Sen. Adams & Rep. Carey
144th GENERAL ASSEMBLY
SENATE BILL NO. 196
AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE TOWN OF
WHEREAS, The Town of Milton became a municipality upon the passage of its Charter by the General Assembly in 1945, appearing as Chapter 194, Volume 45 Laws of Delaware; and
WHEREAS, the Charter has been amended from time to time and it is deemed desirable that it be consolidated into one complete Act and in certain respects amended and revised.
BE IT ENACTED BY
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF
Section 1. Incorporation
The inhabitants of the Town of Milton 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 Milton”, named after John Milton, the English educator, poet, philosopher, and proponent of public education democracy, and human rights.
Section 2. Territorial Limits
The present boundaries and limits of The Town of Milton are hereby established and declared to be, as follows:
BEGINNING at a point on the Southwest prong of Paynter's Mill pond; thence South 64 - 1/2 degrees East 2,892 feet; thence North 60 - 1/4 degrees East 139 feet to the run of Round Pole Branch; thence down the same to Broadkill Creek; thence up the same to Sand Haul; thence North 15 degrees West to Atlantic Avenue; thence with Atlantic Avenue eastward to the County Road; thence with the same Northerly to Bay Avenue; thence with Bay Avenue Westerly to the old Town limits; thence with the same North 15 degrees West to the public road leading to Delaware Bay; thence with the same in a westerly direction to the Western limits of the present Town; thence South 14 degrees East 3,951 feet to a point on the Northwest prong of the Mill Pond, aforesaid; thence with the same to the place of beginning.
The Council of Milton may, at any time hereafter, cause a survey and plot to be made of the said boundaries and may cause suitable markers to be installed at corners of offset, and the said plot, when made and approved by the Council, may be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for Sussex County, State of Delaware, 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.
Section 3 Annexation of Territory
In the event it becomes feasible, or necessary in the future, for The Town of Milton to enlarge its then existing limits and territory, such annexations accomplished pursuant to the following procedures shall be lawful:
(a) Each and every property owner of the territory contiguous to the then existing corporate limits and territory of the Town of Milton, 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.
(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 or annexation agreement is requiring a higher density than an R-1 a conceptual site plan, the requirements of which are in Appendix (B) of this Charter, is required. Further, the applicant shall notify all residents within 200 feet at the applicant’s expense, and provide copies of the notification to the Town.
(c) The Town having verified the notifications, the Mayor of Milton shall appoint three (3) members of the Town Council to investigate the possibility of annexation and report back to the Town Council in no more than one-hundred twenty (120) days, unless evidence is presented that indicates misinformation or possible criminal intent. In that case the Milton 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 appointed to review the petition will have been voted upon and approved by a majority of the Town Council.
(d) To finalize each of the Mayor’s appointments to the Council’s review committee, each appointed Council member must first disclose to the Council, in writing, any real or potential conflicts of interest that might affect his/her own objective consideration of the petition request, including items that might suggest, or provide the appearance of, impropriety in their serving on the review committee for an annexation petition. This requirement is to include conflicts, or potential conflicts as to the property, the property owners, financial or associated business interests, or any other official action or activity, involving the property. This information will be in addition to filling out the Ethics Form, Appendix C of this Charter. Such conflicts or appearances of conflict shall not automatically disqualify Council members from serving on the committee, but must be fully disclosed, in writing, for the consideration of the Mayor and fellow Council.
(e) Upon the majority vote of the Town Council approving each appointee to the committee by simple majority, the new committee is to begin work immediately to prepare a written report of its findings within one-hundred twenty (120) days, unless this period is extended for due cause.
(f) The assessment
by the three-member committee will consider the positive and negative impacts
on the capacities and qualities of Milton’s town systems and services, the
impact on Milton taxpayers, and other elements, as determined necessary by the
Mayor and Council in consultation with the Town Manager (Town Administrator) of
the Town of Milton. By a 2/3rds vote approval by the Mayor and Council of the
majority present, the Council will also determine if a cost/benefit analysis is
to be prepared so as to further identify the advantages and disadvantages to the
(g) Upon receipt
of the report, the Town Council will vote to accept the report, reject the
report, and/or refer it back to the three person committee to accommodate new
information. If referred back to the three member committee, the report must be
resubmitted back to the Town Council by the three-member committee at its next
regularly scheduled meeting and a vote must then be taken. If referred back to
the committee, the Town Council must first vote to extend the due date of the
report from one-hundred twenty (120) days to the next regularly scheduled
meeting. If the report to the Mayor and Council on the annexation
determines that the proposed annexation is advantageous to the Town of
(h) In the event that the Committee appointed by the Mayor concludes that the proposed annexation is disadvantageous to the Town, the applicant(s) for annexation must wait 365 days from the date of presentation to the Town Council by the three member committee before again petitioning the Town Council of Milton. Each and all the procedures pertaining to an annexation procedure, as provided, are again applicable and must be repeated.
(i) Upon receipt of the Council’s referral of the annexation petition to the Planning and Zoning Commission, said Commission will address the annexation request at its next regularly scheduled meeting to review the petition and site plan (if required), and discuss the assignment of zoning classifications. Not more than sixty (60) days the Planning and Zoning Commission will make its recommendation on zoning classification[s] and transmit that recommendation(s) and their comments on the site plan, in writing, back to the Town Council.
(j) At its next
meeting, following the Town Council’s receipt of Planning and Zoning’s
commentary on the site plan and recommendation(s) for the zoning
classifications, the Town Council will schedule a public hearing on the
annexation 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; or (2) vote by simple majority,
to hold a Milton town wide referendum on the annexation petition. The Mayor and
Town Council reserve the right to add conditions to the terms of annexation, by
simple majority vote, prior to their final vote on the annexation petition. If
the Town Council votes to accept the annexation petition, implementation of
this decision must wait thirty (30) days, during which the citizenry of
(k) If a
referendum on a petition for annexation is to be held, the Town Council shall
instruct the Town of
(l) At this and all Special Referendum(s), every property owner, whether an individual, partnership, or a corporation, in The Town of Milton shall have one (1) vote. Every citizen of The Town of Milton over the age of eighteen (18) years who is not a property owner shall have one (1) vote. Property owners whose property is exempt from taxation, or is not assessed for taxation shall not be entitled to vote. The books and records of The Town of Milton in the case of property owners, and a copy of the required personal identification in the case of citizens of the Town, shall be conclusive evidence of the right of such property owners and citizens to vote at the Special referendum. The town Board of Election shall supervise any special referendums held under this provision.
(m) The notice of the time and place of the said Special Referendum shall be printed, within fifteen (15) days immediately following the vote or petition to hold a referendum, in at least three (3) newspapers having a general circulation in the Town of Milton, and posted in four (4) public places, including the Town bulletin board and posted on the Town of Milton website, at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date set for the said Special Referendum.
(n) 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 of The Town of Milton 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 in the case of a Special Referendum no more than
one-hundred twenty (120) days after said Special Referendum. The territory
considered for annexation shall be considered to be a part of The Town of
Milton 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. Failure to achieve recordation in the one-hundred twenty (120)
day period requires the Milton Town Council to vote again on the annexation
petition, whether or not the Town Council, or citizens of
(o) All territories proposed to be annexed including those territories exempt from taxation, or which is 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 annexations to the Town of Milton, the Town Council of the Town of Milton and the Milton Planning and Zoning Commission must proceed in the same manner as required of any annexation petition.
