(House Bill No. 198.)
An Act incorporating the city of McMechen, in the county of Marshall, fixing its corporate limits, and prescribing and defining the powers and duties thereof.
(Passed February 24, 1905. In effect 90 days from passage. Became a law without the approval of the Governor.)
1. Corporate name; corporate rights and powers.
2. Corporate limits and boundaries defined.
3. Wards, when provided.
5. Qualification of voters.
6. Elections, when held, contests, etc.
7. Terms of officers.
8. Oath of office.
9. Council, of whom it consists.
11. Removal from office.
12. To hold but one office.
13. Meetings, times and place; power to compel attendance.
15. Majority members present required.
16./17. Powers of council as to streets, alleys, pavements, etc,; other duties as to crimes, ordinances, by-laws, fines, etc.
18. Process, complaints.
19. Mayor, powers and duties.
20. County jail to be used.
22./23./24. Appeals, proceedings in appeal cases.
25. Records to be kept.
26. Assessment of property; salary of assessor.
27. Levies, financial statement to be published.
29. Duty of records; notice of taxes due.
30. Account to be rendered; compensation.
31. Proceedings in case of failure to collect and pay over moneys.
32. Lien on real estate.
33. Duties of chief of police, his salary.
34. Violation of ordinances in presence of officers.
35. Petition to vote on liquor question.
36./37./38. Licenses, regulations, etc.; when license to expire.
39. Condemnation of lands.
40. Laying of sidewalks, payment for same; notice to non-residents.
41. Advertising for laying of sidewalks.
42. As to present officials.
43. Former certificate of incorporation annulled.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
Sec. 1. That the inhabitants of Marshall county, in this state, and now and hereafter residing within the boundaries prescribed in the next section hereof, shall be and they are hereby constituted a body politic and corporate, by and under the name of the city of McMechen, and as such and by and in that name shall have perpetual succession and a common seal, and may sue and be sued, contract and be contracted with, purchase, lease, hold and use real and personal property necessary for corporate purposes, an d grant, sell, convey, transfer, let and assign the same; and generally shall have all the rights, powers and franchises belonging or appertaining to municipal corporations in this state; and shall have and succeed to all the powers, franchises, rights, privileges, and immunities, and be subject to all responsibilities, which were conferred upon, or belong or appertain to the town of McMechen, by virtue of the certificate of incorporation granted by the circuit court of the county of Marshall.
Sec. 2. The boundaries of said city shall be as follows: Commencing at the southwest corner of the corporation of the city of Benwood, the same being on the west edge of the Ohio river, in the Ohio state line, where it crosses the mouth of Pinch run, thence with the south corporation lines of the city of Benwood north eighty-one degrees fifteen minutes east, crossing the river to a point in the mouth of McMechen's run; thence up the same with its meanders, north sixty- nine and one-half degrees cast one hundred and seventy-eight feet; south eighty-one degrees cast ninety-one feet; north eighty-six and one-fourth degrees east one hundred and forty-eight and five tenths feet; south eighty-four and one-fourth degrees east one hundred and forty feet; north eighty-eight and one-fourth degrees east one hundred and seventy-nine and five-tenths feet; south seventy-eight degrees east two hundred and twelve feet; south sixty-four and one-half degrees east one hundred and seventy feet; north eighty-eight and one-half degrees east two hundred and forty-seven feet; north eighty-six degrees cast one hundred and eighty-five feet; north fifty-two degrees east one hundred and eight feet; north seventy-four and three-fourths degrees east four hundred feet; south eighty-five and: three-fourths degrees east one hundred and sixteen feet; north sixty-eight and three-fourths degrees east two hundred and nine and five- tenths feet; north seventy and one-fourth degrees east ninety-two feet; north seventy-one and one-fourth degrees east one hundred and thirty-two feet to a point on the north side of the run, located south twenty-one and one-fourth degrees east seven and one-half feet from a large sycamore witness, standing on the north bank of the run; thence, leaving the corporation line of the city of Benwood, north seventy and one-half degrees east two hundred and eighty-five feet to a point at the forks of the run; thence up the south fork south seventy-seven and three-fourths degrees east two hundred and twenty feet; north twenty-seven and one-half degrees east sixty-nine feet; south seventy-nine and one-half degrees east eighty-five feet to a point in the run, located north fourteen and one-half degrees east thirty-eight feet from the northwest corner of a small frame house standing between the run and the McMechen cemetery fence; thence up the run south sixty-six degrees east one hundred and fifty-nine feet to a point in the original easterly corporation line of McMechen; thence with said line, leaving the run, south sixteen degrees east two hundred and fifty-one and ninety-five one-hundredths feet to a stake in a field located north seventy-three and one-half degrees east one hundred and three and twelve-one-hundredths feet from a gum tree stump, south of the cemetery fence, the said stake being also located south five and one-half degrees west eighty feet from extreme easterly corner of the McMechen cemetery fence; thence from said stake with the original easterly corporation line of McMechen, south thirteen degrees west six thousand one hundred and seventy-one feet to a point in the old bed of Jim's run, south of the present bed, and located south seventy-five degrees east seven, hundred and ninety-two feet from the centre of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad stone bridge; thence, leaving the original corporation line of McMechen, south eleven degrees east one thousand three hundred and ten