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Millville
Section 1.
The inhabitants of The Town of Millville within the corporate limits as hereinafter defined in this Charter or as extended as hereinafter provided are hereby declared to be a body politic incorporated in law and equity and shall be able and capable to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered, defend and be defended in all courts of judicature whatsoever by the corporate name of "The Town of Millville".
The Town shall have perpetual succession and shall succeed to own or possess all property, whether real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, or whatever kind and nature, and all the powers, rights, privileges or immunities now or heretofore belonging to, possessed or enjoyed by the Town of Millville previously incorporated at Chapter 217, Volume 24, Laws of Delaware, as amended.
Territorial Limits
Section 2.
The limits and boundaries of the Town of Millville in Sussex County, Delaware, shall be as previously fixed and established or hereafter altered according to law and shall be marked and defined according to maps and plots now of record or hereafter recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for Sussex County pursuant to lawful annexation proceedings. Such maps and plots, when so made and approved by Town Council, and when recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds of the State of Delaware in and for Sussex County, shall be deemed to be the true and correct maps and plots of the Town and of all the streets, boundaries, lanes, and alleys thereof, and the same, or the record thereof, or a duly certified copy of said record, shall be evidence in all courts of law and equity in the State of Delaware.
Annexation of Territory
Section 3.
In the event it becomes feasible and necessary in the future for The Town of Millville to enlarge its then existing limits and territory, such annexation accomplished pursuant to the following procedures shall be lawful:
(a) At least eighty percent (80%) of property owners for the area seeking annexation of territory contiguous to the then existing corporate limits and territory of the Town of Millville, by written Petition with the signature of each such Petitioner duly acknowledged, shall request the Town Council to annex that certain territory in which they own property. However, for a Petition seeking annexation of an existing residential subdivision, at least eighty percent (80%) of the property owners of the lots of record, rather than the area, shall so request.
(b) The Petition shall include a description of the territory requested to be annexed, a current survey, and the reasons for the requested annexation. If the Petition is requesting a higher density than an R – Residential zoning, a concept plan is required. Further, the applicant or applicants shall notify all residents within 200 feet of any boundary of the territory for which the applicant is seeking annexation at the applicant’s expense and provide copies of such notification to the Town Manager or designee.
(c) The Town Manager or designee having verified the notifications, the Mayor of the Town of Millville shall appoint a three (3) member Annexation Committee to investigate the possibility of annexation and report back to the Town Council in no more than ninety (90) days, unless evidence is presented that indicates due cause, including misinformation or possible criminal intent. In that case, the Town Council may extend the reporting time for a fixed period to fully investigate the allegation(s). Prior to beginning work on the report, the members of the Annexation Committee will have been voted upon and approved by a majority of the Town Council. The Annexation Committee shall consist of two (2) members of the current Town Council and one (1) member of the current Planning and Zoning Commission, none of whose terms shall be set to expire for the expected duration of the business for which the Annexation Committee shall have been appointed.
(d) Upon the majority vote of the Town Council approving each appointee to the Annexation Committee, the Committee is to begin work immediately to prepare a written report of its findings within ninety (90) days, unless this period is extended for due cause.
(e) The report by the Annexation Committee will consider the positive and negative impacts on the capacities and qualities of the Town of Millville's town systems and services, the impact on Millville taxpayers, and other elements as determined by the Town Council in consultation with the Town Manager or designee. By a 2/3rds vote approval by the Town Council of the members present and voting, the Town Council will also determine if a cost/benefit analysis is to be prepared so as to further identify the advantages and disadvantages to the Town of Millville with regard to the annexation. The Annexation Committee may utilize the staff of the Town of Millville to assist in the conduct of its investigation and report as to the annexation advantages and disadvantages. The report will include a listing of the advantages and disadvantages of the Petition, with the interest of the Town of Millville being the sole concern of the Annexation Committee. All meetings of the Annexation Committee shall comply with the Delaware Freedom of Information Act.
(f) Upon receipt of the report, the Town Council will vote to accept the report, reject the report, or refer it to the Annexation Committee to accommodate new information. If referred to the Annexation Committee, the report must be resubmitted to the Town Council by the Annexation Committee at its next regularly scheduled meeting and a vote must then be taken. If referred to the Annexation Committee, the Town Council must first vote to extend the due date of the report to the next regularly scheduled meeting. If the report to the Town Council on the annexation determines that the proposed annexation is advantageous overall to the Town of Millville, the Town Council shall vote on the recommendation. If the Town Council accepts the report the Petition shall be referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Referral of the annexation petition requires a simple majority vote of the members of Town Council present and voting. If the Town Council reject the report, refer to subsection (g) of this Section.
(g) In the event that the Annexation Committee concludes that the proposed annexation is disadvantageous overall to the Town of Millville, or if the Town Council rejects a report from the Annexation Committee that determined the proposed annexation is advantageous to the Town, the applicant(s) for annexation must wait 365 days from the date of the presentation to the Town Council by the Annexation Committee before again petitioning the Town Council. Each and all the procedures pertaining to annexation, as provided in this Section, are again applicable and shall be repeated.
(h) Upon receipt of the Town Council's referral of the annexation petition to the Planning and Zoning Commission, said Commission shall consider and discuss the annexation request at its next duly noticed meeting and shall review the petition and concept plan (if required), including the zoning classification(s) requested by the petitioner. After not more than sixty (60) days the Planning and Zoning Commission shall make its recommendation on zoning classification[s] and transmit its recommendation(s) and comments on the petition and the concept plan (if required), in writing, back to the Town Council.
(i) At its next duly noticed meeting, following the Town Council's receipt of Planning and Zoning's report on the annexation request, concept plan (if required), and recommendation(s) for the zoning classifications, the Town Council shall schedule a public hearing on the petition, such hearing to be held not more than thirty (30) days after its next scheduled meeting. Following the public hearing, the Town Council shall, within thirty (30) days, exercise one of the following options: (1) take a final vote on whether or not to approve the annexation request, in which case the vote to annex must pass by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of all the members of the Town Council present and voting; or (2) vote by simple majority of the members present and voting, to hold a Town of Millville town-wide referendum on the petition. The Town Council may add conditions to the terms of annexation, by simple majority vote of members present and voting, prior to its final vote on the petition. If the Town Council votes to accept the petition, implementation of this decision must wait thirty (30) days, during which time the citizenry of Millville may file a petition with the Town Manager or designee requesting that a special referendum be held on the Town Council's decision to annex. This petition must include over 10% of Millville's registered voters able to vote in a referendum, and the referendum shall be held within sixty (60 days following the filing of the petition for referendum with the Millville Town Manager or designee.
(j) If a referendum on the annexation petition is to be held, the Town Council shall instruct the Town Manager or designee of Millville to schedule a special referendum on the annexation petition. If the Town Council votes in favor of a referendum, the Town Council will order that a public referendum vote be scheduled no later than sixty (60) days thereafter, and that a Resolution for annexation must be passed by a majority vote of the citizens of the Town of Millville who voted, and results of the referendum vote will be binding.
(k) At this and all special Referenda, every non-resident property owner, whether an individual, partnership, corporation or other artificial entity, in The Town of Millville shall have one (1) vote. Non-resident property owners whose property is exempt from taxation or is not assessed for taxation shall not be entitled to vote. Every resident citizen of The Town of Millville over the age of eighteen (18) years whether a property owner(s) or not shall have one (1) vote. The books and records of The Town of Millville in the case of non-resident property owners, and a copy of the required personal identification in the case of resident citizens of the Town, shall be conclusive evidence of the right of such property owners and citizens to vote at the special referendum. The Board of Election of the Town of Millville shall supervise any special referenda.
(l) The notice of the time and place of the special referendum shall be printed, within fifteen (15) days immediately following the vote or petition to hold a referendum, in at least one (1) newspaper having a general circulation in the Town of Millville, and posted in four (4) public places, including the Town bulletin board and posted on the Town of Millville website, at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date set for the special referendum.
(m) Following the thirty (30) day hold period to accommodate the filing of a petition, if no petition is filed, and if a favorable vote for annexation shall have been cast, the Town Council shall cause a description and a plot of the territory so annexed to be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, but in no event shall said recordation be completed more than one-hundred twenty (120) days following the date of the favorable Town Council vote or the special referendum vote. The territory for annexation shall be considered to be a part of The Town of Millville from the time of recordation. The failure to record the description or the plot within the specified time will cause the annexation petition to be tabled before the Town Council. Failure to achieve recordation in the one-hundred twenty (120) day period requires the Town Council to vote again on the annexation petition, whether or not the Town Council, or qualified voters of Millville in a referendum, have voted on the annexation petition.
(n) All territories proposed to be annexed including those territories exempt from taxation, or which are not assessed on the books on the Board of Assessment of Sussex County, shall also be required to follow all the processes and procedures required for annexation under this Section. The Town Council and the Millville Planning and Zoning Commission must proceed in the same manner as required of any annexation petition.
Structure of Government
Section 4.
The government of The Town and the exercise of all powers conferred by this Charter, except as otherwise provided herein, shall be vested in the Town Council. The Town Council shall be composed of five (5) members, each of whose terms shall be for a period of two (2) years, commencing at the Annual Meeting of the Town Council following his or her election and continuing until his or her successor is duly elected and qualified. One of the members of the Town Council shall be elected Mayor of the Town Council, pursuant to Section 8(b) of this Charter, and upon his or her election shall have the title of Mayor of The Town of Millville and shall perform all duties prescribed herein to be performed by the Mayor of The Town of Millville.
Qualifications for Town Council Member
Section 5.
(a) The qualifications for Town Council member at the time of his or her election shall be as follows:
(1) A citizen of the United States of America and bona fide resident of the Town of Millville for the period of at least ninety (90) days preceding the next Annual Municipal Election;
(2) At least twenty-one (21) years of age on or before the date of the election;
(3) Non-delinquent in taxes, utilities, or any other debt to the Town;
(4) Not been convicted of a felony; and
(5) Not been adjudged mentally incompetent.
(b) Each of the qualifications for Town Council member shall be continuing qualifications to hold office and the failure of any of the Town Council members to have any of the qualifications required by this Section during his or her term of office shall create a vacancy in that Office.
(c Prior to election or appointment to Town Council, the person must submit an Ethics Form.
Method of Making Nominations For Town Council Member
Section 6.