Section 4. Structure of Government
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 Mayor and the Town Council.
The term of the Mayor of the Town of
Section 5. Qualification for the Mayor and Town Council
The qualifications for the Mayor and each Town Council member at the time of this election shall be as follows:
(a) A citizen of the United States of America, and a primary legal resident of the Town of Milton for the period of at least one year preceding the next Annual Municipal Election; and
(b) At least twenty-one (21) years of age on or before the date of the election; minimum age for Mayor twenty-one (21) years of age to section (b); and
(c) Each of the qualifications for Mayor and for Town Council shall be continuing qualifications to hold office, and the failure of the Mayor or any of the Town Council members to have any of the qualifications required by this Section during his/her term of office shall create a vacancy in the office; and
(d) The candidate must have been a qualified elector in the municipality for at least one year prior to the date of election; and
(e) If any Town Council member is found guilty of any felony, he/she shall forthwith be disqualified to act as such officer and he/she shall, ipso facto vacate his/her elected office; and
(f) Non-delinquent in taxes, utilities, or any debt to the Town; and
(g) Has not been convicted of a felony;
Section 6. Method of Making Nominations for Town Council Member
At a minimum, Title 15 Delaware Code must be followed in the following section where applicable. However, some items listed here may exceed that requirement, which is permissible. Each candidate for Town Council shall be nominated as follows:
(a) Each candidate shall notify the Town Clerk in writing of his/her candidacy for the office of Town Council. At that time the candidate shall fill out and file with the Secretary or his/her designee of the Town Council, the Ethics Form in Appendix C of this Charter. Candidate must also file a Certificate of Intention or a Statement of Organization no later than seven (7) days after declaring his/her candidacy.
(b) All such notifications of candidacy and the completed Ethics Form along with the Certificate of Intention or a Statement of Organization must be filed with the Secretary of the Town Council during the regular business hours of the Town sixty (60) days prior to the election. Thereupon it shall be the duty of the Secretary to have a list of names of all candidates so filed with him/her printed in three (3) newspapers of general circulation in the Town of Milton at least twenty (20) days prior to the date of the said Annual Municipal Election next ensuing along with posting in at least four (4) public places in the Town and on the Milton Town website.
(c) In the event that the Secretary is unable to act because of illness, absence, or any other reason whatsoever, the names of all candidates shall be filed with the Vice-Mayor of the Town or his/her designee who shall thereupon perform the duties required of the Secretary in Subsection (b) of this Section.
Section 7. Manner of Holding Annual Municipal Election
At a minimum, Title 15 Delaware Code must be followed in the following section where applicable. However, some items listed here may exceed that requirement, which is permissible.The procedure for holding the Annual Municipal Election for Mayor and Town Council members 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 Milton on the first Saturday in March of each and every year from 8:00 a.m. (eight o’clock a.m.), prevailing time, until 6:00 p.m. (six o’clock p.m.) in the evening, prevailing time.
(b) The Town Clerk shall make arrangements 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) When the
(1) At the Annual Municipal Election that was held on the first Saturday in March, A.D. 1979, two (2) Council members were elected. Each of the Council members who were elected served a term of three (3) years or until a successor had been duly elected and qualified.
(2) At the Annual Municipal Election that was held on the first Saturday in March, A.D. 1980, the Mayor and two (2) Council members were elected. The Mayor served for a term of two (2) years, or until a successor was duly elected and qualified. Each of the Council members so elected served for a period of three (3) years or until a successor had been duly elected and qualified.
(3) At the Annual Municipal Election that was held on the first Saturday in March, A.D. 1981, two (2) Council members served for a term of three years, were elected. Each of the Council members held office for a period of three (3) years or until a successor was duly elected and qualified.
(d) Thereafter, at each Annual Municipal Election there shall be elected two (2) Council members who shall serve for a term of three (3) years, or until their successors have been duly elected and qualified, except at the Annual Municipal Election in the year in which the Mayor is to be elected for a term of three (3) years or until a successor is duly elected and qualified. The Mayor and all Council members will be elected at large.
(e) The Mayor and members of the Town Council of Milton who hold office at the time of passage of this Act shall continue to hold office as Mayor and as members of the Town Council of The Town of Milton until their respective successors have been duly elected and qualified.
(f) The Annual Municipal Election shall be conducted by the Board of Elections consisting of an Inspector, and four (4) Judges all of whom are to be appointed by the Mayor of The Town of Milton (who shall also appoint one (1) alternate inspector and three (3) alternate judges) with the concurrence of a majority of the members of the Town Council, no later than the last regular meeting of the Town Council prior to the date of the Annual Municipal Election. The Board of Elections shall determine who is and who is not lawfully entitled to vote at the Annual Municipal Election, and take steps to see that the law pertaining to the Annual Municipal Election receives compliance and shall count the votes and certify the result to the Town Council. If any of the officers so chosen and designated to conduct the Annual Municipal Election shall not be present at the polling place at the time designated for the holding of the Annual Municipal Election, the alternates shall serve in their stead. The alternates will take no part nor have any authority unless others are not present. If any of the officers so chosen and designated to conduct the Annual Municipal Election shall not be present at the polling place at the time designated for the holding of the Annual Municipal Election, it shall not be lawful for the qualified voters present at the polling place at the time of holding said Annual Municipal Election to elect from among their own number a person to fill each vacancy in such the Board of Elections caused by the absence of any member of the Board of Elections. The Board of Elections shall keep a list of all persons who voted at such Annual Municipal Election.
(g) Candidates shall remain fifty (50) feet from all entrances of the polling place except when casting their own vote; when the candidate has cast their vote they must immediately exit the polling place.
(h) For challenges and challengers the town will follow procedures outlined in Title 15 Del. C. § 7558 (d).
(i) Eligibility to
register as a voter in the Town of
A legal primary
resident of the Town of
At least 18 years of age by Election Day; and not convicted of a felony unless; Registered by the close of business thirty (30) days prior to the election date in order to vote in that years election.
When registering to vote the voter must show two forms of identification, one being a current State of Delaware driver’s license or ID card (they can be obtained from the Delaware Department of Motor vehicles), along with:
A uniformed service ID card; or
photo ID issued by the State of
A current utility bill, bank statement, credit card statement, a paycheck or pay advice, or another type of bill or statement; or
A lease or sales agreement; or
Any other documentation that a person can reasonably and commonly accept as proof of identity and address.
If voting in person on Election
Day, one must provide a current State of
(j) 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 Annual Municipal Election and who shall be a citizen of the United States and a bona fide primary legal resident of The Town of Milton shall have one (1) vote, provided he or she is registered on the "Book of Registered Voters" of The Town of Milton. The Town Council of The Town of Milton shall provide one (1) register to be known as the "Book of Registered Voters" which is to be kept at the office of the Town Clerk with a back up on the computer at Town Hall. The Book of Registered Voters shall contain the following information for each registrant: The name of the registered voter arranged in alphabetical order, the address of the voter, the birth date of the voter, the date the registrant became a citizen of the United States, the date the registrant became a resident of The Town of Milton, and any other pertinent information. No person shall be registered upon the Book of Registered Voters unless he/she has acquired the qualifications to vote in the Annual Municipal Election for the year in which he/she registers. A person shall be required to register only one time. The Book of Registered Voters shall be maintained in the office of the Town Clerk and shall be conclusive evidence of the right of any person to vote at the Annual Municipal Election. A person may register at the office of the Town Clerk during the regular business hours of such office until the close of business of such office thirty (30) days prior to the date of the Annual Municipal Election by completing such forms as may be provided by the Town.
