Charter: Article X
Public Improvements (cont.)

Section 10.13. Levy of assessment

When any public work or improvement to be paid for in whole or in part by special tax bills or special assessment is completed, the city manager shall cause to be computed the entire cost and expense thereof, including any cost or expense incurred by the City, and the council shall levy and assess such cost and expense or the part to be paid by special tax bills or special assessments in accordance with the requirements of this Article.

Section 10.14. Erroneous or invalid assessments

The Council shall have power to cause to be issued new special tax bills in lieu of others erroneously issued, to be delivered upon surrender and cancellation of the old tax bills. New tax bills issued in lieu of others erroneously issued shall be only for the principal sum for which the old tax bills should have been issued, and such new tax bills shall bear interest as of their own date, and the lien of such new tax bills shall expire at the time when the lien of the old tax bill would have expired. The council shall have power to issue new special tax bills in lieu of others that have been lost or destroyed, when satisfied as to the fact of the loss or destruction of same. Such new tax bills shall be, as far as practicable, duplicates of those lost or destroyed.

If any such special tax bill or special assessment shall fail to be valid in whole or in part, or for any cause, mistake, or inadvertence the amount assessed shall not be sufficient to pay the cost of such improvements, the council shall be and is hereby authorized to cause such assessment to be reassessed and to enforce or authorize the enforcement of its collection.

Approved by vote of the people November 8, 1955.

Section 10.15. Passage of ordinances

Every ordinance introduced in connection with improvement projects for which special tax bills are to be issued, including amendatory or corrective ordinances, may be passed at the meeting of the council at which introduced or later, at the pleasure of the council. The ordinance shall not be subject to the referendum and, unless otherwise provided therein, shall go into force and effect from and after passage. All special tax bills issued in connection with such improvements shall be dated with the date of passage of the ordinance authorizing the same, and shall draw interest from such date.

Approved by vote of the people November 8, 1955.

Section 10.16. Additional provisions

Upon recommendation of the city manager, the council may, from time to time, by general ordinance, make further provisions, not inconsistent herewith, for special assessments, the issuance of special tax bills, the collection thereof, and all matters incidental thereto.

Approved by vote of the people November 8, 1955.

Section 10.17. Public improvement fund

There is hereby created a fund to be known as the "Public Improvement Fund." Said fund may be established and maintained from any or all of the following sources:

  1. Appropriations from the general funds.
  2. The proceeds from bond issues as provided in this Charter.
  3. Collections of special assessments or special tax bills, and interest thereon, levied or issued for public work or condemnation of land theretofore paid for out of said public improvement fund.
  4. The proceeds from the sale of special tax bills.
  5. Any other source permitted by law or provided by ordinance.

Whenever the council shall authorize the cost of any public improvement or the purchase of any tax bills issued for any public improvement to be paid out of the public improvement fund, any special assessment, and interest thereon, that may be levied and collected on account of such improvements, or the proceeds from the collection of any such tax bills and interest thereon shall be credited to and paid into said funds.

Approved by vote of the people November 8, 1955.

Section 10.18. Special assessment bonds and temporary notes

The council may pay for any public improvement, or any part thereof, in cash from the public improvement fund; and when it deems it necessary or desirable, it may provide for the levy of assessments and the issuance of special tax bills against specific property chargeable therefor, the tax bills and the proceeds thereof to be held by and for the benefit of said fund, and for the issuance of temporary improvement notes and special assessment bonds against the sole security of said special tax bills, without in any manner imposing liability on the general funds of the city, in the following manner:

  1. Whenever the council shall deem it necessary or desirable to issue special assessment bonds to obtain revenue for the payment of the cost of any improvement or series of improvements, the cost of which is chargeable against specific property, provision shall be made for payment of special tax bills to be issued therefor in installments, which may, at the council's discretion, be payable at the same time, and in the same manner, as general city taxes are payable on said property. Thereupon, the director of finance shall certify annually a full list of the properties liable for the cost of such improvements, except such property upon which the special tax bills or assessments have been paid in full, together with the respective amounts due on each of said lots or pieces of ground, including the annual installments and interest on all unpaid balances for one year at the rate at which the special tax bills were issued, and such amount is certified shall be collected as other taxes are collected. The ordinance levying the special tax for the improvement may provide for the collection of two installments with interest not to exceed two years, or one installment and interest for one year, or more, in the first year in which assessment is to be collected, if the bond for such improvement or improvements and interest on the same mature in such manner as to require such levy.
  2. Where special assessment bonds are to be issued by the city, payable from special assessments against specific property, the owner of any lot or piece of land liable to any special assessment may redeem his property from such liability by paying the entire amount chargeable against his property at any time before the issuance of the bonds, or after the issuance of the bonds, by paying all of the installments and interest of the assessments which have been levied, and also the amount of the unlevied installments with interest on the latter at the rate of interest provided in said bonds from the date of the bonds to the time of maturity of the last installment. In all cases where installments of special assessments not yet levied are paid, as above provided, whether before or after the issuance of the bonds, the director of finance shall receipt therefor, and all sums so paid shall be applied solely to the payment of such improvements or the redemption of the bonds or notes issued therefor. Where any piece of property has been redeemed from liability for the cost of any improvement as herein provided, such property shall not thereafter be liable to further special assessment for the cost of such improvement.
  3. Where special assessment bonds are to be issued by the city as above provided, the council may issue temporary notes, bearing interest at a rate not exceeding six per cent per annum, maturing not later than the due date of the first installment of such bonds, and in no event not later than two years from the date of said notes, not exceeding in the aggregate the amount of bonds which are to be issued and are then unissued, as shown by estimates on file in the office of the director of public works. Temporary notes may be issued for any or all of the improvements to be covered by such bonds, and may be issued from time to time, as required during the progress of work on the improvement or improvements to be included under such bonds. They shall be negotiable, but shall be issued against the sole security of the special tax bills or special assessment issued or to be issued in connection with the improvements, or any other special tax bills owned by the city which the council may desire to subject to the security thereof, and shall not constitute general obligations of the city. The temporary notes may be sold in the manner provided for the sale of bonds, or may be sold at private sale at not less than par and accrued interest. The notes shall be in the form usual for such bonds, except that coupons evidencing the interest need not be attached, shall be executed as are such bonds, and shall be redeemed and canceled before or at the time permanent bonds are issued in lieu thereof, so that the amount of temporary notes and bonds issued and outstanding shall not at any time exceed the estimated cost and expense of the improvement or improvements covered thereby.
  4. Where special assessment bonds are to be issued by the city as above provided, proceedings for construction of the work and issuance of special tax bills or special assessments shall be as required generally by this Charter, except that the resolutions declaring necessary the various improvements to be included therein shall recite the fact that payment from the public improvement fund shall be made in cash, to be obtained in whole or in part from the proceeds of sale of temporary notes or special assessment bonds; the estimate of cost of each improvement shall be made under oath by the director of public works or some other competent person designated by the city manager, and the estimate shall be submitted to the council for its approval. Performance of the work called for by the various improvement projects may be done only by contract, and before any work or improvements shall be commenced the money to pay for the same must be set aside in the public improvement fund or provision shall be made for the issuance of temporary improvement notes preliminary to issuance special assessment bonds to pay for such improvement. The bonds shall be issued to mature in not more than ten installments of approximately equal amounts each year, the first installment to mature in not more than two years after the date of issuance and the last installment to mature in not more than eleven years after date of issuance. In lieu of issuance of single installment bonds, the series issued may be divided into ten substantially equal groups, each group maturing each year on substantially the same schedule as though an individual bond was payable in installments. No series of bonds shall be issued in payment for any public improvement or improvements in excess of the actual cost and expense of all the improvements included therein, but the installment coupons shall include the interest on such installment to the maturity thereof. Bonds issued by the city shall be signed by the mayor and attested by the city clerk under the seal of the city. Interest or installment coupons shall be so signed, but may be signed with a facsimile of the signature of any such officer. The bonds shall be validated by the proper court as authorized by law and shall be sold or offered for sale in the same manner as other bonds of the city are sold. None of the said bonds shall constitute general obligations of the city, but shall be issued against the sole security of the special tax bills or special assessments issued or to be issued in connection with the various improvements covered thereby, or of any other special tax bills owned by the city which the council may desire to subject to the security thereof. Provision may be made by the council for calling or retiring any bond on installment thereof prior to maturity. The bonds shall recite the authority under which they are issued, and that they are issued in conformity with the provisions, restrictions and limitations thereof, and they, with the interest thereon, are to be paid by the city in accordance with this Charter. Such recitals, when the bonds have been duly validated as herein provided, shall impart absolute verity and shall be conclusive in favor of all persons purchasing said bonds, that all proceedings and conditions precedent have been had and performed to authorize the issuance of such bonds.
  5. The provisions of Section 5.21 of this Charter shall not be applicable to temporary improvement notes or special assessment bonds issued under this Article.

Approved by vote of the people November 8, 1955.

Section 10.19. Completion of existing public improvements

Public improvements for which proceedings have been initiated under prior Charter provisions may be carried to completion as nearly as practicable in accordance with the provisions existing at the time of commencement of the proceedings.

Approved by vote of the people November 8, 1955.


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