At a minimum, Title 15 of the Delaware Code shall be followed where applicable. However, certain items in this Section exceed those requirements and are to be followed. Each candidate for Town Council member shall be nominated as follows:
(a) Each candidate shall notify the Town Manager or designee in writing of his or her candidacy for the office of Town Council member. At that time, the candidate shall fill out and file with the Town Manager or designee, the Ethics Form in Appendix B of this Charter.
(b) All such notifications of candidacy, consent to the required background check, and the completed Ethics Form, along with the Certificate of Intention or a Statement of Organization, must be filed with the Town Manager or designee during the regular business hours of the Town on or before the close of business on the first Friday in the month of February; and thereupon it shall be the duty of the Town Manager or designee to have a list of all candidates so filed printed in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation in the Town of Millville at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the said Annual Municipal Election next ensuing; and, in the discretion of the Town Council, the Secretary may post a list of names of all candidates designating the office sought by each candidate in at least five (5) public places in the Town and on the Millville Town website. One of the public places shall be in or outside the Town Hall of the Town of Millville.
(c) The Town Manager or designee shall submit the names of candidates for each office up for election to the Sussex County Department of Elections no later than one (1) business day following the deadlines for the elected positions.
Manner of Holding Annual Municipal Election
Section 7.
The procedure for holding the Annual Municipal Election shall be as follows:
(a) The Annual Municipal Election shall be held at a place designated by the Town Council within the corporate limits of The Town of Millville on the First Saturday in March of each and every year from eleven (11:00) o'clock in the morning, prevailing time, until 8:00 p.m., prevailing time.
(b) The Town Manager or designee shall make arrangements with the Sussex County Department of Elections for voting machines to be placed in the polling place prior to the time set forth in this Charter for the beginning of the Annual Municipal Election.
(c) Three Council members will be elected in odd numbered years and two in even numbered years.
(d) The Annual Municipal Election shall be conducted by a Board of Election consisting of an Inspector and two (2) Judges appointed by the Mayor of the Town of Millville with the concurrence of a majority of the members of the Town Council present and voting not later than the last regular meeting of the Town Council prior to the date of the Annual Municipal Election. Alternate Inspectors and Judges shall also be appointed with such concurrence. The Board of Election shall determine who is and who is not lawfully entitled to vote thereat, take reasonable steps to see that the law pertaining to the Annual Municipal Election receives compliance and for the purpose of counting the votes and certifying the result to the Town Council. The Board of Election shall keep a list of all persons who voted at such Annual Municipal Election.
(e) At such Annual Municipal Election, every person, male or female, who shall have attained the age of eighteen (18) years on the date of the said Annual Municipal Election and who shall be a bona fide resident of the Town of Millville shall have one (1) vote.
(f) The Town Council may provide for any qualified voter to cast an absentee ballot.
(g) In the event that no person files or is nominated for office for which an election is to be held within the time set forth in Section 6 of this Charter, the incumbent shall be deemed to be reelected for a full term and it shall not be necessary to have an election.
(h) In the event that only one person files or who is nominated for office for which an election is to be held within the time set forth in Section 6 of this Charter, the person who files or is nominated shall be deemed to be elected for a full term and it shall not be necessary to have an election.
Organization and Annual Meeting Of Council
Section 8.
(a) Before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, the Council members elect shall be sworn by a Notary Public. At the first regular meeting following the Organizational Municipal Election, “the Annual Meeting”, the Town Council shall meet at the Council Chamber and the newly elected officers shall assume the duties of office, being first duly sworn or affirmed to perform their duties with fidelity, as aforesaid.
(b) At the Organizational Meeting held on the first regular meeting following the Annual Municipal Election, the Town Council shall organize and elect a Mayor and a Deputy Mayor who shall hold office for the term of 1 year or until their respective successors shall be duly qualified and elected. The person elected as Presiding Officer of the Town Council shall have the title of Mayor of The Town of Millville. The Town Council shall likewise elect a Secretary and a Treasurer from its own number to serve until the first regular meeting after the next Annual Municipal Election. The Town Council may also elect an Assistant Secretary and an Assistant Treasurer to serve until the first regular meeting following the next Annual Municipal Election who may or may not be from among their own number and such other officers and employees as may be determined to be necessary.
Regular and Special Meetings
Section 9.
(a) Regular Meetings. The Town Council shall meet regularly 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 Manager upon the written request of the Mayor, or upon the written request of any 4 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 deposited in the U.S. mail in the main post office in the Town at least 96 hours prior to the time set for such special meeting, provided, however, that a waiver of such notice, (written, telegraphic, or recorded telephonic message) by all members of Council prior to or immediately upon the convening of such special meeting shall make the 96-hour 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 meeting.
Quorum
Section 10.
A majority of the members elected to The Town Council shall constitute a quorum at any regular or special meeting regardless of any abstentions; but a lesser number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by Ordinance.
Rules and Minutes of Council, Commissions, and Boards
Section 11.
(a) Town Council, Commissions and Boards shall follow the Millville Town Council Policies and Procedures Manual incorporated by reference herein, as may be amended. Minutes of all public Council, Commission and Board meetings shall be recorded and transcribed by the Town Clerk or designee in electronic format and hard copy. Minutes shall include who of the voting body specifically votes for and against a motion during meetings. Minutes of aforesaid meetings shall be kept at Town Hall and published on the Town’s website within a reasonable amount of time. Minutes of all meetings shall be reviewed and approved at the next scheduled meeting or as soon thereafter as possible.
(b) 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, or abolish any town department, office, commission, board, agency, or position;
(2) Provide for a fine or other penalty or establish a rule or regulation for violation of which a fine or other penalty is imposed;
(3) Grant, renew or extend a franchise;
(4) Amend or repeal any ordinances previously adopted.
(c) Acts other than those referred to in the preceding may be done either by ordinance or by resolution. Every ordinance and resolution shall be introduced in writing. Vote on any ordinance or resolution may be by voice vote and the vote of each Council member on any ordinance shall be entered on the record. No ordinance or resolution shall be passed unless it shall have the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present and voting thereon , unless a supermajority is otherwise required .
Vacancies
Section 12.
If any vacancy shall occur in the office of Council member by death, resignation, loss of residence in The Town of Millville, refusal to serve, or otherwise, the same may be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Town Council. The person or persons so chosen to fill such vacancy shall be qualified only after completing the Ethics Form in Appendix B of this Charter and shall hold office until the end of fixed term of the vacated Town Council seat . Any person appointed to a vacancy must meet the requirements as stated in Section 5 of this Charter.
Disqualifications, Forfeiture, and Censure
Section 13.
(a) If any Council member, during his or her term of office, shall be found guilty of any crime or misdemeanor and sentenced to imprisonment for any term whatever or shall for any reason cease to be a resident of the Town, he or she shall forthwith be disqualified to act as a member of Council and his or her office shall be deemed vacant and shall be filled by the Town Council, as aforesaid.
(b) Forfeiture Proceedings. A forfeiture of his or her office shall occur when that Council member:
(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
(4) fails to attend 3 regular Council meetings without being excused by Council.
(c) Determination Concerning Forfeiture. Where the conditions set forth in Section 13(b)(3) or (4) occur, forfeiture shall be automatic. Where the conditions set forth in Section 13(b)(1) or (2) are alleged to have occurred, a determination concerning such alleged forfeiture shall be made by the Council, but the affected party shall not have a vote in any such decision. Such deliberations may be had in executive session and if the Council determines by a unanimous vote of the Council members entitled to vote on the question, that a forfeiture has occurred, it shall, within 48 hours of that determination, provide written notice thereof to the affected Council member, stating specific reasons. The affected party shall then have 10 days in which to make a written demand for a public hearing before the Council, to be held within 20 days of the written demand, at which hearing he or she may appear with the assistance of counsel and present evidence to the relevant issues. Thereafter, the Council shall hear any other relevant evidence and vote again on the question of forfeiture; and if a determination of forfeiture is again made by a unanimous vote of the Council members entitled to vote on the question, the decision shall be final.
(d) Failure to Request Hearing as a Bar. Failure of the affected person to make written demand for a public hearing as hereinabove stated shall be an absolute bar to his right to challenge that decision. During, or in connection with, any such proceedings, the Council shall have authority to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, and require the production of documentary or physical evidence, all of which shall be done if requested in writing by the affected person.
(e) By a vote of the other Council members, a Council member may be censured for willfully violating the Millville Town Council Policies & Procedures Manual, as may be amended, including requirements of general decorum.
Contracts
Section 14.
(a) It shall be unlawful for the Town Council to make or enter into any contract in excess of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for property, materials, supplies, services, work or labor, for the benefit and use of The Town of Millville with any member of the Town Council or with any partnership in which any member of the Town Council is a partner, or with any corporation in which any member of the Town Council is a director or controlling stockholder or any firm or company which any member of the Town Council has a pecuniary interest. An ethics form (appendix B) is required to be on file in Town Hall for each elected or appointed official and kept up-to-date and current at all times by such officials. These forms shall be examined with reference to a bid or contract, to assure full disclosure and compliance with best ethical practice and standards. This procedure is to reveal actual or implied potential conflicts of interest. Once this examination is completed and the Town Council members are apprised of any actual or implied potential conflicts of interest, if all the elected members of the Town Council shall vote to enter into such contract, then the Town may enter into such a contract. Any such contract executed without such unanimous vote shall be absolutely null and void. All contracts under this subsection entered into for less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) shall be reported to the Town Council at the next Town Council meeting.
(b) All contracts for the purchase of materials or for the furnishing of services authorized or permitted by this Charter shall be accomplished by competitive bidding and the awarding of contracts to the lowest responsible bidder who submits a responsive bid; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that competitive bidding shall not be required, but may be used, in any of the following circumstances:
(1) The aggregate amount involved is not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) in a fiscal year, unless competitive bid is otherwise required by the terms of a grant or subsidy or for any other reason ;
(2) The purchase or contract is for personal or professional services, and for purposes of this section, personal or professional services shall include legal, accounting, engineering, planning or other professional services and personal services shall mean cleaning, domestic or other temporary services ;
(3) The purchase or contract is for any service rendered by a university, college or other educational institution;
(4) The purchase or contract is for any service to be rendered by the State of Delaware or any political subdivision;
(5) The purchase or contract is for property or services for which it is impracticable to obtain competition;
(6) The public exigency, as determined by the Town Council, will not permit the delay incident to advertising;
(7) The materials to be purchased are to be used to complete a project under the supervision of the Town Manager or designee;
(8) The purchase or contract is for property or services for which the Town Council determines the prices received after competitive bidding are unreasonable as to all or part of the requirement or not independently reached in open competition;
(9) A public emergency as determined by the Town Council exists;
(10) The purchase is for materials or services other than professional services greater than ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) up to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000.00) which then may be accomplished by soliciting letter quotations from not fewer than three (3) qualified responsible sources or providers; or
(11) The purchase or contract is for materials, motor vehicles, vehicles, equipment of any kind, tools and other personal property which the State of Delaware has purchased or has chosen for purchase pursuant to the procedures provided by 29 Del. C . §6901 et seq. or the vendor of said personal property has a contract with the Federal General Services Administration and as a result has been placed on the G.S.A. Federal Supply Schedule.