(k) All votes offered at the Annual Municipal Election shall be offered in person or by absentee vote submitted in accordance with rules and procedures governing absentee ballots as set forth by Title 15 Del. Code.
(l) In the event that no person files for an 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.
(m) In the event that only one person files for an office for which an election is to be held within the time set forth in Section 6 of this Charter, the person who files shall be deemed to be elected for a full term and it shall not be necessary to have election.
(n) If fewer persons file for the Office of Council member than there are positions to be filled at any Annual Municipal Election and all such person who file are members of the Town Council, the persons who file and those members of Council who did not file and whose terms expire shall be deemed to be elected for a full term and it shall not be necessary to have an election. If fewer persons file for the position of Council member than there are positions to be filled at any Annual Municipal Election and any such person is not a Council member, such person shall be deemed to be elected and it shall not be necessary to have an election and any member of Council whose term expired and who did not file shall be deemed to have vacated his/her office which shall be filled by the remaining members of Council for the full term.
(o) In the event of a tie vote for any office, a Special Election shall be held within thirty (30) days following the Annual Municipal Election pursuant to a resolution approved by the Town Council. At such Special Election, all persons who were eligible to vote in the Annual Municipal Election for Mayor and Town Council shall be eligible to vote in the Special Election. However, no person shall be permitted to register and vote if such person was not registered to vote in the Annual Municipal election. In the event that a regular Town Council meeting has been held and the election was held after the meeting a special meeting must be called.
(p) For results, recounts, and contests the town will follow procedures outlined in Title 15 Del. C. §7559.
Section 8. Organization and Annual Meeting of Council
(a) Before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, the Mayor Elect and the Council member Elect shall be sworn by a Notary Public to perform faithfully and impartially the duties of their respective offices with fidelity. At the first regular meeting in April following the Annual Municipal Election, the Mayor and the Town Council shall meet at the usual meeting place of the Mayor and Council 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 Annual Meeting, held on the first regular meeting in April following the Annual Municipal Election, the Mayor shall appoint a Vice-Mayor, a Secretary, and a Treasurer from among the members of Council who shall be confirmed by a majority vote of all the members of the Town Council. The Vice-Mayor, the Secretary and the Treasurer shall serve until the next annual meeting following the next Annual Municipal Election or until their successors have been duly appointed and qualified. The Mayor may also select an Assistant Secretary and an Assistant Treasurer to serve, as aforesaid, who may or may not be from among the members of the Town Council and such other officers and employees as may be determined to be necessary. All appointments shall be confirmed by a majority of vote of all the members of the Town Council. The Mayor shall be the Chairman of the Town Council and shall be an ex officio-member of all committees.
Section 9. Regular and Special Meetings
(a) The Town
Council of the Town of
(b) The Mayor shall be paid seventy-five dollars ($75.00) for each regular meeting attended by him/her and shall be paid thirty dollars ($30.00) for each special meeting attended by him/her. Each member of the Town Council shall be paid forty dollars ($40.00) for each regular meeting attended by him/her and twenty dollars ($20.00) for each special meeting attended by him/her. The Mayor and the members of the Town Council shall receive no other compensation for their services but shall receive an allowance for every mile necessarily driven in his or her private automobile, such allowance to be paid at the same rate as that assessed by the Federal rate for the serving of papers, and shall be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred while on the business of the Town, provided a voucher for such expenses is delivered to the Town Treasurer.
Section 10. Quorum
A majority of the Mayor and all the members to the Town Council shall constitute a quorum at any regular or special meeting. If there is no quorum present, Council must adjourn, but may re-convene if a quorum is present. The Town Council may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by Ordinance.
Section 11. Rules and Minutes of Council
The Council shall generally follow Roberts Rules of Order, determine its agenda, and shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and the yeas and nays taken in a roll call vote shall be taken upon the passage of every ordinance and resolution, and shall be entered in the journal with the text of the ordinance or resolution. However, at the discretion of the Mayor, Roberts Rules of Order may be suspended. In addition the Town Solicitor or his/her designee shall serve as Parliamentarian during Milton Town Meetings. Furthermore, Roberts Rules of Order shall prevail during meetings of Milton’s Town Boards and Commissions and the Solicitor or his/her designee shall serve as Parliamentarian.
Section. 12. Vacancies
If any vacancy shall occur in the office of Mayor or Council member by death, resignation, loss of residence in The Town of Milton, refusal to serve, or otherwise, the office shall 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 C of this Charter, and it being reviewed by the Mayor and Council members as in the case of newly elected members, and shall hold office for until the end of fixed term of the Council Member they were appointed to replace. Any person appointed to a vacancy must meet the requirements as stated in Section 5.
Section 13. Disqualifications
If the Mayor or any Council member, during his/her term of office, shall be sentenced for a felony or shall for any reason cease to be a resident of The Town of Milton, he/she shall forthwith be disqualified to act as Mayor, or as a member of Council and his/her office shall be deemed vacant and shall be filled by the Town Council, as aforesaid.
Section 14. Contracts
(a) It shall be unlawful for the Town Council to make or enter into any contract in excess of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) for materials, supplies, services, work or labor, for the benefit and use of the Town of Milton with the Mayor or any member of the Town Council, or with any partnership in which the Mayor or any member of the Town Council is a General Partner, or with any corporation in which the Mayor or any member of the Town Council is a Director or controlling stockholder, or with any firm or company in which the Mayor or any member of the Town Council is pecuniary interested. A disclosure form (Appendix C to this Charter) is required to be on file in Town Hall for each elected and/or appointed official and kept up-to-date and current at all times by such incumbents. 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 all Town Council members are apprised of any actual or implied potential conflicts of interest, if the members of the Town Council shall vote to enter into such contract, then the Town may enter into such contract. Any such contract executed without such unanimous vote shall be absolutely null and void.
(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 contract awarded to the lowest responsible bidder who submits a responsive bid; provided however, that competitive bidding shall not be required in any of the following circumstances:
(1) The aggregate amount involved is not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) in a fiscal year, unless competitive bid is otherwise required by the terms of a grant or subsidy or for any other reason.
The purchase or contract is for any service to be rendered by the State of
(3) The purchase or contract is for property or services for which it is impracticable to obtain competition;
(4) The public exigency, as determined by the Town Council, will not permit the delay incident to advertising;
(5) A public emergency, as determined by the Town Council, exists.
If, at the completion of a competitive bidding process for the purchase or contracting of property or services, the Town Council determines that the prices received after competitive bidding are unreasonable as to all or part of the requirement or not independently reached in open competition, the Town Council shall announce this finding at its next Town Council meeting, and vote as to whether to open a new bidding process.
(6) The purchase or contract is for personal or professional services. For purposes of this section personal or professional services shall include legal engineering, planning or other professional services and personal services shall mean cleaning, domestic or other temporary services.