feet to the north-east corner of the county bridge on the Reilly hill road, where it crosses a small run south of and flowing into Jim's run; thence from said bridge south twenty-seven degrees west forty-five and five-tenths feet; thence south thirty-nine degrees and ten minutes west, passing fifteen feet east of and parallel to the eastern line of Riverview as established by the east lines of lots numbers one hundred and thirty-eight and one hundred and thirty-nine, four hundred feet; thence north fifty degrees and fifty minutes west five hundred and five feet; north twenty-eight degrees and fifty minutes west three hundred and ten feet; south twenty-three degrees and ten minutes west six hundred feet; south thirty-eight degrees and fifteen minutes west two thousand one hundred and fifty feet to a point in or near a drain flowing into the Ohio river; thence down said drain north fifty degrees and thirty minutes west four hundred and three feet to a point on the easterly side of the Moundsville pike, located south twenty-eight degrees and twenty-eight minutes west four hundred feet measured along the easterly line of the pike from the south-west corner of lot number one in Riverview; thence crossing the pike and the Ohio river, north fifty degrees and thirty minutes west, at one hundred and eighty feet passing through a marked elm witness standing on the river bank west of the Ohio river railroad tracks to a point on the Ohio state line; thence up the river along the water's edge following the said state line, to the beginning.
Sec. 3. If at any time the number of inhabitants of said city shall exceed four thousand the council may divide the territory of said city into not exceeding five wards, having regard to the compactness of the territory included in each ward, and equalizing, as far as possible, the population of the several wards; and may from time to time change the boundaries of the several wards, so as to equalize the number of inhabitants in each ward, as near as may be.
Sec. 4. The officers of said city shall be a mayor, recorder, chief of police, assessor, collector and treasurer, health officer, street commissioner and (until said city shall be divided into wards, as provided by section three) seven councilmen. The mayor, recorder, chief of police, collector and treasurer and councilmen shall be elected by the qualified voters of said city. The other officers named shall be appointed by the council. After the territory of said city shall have been divided into wards then there shall be three councilmen from each ward, who shall be elected by the qualified voters of their respective wards.
No person shall be eligible to any elective office in said city, unless he is a qualified voter thereof, nor unless he has resided therein for at least one year before his election, and a freeholder of said city; and in the case of a councilman (after said city shall have been divided into wards) unless he is a bona fide resident of the ward from which he is elected, and the removal of a councilman from the ward in which he is elected shall vacate his office; and no person shall be eligible to any office in said city unless he is a tax payer and qualified voter thereof.
Sec. 5. Every person who has been a bona fide resident of said city for six months next preceding any election and otherwise a qualified voter under the constitution and laws of the state of West Virginia, shall be entitled to vote at such election, and (after said territory shall have been divided into wards) in the ward in which he resides. The council shall by ordinance provide for such regulations for the registration and listing of voters as may be rendered necessary by the state laws.
Sec. 6. The first election hereunder shall be held on the first Tuesday in March, one thousand nine hundred and six and thereafter biennially on the same day. The election shall be held, conducted, and the result thereof ascertained, certified, returned and determined under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by council, which shall not be inconsistent with the general laws of the state governing municipal elections, and conforming as nearly as practicable to such laws.
The council shall be the judge of the election, return and qualification of its own members and the other elective officers of said city. Contested elections shall be heard and decided by the council, and the proceedings therein shall conform as nearly as may be to similar proceedings in the case of county and district officers. In case two or more persons receive an equal number of votes for the same office, if such number be the highest cast for such office, the council shall decide by lot which of them shall be returned elected, and shall make their return and declare the result accordingly.
Sec. 7. The term of office for the mayor, recorder, chief of police, collector and treasurer and councilmen shall begin on the first Monday in April next succeeding their election and shall be for the term of two years, and until their successors shall have been elected and qualified. The other officers named shall be appointed by the council and shall hold their office during the pleasure of the council. The same person shall not be elected collector and treasurer for two consecutive terms, and any former incumbent shall be ineligible for a second appointment unless he shall have fully settled up the business of his former term or terms.
Sec. 8. Every person elected or appointed to any office in said city shall, within twenty days after his election or appointment and before entering upon the discharge of the duties thereof, take and subscribe the oath of office prescribed by law for officers generally, which may be done before the mayor or recorder of said city, or before any person authorized by law to administer oaths; and the same, together with the certificate of the officer administering the oath, shall be filed with the recorder of said city.
Sec. 9. The council shall consist of the mayor, recorder and councilmen, and all the corporate powers of said corporation shall be exercised by said council, or under its authority, except where otherwise provided.