(c) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Section 14 and without complying with the competitive bidding procedures described in this Section 14, the Town Council of the Town of Millville may enter into any contract necessary or desired in connection with a special development district or tax increment financing district created or designated by the Town Council of the Town of Millville pursuant to Section 31(a)(45) of this Charter, except a contract in which the Town Council of the Town of Millville is directly contracting for the procurement of the labor or material for public improvements for the benefit of such district, provided that the foregoing exception shall not apply to development, funding or similar type contracts between the Town Council of the Town of Millville and an owner of real property in such district when the contract is generally for the transfer by the owner to the Town of Millville of the work performed and the cost of labor or material provided by such owner for the benefit of such district.
Duties of the Mayor
Section 15.
(a) The Mayor shall preside at all Town Council meetings, and shall vote on all matters brought before the Town Council for a vote. He or she shall appoint all committees with the advice and consent of Town Council. The Mayor shall perform such other duties and have such other powers as the Town Council shall determine not in conflict with the provisions of this Charter. The Mayor shall be empowered to act on behalf of the Town, without prior Town Council approval, only in the event of a sudden emergency requiring prompt action, in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the town, is inhabitants and property owners. A "sudden emergency", for purposes of this section, shall include, by way of example and not limitation, a major fire or conflagration, significant flooding or serious storm threatening significant damage, a civic disturbance or a toxic spill. A sudden emergency shall also include any emergency situation as declared by any county, state or federal agency having jurisdiction over the Town where the scope of the emergency so declared includes the Town.
(b) The Mayor may, for any reasonable cause, by and with the consent and upon the address of a majority of all the members of the Town Council, remove from office any person appointed by him or any or his or her predecessors. The person against whom the Council may be about to proceed shall receive five (5) days written notice thereof, accompanied by a statement of the cause alleged for the removal . The person may request a public hearing by submitting a request which must be to the Town Manager, in writing, by mail, email, or dropped off in person at Town Hall within ten (10) days following the date that notice of removal is received by such person.
(c) The Mayor may appoint such other committees, by resolution approved by Town Council, as he or she deems necessary for the proper administration of The Town of Millville or the Council may also, by resolution, authorize the Mayor to appoint certain committees which are deemed necessary to carry out the provisions of this Charter. All resolutions shall contain the specific purpose of the committee and the length of time such committee may be needed. Any such committees will be advisory in nature with no powers to enact regulations or allocate funds.
(d) It shall be the duty of the Deputy Mayor of the Town Council, in the absence of the Mayor, to preside at all meetings of the Town Council in the event of absence of the Mayor and perform such other duties and to have such other powers of the Mayor as are prescribed by the Charter of The Town of Millville or by any Ordinance of the Town Council.
Secretary
Section 16.
(a) The Secretary shall be selected from members of the Town Council for a one-year term.
(b) In addition to any other duties prescribed by Town Council, the Secretary shall be responsible for recording and providing minutes for executive sessions. Such minutes will be circulated to members of Town Council for approval at the following meeting or as soon thereafter as possible.
(c) The Secretary shall sign all resolutions and ordinances once adopted by Town Council.
Treasurer
Section 17.
(a) The Treasurer shall be responsible for reviewing all vouchers and bills scheduled for payment and shall be the second signatory on all checks.
(b) In addition to any other duties prescribed by Town Council, the Treasurer will meet with the Finance Director and/or Town Manager to discuss and review the fiscal year budget prior to said budget being submitted to the Town Council for action.
(c) The Treasurer shall review said budget with the Finance Director and/or Town Manager periodically during the year to discuss any financial issues that may arise during the year.
Compensation
Section 18.
(a) Town Council members, Planning and Zoning Commission members, and Board of Adjustment members may be paid for their services any sum which may be agreed upon by the members of the Town Council as may be prescribed by ordinance or resolution.
(b) The Town Council members, Planning and Zoning Commission members, and Board of Adjustment members may also be reimbursed for any funds expended in the operation of their duties, e.g., mileage for continuing education and off-site meetings.
Town Manager
Section 19.
(a) The Town Council may appoint a Town Manager who shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the Town.
(b) The Town Council shall impose such qualifications for Town Manager as may be deemed necessary; provided, however, that no person holding the office of Town Council shall be chosen to be Town Manager during his or her term of office as Council member, except pursuant to subsection (d) of this Section.
(c) The Town Manager shall hold office for a definite term and may be removed by a majority vote of the Town Council of the Town of Millville, pursuant to the terms of the Town Manager's employment contract. At least thirty (30) days before such removal shall become effective, the Town Council shall, by a majority vote of all the elected members thereof, adopt a preliminary resolution stating the reasons for removal. The Town Manager may reply in writing and may request a public hearing which shall be held not earlier than twenty (20) days but not later than thirty (30) days after the filing of such request, unless the Town Council and the Town Manager agree otherwise. After such public hearing, if one be requested, and after full consideration, the Town Council, by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of all members thereof, may adopt a final resolution of removal. By the preliminary resolution, the Town Council may suspend the Town Manager from duty but shall in any case cause to be paid any unpaid balance of his/her salary for the next three (3) calendar months following the adoption of the preliminary resolution, or as negotiated in the Town Manager’s contract .
(d) In case of the absence or disability of the Town Manager, the Town Council may designate some qualified person who may be an elected or appointed official of the Town of Millville to perform the duties of such office during his or her absence or disability , in a temporary capacity not to exceed 90 days from the date of appointment . The compensation which the acting Town Manager shall receive for the performance of duties shall be fixed by the Town Council.
(e) The Town Manager shall be responsible to the Town Council of Millville for the proper administration of the affairs of the Town placed in his or her charge and to that end, he or she shall have the power to make such appointment and to hire such employees at such compensations as the Town Council, by Resolution, shall determine, subject to such rules and regulations as may be adopted by the Town Council. All employees shall be hired for an indefinite term and may be removed by the Town Manager at any time unless otherwise provided by resolution of Council. He or she shall exercise his or her sole discretion in the appointment or hiring of any such employees. The Town Manager shall be the sole judge of the competence or incompetence of any such person so appointed or hired by him/her. The Town Council shall sit as a Board of Appeal for the protection of Town employees at those times when the majority of all the Commissioners are agreed that a review of the action of the Town Manager would be in the best interests of the Town of Millville. The decision of the Town Council in such case shall be final and conclusive.
(f) It is the intention of this Charter that, in the performance of his or her duties, and in the exercise of his or her powers, the Town Manager shall not be influenced by any matters whatsoever of a political or fractional nature. It is the intention of this Charter that the Town Manager shall be guided solely by matters of expediency and efficiency in the administration of the affairs of the Town placed in his or her charge. Except for purposes of inquiry, the Town Council shall deal with that portion of the administrative service for which the Town Manager is responsible solely through the Town Manager.
(g) It shall be the duty of the Town Manager to supervise the administration of the affairs of the Town under his or her charge and to make such reports to the Town Council as are required by the Town Council. He or she shall make such recommendations to the Town Council concerning the affairs of the Town as may seem to him or her desirable. He or she shall keep the Town Council advised of the financial condition and future needs of the Town. He or she shall prepare and submit to the Town Council at the regularly monthly meeting of each and every month a true, accurate and detailed account of all the moneys collected or received by the Town.
(h) In conjunction with the Mayor and the Town Council, he or she shall sign warrants pursuant to appropriations or resolutions theretofore made for the Town Council. He or she shall prepare and submit to the Town Council such reports as may be required by the Town Council. He or she shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this Charter or required of him or her by Ordinance or Resolution of the Town Council.
(i) The Town Manager and such other officers of the Town as may be designated by vote of the Town Council shall be entitled to seats in the meetings of the Town Council, but shall not vote therein.
(j) The Town Manager shall have charge and supervision of the streets, gutters, curbs, sidewalks, boardwalks, jetties, piers, parks, and other administrative affairs of the Town and all work relating thereto. He or she shall have charge of and shall collect all taxes, assessments, rentals, license fees, or other charges due the Town. He or she shall have charge of the administration of all provisions of this Charter and Ordinances and Resolutions of the Town Council relating to the affairs of the Town when not otherwise provided for by this Charter or by any Ordinance or Resolution of the Town Council. He or she shall pay over to the Finance Director at least monthly, as hereinbefore provided, and oftener is required by the Town Council, all moneys received or collected by him or her and by any employee under his or her supervision.
(k) He or she shall keep a full and strict account of all moneys received and all disbursements made by him or her and such accounts shall, at all times, be open to inspection to the Town Council.
(l) He or she shall give to the Town of Millville a bond, if required by the Town Council, in such sum and in form with security satisfactory to the Town Council for the faithful performance of the duties of his or her office and the restoration of the Town of Millville, in case of his or her death, resignation, or removal from office all books, papers, vouchers, money and other property of whatever kind in his or her possession belonging to the Town.
(m) In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Town Manager for any reason or reasons whatsoever, the duly appointed and qualified successor to that office shall succeed to all the rights, privileges and powers theretofore reposed in his or her predecessor or predecessors in office in the same manner as though all acts, deeds and steps theretofore taken by any such predecessor or predecessors with respect to any matter or thing pertaining to said office had been taken or performed by the successor to such office.
(n) Upon the death, resignation, or removal from office of the Town Manager, the Town Council shall appoint some suitable person, who may be an elected or appointed official of the Town of Millville, to perform the duties of the Town Manager; provided, however, such person shall not serve for a period exceeding ninety (90) days from the date of his or her appointment.
Town Solicitor
Section 20.
The Town Council shall select and appoint a Town Solicitor for an indefinite term who shall be removable at the pleasure of the Town Council of The Town of Millville either with or without due cause stated. The Town Solicitor shall be a member in good standing of the Bar of the State of Delaware. It shall be his or her duty to give legal advice to the Town Council , and all Boards and Commissions as required, and to perform other legal services as may be required by the Town Council, or the Town Manager or designee .