Section 15. Duties of the Mayor and President of Council
(a) The Mayor shall be the Chair of the Town Council and shall preside at all meetings thereof, and shall vote on all matters brought before the Town Council for a vote. He/she shall appoint all committees; receive complaints of nuisances, and other complaints of citizens concerning violations of law and ordinances. He/she shall present a report of complaints and nuisances and violations of law and ordinances to the Town Council at the first regular meeting after receiving such complaints.
appointed to Boards and Commissions of the Town of Milton, including the Board
of Adjustment and the Town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, are appointed by
the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Council, but only after
completing the Ethics Form in Appendix C and reviewed by the Mayor and members
of the Town Council for a three (3) year, fixed term of service. Members
of these Boards and Commissions must be legally registered voters in the Town
(c) The Mayor may,
with the advice and consent of a majority of the Town Council, for the proper
administration of the Town of
In the case of any appointment to committees, ad hoc committees, working groups and other such entities, each person being considered for such an appointment must first complete the Ethics Form, Appendix C and be reviewed by the Mayor and members of the Town Council prior to the appointment. The Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Town Council may replace any and all appointees to any such created entities, and/or add individuals to such bodies. However, it is required that those being replaced on any such entity, receive a letter from the Council thanking them for their service, and notifying them of the date upon which their services are no longer required by the Town. That letter is to be received prior to the date stipulated as the final day of service. The Mayor and Council shall have the right to set sunset dates for any such committees or other entities, and/or to assign completion dates for the work of any such committees or other entities.
(d) It shall be the duty of the Vice-Mayor, in the absence of the Mayor, to preside at all meetings of the Town Council and to perform such other duties and to have such other powers of the Mayor as are prescribed by the Charter of The Town of Milton or by any Ordinance of the Town Council.
Section 16. Secretary
(a) The Secretary of the Town Council shall have charge and custody of books, journals, records, papers and other effects of the Town and shall keep and maintain the same in a safe and secure place at the Town Office. He/she shall keep a full and complete record of all the transactions of The Town of Milton as may be prescribed by this Charter or by Ordinance or rules of the Town Council of The Town of Milton. He/she shall file and keep in a safe at the Town Office the seal of The Town of Milton and all papers and documents arising out of the proceedings of the Town Council of The Town of Milton relative to the affairs of the Town. He/she shall deliver the same to his/her successor in office. He/she shall attest the seal of The Town of Milton when authorized by the Town Council and shall perform such other duties and have such other powers as may be prescribed by Ordinance.
(b) All books, records and journals of The Town of Milton in the custody of the Secretary or his/her designee may, in the presence of the Mayor, Secretary, Assistant Secretary or any member of the Town Council of The Town of Milton, Town Manager, or Town Clerk be inspected by anyone desiring legitimate information at any time, or times, as may be convenient and will not interfere with the regular routine of business of the Town.
(c) All books, records, papers and documents in the custody of the Secretary shall be open for inspection by members of the Town Council of Milton.
(d) The duties and
powers of the Secretary, as herein before prescribed, shall devolve upon the
Assistant Secretary in the absence or inability of the Secretary. The Assistant
Secretary shall likewise perform such other duties and have such other powers
as may be prescribed by resolution of the Town Council of the Town of
Section 17. Treasurer
(a) The Treasurer of the Town Council shall have oversight responsibility as the official custodian of all the funds of the Town. He/she or their designees shall deposit, or cause to be deposited within one business day of receipt, such funds in such banking institutions prescribed by the Town Council. The Treasurer or his/her designee shall pay out no money except by check or warrant countersigned by two (2) authorized signers and authorized by the Town Council.
(b) The Treasurer shall assure that the Town Manager keeps a true, accurate and detailed account of all monies received and of all monies paid out by him/her. The Town Manager shall receive copies of all vouchers for monies paid out by him/her, and his/her books and accounts shall, at all times, be opened to inspection to any member of the Town Council. He/she shall make such financial reports at such times as the Town Council shall direct.
(c) The Treasurer or his/her designee shall assure that a monthly report of the financial condition of the Town, showing receipts and expenditures, shall be submitted to the Town Council and such report shall be opened to inspection by any resident of the Town. The Treasurer shall make an affidavit to his/her belief in the truth and correctness of such monthly report.
(d) The Treasurer or his/her designee shall file with the Town of Milton a bond with corporate surety approved by the Town Council in the sum not less than Two hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ( $250,000.00), the premium for said bond to be paid by the Town Council. (The Town of Milton shall pay the premium for such a bond to be in effect, and to include, all elected or appointed officials and Town employees who have responsibilities for financial matters and/or who handle Town monies.) The bond shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance by the Treasurer of his/her duties of office and the restoration to the Town in case of his/her death, resignation or removal from office of all books, papers, vouchers, funds, and other property of whatever kind in his/her possession belonging to the Town of Milton.
(e) The Treasurer of the Town Council shall perform such other duties relative to finances as the Town Council may from time to time prescribe or require.
(f) The duties and powers of the Treasurer as hereinbefore prescribed shall devolve upon the Assistant Treasurer in the absence or inability of the Treasurer. The Assistant Treasurer shall likewise perform such other duties and have such other powers as may be prescribed by resolution of the Town Council of The Town of Milton and he/she shall receive no compensation.
Section 18. Town Manager
(a) The Town
Council of the Town of
(b) The Town Council of the Town of Milton shall impose qualifications for the Town Manager as may be deemed necessary; however, no person holding the office of Mayor or Town Council member shall hold the position of Town Manager during his/her term of office.
(c) The Town Manager shall hold office for the fixed period of time stated in his/her contract, if one exists as approved by a simple majority vote of the Mayor and Town Council. If no contract exists the Town Manager shall be considered an “at will employee” and serve at the discretion of the Mayor and Town Council.
(d) In the case of absence or disability of the Town Manager, the Town Council may designate a qualified person who may be awarded a short term contract to perform the duties of such office during his or her absence or disability.
(e) The compensation which the Town Manager shall receive for the performance of his or her duties shall be determined by the terms of his/her contract or shall be fixed by the Town Council of the Town of Milton as approved by a simple majority vote of the Mayor and Town Council.
(f) The Town
Manager shall be responsible to the Mayor and Town Council of the Town of
(g) It shall be the duty of the Town Manager to supervise the administration of the affairs of the Town under his/her charge and to make such reports to the Town Council as are required by the Town Council. He/she shall make such recommendations to the Town Council concerning the affairs of the Town as may seem to him/her desirable. He/she shall keep the Treasurer and the Town Council advised of the financial condition and future needs of the Town. He/she shall render to the Town Council, at the regular monthly meeting of each and every month a true, accurate and detailed account of all the monies collected or received by him/her or his/her staff in the performance of their duties and shall provide this report to the Treasurer of the Town Council.
(h) The Town Manager shall have all of the authority and responsibility enumerated in this Charter.
