§ 2301 Conditions for establishment of sanitary sewer district.
Whenever contiguous territory containing 1 or more centers of population, whether incorporated or not, shall be so situated that the construction of interceptor sewers, outfall sewers and sewage treatment plants will be conducive to the preservation of the public health, the territory shall be established by the County Council as a sanitary sewer district.
§ 2302 Establishment or revision of sanitary sewer districts without election; consolidation of districts.
(a) Where the County Council has already constructed sewers to which 50 or more houses have been connected, the County Council may establish, upon request of the Department of Public Works, a new district or revise the boundaries of an established district without further petitions or hearings by posting at 4 public places in the district notices describing the new or revised boundaries, and, in the case of the establishment of a new district, the same cost and assessment data required for districts established by vote of electors.
(b) Within 30 days after the posting of the notices of the establishment of the district in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the County Council shall pass a formal resolution establishing the district, which shall:
(1) Contain a description of the boundaries of the district;
(2) Direct the Department of Public Works and the attorney of the County Council to procure the necessary land and rights-of-way by purchase, agreement, or condemnation in accordance with existing statutes; and
(3) Authorize the Department of Public Works to prepare maps, plans, specifications, and estimates, let contracts for and supervise the construction and maintenance of, or enlarging and remodeling of, any or all structures required to provide for the safe disposal of the sewage in the sanitary district.
(c) The County Council may consolidate any existing sanitary sewer districts or establish a countywide district following a public hearing. The hearing shall be at such time as may be fixed by the County Council and advertised at least 2 weeks in advance by publishing a notice in a newspaper within the county having a general circulation, once in each of the 2 weeks immediately preceding the week in which the hearing is to be held. All interested persons in any way affected by the proposed consolidation shall be heard. After the public hearing is closed, the County Council shall, by ordinance, determine whether or not it is in the public interest to establish the consolidated district. The ordinance shall specify the boundaries of the consolidated district. The County Council may change or amend the rate of levy as it deems necessary and just.
§ 2303 Establishment of sanitary sewer district upon petition of voters.
Fifty or more legal voters who are residents of a proposed sanitary sewer district, may petition the County Council to submit the question of organizing a sanitary sewer district to a vote of electors residing in that district. The petition shall contain a description of the proposed district and shall be accompanied by a map drawn to scale showing the boundaries of the proposed district together with the limits of any incorporated areas which may be included in the district. The execution of the petition by an elector shall be acknowledged by the elector or it may be proved by the oath of a witness who shall swear that the witness knows the elector and that the petition was signed by the elector in the presence of the witness.
§ 2304 Public hearing; notice.
The County Council, upon receipt of a petition submitted as provided in § 2303 of this title, shall, and the County Council may, upon its own motion and without having received such a petition, set a date for a public hearing on the question of organizing a sanitary sewer district. The hearing shall be held at such time as may be fixed by the County Council and shall be previously advertised by posting a notice, in 4 of the most public places within the proposed district, at least 10 days prior thereto and by publishing a notice in a newspaper published within the County and having a general circulation therein, once in each of 2 weeks immediately preceding the week in which the hearing is to be held. All interested persons, officials, residents, voters, taxpayers, property owners or other persons or corporations in any way affected by the granting of the petition shall be heard on any question dealing with the location of the boundaries of the district. Such notice shall contain a description of the boundaries of the proposed sanitary district and if the public hearing is ordered as a result of the filing of a petition such boundaries shall be those described in the petition.
§ 2305 Action of County Council following hearing.
(a) After the public hearing referred to in § 2304 of this title shall have been closed, the County Council shall, by resolution, determine whether or not it is in the public interest to establish the district and, if it deems it to be in the public interest to establish the district, the County Council shall, by such resolution, determine what shall be the boundaries of the district. Such boundaries may be those set forth in the petition or may be boundaries which will include in the district the property and property owners, and only the property and property owners, that will be benefited by the establishment of the district and the construction of sewage disposal facilities therein.
(b) After establishing the boundaries of the district, the County Council shall also cause to be prepared by the Department of Public Works or consulting engineers, an estimate of the cost of proposed immediate construction and also an approximate estimate of the assessment per front foot and the amount to be included in the assessment necessary to take care of interest, amortization and maintenance costs. The construction cost estimates and assessment estimates shall be advertised in the same manner as provided in § 2304 of this title for advertising the public hearing.
§ 2306 Election on question of establishment of district.
(a) Whenever the determination on the question of establishing the district, as required by § 2305 of this title, is in the affirmative, and after the other requirements of that section have been complied with, the County Council then shall cause an election to be held within 6 months following the date of the hearing, at which the question shall be submitted to the voters residing within the boundaries of the sanitary sewer district as fixed by the County Council as to whether the district shall be established or not. Notice of the election shall be advertised in the same manner as provided in § 2304 of this title for advertising the public hearing. The cost of the election shall be borne by the County Council, which shall be reimbursed for such cost by the district, if established by the election.