Board of Health
Section 21.
(a) The Town Council may appoint a Board of Health that shall operate in compliance with the Delaware Code . If it is established, such Board shall consist of no fewer than three (3) nor more than five (5) members, at least one (1) of whom shall be a physician authorized to practice medicine in the State of Delaware . Members of the Board of Health shall serve for three (3) years or until their successors are duly appointed and qualified. Members of the Board of Health shall have their primary residence – or in the case of a medical or scientific professional, the site of their professional practice – within the town limits of the Town of Millville . The Board shall be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of a majority of the elected members of the Town Council. The Board of Health shall have cognizance of and interest in the life and health of the people of the Town , including oversight of air, water and land quality, and shall inform the Town Council, Town Manager or designee, of necessary measures to be taken to protect public health . The Board shall report to the Town Council in writing whatever is deemed by the Board to be potentially injurious to the health of the people of the Town and shall make recommendations to the Town Council concerning whatever may contribute to the health and sanitation of the citizens of The Town of Millville. The Board shall organize by the election of a Chairman and Secretary within ten (10) days after notice of their appointment and shall keep a record of their proceedings and acts. The Chairperson shall be the executive officer of the Board.
(b) The Board of Health may make recommendations to the Town Council regarding the adoption of ordinances relating to the health of the population of the Town or to prevent the introduction or spread of infectious or contagious diseases or nuisances , or to mitigate against environmental contamination, affecting the same and such ordinances, when adopted by the Town Council, shall extend to an area outside the Town limits for a distance of one (1) mile.
Police Force
Section 22.
(a) The Town Council may, from time to time, make such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the organization, government and control of the police force. The police force, if created, shall preserve peace and order and shall compel obedience within the Town limits to the Ordinances of the Town and the laws of the State of Delaware. The Town Council may appoint a Chief of Police to recommend and hire policing staff with the Town Council approval. The police force, under the direction of the Chief of Police, shall have such other duties as the Town Council shall prescribe. The Chief of Police shall be subject to the direction of the Mayor and Town Manager acting on behalf of the Town Council. The Chief of Police shall be charged with the establishment of Standard Operating procedures (SOP) for the Millville Police Department.
(b) Each member of the police force shall have police powers as designated in the Delaware Code and shall be conservators of the peace throughout The Town of Millville. They shall suppress all acts of violence and enforce all laws relating to the safety of persons and property. They shall enforce all laws and ordinances enacted by the Town Council and all criminal and motor vehicle laws enacted by the State of Delaware . In the case of a pursuit of an offender, the power and authority of the police force shall extend outside the territorial limitations of The Town of Millville.
(c) Every person sentenced to imprisonment by a court of competent jurisdiction shall be delivered by a member of the police force to the designated correctional institution to be there imprisoned for the term of his or her sentence.
Annual Audit
Section 23.
The Mayor, with the advice and consent of a majority of the elected members of the Town Council, shall retain the services of a Delaware licensed Certified Public Accountant or accounting firm to examine the financial statements and accounts of the Town. The selected accountant or accounting firm shall audit the accounts of the Town . The auditor shall on or before the expiration of one hundred and twenty (120) days from the end of the fiscal year annually make and deliver to the Town Council and Town Manager or designee a detailed report of any and all accounts, records, and books examined and audited. Such report under his or her hand and seal and the executive summary if its findings shall be made available at Town Hall. A notice of availability shall be published in at least one (1) newspaper having a general circulation in the Town. The auditor shall have access to all records and accounts of the Town.
Board of Assessment
Section 24.
(a) In the event the Town creates a Board of Assessment, the Board of Assessment shall be appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of a majority of the elected members of the Town Council for an indefinite term. The Board of Assessment shall consist of three (3) members, all of whom shall be over the age of twenty - one (21) years, bona fide residents of The Town of Millville and property owners of the Town.
(b) Members of the Board of Assessment shall be sworn or affirmed by the Mayor of The Town of Millville or by a Notary Public to perform their duties with fidelity and without favor or bias. It shall be their duty to make a fair and impartial assessment of property and persons subject to taxation situated within the corporate limits of the Town and to perform such other duties and reference thereto as shall be prescribed by the Town Council. Compensation is to be by them received for the performance of their duties in the hiring of employees to assist them in the performance of their duties shall be fixed by and subject to the approval of the Town Council of The Town of Millville.
(c) In making such assessment, the rules and exemptions now applicable by law to the making of the assessment for Sussex County of persons and property shall be applicable insofar as consistent with the provisions of this Charter.
(d) Adoption of Sussex County 100% land and improvement values (Values) . The Town Council may elect to use the 100% land and improvement values by the Sussex County Board of Assessment for all property located within the corporate limits of the Town in lieu of making its own independent valuation and assessment of such property. In such event, the 100% land and improvement values established by Sussex County shall be conclusive for purposes of levying town taxes, and the Town Council shall have no authority to hear appeals regarding the same. If the Town Council elects to adopt the Sussex County Values, only this section and Subsection (e) shall have effect; the Town Council has the authority to consider appeals concerning any additions to tax bills under Subsection (e) at any regular or special meeting.
(e) Additions to Tax Bills. Whether utilizing the Sussex County Values or those prepared by the Town’s own Board of Assessment, the Town Council shall annually, prior to the posting of the assessment list, by resolution, provide for the Mayor 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: water bond sinking funds assessments, curb and gutter assessments, water assessments, weed and grass cutting bills, trash collection bills, and past due water rents. Said amounts, when adopted and set forth by resolution of the Mayor and Council, shall be shown on the copies of the assessments posted pursuant to the provisions of Section 25 of this Chapter.
Assessment of Taxes
Section 25.
The Board of Assessment shall, within ninety (90) days prior to the beginning of the next fiscal year, make a just, true and impartial annual valuation or assessment of all real estate and improvements located thereon within The Town of Millville. All real estate shall be described with sufficient particularity to be identified. Real estate shall be assessed to the owner(s) if they be known. If the owner(s) of real estate cannot be found or ascertained, it may be assessed to "Owner Unknown." A mistake in the name of the owner(s) or a wrong name or an assessment to "Owner Unknown," shall not affect the validity of the assessment of any municipal tax or assessment 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 Sussex County. The Board of Assessment may also make a personal assessment of all citizens of the Town above the age of Eighteen (18) years, whether an owner of real estate or not; said personal assessment shall be determined by the Town Council and certified to the Board of Assessment. Said personal assessment shall be in addition to the assessment levied on real estate owned or assessed by any person or persons whomsoever.
(a) The Board of Assessment, after making such annual assessment, shall, at least ninety (90) days prior to the end of the fiscal year, deliver to the Town Council of The Town of Millville a list containing the names of all persons assessed and the amount of assessment against each. They shall also deliver at such time as many copies of said list as the Town Council shall direct.
(b) The annual assessment shall distinguish the real and personal assessment of each person and shall also be arranged so that the land, the improvements thereon, and the per capita assessment shall appear in separate columns or spaces. In making this assessment, the Board shall make its valuation accordingly.
(c) The real property of the several members of the Board of Assessment shall be assessed by the Town Council of The Town of Millville.
(d) Immediately upon receiving the annual assessment list from the Board of Assessment, the Town Council of The Town of Millville shall cause a full and complete copy of the same, containing the amount assessed to each taxable to be hung in a public place in The Town of Millville 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 five (5) or more public places in said Town shall be posted notices advertising to all concerned that, upon a certain day mentioned therein and not earlier than ten (10) days after the date of posting of the true and correct copy of the annual assessment list and notices that, at the next regular meeting of the Town Council, the Town Council will hold a court of appeals at which time and place they shall hear appeals from the said annual assessment. The decision of the Town Council sitting as the Board of Appeals shall be final and conclusive and said Town Council shall revise and complete said assessment at this sitting. No member of the Town Council shall sit upon his or her own appeal but the same shall be heard and determined by the other councilmen.
(e) All the members of the Board of Assessment 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 Board of Assessment by appropriate process.
Supplemental Assessment
Section 26.
(a) In addition to the annual assessment provided for in Section 25 of this Charter, the Board of Assessment may, at its option, prepare a monthly supplemental assessment list for any of the following purposes:
(1) Adding property which was not included on the first annual assessment;
(2) Increasing or decreasing the assessed value of property which was included in the last assessment;
(3) Correcting errors on the prior annual assessment;
(4) Revising or modifying any exception from taxation applicable to property within the Town; or
(5) Due to improvement to property.
(b The supplemental assessment list shall be prepared monthly by the Board of Assessment.
(c) On the date of certification of the supplemental assessment list of the Town Council by the Board of Assessment each property owner shall be liable for the payment of prorated real estate taxes equal to the assessed value of the property multiplied by the tax rate for the then current fiscal year applicable to the property and the amount of such tax, together with any interest, penalty and collection charge shall be a lien for a period of ten (10) years and such lien shall have preference and priority to all other created liens on real estate or upon improvements located on land under lease as prescribed in the Charter or suffered by said property owner although such lien or liens be of a date prior to the time of the attaching of such lien for taxes.
(d) Whenever the Board of Assessment places a property on a supplemental assessment list, they shall deposit notice thereof in the regular mail addressed to the owner of the property affected thereby at the address shown on the assessment list, or if the address of such owner does not appear on the assessment list, then to the person occupying the property, or if there is no apparent occupant, such notice shall be posted on the property. Such notice shall be given no later than the date on which the supplemental list on which the property appears is certified to the Town Council by the Board of Assessment. The certification by the Board of Assessment that the notice required by this Subsection was mailed or posted, as the case may be, shall be conclusive evidence that notice to the property owner was received.
(e) The Board of Assessment may publish a notice of the place or places where the supplemental assessment list may be inspected together with a notice of the time and place in the Town when the Town Council, not earlier than ten (10) days from the date of the last publication, shall sit, between the hours of one o'clock in the afternoon, prevailing time and five o'clock in the afternoon, prevailing time, to hear appeals. Such notice shall appear at least once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town. The decision of the Town Council sitting as a Board of Appeals, shall be final and conclusive and the said Town Council shall revise and complete the said supplemental assessment at this sitting. Neither the Mayor nor any member of the Town Council shall sit upon his or her appeal but the same shall be held and determined by the other members of the Town Council.