(i) In addition, the Town Manager's responsibilities shall include:
(1) Maintaining the administrative organization of the Town to ensure efficiency of operation;
(2) Overseeing the accounting of all monies of the Town;
(3) Making monthly reports to the Mayor and Town Council pertaining to financial status of the Town;
(4) Annually preparing a proposed budget and work program for the Town;
Preparing an annual report of the previous years activities for presentation to
the Mayor and Council and the citizens of
(6) Appointing with advice and consent of the Mayor and Council, all department heads of the municipal staff and supervising their performance on a day to day basis;
(7) Acting as personnel officer for the Town, including hiring, evaluating, promoting, and disciplining employees and establishing procedures for others to follow in such matters;
(8) Recommending an annual salary schedule for the Town's employees for Mayor and Council consideration;
(9) Identifying services and policy needs of the Town and bringing them to the attention of the Mayor and Council with recommendations for action in writing;
(10) Maintaining a sound public information process in the Town with its citizens and the press, and other federal, state, and local governments;
(11) Coordinating departmental activities and setting obtainable goals for all municipal departments;
(12) Acting as purchasing agents for all municipal departments and overseeing the bid process on major purchases, adhering to all rules for contracting and purchasing as set forth in this Charter;
(13) Maintaining contact with the public, and considering suggestions, complaints, and information requests;
(14) Carrying out the directives of the Mayor and Council;
(15) Attending all meetings of the Mayor and Council, preparing their agendas, providing supporting documents, and information pertinent to the agenda items;
(16) Attending various meetings on behalf of the Town;
(17) Preparing federal, and state, and private sector grant requests and administering grant proposals, enforcing municipal and state codes, interacting with numerous municipal Boards, Commissions and Committees as needed; and
(18) Performing related work as required.
Section 19. Town Clerk
(a) The Town Manager of The Town of Milton shall hire a Town Clerk who shall have such duties as shall be prescribed by the Town Manager. Further, the Town Council may contract with the Town Clerk for a fixed term contract they shall find appropriate, which may be renewed by simple majority vote of the Town Council.
(b) The Town Council of The Town of Milton shall impose such qualifications for Town Clerk as may be deemed necessary; however no person holding the office of Mayor or Town Council member shall be chosen to be the Town Clerk during his/her term of office as Mayor or Council member.
(c) In case of the
absence or disability of the Town Clerk, the Town Manager may designate some
qualified person who may not be an elected official of the Town of
compensation which The Town Clerk shall receive for the performance of his/her
duties shall be fixed by the Town Manager of the Town of
(e) The Town Clerk shall be responsible to the Town Manager for the proper administration of the affairs of the Town placed in his/her charge by the Town Manager.
(f) It is the intention of this Charter that, in the performance of his/her duties, and in the exercise of his/her powers, the Town Clerk shall not be influenced by any matters whatsoever of a political or fractional nature. It is the intention of this Charter that the Town Clerk shall be guided solely by the matters and requirements of the Town Manager, in service to the town taxpayers and to achieve efficiency in the administration of the affairs of the Town placed in his/her charge. Except for purpose of inquiry, the Town Council shall deal with that portion of the administrative service for which the Town Clerk is responsible through the Town Manager.
(g) It shall be the duty of the Town Clerk to supervise the administration of the affairs of the Town under his/her charge and to prepare such reports to the Town Council as are required by the Town Council and/or Town Manager. He/she shall make such recommendations to the Town Manager concerning the affairs of the Town as may seem to him/her desirable. He/she shall keep the Town Manager advised of these matters, and of the financial condition and future needs of the Town.
(h) The Town Clerk 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.
Section 20. Town Solicitor
The Mayor of The
Town of Milton with the advice and consent of a majority of the members of 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
Milton either with or without due cause stated. The Town Solicitor shall be a
member in good standing of the Bar of the State of
Section 21. Board of Health
(a) The Board of
Health shall consist of no less than four (4) or more than six (6) members. The
Board shall be appointed by the Mayor of The Town of Milton with the advice and
consent of a majority of the members of the Town Council, at the Annual
Meeting, following the annual Town election of Council members, as herein
before provided, and shall serve for three (3) years or until their successors
are duly appointed and qualified. Members of the Board of Health must 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
(b) The Board of Health shall 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. Such ordinances adopted by the Town Council shall extend to an area outside the Town limits for a distance of one (1) mile.
Section 22. Police Force
(a) The Town
Council shall, 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 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
(b) Each member of
the police force shall have police powers similar to those of state police
officers, and shall be conservators of the peace throughout The Town of Milton,
and they shall suppress all acts of violence and enforce all laws relating to
the safety of persons and property. 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
(c) Every person
sentenced to imprisonment by the Alderman or the Assistant Alderman or a
Justice of the Peace, as the case may be, shall be delivered by a member of the
police force to the correctional institution located in
(d) In case of an arrest at any time when the Alderman or the Assistant Alderman of The Town of Milton shall not be available, or if no such Alderman or Assistant Alderman has been appointed, the person arrested may be taken before the nearest available Justice of the Peace with offices in Sussex County, who shall hear and determine the charge, and who, in such case, is vested with all the authority and powers granted by this Charter to the Alderman or the Assistant Alderman.
(e) It shall be the duty of the police force to suppress riotous disorderly conduct in the streets of the Town, or the noisy conduct of any person in the same, and if a police officer witnesses such conduct or witnesses the violation of any Ordinance of the Town relating to peace and good order thereof, he/she shall have the right and power to arrest without warrant. Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed to allow the violation of any person’s First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.
Section 23. Annual Audit
At the Annual Meeting, as hereinbefore provided, the Mayor, with the advice and consent of a majority of the 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 of Milton. The selected accountant or accounting firm shall have the duty to audit the accounts of the Town and all of its officers whose duty involves the collection, custody and payment of monies to the Town. The auditor shall, on or before the expiration of ninety (90) days from the end of the fiscal year, annually make and deliver to the Town Council’s Treasurer and Town Manager a detailed report of any and all accounts, records, and books by him/her examined and audited, and such report under his/her hand and seal, or the Executive Summary of its findings, shall be published in three (3) newspapers having a general circulation in the Town of Milton, in the issue immediately following the presentation of the Annual Audit report to the Mayor and Town Council. The auditor, in the performance of his/her duties, shall have access to all records and accounts of the offices of the Town Council and he/she is hereby authorized and empowered to employ such clerks as in his/her judgment may be necessary in the proper performance of his/her duties.
Section 24. Town Assessor
(a) The Town Assessor shall be hired and managed by the Town Manager with the advice and consent of a majority of the members of the Town Council for a one (1) year fixed term contract with the right of annual renewal, such contract to include terms of compensation.
(b) He/she shall
be sworn or affirmed by the Mayor of the Town of
(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. The Town Assessor
may adopt, as the annual assessment for Town of
Section 25. Assessment of Taxes
(a) The Town Assessor shall, within one hundred twenty (120) 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 located within The Town of Milton. A full town assessment shall be completed every ten (10) years. All real estate shall be described with sufficient particularity to be identified. Real estate shall be assessed to the owner or owners if he/she or they both be known. If the owner, or owners, of real estate cannot be found or ascertained, it may be assessed to "Owner Unknown". A mistake in the name of the owner, or owners, or 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 owner or owners of record, as it appears from the records in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County.
(b) The Town Assessor, 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 Milton a list containing the descriptions of all real estate properties and the names of all persons assessed and the amount of assessment. They shall also deliver at such time as many copies of said list as the Town Council shall direct.
(c) The annual assessment shall also be arranged so that the land and the improvements thereon in separate columns or spaces. In making this assessment, the Assessor shall make its valuation accordingly.
(d) If the Town
Assessor owns real property in the Town of
(e) Immediately upon receiving the annual assessment list from the Town Assessor, the Town Council of The Town of Milton shall cause a full and complete copy of said list, containing the amount assessed to each taxable person or entity, to be posted on the Town website for a period of at least thirty (30) days and available at Town Hall for the information of and examination by all concerned. The Town of Milton shall also post, along with the assessment list notices advertising to all concerned, the date, not earlier than thirty (30) days after the date of posting of the true and correct copy of the annual assessment list, on which the Town Council will sit and 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 own appeal but said appeal shall be heard and determined by the other council members.