(b) The proposition shall be submitted to the voters substantially in the following form:
FOR THE SANITARY SEWER DISTRICT
AGAINST THE SANITARY SEWER DISTRICT
(c) The majority of votes cast shall decide the matter.
(d) The election shall be managed and the votes canvassed in such manner as may be prescribed by the County Council. Every citizen who resides in the proposed sanitary sewer district in which the election is being held and who would be entitled at the time of the holding of such election to register and vote in any election district in which the proposed sanitary sewer district is a part, at a general election, if such general election were held on the day of such election in the proposed sanitary sewer district, may vote at such election whether or not the citizen is at the time a registered voter.
Code 1935, § 1170E; 45 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 1; 47 Del. Laws, c. 178, § 1; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2306; 50 Del. Laws, c. 164, § 1; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 15; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;
§ 2307 Action of County Council following election favoring establishment of district.
(a) If the majority of the voters are in favor of establishing the sanitary sewer district, the County Council shall within 30 days following the election, issue a determination to that effect which shall contain a description of the district. The County Council shall file a certified copy of the determination with the clerk of the peace.
(b) Within 30 days after the election, the County Council shall authorize the Department of Public Works and the County Attorney to procure the necessary land and rights-of-way by purchase, agreement, or by condemnation in accordance with existing laws, and shall authorize the Department of Public Works to prepare maps, plans, specifications and estimates for any or all structures required to provide for the installation of sewers, structures incidental thereto and the safe disposal of the sewage in the district and to let contracts for, supervise the construction and maintenance of, or the enlarging or remodeling of such structures, and to carry on such other activities as may be required by this chapter or considered necessary to perform the duties prescribed in this chapter.
§ 2308 Construction of system adequate for future connections.
The County Council may construct and maintain main sewers and sewage treatment works in order to provide a satisfactory outlet for any subdivision which may at any future time connect submain or lateral sewers to it.
§ 2309 Construction or maintenance of sewers for cities or towns.
The County Council may construct or maintain submains or laterals as agents for cities or towns when officially requested so to act and when the cost of such work is to be borne by local assessments against the property benefited or by assessment by the County Council in the same manner as for unincorporated areas.
§ 2310 Adjustment of assessment for cost of existing sewers included in a district.
In the case where a sanitary sewer district shall include areas wherein sanitary sewers have been constructed under the authority of the County Council, or by incorporated towns, corporations or individuals, the necessary adjustments shall be made with each property owner for those costs already incurred by the property owner when those sewers were constructed. Such excess costs shall be credited to future assessments levied by the district.
§ 2311 Bonds; power to issue; terms.
(a) The County Council may issue bonds of New Castle County to finance the cost of constructing sewage disposal facilities in any sanitary sewer district. The moneys raised by the issuance of such bonds shall be held in a separate account and shall be expended only for the construction of sewage disposal facilities in the sanitary sewer district for which the bonds are issued.
(b) The bonds shall bear interest at the most advantageous rate attainable by the County Council and the income therefrom shall not be subject to state taxation. Each issue of such bonds shall be payable within 30 years after the date of the bonds of such issue. The interest coupons and face amount of the bonds shall be payable at such place or places as the County Council may prescribe. The reasonable expenses of issuing such bonds shall be deemed a part of the cost of constructing the sewer facilities. The full faith and credit of New Castle County shall be pledged to the payment of such bonds and the interest thereon. Debt incurred by the County Council pursuant to this chapter may be represented by uncertificated obligations of the County Council which may be authorized in accordance with the same procedures applicable to bonds which are permitted to be issued under this chapter, and the County Council by resolution may determine, or it may delegate authority to the County Executive to determine, all procedures appropriate to the establishment of a system of issuing uncertificated debt.
Code 1935, § 1170G; 45 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 1; 47 Del. Laws, c. 178, § 1; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 2311; 49 Del. Laws, c. 323; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 15; 63 Del. Laws, c. 142, § 17; 64 Del. Laws, c. 318, § 9; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15.;
§ 2312 Advertising sale of bonds; authority of County Executive.
The County Council shall advertise the bonds for sale in at least 2 issues in each of 2 newspapers, 1 of which shall be a newspaper of general circulation published in the City of Wilmington, and the other a newspaper of general circulation published in the City of New York, inviting bids for the bonds. The advertisements shall state the total amount of the proposed issue, the denominations of the bonds, the place of payment of the bonds and interest, the place and date of opening bids, and the conditions under which the bonds are to be sold. The County Council may give notice of the sale of the bonds in such other manner as it may decide. In addition, the County Council may authorize the County Executive to sell such bonds at public or private sale upon such terms, conditions and regulations as it may prescribe.
§ 2313 Deposit accompanying bids.