(f) Pending determination of the appeal, the property owner may either pay the tax imposed by the supplemental assessment and if on appeal the assessment is reduced, the property owner shall be entitled to a refund of the taxes which he has overpaid plus interest thereon at the rate of one percent (1%) per month for each month or fraction thereof from the date of payment or the property owner may decline to pay the tax imposed by the supplemental assessment in which case, interest and penalties shall accrue at the rate of one percent (1%) per month for each month or fraction thereof that the taxes remain unpaid from the expiration of thirty (30) days following the date of mailing or the posting of the notice, as the case may be, required by this Section.
(g) All taxes imposed by the supplemental assessment list paid more than thirty (30) days following the date that notice is mailed by the Board of Assessment to the property owner as provided for in this Section shall be delinquent.
Taxation of Real Estate Transfers
Section 27.
(a) The Town Council of the Town of Millville, in addition to all other powers conferred upon it by this Act, shall have the power and authority by ordinance or ordinances to levy, assess and collect or provide for the levying, assessment and collection of such taxes as shall be determined by the Town Council to be paid by the transferor or transferee upon the transfer of real property or any interest in real property situate within the corporate limits of the Town of Millville, regardless of where the instruments making the transfers are made, executed or delivered or where the actual settlements on such transfers occur; provided however, that no tax shall be levied upon an organization exempted from ad valorem real estate taxes. No tax shall be imposed on conveyances when the actual value of the property being transferred is less than $100.
(b) If the taxing power authority granted under this Section shall be exercised by way of a stamp affixed to a document presented for recording, the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, shall not receive for record any document subject to such tax unless such stamps are affixed thereto.
(c) The Town Council of the Town of Millville may adopt an ordinance or ordinances to provide for the effective administration and regulation of any tax adopted pursuant to the provisions of this Section.
(d) No tax levied under this Section shall exceed one and one-half percent (1 ½%) of the sale price (including the value of any assumed mortgage or mortgages) or of the fair market value of the real property so transferred; and provided however, that no tax shall be imposed upon an organization which is exempted from ad valorem taxes. The provisions of Section 5401 and Section 5403, Chapter 54, Title 30, Del. C., shall be applicable to any realty transfer tax imposed pursuant to this Act.
(e) The Town Council may provide by Ordinance for the collection of such tax by the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, or such other agent as may be appointed by the Town Council and shall prescribe in such Ordinance the charge that will be paid for such collection of such realty transfer tax authorized by this Section.
Levy of Annual Taxes and Other Revenue
Section 28.
(a) The Town Council, having revised and completed the assessment, shall determine, in its best judgment and knowledge, the total amount necessary to be raised by the Town to meet the fixed and anticipated expenses and obligations of the Town. Such amounts may include reasonable and appropriate reserves, for the next fiscal year as set forth in the Town Budget for such year and may include a reasonable amount to cover unanticipated expenses, emergencies , and long-term capital improvements and replacements .
(b) The Town Council should then proceed to determine, in consultation with the Town Manager or designee , from which sources of the authorized revenues of the Town the amount so determined by them shall be raised and, within the limits prescribed by this Charter with respect to any such source, the amount to be raised from each such source. They shall then proceed to determine, assess, fix and/or levy as follows:
(1) The rate of tax on real estate including improvements thereon per One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of the assessed value or Sussex County’s 100% land and improvement values ; and/or
(2) The rate of tax upon all poles, construction, erections, wires and appliances more particularly mentioned, or intended so to be in Section 30 of this Charter as amended; and/or
(3) The several license fees to be charged for carrying on or conducting of the several businesses, professions or occupations more particularly mentioned or intended so to be in this Charter, as amended; and/or
(4) The several rates to be charged for furnishing water service, sewer service, electric service, gas service, front footage assessment; and/or
(5) The fees or rates to be charged in respect to any other authorized source of revenue sufficient to their judgment and estimation to realize the amount necessary, provided however, that in the case of sources (3), (4), and (5) assess, levy, alter, or change upon other than a fiscal year basis and that any meeting of the Town Council as the Town Council, in its own proper discretion, shall determine.
(c) After the day fixed for hearing tax appeals of each and every year, the Town Council shall make, or cause to be made, a full, true and correct Annual Tax List showing the amount of tax levied against each taxable entity thereon from all sources above mentioned. This list shall be known as the Annual Tax List of The Town of Millville. In addition to the information contained in the annual valuation or assessment list, it shall also contain information as to the rate of tax upon real estate for each One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of assessed valuation thereof.
(d) Nothing contained in this Charter shall be construed to affect or impair in any way the validity of any tax, fee, assessment or other charge lawfully levied, assessed or due the Town under existing laws in reference to said Town and the same are hereby declared to be valid, binding and vested in the Town.
Collection of Annual Taxes and Other Revenues
Section 29.
(a) As soon as the Town Council shall have received a duplicate Annual Tax List, the Town Manager or designee shall proceed at once to collect the taxes and other charges and fees on said duplicate list.
(b) All taxes , other charges or fees imposed by the Town in such Annual Tax List , or as levied or imposed pursuant to Section 28 of this Charter, shall be and constitute a lien upon all the real estate within the Town of Millville owned by the taxable person or entity for a period of ten (10) years . The lien shall be applied to any such real estate within the Town of Millville owned by that taxable person or entity at any time after taxes, fees or charges are imposed. Such lien shall have preference and priority to all other liens on such real estate, as aforesaid, even if such other lien or liens be of a time and date prior to the time of the attaching of such lien of taxes , charges or fees due to the Town .
(c) All taxes, charges or fees, when and as collected by the Town Manager or designee, shall be paid to The Town of Millville, and all taxes, charges or fees shall be due and payable at and from the time of the delivery of the Annual Tax List to the Town Manager or designee or when the charge or fee is imposed.
(d) All taxes, charges and fees shall be payable at the Town Office of The Town of Millville during the regular business hours of that office.
(e) In the collection of said taxes, all taxes paid after the expiration of ninety (90) days from the beginning of the fiscal year shall be delinquent. The Town Council shall have the power to make just allowances for delinquencies in the collection of taxes. On all taxes paid on or after the expiration of ninety (90) days next succeeding completion of the Annual tax List to the Treasurer, there shall be added interest at the rate of 0.5% per month and an additional sum of 1% per month as a penalty for each month or fraction thereof such taxes shall remain unpaid and said penalties shall be collected in the same manner as the original amount of the tax. All taxes unpaid after the expiration of ninety (90) days from the beginning of the fiscal year of The Town of Millville shall be considered delinquent. In effecting a collection of any delinquent tax the Town Council may impose a collection charge not to exceed eighteen percent (18%) of the amount of the tax and any interest or penalty imposed thereon.
(f) At the annual meeting of the Town Council of each year, the Town Manager or designee shall account to the Town Council for all taxes, charges and fees collected by him or her during the prior fiscal year and shall account for any uncollected taxes, charges and fees unless he or she can show to the satisfaction of the Town Council that all remedies permitted for the collection of said taxes, charges and fees were pursued without result or, if not pursued the remedies would have been without avail.
(g) The Town Manager or designee , when any tax, charge or fee has become delinquent, may, in the name of The Town of Millville, institute suit before any Justice of the Peace or in the Court of Common Pleas of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, or in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, for the recovery of the unpaid tax, charge or fee, together with interest, penalty and collection charge(s), in an action of debt, and upon judgment obtained, may sue out writs of execution as in the case of other judgments recovered before a Justice of the Peace or in the Court of Common Pleas, or in the Superior Court as the case may be.
(h) However, should the Town Manager or designee so elect, he or she is empowered to sell the real property of the delinquent taxpayer or the real property of a delinquent taxpayer alienated subsequent to the levy of the tax by the following procedure:
(1) The Town Manager or designee shall present in the name of The Town of Millville to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, a petition in which shall be stated:
(A) The name of the taxable;
(B) The year for which the tax was levied;
(C) The rate of tax;
(D) The total amount due;
(E) The date from which interest and the penalty for nonpayment shall commence and the rate of such interest and penalty and any collection charge permitted;
(F) A reasonable, precise description of the real property proposed to be sold;
(G) A statement that the bill of said tax has been mailed to the taxable at his or her last known post office address with return receipt requested by certified mail and postage prepaid;
(H) That it has been found impractical to attempt to collect the said tax by any other remedy hereinbefore provided. The petition shall be signed by the Town Manager or designee and shall be verified before a Notary Public.
(2) At least ten (10) days prior to the filing of any such petition as described herein, the Town Manager or designee shall deposit in the mail in a sealed and stamped envelope and addressed to the taxable at his or her last known address requiring a registered receipt returnable, an itemized statement of the tax due, together with all interest, penalties, collection charges, and costs then due thereon, together with a notice to the delinquent taxpayer that he shall proceed to sell the lands and tenements of the taxpayer for the payment of the tax. The Town Manager or designee 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, 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.
(3) Upon the filing of the petition, the Prothonotary shall record the same in a property indexed record of the Superior Court, in and for Sussex County, and shall endorse upon the said record of said petition the following: "This petition, filed the _____ day of ___ , A.D., ____, and the Town Manager or designee of The Town of Millville is hereby authorized to proceed to sell the real property herein mentioned or a sufficient part thereof as may be necessary for the payment of the amount due - " This endorsement shall be signed by the Prothonotary.
(4) Any sales of real property of a delinquent taxpayer shall be advertised in five (5) four (4) public places in The Town of Millville, to include Town bulletin board and posting on the Town’s website and by printing the notice of said sale at least one (1) time in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town 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 last of these notices shall be posted and published at least fifteen (15) days before the day fixed for the sale.
(5) Each sale of real property shall be returned to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, at the next term thereof following the sale, and the Court shall inquire into the circumstances and either approve or set aside the sale. If the sale is approved, the Town Manager or designee making the sale shall make a deed to the purchaser which shall convey the right, title and interest of the delinquent taxpayer or his or her alienee; if the sale be set aside, the Superior Court may order another sale and so on until the tax be collected. The petition, return and deed shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity of the proceedings.
(6) No sale shall be approved by the Superior Court if the owner is ready at court to pay the taxes, penalty, collection fees and costs, no deed shall be made until the expiration of ninety (90) days from the date of the sale within which time the owner, his or her heirs, executors, or assigns, shall have the power to redeem the lands on payment to the purchaser, his or her personal representatives or assigns, the costs, the amount of the purchase price, and twenty percent (20%) interest thereon and the expense of having the deed prepared.
(7) After satisfying the tax , interest, penalties and collection charges due and the costs of expense of sale from the proceeds of sale, the amount remaining shall be paid to the owner of the land, upon the refusal of the said owner to accept said residue, or if the owner is unknown or cannot be found, the amount remaining shall be deposited in a bank, either to the credit of the owner or in a manner in which the fund may be identified.
