Laws, c. 126, § 2; Code 1935, §§ 1148, 1184, 1195; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 302; 57 Del. Laws, c. 264, § 17; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, §§ 2A, 2B; 60 Del. Laws, c. 468, §§ 1, 2; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 1.;

(a) No receiver of taxes and county treasurer, coroner or sheriff shall, during his or her term of office, be a member of the county government.

(b) No member of the county government shall, during that member's term of office, be appointed or elected a collector of a state or county tax, or receiver of taxes and county treasurer.

(c) No officer or employee of the New Castle County government shall hold more than 1 position of county office or employment from which that officer or employee derives compensation.

(d) No officer or employee of the Sussex County government shall hold more than 1 position of county office or employment from which that officer or employee derives compensation.

(e) No elected New Castle County official shall hold any other elected position, be employed by the County in any other capacity, or be on a board, commission or agency advising the County.

(f) No officer or employee of the Kent County government shall hold more than 1 position of county office or employment from which that officer or employee derives compensation.

(g) No county government shall require a former employee of a county, who later is elected or appointed to a statutorily defined county office, to give up the former employee's right to receive vested pension benefits from the county, except that the former employee shall be ineligible for additional years of service or additional vested pension benefits, unless the former employee chooses to forego receipt of the former employee's retirement benefits during the term of elected or appointed office.

Code 1852, § 67; Code 1915, § 1056; Code 1935, § 1224; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 306; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 3L; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 2E; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 2; 73 Del. Laws, c. 35, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 365, § 1.;

(a) In case of a vacancy in the county government, for any cause, the members of that county government may, by a majority vote of the remaining members, fill that vacancy temporarily pending a special election to fill the vacancy.

(b) The special election shall be held within 6 months of the occurring of the vacancy and shall be held in the same manner as a regular election for a full term would be.

(c) The person so elected shall hold office for the duration of the unexpired term.

21 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 5; 22 Del. Laws, c. 50, § 4; 22 Del. Laws, c. 54, § 5; Code 1915, §§ 1017, 1039, 1048; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 4; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 6; 40 Del. Laws, c. 126, § 5; Code 1935, §§ 1151, 1187, 1197; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 308; 56 Del. Laws, c. 103, § 6.;

Each county government shall furnish to county officers necessary record books, cases, seals and supplies for the use of their respective offices.

Code 1915, § 1084; Code 1935, § 1246; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 343; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 3E; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 2I; 73 Del. Laws, c. 35, § 2.;

(a)(1) The government of Kent County annually at a meeting held during the month of April may fix and determine the amount of the capitation tax which the Board of Assessment may assess for the following year.

(2) The government of Sussex County annually at a meeting held during the month of February shall fix and determine the amount of capitation tax which the Board of Assessment shall assess for the following year.

(b)(1) In Kent County such capitation tax if so fixed and determined shall in no case exceed the sum of $5.00 and shall be uniform throughout the County if levied and assessed.

(2) In Sussex County such capitation tax if so fixed and determined shall in no case exceed the sum of $10 and shall be uniform throughout the County if levied and assessed.

(c) Such capitation tax shall be levied upon each citizen of 21 years or older, residing in the county.

(d) In New Castle County no capitation tax shall be levied or collected.

21 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 1; Code 1915, §§ 1060, 1060A; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 13; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 14; 34 Del. Laws, c. 86; Code 1935, § 1226; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 345; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 3C; 55 Del. Laws, c. 250, §§ 1-3; 56 Del. Laws, c. 103, § 7; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, §§ 2F, 2G; 66 Del. Laws, c. 191, §§ 1, 2; 73 Del. Laws, c. 35, § 3; 78 Del. Laws, c. 338, § 1.;

(a) "Agritourism activity" means any activity that allows members of the general public to view or enjoy rural activities, including: farming; ranching; wineries; historical, cultural or harvest-your-own activities; guided or self-guided tours; bed and breakfast accommodations; or temporary outdoor recreation activities. "Agritourism activity" includes, but is not limited to: planting, cultivation, irrigation or harvesting of crops; acceptable practices of animal husbandry; barn parties or farm festivals; livestock activities, not to include rodeos; hunting; fishing; swimming; boating, canoeing or kayaking; temporary camping; picnicking; hiking; diving; water skiing or tubing; paintball; and nonmotorized freestyle, mountain or off-road bicycling. An activity is an agritourism activity whether or not the participant paid to participate in the activity.