The County Council may require each bid for the bonds to be accompanied by a certified check in the amount of the bid. After the bonds are awarded or sold to the successful bidder or bidders therefor, the County Council shall return to the unsuccessful bidder or bidders the certified check or checks submitted with the bid or bids.
§ 2314 Sale of bonds; opinion of County Attorney.
(a) The County Council may reject any and all bids, but in awarding the sale of the bonds, or any of them, they shall be sold to the person, persons, firm or corporation which, in the judgment of the County Council, offers the most advantageous terms.
(b) The bonds shall not be offered for sale until the County Attorney has submitted the County Attorney's opinion in writing that the bonds will, when duly sold, executed, delivered and paid for, be validly issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
§ 2315 Preparation, form and execution of bonds.
The County Council shall direct and effect the preparation and printing of the bonds authorized by this chapter, shall determine whether such bonds shall be registered or bearer with coupons convertible into fully registered bonds and shall prescribe the form of the bonds and, in the case of bearer bonds with coupons, the form of the coupons for the payment of interest thereto attached. The bonds shall state the conditions under which they are issued, the face amount of the bonds and, in the case of bearer bonds with coupons, the coupons thereto attached shall be payable at such place or places as may be designated by the County Council. The bonds shall be signed as prescribed by the County Council.
§ 2316 Annual assessment; procedure for fixing amount.
(a) The County Council each year, at a time to be fixed by it, shall, after a public hearing, establish an annual assessment roll for the sanitary sewer district which shall be known as the "Sanitary Sewer District Assessment."
(b) The total amount assessed for each year shall be sufficient to provide funds required to reimburse the County for sums to be expended for retiring the bonds which have been issued and for the payment of the interest due on the same and for maintaining or improving the sewerage system and paying the necessary general expenses of the sanitary sewer district.
(c) Notice of the public hearing shall state that the assessment roll has been completed and filed and that at the time and place fixed for the public hearing the County Council will meet and hear and consider any objections which may be made to the assessment roll. Notice of the public hearing shall be published in a newspaper published within New Castle County, and having a general circulation therein, once in each of the 2 weeks immediately preceding the week in which the public hearing is to be held.
(d) After holding the public hearing, the County Council may change or amend the assessment roll as it deems necessary or just, and may confirm and adopt the assessment roll as originally proposed or as amended or changed.
§ 2317 Collection of assessments.
The annual assessments shall be collected by the County Council as are other county taxes. The properties against which such assessments are levied shall be liable for the payment of the assessments in the same manner as they are liable for other county taxes. No assessment shall be made against any property which is not subject to taxation and assessment for county and municipal purposes.
§ 2318 Rules and regulations governing use of sewage disposal facilities.
The County Council may promulgate from time to time and enforce such rules and regulations, as may be necessary, governing the use of the whole or any parts of such sewerage systems or sewage treatment plants constructed under their control either within or without the district.
§ 2319 Grants or loans from federal, state or interstate agencies.
The County Council may accept grants or loans of money, labor, materials, equipment or technical assistance from agencies of the federal or state government or from interstate agencies established by law, to accomplish the purposes of this chapter and may pay the interest and amortization on such loans in the same manner as is authorized in this chapter for bonds.
§ 2320 Validation of prior acts and proceedings.
All proceedings taken and all acts done prior to June 2, 1949, purporting to establish any sanitary district for the purposes set forth in Article 1, Chapter 43, Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, as amended by Chapter 113, Volume 45, Laws of Delaware, by either the County Council of New Castle County or by other officers or agencies of the County, are legalized, validated and confirmed, notwithstanding any error or omission or irregularity in the acts or proceedings, or in any petition submitted to the County Council under such act, or any lack of authority therefor; provided:
(1) The County Council shall have fixed the boundaries of such sanitary district after holding a public hearing at which all interested persons, officials, residents, voters, taxpayers, property owners or other persons or corporations in any way affected were afforded an opportunity to be heard on any question dealing with the location of the boundaries of the district, and
(2) Such public hearing shall have been previously advertised by posting notice thereof in 1 or more public places within such district at least 10 days prior to such public hearing and by publishing a copy of such notice in a newspaper published within New Castle County and having a general circulation therein, once in each of the 2 weeks immediately preceding the week in which such public hearing was held, and
(3) A majority of the voters voting at an election held in such district by order of the County Council shall have voted for the establishment of the district.
§ 2321 Order to connect to sanitary sewer; enforcement.
(a) The County Council may, where it deems it necessary to the preservation of public health, order the owner of any lot or parcel of land within a sanitary district which abuts upon a street or other public way containing a sanitary sewer, which is part of or which is served or may be served by the county sewerage system and upon which lot or parcel of land a building shall have been constructed for residential, commercial or industrial use, to connect such building with such sanitary sewer.
(b) If any owner shall fail to comply within 60 days with such order to connect with a sanitary sewer, the County Council shall forthwith institute action in a Justice of the Peace Court in New Castle County or in the Court of Chancery of the State to compel compliance with such order.