(8) In the sale of real property for payment of delinquent taxes , interest, penalties and collection charges , the costs for filing, recording and preparation of documents shall be allowed to be deducted from the proceeds of the sale or chargeable against the owner, as the case may be. In addition, the cost of printing hand bills or notices, the publication of the advertisement of sale in a newspaper, and the auctioneer's fee shall be chargeable costs. The costs of the deed will shall not be chargeable as costs, but shall be paid by the purchaser of the property of the delinquent taxpayer. The total of any Delaware and municipal transfer tax shall be paid by the purchaser of said lands at the tax sale.
(9) If the owner of any real property against which a tax shall be levied and assessed shall be unknown, this fact shall be stated in the advertisement of sale.
(10) If any person is assessed for several parcels of real property in the same assessment in The Town of Millville, the total of said taxes, charges or fees may be collected from the sale of any part or portion of said real property, provided that the land alienated by the delinquent taxpayer shall not be sold until other property of the taxpayer shall have been disposed of and there still remains a delinquency.
(11) In the event of death, resignation or removal from office of the Town Manager or designee of The Town of Millville before the proceedings for the sale of lands shall have been completed, his or her successor in office shall succeed to all of his or 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 or her receiving a deed for the property purchased thereat, the person having right under him by consent, devise, assignment, or otherwise, may refer to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, a petition representing the facts and praying for an order authorizing and requiring the Town Manager or designee to execute and acknowledge a deed conveying to the petitioner the premises so sold or a just portion thereof; and thereupon the court may make such order touching the conveyance of the premises as shall be according to justice and equity.
(12) The Town Manager or designee shall have the same right to require the aid or assistance of any person or persons in the performance of his or her duty of sale which the Sheriff of Sussex County now has by law or may hereafter have.
(13) However, should the Town Manager or designee so elect, the Town Manager or designee is empowered to sell the real property of the delinquent taxpayer or the real property a delinquent taxpayer alienated subsequent to the levy of the tax, by the direction of the Town Council, using any of those procedures specified for the sale of land for the collection of taxes on the part of the taxes for Sussex County, and all such procedures and methods available for the sale of land, as aforesaid, as they are presently enacted and hereafter amended, are included herein and made part hereof by reference in the statutes made and provided, substituting the Town of Millville for Sussex County therein.
Town Budget
Section 30.
(a) The fiscal year for The Town of Millville shall be May 1 through April 30 of each year, unless changed by Resolution of the Town Council.
(b) Each year and not later than its regular meeting of the Town Council in March , the Town Manager and Finance Director shall prepare a rough draft of the Town Budget. From this rough draft, the Town Council shall prepare the Town Budget, containing the financial plan for conducting the affairs of the Town for the ensuing fiscal year.
(c) The budget shall contain the following information:
(1) A detailed estimate showing the expense of conducting each department and office of the Town for the ensuing fiscal year;
(2) The amount of the debt of the Town, together with the schedule of maturities of Bond issues;
(3) An itemized statement by the Town’s chart of accounts of all other estimated expenses to be incurred in the affairs of the Town for the ensuing fiscal year;
(4) A statement of the amount required for interest on the bonded debt, the amount necessary to pay any bond maturing during the year and the amount required for the "Sinking Fund" or "Sinking Funds";
(5) An estimate of the amount of money to be received from taxes, water rents, sewer service charges, front foot assessments, license fees and all other anticipated income of the Town from any source or sources whatsoever.
(d) This budget shall be presented at a meeting of the Town Council, and not more than thirty (30) days later be presented at a public hearing for citizen comments. At the next Town Council meeting, the Town Council shall vote on the adoption of the budget, which may include revisions, and said budget shall be effective on the first day of the new fiscal year.
(e) The Town Council shall, so far as possible, adhere to the budget so adopted in the making of appropriations.
Enumeration of Powers
Section 31.
(a) Not by way of limitation upon the power vested in the Town Council of The Town of Millville to exercise all powers delegated by this Charter to the municipal corporation or to the Town Council except as may expressly appear herein to the contrary, but, rather by way of enumeration and for purposes of clarity, the Town Council is vested by this Charter with the following powers, to be exercised by the Town Council in the interest of good government and the safety, health, and public welfare of the Town, its inhabitants and affairs, that is to say:
(1) To prohibit vice, drunkenness and immorality;
(2) To provide for and preserve the health, peace, safety, cleanliness, ornament, good order and public welfare of the Town and its inhabitants;
(3) To prohibit all gaming and fraudulent devices;
(4) To prohibit, restrain, license or regulate all public sports, exhibitions, shows, parades, productions, gatherings, circuses or other public performances, amusements and games;
(5) To 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 or replace any new or present street, highway, lane, alley, water course, park, lake, crosswalk, wharf, dock, sewer, drain, aqueduct, or pipeline or portion thereof, or any new or present sidewalk, curb, or gutter or portion thereof within 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;
(6) To impose upon annexed property such terms and conditions, including annexation and impact fees, that are reasonably calculated to recover costs, and that have a rational relationship to such growth, of installing, enlarging, improving or expanding public or municipal improvements, including but not limited to sewer, water, roads, parks, parking and police, with such terms and conditions reflected in an annexation agreement negotiated and accepted by the Town Council and the applicant prior to annexation ;
(7) To establish and regulate animal pounds and to restrain, prohibit and impound any domestic or wild animal, beast, bird or fowl running at large;
(8) To locate, regulate, license, restrain or require the removal of slaughter houses, wash houses, laundries, canning establishments, phosphate, fish, fertilizer and manure plants or establishments, swine pens, privies, water closets in any businesses or buildings or conditions detrimental to the public health or constituting a public nuisance or of an offensive or a noxious nature;
(9) To enforce the removal of ice, snow or dirt or other foreign substance from sidewalks and gutters by owners or abutting owners;
(10) To prohibit, remove or regulate the erection of any stoop, step, platform, bay window, cellar, gate, area, descent, sign, post or any other erection or projection 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;
(11) To define, prevent, abate or remove nuisances, obstructions or any other condition detrimental to the public safety, health or welfare or the welfare, health and capacity of eco-systems that support the natural areas within the Town;
(12) To provide an ample supply of pure water for the Town and its inhabitants and to this end to acquire, lease, erect, construct, maintain, operate, extend, enlarge, renew, replace, control and dispose of wells, reservoirs, pumps, machines, stations, tanks, standpipes, water mains, fire 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 of Millville 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 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) To 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; to 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, plan 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.
(14) To 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, lake, strands, sidewalks, crosswalks, wharves, docks, 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 willful 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.
(15) To 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 for the health, sanitation and convenience of the inhabitants of the Town;
(16) To provide, construct, extend, maintain, manage and control jetties, bulkheads, embankments, flood gates, piers, or fills 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, property protected that the general public might enjoy the use thereof.
(17) To 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 considerations as the Town Council shall deem in the best interests of the municipality, to use the present and future streets, highways, lanes, alleys, water courses, parks, lakes, strands, sidewalks, crosswalks, wharves, docks and other public places of the Town for the purpose of furnishing heat, light, power, gas, water, sewer, drainage, electric current, telephone, telegraph, television, 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, and for the purpose of erecting wharves and piers and for the purpose of vending any article or merchandise or service upon or from any vehicle upon any present and future street, highway, lane, alley, etc.; provided that no exclusive franchise or license shall be granted for any such purpose to any person, firm, association or corporation whomsoever;
(18) To regulate and control the exercise of any license or franchise;
(19) To direct, regulate and control the planning, 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;
(20) To 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;
(21) To provide for or regulate the numbering of houses and lots on the streets and the naming of streets and avenues,
(22) To regulate, control or prevent the use or storage of gun powder, fireworks, tar, pitch, resin, and all other combustible materials and the use of candles, lamps, and other lights in stores, shops, stables and other places; to suppress, remove or secure any fireplace, stove, chimney, oven, broiler, or other apparatus which may be dangerous in causing fires;
(23) For the prevention of fire and the preservation of the beauty of the Town, to regulate and control the manner of building or removal of dwelling houses and other buildings; to establish a Code for the same and to provide for the granting of permits for the same; to establish a building line for buildings to be erected; to zone or district the Town and make particular provisions for particular zones or districts with regard to building or building material; and generally to exercise all powers and authorities vested in the legislative body of cities and incorporated towns under and by virtue of Chapter 3, Title 22, Del.C. of 1974, and all amendments heretofore or hereafter adopted;
(24) To acquire, build, erect and maintain a suitable place as a lock-up or jail for the Town which shall be used as a place of detention for persons convicted of violation of law or Ordinance, or for detention of persons charged with violation of law or ordinance, for a reasonable time in cases of necessity prior to hearing and trial; provided, however, that any correctional institution or detention facility located in the State of Delaware may be used for any such purpose ;
(25) To acquire, build, erect and maintain buildings and facilities necessary or required for housing and equipping the offices of the Town;
(26) To regulate or prevent the use of guns, air guns, spring guns, pistols, sling shots, bean shooters, and any other devices for discharging projectiles which may cause bodily injury or injury or harm to property; and to regulate or prevent the use of fireworks, bombs and detonating works of all kinds;
(27) To provide for the punishment of a violation of any Ordinance of the Town by fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00);
(28) To provide for the organization and the control and government of any of the following: a fire department, an ambulance service, or emergency treatment service; to establish fire limits and to do all things necessary for the prevention or extinguishment of fires; and at the discretion of the Town Council, to contribute, donate or give an amount or amounts not to exceed in the total during any fiscal year six percent (6%) of the total taxes levied on real estate unto any of the following individually or in combination: volunteer fire company or companies incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware; any volunteer fire association or associations maintaining and operating firefighting equipment and service to the Town; any volunteer ambulance or emergency treatment service company or companies incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware; or any volunteer ambulance association or associations maintaining and operating ambulance, emergency treatment 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;
(29) To 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 the abatement of nuisances and the like, laying out and repairing sidewalks, curbs or gutters, or other charges due the Town and to sell the same;
(30) To levy and collect taxes for any and all municipal purposes upon all real estate and improvements located thereon; provided, however, that the amount to be raised from this source shall not exceed in any one year the sum of more than three percent (3%) of the total assessed value of all taxable real estate and the improvements thereon; and provided further that there shall be no limitation upon the amount which may be raised from the taxation of real estate for the payment of interest on and principal of any bonded indebtedness whether hereinbefore or hereafter incurred;
(31) To levy and collect taxes upon all telephone, power poles, pipelines, rail lines, or other constructions or erections of a like character, erected within the limits of the Town, together with the wire or other appliances thereto or thereon attached; expressly excepting all telephone, power lines or poles and rail lines owned or operated by any railroad or railway company engaged in Interstate Commerce for any and all purposes and to this end may at any time direct the same to be included in or added to the Town assessment. In case the owner or lessee of such constructions or erections, wires or other applicants shall refuse or neglect to pay the taxes levied thereon, in addition to the remedies provided for the collection thereof set forth in this Charter, the Town Council shall have the authority to cause the same to be removed;