(b) Agritourism activities may be allowed statewide on farms of 10 or more acres subject to the provisions of this title adopted for each county; provided, however, that except for the "related uses" specified in § 909 of Title 3, no agritourism activities shall be permitted on farmlands which are subject to the Agricultural Lands Preservation and Forestland Preservation programs established in Chapter 9 of Title 3.

76 Del. Laws, c. 409, § 1.;

Repealed by 64 Del. Laws, c. 73, § 1, effective June 27, 1983.;

The county governments of Kent County, of New Castle County and of Sussex County, shall have authority to make an appropriation, or appropriations, annually to the Children's Bureau of Delaware in aid of the objects of the corporation.

16 Del. Laws, c. 477, § 2; 18 Del. Laws, c. 229, § 6; 22 Del. Laws, c. 42; Code 1915, § 2221; 34 Del. Laws, c. 154, § 8; Code 1935, § 2545; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 348; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 3E; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 2L.;

(a) The county governments of Kent County, of New Castle County and of Sussex County may appropriate annually the sum of $750 to each fire company in their respective counties outside the limits of the City of Wilmington furnishing an ambulance for the benefit of the residents thereof. The sum appropriated shall be used for the maintenance of ambulance service.

(b) Where an area of real property owned by a county is bounded by a wall, fence or other structure which has gates or other lockable entrances, the county shall notify those public agencies within the county which provide ambulance, fire and police services of the location of such gates and entrances. A key to each such enclosed area shall be provided by the county to the ambulance service, fire company and police department which are closest to the enclosed area. For purposes of this subsection, the words "real property" shall include all unimproved land only and shall not include buildings.

Code 1935, c. 43; 42 Del. Laws, c. 104, § 1; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 349; 50 Del. Laws, c. 54, § 1; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 3D; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 2H; 63 Del. Laws, c. 166, §§ 1, 2.;

(a) The county government of each of the 3 Delaware counties shall, on or before January 1, 2004, and the municipal government of each incorporated municipality within each county shall, on or before March 1, 2004, adopt regulations or ordinances regarding the duty of individuals and artificial entities to erect and maintain signage on parking spaces or zones for use by persons with disabilities.

(b) The signage regulations or ordinances adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section must include an enforcement provision, a penalty provision, and a provision which requires an enforcement officer to first issue a written warning to an individual or artificial entity who is required to erect and maintain signage, but has failed to do so. If, after 30 days from the date that a warning is issued, the individual or artificial entity has not erected and/or maintained the required signage, the enforcement officer may issue a summons or apply for a warrant in the name of the offending individual or artificial entity.

(c) A municipality may elect to adopt the signage regulations or ordinances of the county government of the county in which the municipality is located. A municipality which elects to do so may also adopt additional regulations or ordinances as required by its own particular conditions. Whether a municipality adopts its own signage regulations or ordinances, or adopts the regulations or ordinances of the county along with additional regulations or ordinances to meet particular conditions, the municipality's adopted regulations or ordinances may not be less restrictive than those of the county.

74 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1.;

(a) The county governments of Kent County, of New Castle County and of Sussex County may enter into contracts with some reliable insurance company or companies doing business in the State to insure the employees or appointed officers of the counties against injury or death incurred by such employees or appointed officers while performing their duties as employees or appointed officers of the counties.

(b) The county governments of Kent County, of New Castle County and of Sussex County may at any time elect to be bound by the compensatory provisions of the Delaware Workmen's Compensation Laws, and the county governments shall be the sole judges of the kind of insurance and the amount thereof which will best execute the purposes and provisions of this section.

36 Del. Laws, c. 118; 37 Del. Laws, c. 100; Code 1935, § 1253; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 351; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 3K; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 2N.;

If any county government has adopted or shall adopt a system of personnel administration based on individual merit, said system shall be regarded as repealing any provisions of this title which may be inconsistent therewith.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 352; 56 Del. Laws, c. 471; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 2O.;

Every owner of a farm of less than 50 acres shall be permitted to have 1 mobile home located on said farm and every owner of a farm of 50 acres or more shall be permitted to have 2 mobile homes located on said farm. Such mobile homes shall be used and inhabited by any person or persons so permitted by the owner.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 353; 57 Del. Laws, c. 465; 60 Del. Laws, c. 134, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 672, § 1.;

(a) No elected official of the county governing body shall vote for or consent to the doing of any work and labor for any county or county government, or vote for or consent to the furnishing, having or using by or for the account of any county or county government of any merchandise, tools, implements, machinery or materials whatsoever, where the cost in any particular case will probably exceed the sum of $50,000 whether the work, labor, merchandise, tools, implements, machinery or materials shall be required for new work or for repairs upon old work, unless and until the county government shall publicly invite sealed proposals for the doing of such work and furnishing of such merchandise, tools, implements, machinery and materials, and give the contract resulting therefrom and therefor to the lowest responsible bidder or bidders.