(f) Any taxable
person or entity may file an appeal to be heard by the Town Council by filing
an application in writing at the Town Hall, stating the reason, or reasons, for
the appeal, no later than fifteen (15) days before the date on which the Town
Council will sit to consider such appeals. Once such an application for
appeal has been filed, the Town of
(g) The Town Assessor and his/her staff shall be present on the day fixed for hearing appeals, and shall furnish to the Town Council any information it requires, and answer any questions the Town Council may have with respect to any assessment for which an appeal has been taken. The Town Council shall have the authority to enforce the attendance of the Town Assessor by appropriate process.
Section 26. Levy of Annual Taxes
(a) At the last regular meeting in the fiscal year, after having revised and completed the assessment, the Town Council 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, including reasonable and appropriate reserves, for the then current fiscal year as set forth in the Town Budget for such year plus a reasonable amount to cover unanticipated expenses and emergencies.
(b) The Town Council should then proceed to determine, in consultation with the Town Manager, from which sources of the authorized revenues of the Town the amount of such shortfall, if any, 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 improvement thereon per One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of the assessed value.
(2) The rate of tax upon all poles, construction, erections, wires, billboards, communication towers, 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, and/or occupations more particularly mentioned or intended so to be in Section 30 of this Charter, as amended; and/or may levy
(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 with respect to any other authorized source of revenue sufficient in their judgment and estimation to realize the amount necessary, provided however, that in the case of sources (3), (4),and (5), the Town Council may, by majority vote and in its discretion, assess, levy and/or alter or change upon other than a fiscal year basis, and at any regular or special meeting of the Town Council, as the Town Council, in its own proper discretion, shall determine.
(6) In addition, the Town Council may levy taxes on vacant, commercial structures in the Town Center of Milton, not currently listed for rent or for sale, and not undergoing alteration to their building(s), after the period of six (6) months of such vacancy, at a per month rate to be determined by a majority vote of the Town Council, and that such amount shall be reviewed annually. The purpose of said tax is to provide resources to the Town for monitoring and providing security to public spaces, cleaning up and/or repairing facilities deemed as threats to public safety, and/or to prevent infestations of rodents and/or other public nuisances or eyesores.
(c) Immediately after the last regular meeting prior to the end of the fiscal year 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 sources (1) and (3) above mentioned. This list shall be known as the Annual Tax List of The Town of Milton. In addition to the information contained in the 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) The Town Council shall cause to be delivered to the Town Manager a duplicate of said Annual Tax List and the Town Manager shall immediately proceed to collect the same as hereinafter provided.
(e) 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 of Milton under existing laws in reference to said Town and the same are hereby declared to be to be valid, binding and vested in The Town of Milton.
Section 27. Collection of Revenues
(a) The Town Manager, as soon as the Town Council shall have placed in his/her hands a duplicate Annual Tax List, shall proceed at once to collect the taxes, other charges and fees on said list.
(b) All taxes,
other charges, or fees so imposed by the Town of Milton in such Annual Tax
List, or as levied or imposed pursuant to Section 26 of this Charter shall be
and constitute a lien upon all the real estate within the Town of Milton 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
(c) All taxes, charges or fees, when and as collected by the Town Clerk, shall be paid to The Town of Milton, 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 Clerk or when the charge or fee is imposed.
(d) All taxes, charges or fees shall be payable at the Town Office of The Town of Milton during the regular business hours of that office.
(e) In the collection of said taxes, on all taxes unpaid after the March 31st due date, interest shall be added at the rate of two percent (2%) per month, and an additional sum of two percent (2%) per month as a penalty for each month such taxes shall remain unpaid and said penalty shall be collected in the same manner as the original amount of tax. The Town Council shall have the power to make just allowances for delinquencies in the collection of taxes. All taxes unpaid after the expiration of thirty (30) days from the billing date shall be considered delinquent. In effecting a collection of any delinquent tax, the Town Council may impose a collection charge not to exceed twenty-four percent (24%) of the amount of the tax and any interest or penalty imposed thereon.
(f) In the collection of any other charge or fee imposed pursuant to Section 26 of this Charter, or any such fee or charge paid more than thirty (30) days after the mailing of an invoice, interest shall be added at the rate of two percent (2%) per month penalty for each month that such charges or fees remain unpaid and said interest or penalty shall be collected in the same manner as the original amount of such charge or fee. All such charges or fees unpaid after the expiration of thirty (30) days from the date of mailing the invoice shall be considered delinquent. The Town Council shall have the power to make just allowances for delinquencies in the collection of such charges or fees. In effecting a collection of any delinquent charge or fee the Town Council may impose a collection charge not to exceed twenty-four (24%) of the amount of the charge or fee and any interests or penalty imposed thereon.
(g) At the annual meeting of the Town Council of each year, the Town Manager shall account to the Town Council for all taxes, charges, and fees collected by him/her during the year and shall be liable on his/her bond for failure to account for any uncollected taxes, charges, and fees unless he/she can show to the satisfaction of the Town Council that all remedies permitted for the collection of said taxes were pursued without result or, if not pursued, the remedies would have been without avail.
(h) The Town
Manager, when any tax has become delinquent, may, in the name of the Town of
(i) However, should the Town Manager so elect, he/she is empowered to sell the real property(ies) of the delinquent taxpayer, or the real property(ies) of the delinquent taxpayer alienated subsequent to the levy of the tax by the following procedure:
The Town Manager shall present in the name of The Town of Milton to the
Superior Court of the State of
(A) The name of the taxable person or entity;
(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 person or entity at his/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 herein before provided. The petition shall be signed by the Town Manager and shall be verified before a Notary Public.
At least ten (10) days prior to the filing of any such petition as described
herein, the Town Clerk shall deposit in the mail in a sealed and stamped
envelope and addressed to the taxable person or entity at his 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
the Town of
(3) Upon the filing of the petition, the Prothonotary shall record the same in a properly 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 ________day of ________, A.D. ______ and the Town Manager of The Town of Milton 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 four (4) public places in the Town of Milton, to include Town bulletin board and posting on the Town website, and by printing the notice of said sale at least four (4) times in at least three (3) newspapers of general circulation in Town of Milton. The notice shall contain the day, hour, place of sale and a short description of the real property sufficient to identify the same. The notices shall be posted and published at least fifteen (15) days before the day of 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 making the sale shall make a deed to the purchaser which shall convey the right, title and interest of the delinquent taxpayer or his/her assignee; 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 proceeding.
(6) No sale shall be approved by the Superior Court if the owner be ready at court to pay the taxes, penalty, collection fees and costs and no deed shall be made until the expiration of one (1) year from the date of the sale within which time the owner, his/her heirs, executors, or assigns, shall have the power to redeem the real property on payment to the purchases, his/her personal representative 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 due and the costs of expense of the sale from proceeds of sale, the amount remaining shall be paid to the owner of the real property. 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.
In the sale of real property for payment of delinquent taxes, the costs as set
by ordinance 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 costs of printing handbills
or notices, the publication of the advertisement of sale in newspaper, and the
auctioneer's fee shall be chargeable as costs. The cost of the deed shall not
be chargeable as costs, but shall be paid by the purchaser of the property of
the delinquent taxpayer. The total of any
(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 Milton, 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 of the Town of Milton before the proceedings for the sale of real property shall have been completed, his/her successor in office shall succeed to all of his/her powers, rights and duties in respect to said sale. In the event of the death of the purchaser of said sale prior to his/her receiving a deed for the property purchased thereat, the person having right under him/her by consent, devise, assignment, or otherwise, may refer to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, a petition representing the facts and praying for an order authorizing and requiring the Town Manager 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) However, should the Town Manager so elect, the Town Manager 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 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 Milton for Sussex County therein.