(32) To license, tax and collect fees annually for any and all municipal purposes (including the cost and expense of advertising the Town) 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; provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall be so construed as to make it mandatory upon any resident of the State to apply for a license in order to sell in the Town any farm produce or products grown upon a farm owned by the vendor or any member of his or her family with whom he resides;
(33) To determine from which authorized source and in what proportion taxes shall be levied and used each year to raise the revenue or funds required to meet the general expenses of the Town and all funding, amortization and interest requirements on its outstanding bonds or other indebtedness;
(34) To provide for the collection of and disbursement of all moneys to which the Town may become entitled by law, including licenses and fines where no provision for the collection and disbursement thereof is otherwise provided in this Charter;
(35) To borrow money in the name of the Town for any proper municipal purpose and in order to secure the payment of the same to issue bonds or other forms or kinds of certificate or certificates of indebtedness, pledging the full faith and credit of the Town or such other security or securities as the Town Council shall select for the payment of the principal thereof and the interest due thereon, all of which bonds or other kinds or forms of certificates of indebtedness issued by the Town shall be exempt from all state, county or municipal taxes; provided, however, that in no event shall the indebtedness of the Town for any and all purposes at any one time exceed in the aggregate twenty - five percent (25%) of the assessed value of all real property;
(36) To acquire, and/or to vacate the use of lands, tenements, personalty, property, easements, rights of way, or any interest in property, either within or without the limits of the Town, by way of condemnation and eminent domain for any proper and lawful municipal purpose or whenever required properly to carry out, exercise or fulfill any power conferred upon or delegated to The Town of Millville by this Charter. Proceedings by way of condemnation in any case shall be as prescribed in Chapter 61, Title 10 of the Delaware Code;
(37) To 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 in case of emergency;
(38) To provide for the payment of any tax, fine, penalty, license, forfeiture, assessment, fee, charge, or other amount due the Town by the performance of labor or service for the Town by any person owing the same;
(39) To 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 to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths or affirmations, and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, or other evidence by subpoena;
(40) To borrow money in anticipation of revenues on the full faith and credit of the Town of Millville sum or sums not exceeding five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00) in any one (1) year when, in the opinion of a majority of the Town Council of the Town of Millville, the needs of the Town require it. Any sum so borrowed shall be secured by promissory notes of the Town of Millville, duly authorized by Resolution adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Millville, and signed by the Mayor of the Town of Millville, and attested by the Secretary of the Town Council with the corporate seal affixed, and no officer or member of the Town Council shall be liable for the payments of such notes because it is signed by them as officers of the Town and is authorized by the Resolution of the Town Council; provided, however, that the total sum outstanding at any one time shall not exceeds five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00); and provided further, that any sum of money so borrowed, as aforesaid, in any fiscal year, shall be paid from the general fund of the Town and shall be completely repaid at any time, but must be completely paid at the end of twenty (20) fiscal years following the first fiscal year when said sum or sums were borrowed, with interest thereon; and provided that such ad valorem taxes shall be levied as is necessary to pay the principal or the interest on said bonds as is required without regard to any other limitation concerning the maximum rate of taxation and such notes and the interest thereon shall be exempt from all taxation by the State of Delaware or by any political subdivision, agency or subdivision thereof.
(41) To effect the collection of any delinquent charge the Town Council of The Town of Millville may impose a collection charge not exceeding eighteen percent (18%) of the amount of such charge and any interest or penalty imposed thereon;
(42) [Repealed.]
(43) To contribute, donate or give an amount or amounts unto community organizations providing services to the community in The Town of Millville provided that such contribution, donation or gift may be made subject to such conditions and stipulations as to the sum thereof as the Town Council shall deem advisable.
(44) To impose, upon new development or construction or upon first-time occupancy of new construction, such 'impact 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; and/or to contribute to the costs of operations of those volunteer fire companies and/or ambulance/paramedic companies providing services within the Town.
(45) In addition to all other powers the Town Council of the Town of Millville may have, and notwithstanding any limitation of law, the Town Council of the Town of Millville shall have all powers and may undertake all actions for the purposes set forth in, and in accordance with Title 22 of the Delaware Code, Chapter 17, relating to the Municipal Tax Increment Financing Act and Chapter 18 relating to Special Development Districts and, in addition, with respect to Special Development Districts under Title 22 of the Delaware Code, Chapter 18, the term 'municipality' and 'municipal' set forth in Title 22 of the Delaware Code, Chapter 18, § 1801(2)a. and b. shall include not only the Town of Millville, but also the State of Delaware, and any agency or instrumentality thereof, and any county, and any local political subdivision, instrumentality, agency, body politic, utility district or similar entity within the State of Delaware.
Bonds are non-recourse to the Town and shall only be paid from Tax Increment Financing (TIF) or Special Development Districts (SDD) assessments permitted by 22 Del. C. Chapters 17 and 18. These bonds are non-recourse to property owners who purchase subject to a TIF or SDD. Property owners who purchase subject to a TIF or SDD shall only be responsible for TIF or SDD obligations determined by the individual assessment of their property and from (i) voluntary contributions by entities exempt from taxation and assessment for public purposes under 9 Del. C. § 8105, (ii) bond proceeds on deposit in debt service reserve funds and other funds established under an indenture for such bonds, (iii) proceeds of any tax or monition sales (including accrued interest and penalties) properly allocable to unpaid TIF or SDD assessments, and (iv) any interest earnings on any of the foregoing. ;
(b) The Town Council may adopt, alter and amend all such ordinances, regulations, resolutions and rules not contrary to the Constitution and Laws of the United States and the State of Delaware as the Town Council may deem necessary to carry into effect any of the provisions of this Charter or any federal or state law relating generally to municipal corporations or which may be deemed proper and necessary for the order, protection and good government of the town; the protection of persons and preservation of property; and the protection of the public health and welfare of the town and its inhabitants. 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 its corporate limits.
(c) All provisions of this Section 31 and any other section of this Charter limiting the amounts of indebtedness to be incurred or taxes to be levied by the Town Council of the Town of Millville shall not apply to any indebtedness incurred or any special ad valorem taxes, special taxes or ad valorem taxes levied pursuant to or in connection with Section 31(a)(45) of this Charter.
Streets
Section 32.
(a) The Town Council shall have the power and authority to lay out, locate and open new streets or to widen and alter existing streets or parts thereof and to vacate or abandon streets or parts thereof, whenever the Town Council shall deem it for the best interest of the Town , but only after such recommended action(s) have been presented at a meeting of the Town Council, and the opportunity for public comment has been provided .
(b) In addition, the procedure to be used for any of those things heretofore listed in this Section shall be as follows:
(1) Whenever five (5) or more property owners in a portion of the Town directly affected or abutting on the proposed street to be opened, laid out, changed, altered, widened, vacated or closed shall by written petition with each signature duly acknowledged request the Town Council to lay out, locate, or open a new street or to widen or alter any existing street or any part thereof or to vacate or abandon a street or any part thereof, the Mayor shall appoint a committee composed of not less than two (2) of the elected members of the Town Council and one (1) of the Planning and Zoning Commission to investigate the possibility of changing the structure of said streets in the Town. The petition presented to the Council by the property owners shall include a description of the property through which the proposed street shall be laid out or description of the street on which any of the other actions heretofore described shall take place and the reasons why the change in the structure of the streets of the Town should be undertaken; or the Town Council, by a majority vote of the elected members thereof may, by resolution, propose that a committee composed of not less than three (3) of its elected members be appointed by the Mayor to investigate the possibility of changing the street structure of the Town.
(2) Not later than ninety (90) days following its appointment, the committee shall submit a report concerning its findings to the Mayor and to the Town Council. The report shall contain the advantages and disadvantages to the Town caused by the changes of the street structure and shall contain the conclusion of said committee, recommending or disapproving the change of said street structure. If the report of the committee appointed by the Mayor recommends changing the existing street structure of the Town, the Council by resolution, passed by a majority of the elected members of the Town Council concurring therein, shall propose to the property owners and citizens of the Town that the Council proposes to change the street structure by opening a new street or by doing any of those other things hereinbefore described to the existing street structure of the Town. If the report of the committee is not in favor of changing the existing street structure, the resolution proposing the change in the street structure to the property owners and citizens of the Town shall be passed by a majority of three fourths (3/4ths) of the elected members of the Town Council. The resolution shall contain a description of the proposed change and shall affix a time and place for a public hearing on the matter of changing the street structure. The resolution adopted by the Town Council shall be printed in at least one (1) newspaper having a general circulation in The Town and shall be posted in five (5) public places in the Town for at least fifteen (15) days before the time set for the public hearing. The resolution shall also state the hour and place where and when the Town Council shall sit to hear objections and to award current market compensation to anyone who will be deprived of property by the proposed change in the existing street structure of the town.
(3) Whenever the Town Council shall have determined to locate or lay out or widen any street, lane or alley and shall have affixed compensation therefor, it shall be the duty of the Town Council immediately after the survey and location of said street, lane or alley, to notify by certified mail with return receipt requested and postage prepaid, the owner or owners of the real estate through or over whom such street, lane or alley may run of their determination to open or widen the same and to furnish a general description or location thereof; also the amount of compensation or damages allowed to each such property owner, and if such owner be not a resident of the Town, to notify the holder or tenant of said real estate and the owner of such property if his or her address be known; that if there be no holder or tenant resident in the Town and the address of the owner be unknown, or if there is a holder or tenant and the address of the owner is unknown, the said notice may be affixed to any part of the premises. If the owner be dissatisfied with the amount of compensation or damages allowed by the Town, as aforesaid, said property owner may, within twenty (20) days after such notice, as aforesaid, was posted or mailed appeal from written notice of assessment or compensation or damages by serving written notice by certified mail with return receipt requested and postage prepaid on the Mayor to the effect that he or she is dissatisfied with the amount of such compensation or damages, and that it is his or her intention to make written application to one of the Judges of the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, for the appointment of a commission to hear and determine the matter in controversy; and in order to prosecute said appeal, such owner shall, within fifteen (15) days after serving said notice upon the Mayor as aforesaid, make written application to said Judge of the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, for the appointment of such a commission; and thereupon the said Judge shall issue an appoint a commission made up of five (5) property owners whom shall be residents of The Town, requiring them to assess the damages which the owner of the real estate through or over which the said street, lane or alley shall pass or who shall have suffered damage because of any other action taken by the Town pursuant to the provisions hereof and who shall have notified the said Town Council of their intention to appeal may incur by reason thereof and to make a return of their proceeding to the said Judge at the time therein appointed.