(b) Bids so obtained shall be opened publicly in the presence of bidders, or their representatives, who may desire to attend.

(c) The county government may require of such bidder or bidders security for the faithful performance of the contract.

(d) Notwithstanding this section or any other law, the governments of Kent County and New Castle County may contract for engineering, legal or other professional services requiring special skills or training without requesting competitive bids and without awarding such contract to the lowest bidder.

(e) This section shall not apply to the purchase of printed matter for public libraries. Printed matter shall be defined, for purposes of this section, as materials typically made available to the public by public libraries and shall include, but not be limited to, books and magazines.

(f) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to the officials and government of Kent County which shall be subject only to those bid laws found at Chapter 69 of Title 29.

(g) Notwithstanding this section or any other law, the government of New Castle County shall have the same power and authority with respect to sole source procurement, emergency needs, contract performance and multiple source contracting granted to the State pursuant to Chapter 69 of Title 29.

21 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 8; 22 Del. Laws, c. 273, § 5; 26 Del. Laws, c. 83, § 3; Code 1915, §§ 1025, 1048; Code 1935, §§ 1160, 1227; 46 Del. Laws, c. 130, § 1; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 371; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 3G; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 2P; 58 Del. Laws, c. 463; 59 Del. Laws, c. 11, § 1; 62 Del. Laws, c. 16, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 45, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 153, §§ 1, 2; 64 Del. Laws, c. 174, §§ 1, 2; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 3; 74 Del. Laws, c. 238, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 68, § 1.;

The accounts, records, documents, papers and writings which in anywise pertain or relate to the financial accounts of the counties shall be open to inspection by any taxpayer of the county in which such accounts, records, documents, papers and writings are located.

38 Del. Laws, c. 71, § 4; Code 1935, § 1257; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 376.;

(a) All fines and forfeitures not especially otherwise appropriated shall belong to the county in which such fines or forfeitures may be imposed or incurred.

(b) They shall be paid to the treasurer of the county or the director of finance by the officer collecting or chargeable with them.

(c) If such officer neglects this duty for 3 months after the officer receives or becomes chargeable with any fine or forfeiture, the officer shall pay in addition to the amount thereof the interest at the rate of 20 percent per annum, to be computed from the time the fine or forfeiture was received or the officer became chargeable therewith.

(d) The whole may be recovered in an action in the name of the State for the use of the county to which the same may belong.

16 Del. Laws, c. 310, § 1; Code 1915, § 1078; Code 1935, § 1244; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 377; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 3H; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Title to land acquired by a county shall be taken and held in the name of the county wherein the land is situated. Title to land held by a county as heretofore provided by this section is hereby changed to the name of the county.

(b) Title to county land may be conveyed by the county pursuant to an ordinance, or a resolution where ordinances are not provided for, duly advertised and adopted by the county authorizing the conveyance of the specific land, irrespective of whether title was acquired as heretofore provided by this section.

26 Del. Laws, c. 255, §§ 1, 2; 27 Del. Laws, c. 4; Code 1915, § 1053; 31 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 12; Code 1935, § 1217; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 378; 59 Del. Laws, c. 366, § 1.;

All suits, actions or proceedings brought by the government of Kent County, in and about the administration of the government of the county, shall be in the name of the government of Kent County. All such suits, actions or proceedings brought by the government of New Castle County or the government of Sussex County shall be brought in the name of the county in which such suit, action or proceedings arise.

Code 1915, § 1080B; 28 Del. Laws, c. 76, § 19; Code 1935, § 1200; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 379; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 3I; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 2Q.;

At least every 5 years a county shall review its adopted comprehensive plan to determine if its provisions are still relevant given changing conditions in the county or in the surrounding areas. The adopted comprehensive plan shall be revised, updated and amended as necessary, and re-adopted at least every 10 years.

78 Del. Laws, c. 129, § 4.;