OF THE CITY OF WILMINGTON.
AN ACT to provide for Public Parks for the use of the Citizens of Wilmington and its vicinity.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met (two-thirds of each branch of the Legislature concurring):
Section 1. That the Mayor and Council of Wilmington shall have power to take and acquire lands, either by deed or
devise, and to receive and accept all donations of money by gift or legacy, for the purpose of providing and maintaining one or more open places or parks for the promotion of the health and recreation of the people of the City of Wilmington and its vicinity; and that lands within the corporate limits of the said city, or within two miles from the boundaries thereof, may be purchased or acquired by, and conveyed or devised to, and the title to and ownership of said lands be vested, vested in the said The Mayor and Council of Wilmington for the purposes aforesaid.
SECTION 2. That William P. Bancroft, George H. Bates; Thomas F. Bayard, Edward Betts, Francis N. Buck, George W. Bush, William M. Canby, Joseph L. Carpenter, Jr., Henry A. DuPont, J. Taylor Gause, and their successors, who shall be appointed as hereinafter provided, together with the Mayor of the City of Wilmington, the President, and the Chairman of the Finance Committee, of the City Council, and the Chief Engineer of the Surveying Department of said city, for the time being, are hereby created and constituted a Board Of Park Commissioners. The said mayor, president, chairman, and chief engineer shall be ex-officio members of the said board. The said commissioners shall organize on or before the first day of January, 1884, by the election of a president, who shall be a member, and of a secretary and treasurer, who may or may not be members of the board, and shall immediately proceed to classify the first ten commissioners above named as follows: two of said commissioners shall be selected by lot to serve until the expiration of one year; two to serve until the expiration of two years; two to serve until the expiration of three years; two to serve until the expiration of four years; and two to serve until the expiration of five years from the said first day of January, 1884; and whenever a vacancy shall occur among any of the commissioners, who shall have been classified as herein directed, by expiration of a term of service, or otherwise, the same shall be filled by the .Associate Judge of the Superior Court of Delaware residing in New Castle county, who shall appoint a successor, and every such appointment shall be for the term of five years, unless when made to fill an unexpired term. No commissioner shall receive any compensation for his services as a member of the board. The treasurer shall, before he enters upon the duties of his office, give- bond to the Mayor and Council of Wilmington in such amount as shall be determined by the said board of commissioners, with surety to be approved by the president and one other member of the said board, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of his office, and with a warrant of attorney for the confession of judgment annexed thereto.
SECTION 3. That as soon as the said commissioners shall have the care and management of all lands the title to and ownership of which shall, after the passage of this act, become vested in The Mayor and Council of Wilmington to be laid out and used as a public park; and they shall have the power to adopt and execute all necessary and proper plans for the maintenance and improvement of, and to supervise the expenditure of all moneys which may be given or appropriated for laying out, improving or adorning the same.- And the City Council of Wilmington may confer upon the said board, and the board may accept the care and management, from time to time, of any other grounds now appropriated or hereafter to be appropriated for park purposes for the use of the said city.
But the said board shall not contract any debts the total amount whereof shall be in excess of its annual income or receipts, or which shall not be paid out of the annual appropriation made for its use by the City Council of Wilmington. All land and property which shall be held, laid out, and used for maintaining any public park, or which shall be purchased or acquired for such use or purpose, shall be forever free from state, county and city taxation so long as used for such purpose. No county road, street, railway, sewer water or gas pipes telegraph or telephone wires, shall be laid out, opened, extended over, under, above or through any park under the control and care of the said Board of Park Commissioners without their approval and consent.
SECTION 4. That the City. Council of Wilmington shall in the next estimate of the probable. revenue and expenses of the city made after the passage of this act, and in every year thereafter, cause to be included in the said estimate such sum as they may deem necessary and expedient for the improvement, management and, care of any park which, may have been acquired by the said The Mayor and Council of Wilmington, to be used and laid out by the said commissioners under the authority of this act, and every sum so estimated for the use of such park, as aforesaid, shall be appropriated by the council and paid over to the Board of Park Commissioners.
SECTION 5. Whenever a majority of the said board of commissioners shall recommend to the city council the purchase or acquisition of any land for the purpose of opening a public park, or for the extension of the area of any park which shall have been theretofore laid out and opened for public use, the council shall have power to provide by ordinance for such purchase, and if The Mayor and Council of Wilmington shall be unable to amicably agree with the owner or owners of any land which may have been selected by the commissioners for the purpose aforesaid, then so much of said land as may be required, and which shall be adequately described, may be taken for said purpose in the same manner and subject to the same conditions and proceedings as are prescribed for condemning and taking land for the purpose of extending, widening, laying out; or opening streets in the said city. And any sum of money which may be agreed upon or assessed as the value of the land aforesaid, or any portion thereof the payment of which shall not have been provided for, shall be included in the next annual estimates and appropriations of the city council to be made thereafter. Provided that nothing contained in this act shall authorize the condemnation of any water rights; and provided further, that the amount appropriated by the city council in any one year for the payment of land purchased or condemned under this section shall not exceed the sum of ten thousand dollars, and that the city council shall have power to borrow said sum by note or bond, if necessary, in anticipation of the annual estimates and appropriations.
SECTION 6. That for the better preservation of the public peace and order the municipal jurisdiction of the Mayor and Council of Wilmington shall extend over and include any park which shall be laid out and opened under the authority of this act, and also include and extend over the territory lying between such park and the boundaries of the City of Wilmington, and all laws, ordinances, rules and regulations of the said city shall apply to and be enforced in and about the said park and territory as effectually as if the same were included within the limits of the said city; and the board of commissioners shall have power to appoint such special policemen as they may deem necessary, who shall have the same power and authority as are exercised by the policemen of the City of Wilmington and the constables of New Castle county. The board of commissioners shall, from time to time, appoint such officers, agents and subordinates as they may deem necessary for the proper management and care of any park under their control, and prescribe their duties and the compensation to be paid to them.
SECTION 7. The said board of commissioners shall have power to make all needful rules and regulations for the government and use of any park under their control not inconsistent with the laws and constitution of the United States or of the State of Delaware or with the ordinances of the City of Wilmington; and any person who shall violate any of said rules and regulations shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall pay such fine as may be prescribed by said board of commissioners, not to exceed ten dollars for each and every violation thereof, to be recovered before the mayor of the said city, or any justice of the peace in New Castle county, as debts of that amount are recoverable, which fines shall be paid into the city treasury. No intoxicating liquors shall be sold in any public park, and no meeting of any kind, assembled through advertisement, shall be permitted in any such park without the license or permission of the board of commissioners; nor shall any gathering or meeting for political purposes in any such park be permitted at any time.
SECTION 8. The president of the said Board of Park Commissioners shall make annual report, in writing, to the city council of the operations of the said board, together with a statement of its receipts and expenditures for and during the preceding year. They may make all needful by-laws for the government of the said board. If any member of said board, after having accepted an appointment thereto, shall refuse or neglect to serve as a commissioner, he may be removed and his place declared vacant by a vole of two-thirds of all the members of the said board.
Passed at Dover, March 13, 1883.