Section 28. Town Budget
(a) The fiscal
year for the Town of
(b) Each year and not later than sixty (60) days prior to the beginning of the next fiscal year, the Town Manager shall prepare a rough draft of the Town Budget. From this rough draft, the Town Council, shall not later than the next regular meeting following the presentation of the rough draft, 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 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 bonding 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 document shall be presented at a meeting of the Milton Town Council, and not later than fifteen (15) 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.
Section 29. Enumeration of Powers
(a) Not by way of limitation upon the power vested in the Town Council of The Town of Milton 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 provide for and preserve the health, peace, safety, cleanliness, ornament, good order and public welfare of the Town and its inhabitants;
(2) To prohibit, restrain, license or regulate all public sports, exhibitions, shows, parades, productions, circuses or other public performances, amusements and games;
(3) To ascertain, locate, layout, establish, open, change, alter, widen, abandon, regulate the use and enjoyment of, prevent, or remove any obstruction of, level, grade, flag, dress, 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 in the Town; to specify the grade thereof, the materials to be used in 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;
(4) To establish and regulate pounds and to restrain, prohibit and impound any domestic or wild animal, beast, bird or fowl running at large, and to authorize the destruction of the same.
(5) To enforce the removal of ice, snow or dirt or other foreign substance from sidewalks and gutters by owners or abutting owners;
(6) 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, sidewalk, crosswalk, wharf, dock sewer, drain, aqueduct or pipeline of the Town.
(7) To define, prevent, abate or remove nuisances, obstructions or any other condition detrimental to the public safety, health, welfare; or the health and capacity of eco-systems that support the natural areas of the town.
(8) 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 Milton 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. Prior to contracting for any additive to the Town of Milton drinking water supply, the Town Council must have a written recommendation from the Board of Health, the findings of such recommendation to be published in three (3) newspapers of general circulation in the Town of Milton. In addition, the Town Council shall hold one public information session and may hold a public hearing on the subject for town citizens.
(9) 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, 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/or to contract for and/or 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 therefore of the Town itself.
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, and to assure that all and any construction, apart
from these listed above, begin 50 feet from the both high tidal and fresh water
ponds, lakes and rivers. In any case, the Town of
(11) 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, wharfs, 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 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. However, decisions to change the supplier of such services, or that involve the use of private property, must be preceded by a Town Council Meeting providing information and an open period for public comment
(12) 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 to facilities for the health, sanitation and convenience of the Town; and to regulate and permit the type of hard surfacing so as to assure permeability of the surface to maximize percolation of waters into the water table, and thereby reduce storm runoff and Town flooding.
(13) To grant franchise 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 interest of the municipality, but only after providing information at a Town Meeting, and the opportunity for public comment, as to the use of present and future streets, highways, lanes, alleys, water courses, parks, lakes, strands, sidewalks, crosswalks, wharfs, docks and other public places of the Town for 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 wharfs 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 purpose, firm association or corporation whomsoever;
(14) To regulate and control the exercise of any license or franchise mentioned in Section 29 of this Charter, or intended so to be;
(15) 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; from both public and privately held lands.
(16) To direct the digging down, draining, filling up, cleaning, cutting or fencing of lots, tracts, pieces or parcels of ground in the Town, may be deemed dangerous or unwholesome or necessary to carry out any improvements as authorized by this Charter;
(17) To provide for or regulate the numbering of houses and lots on the streets and the naming of streets and avenues;
(18) 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;
(19) 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 or 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;
(20) 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 accused of violation of law or Ordinances, for a reasonable time in cases of necessity prior to hearing and trial; and to provide for the restraint, support and employment of paupers, beggars and vagrants, provided that any correctional institution located in Sussex County may be used for any such purpose;
(21) To acquire, build, erect and maintain buildings and facilities necessary or required for housing and equipping the offices of the Town;
(22) To regulate or prevent the use of guns, air guns, spring guns, pistols, sling shots, bean shooters, and any other devices for discharging missiles 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;
(23) To provide for the punishment of a violation of any Ordinance of the Town by fine or imprisonment, or both, not exceeding $1,000 Dollars ($1000.00) or sixty (60) days, or both;
(24) To provide for the organization of a fire department and the control and government thereof; 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 seven percent (7%) of the total taxes levied on real estate unto any volunteer fire company or companies incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware, or any volunteer fire association or associations maintaining and operating fire fighting equipment and service to the Town; provided that any such contribution, donation or gift may be made subject to such conditions and stipulations as to the use thereof as the Town Council shall deem advisable;
(25) To purchase, take and hold property when sold for any delinquent tax, assessment, water rent, electrical 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;
(26) 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 One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00); 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 herein before or hereafter incurred;
(27) To levy and collect taxes upon the transfer of real property or any interest in real property situate within the corporate limits of the Town of Milton, 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 levied under this Section shall exceed fifty (50%) of any tax levied by the State of Delaware upon the same property; and provided further, that no tax shall be levied upon any organization exempted from valorem real estate taxes.
(28) To levy and collect taxes upon all telephone, telegraph, communication towers, billboards, 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, telegraph, 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 appliances shall refuse or neglect to pay the taxes levied thereon, in addition to the remedies provided for the collection thereof set forth in Section 26 of this Charter, the Town Council shall have the authority to cause the same to be removed;
(29) To license, tax and collect fees annually for any and all municipal purposes (including the cost and expenses of advertising to 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 family with whom he/she resides;
(30) 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;
(31) To provide for the collection of all, and disbursement of all monies 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;
(32) 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 estate in the Town subject to the assessment for the purpose of levying the annual tax hereinbefore mentioned;
(33) To acquire, and/or to vacate the use of lands, tenements, personal property, easements, right 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 Milton by this Charter. Proceedings by way of condemnation in any case shall be as prescribed in Chapter 61, Title 10, Del. C. of 1974, as heretofore or hereafter amended;
(34) 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;
(35) 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;
(36) 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 may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, or affirmations, and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, or other evidence by subpoena;
(37) To establish by Ordinance duly adopted pursuant to this Charter a Pension Plan or a Health and Welfare Plan, or both, for the employees of the Town under such terms and conditions as the Town Council, in its discretion may deem most appropriate; provided, however, that the method of funding may, if deemed desirable by the Town Council, be accomplished through an insurance company licensed by the State of Delaware or authorized to do business in this State and approved by a majority of the members of the Town Council. However, each employee shall receive the same percent regardless of funding sources.
(38) To borrow money in anticipation of revenues on the full faith and credit of The Town of Milton sum or sums not exceeding Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00) in any one year when, in the opinion of a majority of the Town Council of The Town of Milton, the needs of the Town require it. Any sum so borrowed shall be secured by promissory notes of The Town of Milton, duly authorized by Resolution adopted by the Town Council of The Town of Milton, and signed by the Mayor of The Town of Milton, 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 exceed Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00); provided further, that any sum of money so borrowed, as aforesaid, in any fiscal year, shall be paid from the appropriate fund(s) of the Town and shall be completely repaid at any time, but must be completely paid at the end of ten (10) 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 notes as is required without regard to any 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.