(4) The property owners named in such commission, being first duly sworn or affirmed, shall view the premises and may, or a majority of them, shall assess the damages, as aforesaid, and shall make return in writing of their proceedings to the said Judge who shall deliver and return to the Town Council which shall be final and conclusive. The said Judge shall have the power to fill any vacancy in the commission. The amount of damages being so ascertained, the Town Council may pay or tender the same to the person or persons entitled thereto within thirty (30) days after the same shall be finally ascertained or if the person or persons so entitled reside out of or are absent from the Town during the said period of thirty (30) days, then the same shall be deposited to his or her credit in the the banking institution designated by the Town Council, with offices in Sussex County, Delaware, within said time and thereupon the said property on lands may be taken or occupied for the use as aforesaid.
(5) If the ascertainment and assessment of damages by the freeholders appointed by the Judge, as aforesaid, shall be increased, the cost of the appeal shall be paid by the Town out of any money in the hands of the Town Manager or designee belonging to the Town, but if said damages shall not be increased, the cost of the appeal shall be paid by the party appealing. The said members of the commission shall receive and be entitled for each day's actual service or of any part of a day the sum of Five Dollars ($5.00). After the damage shall be fixed and ascertained by the appointed residents, the Town Council shall have the option to pay the damages assessed within the time aforesaid, and to proceed with the said improvements or, upon the payment of the costs of the appeal only, may abandon the proposed improvements. In the event that either party feels that the damages assessed are not just as being excessive or inadequate, an appeal may then be prosecuted at the Supreme Court of the State of Delaware.
Sidewalks, Paths, Curbing and Paving
Section 33.
(a) Whenever the Town Council shall have determined that any paving, graveling, curbing or sidewalks or paths adjacent to private property shall be constructed, replaced, or repaired , or any or all of them, it shall cause a notice to be sent to the owner or owners along or in front of whose premises the same is to be done, particularly designating the nature and character thereof and thereupon it shall be the duty of such owner or owners to cause such construction, repair or replacement , or any of them, to be done in conformity with said notice and according to Town specifications . In the event any owner or owners neglect to comply with said notice for the space of thirty (30) days, the said Town Council may proceed to have the same done and when done, the Town Manager and Finance Director shall, as soon as convenient thereafter, present to the owner or owners of such lands a bill showing expenses of such construction, repair or replacement , or any of them. If such owner or owners be not resident in The Town of Millville, such bills shall be sent by certified mail with postage prepaid or to such owner or owners directed to him, her or them at the last known address. If such bill be not paid by the owner or owners of such lands within sixty (60) days after the presentation thereof, as aforesaid, the Town Manager and Finance Director shall proceed to collect the same in the same manner and under the same terms and conditions as are provided for the collection of delinquent taxes.
(b) Any notice sent to one co - owner shall be notice to all owners and in the case no owners shall reside in said Town, notice served as set forth herein or posted upon the premises shall be sufficient.
(c) The provisions contained herein shall apply to any order made by the Town Council in respect to any pavement, sidewalk, path, or curbing heretofore made or done which the said Town Council may deem insufficient or need repairing.
Collection of Charges Due The Town
Section 34.
(a) In the collection of any charges due the Town for rental of Town facilities, water rentals, sewer service charges, electric bills, gas bills, license fees, tapping fees, front foot assessments, charges growing out of the abatement of nuisances, laying out and repairing paving, sidewalks, paths, graveling, curbing, or any of them, such charges shall become a first lien against all real estate of the delinquent property owners and/or taxpayers situate within the Town and such charges shall have preference and priority for a period of Ten (10) years from the date the charge became due and owing to all other liens on real estate created or suffered by the taxable and property owner, although such other lien or liens be of a date prior to the time for the attaching of such liens for such charges.
(b) The remedies available to the Town Manager and Finance Director for the collection of such charges shall be the same as those set forth in this Charter for the collection of delinquent taxes.
Power to Borrow Money and Issue Bonds
Section 35.
(a) The Town Council may borrow money and issue bonds or certificates of indebtedness to secure the repayment thereof on the faith and credit of The Town of Millville to provide funds for the erection, extension, enlargement, purchase or the repair of any plant, machinery, appliances, or equipment for the supply, or the manufacture and distribution of electricity or gas for light, heat or power purposes; for the furnishing of water to the public, for the construction, repair and improvements of highways, streets or lanes or the paving, curbing or erection of gutters and curbs along the same; for the purchase of real estate for any municipal purpose; for the construction or repair of sewage disposal equipment; or to defray the cost or the share of the Town of the costs of any permanent municipal improvements; provided however that the borrowing of money therefor shall have been authorized for the Town Council in the manner following:
(1) The Town Council by resolution shall propose to the residents and property owners of the Town that the Town Council proposes to borrow a certain sum of money for any of the purposes above stated. The resolution shall state the amount of money desired to be borrowed, the purpose for which it is desired, the manner of securing the same, and all other pertinent facts relating to the loan which are deemed pertinent by the Town Council and in their possession at the time of the passage of the resolution and shall fix a time and place for a hearing on the said resolution.
(2) Notice of the time and place of the hearing on the resolution authorizing said loan shall be printed in a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town or distributed in circular form at least one week before the time set for the public hearing.
(3) Following the public hearing, a second resolution shall then be passed by the Town Council ordering a special election to be held not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days after the said public hearing to borrow the said money, the said special election to be for the purpose of voting for or against the proposed loan. The passing of the second resolution calling a special election shall ipso facto be considered the determination of the Town Council to proceed with the matter in issue.
(4) The notice of the time and place of holding the said special election shall be printed in two (2) issues of a newspaper having a general circulation in The Town of Millville within thirty (30) days prior to the said special election or distributed in circular form at least fifteen (15) days prior to the special election, or both, at the discretion of the Town Council.
(5) At the said 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; and in addition, every partnership, limited liability company or corporation or other entity owning property within the corporate limits of The Town of Millville shall also have one vote and the said votes may be cast either in person or by proxy.
(6) The Town Council shall cause to be prepared, printed and have available for distribution a sufficient number of ballots not less than five (5) days prior to the said special election. The special election may, at the discretion of the Town Council, be conducted by the use of voting machines or by paper ballot. The Mayor of The Town of Millville, 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 Special Election. The polling places shall be opened from 1:00 in the afternoon prevailing time until 7:00 in the evening prevailing time, on the date set for the special election.
(7) The Board of Special Elections shall count the votes for and against the proposed loan and shall announce the result thereof. The Board of Special Election shall make a certificate under their Hands of the number of votes cast for and against the proposed loan 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 Council.
(8) The form of the bond or certificate of indebtedness, the interest rate, the time or times of payment of interest, the classes of the bond, the time or times of maturity, and the provisions as to registration shall be determined by the Town Council after the said special election.
(9) The bonds may be sold at either public or private sale. If it is determined to sell the bonds at public sale, the bonds shall be offered for sale to the best and most responsible bidder therefor after advertisement in a manner to be prescribed by the Town Council.
(10) The Town Council shall provide in its budget and in the fixing of the rate of tax for the payment of interest on and principal of the said bonds at the maturity thereof.
(11) The faith and credit of The Town of Millville shall be deemed to be pledged for the due payment of the bonds and interest thereon issued pursuant to the provisions hereof when the same had been properly executed and delivered for value.
(b) The bonded indebtedness shall not at any time exceed in the aggregate the total sum of twenty - five (25) percent of the value of real property situate within the limits of The Town of Millville shown by the last assessment preceding the creation of the said indebtedness.
Actions or Suits
Section 36.
No action, suit or proceeding shall be brought or maintained against The Town of Millville for damages, either compensatory or punitive on account of any physical injury or injuries, death or injury to property by reason of the negligence, simple, gross, or willful or wanton of the said Town of Millville, or any of its departments, officers, agents, servants or employees unless the person by or on behalf of whom such claim or demand is asserted, within one (1) year from the happening of said injury or the suffering of such damages shall notify The Town of Millville 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 Manager or designee of The Town of Millville by a form of mail addressed to the person to be served, requiring a signed receipt.
Compendium
Section 37.
It shall be the duty of the Town Council, at reasonable time or times, to compile the ordinances, current regulations, orders and rules of The Town of Millville. The Town Manager or designee shall provide copies of such compilations to Town Officials, shall have copies available to the public for review at the Town Hall, and shall post it on the Town website. From time to time, upon enactment of ordinances, regulations, orders and rules and amendments thereto the Town Council shall enroll the same in the minutes of the Town Council and shall update all official copies of the compilation and make them public so that the same may be readily examined .
Revival of Powers and Validating Section
Section 38.
(a) All powers conferred upon or vested in the Town Council of The Town of Millville 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 Millville and/or the Town Council of The Town of Millville precisely as if each of said powers was expressly set forth in this Charter.
(b) All ordinances adopted by the Town Council 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 Millville under the provisions of this Charter.
(c) All of the acts and doings of the Town Council or of any official of the Town of Millville 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 Millville or under any provision of any prior Charter of the Town Council of The Town of Millville, prior to the approval, acceptance and going into effect of this Charter, are hereby ratified and confirmed, unless otherwise provided herein.
(d) All taxes, assessments, license fees, penalties, fines, and forfeitures due the Town of Millville shall be due The Town of Millville and all debts from the Town or the Town of Millville shall remain unimpaired until paid by The Town of Millville.
(e) 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 Commissioners of Millville.
(f) The bonds given by or on account of any official of the Town of Millville shall not be impaired or affected by the provisions of this Charter.
(g) All acts or parts of acts inconsistent with or in conflict with the provisions of this Charter are and the same are hereby repealed to the extent of any such inconsistency.
(h) If any part of this Charter shall be held to be unconstitutional or invalid by a Court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not be deemed to invalidate the remaining provisions of this Charter.
(i) This Charter shall be taken as and deemed to be a Public Act of the State of Delaware.