(39) To make, adopt and establish all such Ordinances, Regulations Rules, and By Laws not contrary to the laws of this State and the United States as the Town Council may deem necessary to carry into effect any of the provisions of this Charter or any other law of the State relating generally to municipal corporations or which they may deem proper and necessary for the good government of the Town, the protection and preservation of persons and property, and of the public health and welfare of the Town and its inhabitants; provided, however, that any Ordinance relating to the public health of the Town and its inhabitants or designed to prevent the introduction or spread of infectious or contagious diseases or to prevent or abate environmental contamination, or nuisances affecting the same shall apply not only within the corporate limits of the Town but as well as to all areas and persons outside the Town within one (1) mile from said limits.
(40) May impose upon annexed property such terms and conditions including impact fees that are reasonably calculated to recover the cost, 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/or police. Such terms and conditions and/or impact fees may be reflected in an Annexation Agreement negotiated and accepted by the Town and the Annex prior to annexation.
Section 30. Streets
(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 Town Council meeting, 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 one (1) or more property owners in a portion of the Town is 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 of The Town of Milton shall appoint a committee composed of not less than three (3) of the members of the Town Council 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 a 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 members thereof, by resolution, propose that a committee composed of not less than three (3) of its members be appointed by the Mayor to investigate the possibility of changing the street structure of the Town.
Not later than one-hundred twenty (120) days following its appointment, the
committee shall submit a written 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 of
Milton, the Council, by resolution passed by majority of the 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 herein before
described to the existing street structure of the Town. If the report of
committee appointed by the Mayor is not in favor of changing the existing
street structure of The Town of Milton, the resolution proposing the change in
the street structure to the property owners and citizens of The Town of Milton
shall be passed by a majority of three fourths (3/4ths) of all the 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 three (3) newspapers having a general circulation in The Town of
Milton and be posted in four (4) public places, including the Town bulletin
board and posted on the Town of
(3) Whenever the Town Council shall have determined to locate or lay out or widen any street, land or alley and shall have affixed compensation therefore, it shall be the duty of the Town Council immediately after the survey and location of said street, lane 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/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 is dissatisfied with the amount of compensation or damages allowed by the Town, as aforesaid, said property owner may, within ten (10) 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 of the Town 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 and appoint a commission made up of five (5) property owners of said county, three (3) of whom shall be residents of The Town of Milton, and two (2) of whom shall be non-residents of said 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 damages 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 to 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 a banking institution that shall be designated by the Town Council, with offices in Sussex County, Delaware, within said time and thereupon the said property or lands may be taken or occupied for the use as aforesaid.
If the ascertainment and assessment of damages by those 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 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 damages shall be fixed and ascertained by
the appointed property owners, 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 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
Section 31. Curbing and Paving
(a) Whenever the Town Council shall have determined that any sidewalk adjacent to private property shall be constructed, replaced or repaired, or any or all of them, the Town 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 the 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 Clerk 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 Milton, 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 bills be not paid by the owner or owners of such lands within sixty (60) days after the presentation thereof, as aforesaid, the Town Clerk may proceed to collect the same in the same manner and under the same terms and conditions as are provided for the collection of 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 sidewalk heretofore made or done which the said Town Council may deem insufficient or need repairing.
Section 32. Collection of Charges due the Town
(a) In the collection of any charges due the Town for water rentals, sewer service charges, electric bills, gas bills, license fees, tapping fees, front footage assessments, charges growing out of the abatement of nuisances, laying out and repairing sidewalks, or any of them, such charges shall become a first lien against real estate of the delinquent property owner and/or taxpayer 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, over all other liens on real estate created or suffered by the taxable property owner, although such 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 Clerk for the collection of such charges shall be the same as those set forth in this Charter for the collection of delinquent taxes.
Section 33. Power to Borrow Money and Issue Bonds
(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 Milton 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 therefore 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.
Notice of the time and place of the hearing on the resolution authorizing said
loan shall be printed in three (3) newspapers having a general circulation in
the Town, and may be distributed in circular form at least one week before the
time set for the public hearing. In addition, this same information shall
be posted at the Town bulletin board and on the Town of
(3) Following the public hearing, a second resolution shall then be passed by the Town Council ordering a special referendum 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 referendum to be for the purpose of voting for or against the proposed loan. The passing of the second resolution calling a special referendum shall ipso facto be considered the determination of the Town Council to proceed with the matter in issue.
The notice of the time and place of holding the said special referendum shall
be printed in four (4) issues of three (3) newspapers having a general
circulation in the Town of Milton within thirty (30) days prior to the said
special referendum and distributed in circular form at least fifteen (15) days
prior to the special referendum. In addition, it shall be posted in four (4)
public places in the Town, to include Town bulletin board and on the Town of
(5) At the said special referendum, every property owner in the Town of Milton, including those who have placed their property in a revocable trust, shall have one vote and, further, every partnership, corporation owning property, within the corporation limits of The Town of Milton shall also have one vote, notwithstanding how many properties are owned by a single person or corporation only one vote per person or corporation will be allowed, and the said vote may be cast either in person or by absentee ballot.
(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 referendum. The special referendum, at the discretion of the Town Council, may be conducted by the use of voting machines or by paper ballot. The Mayor of The Town of Milton, by and with 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 eight o’clock a.m. (8:00 a.m.) prevailing time, until six o’clock p.m. (6:00 p.m.) in the evening, prevailing time, on the date set for the special referendum.
(7) The Board of Special Election 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, the provisions as to registration, any callable or redemption provisions, and all other relative or pertinent matters shall be determined by the Town Council after the said special election.
(9) The bond or bonds or certificates of indebtedness may be sold at public or private sale.
(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 Milton 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 thirty percent (30%) of the assessed value of real property situate within the limits of The Town of Milton shown by the last assessment preceding the creation of the said indebtedness.
Section 34. Acts or Suits
No action, suit or proceeding shall be brought, or maintained against the Town of Milton 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 Milton, or any of its departments, officers, agents, servants or employees unless the person or on behalf of whom such claims or demand is asserted, within ninety (90) days from the happening of said injury or the suffering of such damages shall notify The Town of Milton in writing of the time, place, cause, character and extent of the injury sustained or damages suffered. Such notice shall be directed to the Mayor of The Town of Milton by certified mail with return receipt requested and postage prepaid.
Section 35. Compendium
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 Milton. The
Town Council 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 of
Section 36. Revival of Powers and Validating Section
(a) All powers conferred upon or vested in the Town Council of The Town of Milton 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 Milton and/or the Town Council of The Town of Milton precisely as of each of said powers was expressly set forth in this Charter.
(b) All ordinances adopted by the Town Council of Milton 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 Milton under the provisions of this Charter.
(c) All of the acts and doings of the Town Council of Milton or of any official of The Town of Milton which shall have been unlawfully done or performed under the provisions of any law of this State or of any ordinance of the Town Council of Milton or under any provision of any prior Charter of The Town of Milton, 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 Milton shall be due The Town of Milton and all debts from the Town shall remain unimpaired until paid by The Town of Milton.
(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 Town Council of The Town of Milton.
(f) The bonds given by or on account of any official of The Town of Milton shall not be impaired or affected by the provision 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
change updates the Milton Charter with changes recommended by
Author: Senator Adams