Sec. 10. The council shall require and take from all officers elected or appointed as aforesaid, whose duty it shall be to receive funds, assets or property belonging to the said city, or having charge of the same, such bonds, obligations or other writings as may be deemed necessary and proper to secure the faithful performance of their several duties. All bonds, obligations or other writings taken in pursuance of any of the provisions of this act shall be made payable to the city of McMechen, with such securities and in such penalties as may be deemed proper conditioned for the faithful performance of their duties and for the accounting for and paying over, as required by law, all moneys coming into their hands by virtue of their offices and otherwise conditioned according to law; and the respective persons, and their heirs, executors, administrators and assigns bound thereby, shall be subject to the same proceedings on said bonds, obligations and other writings, for enforcing the conditions of the terms thereof by motion or otherwise, before any court of competent jurisdiction held in and for the county of Marshall, that collectors of county levies and other sureties are or shall be subject to on their bonds for enforcing the payment of county levies.
The council shall prescribe the powers and define the duties of all officers by it appointed, except so far as the same are by this act defined, shall fix their compensation, and may require and take from them, respectively, bonds, with such sureties, and in such penalties as may be deemed proper, conditioned for the faithful discharge of their' duties.
Sec. 11. The council shall have power and authority to remove from office any officer of said city, whether elected or appointed, for drunkenness, incompetency, misconduct or neglect of duty, or any nonfeasance, misfeasance or malfeasance in office, upon written charges preferred by a member of council or by any responsible citizen of said city, but only after reasonable notice to such officer, and a hearing of the charges preferred; and no such officer shall be removed except by a two-thirds vote of all the members of the council. And any vacancy in office however occasioned shall be filled by the council for the unexpired term.
Sec. 12. Neither the mayor, recorder, nor any member of council, shall during the time for which he is elected, be eligible or appointed to any other office under said city, nor shall the mayor, recorder, nor any member of council, be an employee of said city or of said council, in any capacity whatever, and no compensation shall be audited or paid for services as such officer or employee.
Sec. 13. The council shall fix the place and times of holding its regular meetings; may provide for special and adjourned meetings; shall have the power to compel the attendance of its members; and may prescribe rules and regulations, not inconsistent herewith, for the transaction of business and for its own guidance and government. The council shall be presided over at its meetings by the mayor or in his absence by one of the councilmen selected by a majority of the council present. The mayor shall have a vote only as a member of council, and in no case shall the presiding officer have but one vote. A majority of the council shall be necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. No member of the council shall vote upon or take part in the consideration of any proposition in which he is or may be interested otherwise than a resident of said city.
Sec. 14. The council shall cause to be kept by the recorder, in a well bound book, to be called "record," an accurate record of all proceedings, ordinances, acts, orders and resolutions, and in another to be called "ordinance book," accurate copies of all general ordinances adopted by the council, both of which shall be fully indexed and open to the inspection of any tax payer of said city, or any person who shall be otherwise interested. At each meeting of the council the proceedings of the preceding meeting shall be read, and if erroneous, corrected and signed by the presiding officer for the time being. Upon the call of any member the yeas and nays on any question shall be taken and recorded in the record. All printed copies of such ordinances purporting to be published under authority of the council, and transcripts of such ordinances, acts, orders and resolutions certified by the recorder under the seal of the city, shall be deemed prima facie correct, when sought to be used as evidence in any court or before any justice.
Sec. 15. No ordinance or by-law and no resolution or measure for the expenditure or appropriation of money, other than to defray the current and incidental expenses of the city, shall be deemed passed or adopted, unless the same shall be fully read and concurred in by a majority of the members present at two consecutive meetings of the council, held on different days, when it shall stand and be declared adopted, and not otherwise.
Sec. 16. The council of said city shall have power to lay off, open, close, vacate, alter, drain, pave and keep in good repair, the roads, streets, alleys,, pavements, sidewalks, crosswalks, drains and gutters therein, for the use of the citizens thereof, and of the public, and to improve and light the same, and keep the same free from obstructions; to regulate the width thereof, and to order the pavements, sidewalks, gutters and footways to be curbed and paved, and to be kept in good order, free and clean, by the owners or occupants of the real property next adjacent thereto; to establish and regulate markets, to prescribe the times and places for holding the same, provide suitable buildings therefor, and to ordain and enforce such regulations respecting said markets as the convenience or interest of the inhabitants of said city may require; to prevent injury or annoyance to the public or to individuals from anything dangerous, offensive or unwholesome; to prevent firing of guns, crackers, or any combination of gunpowder or other combustible or dangerous materials; to prohibit and regulate slaughter houses, tan houses and soap factories within said city, or the exercise of any offensive or unhealthful business, trade or employment therein, and to ordain and enforce such regulations respecting the same as the comfort, health and convenience of the inhabitants may require; to abate all nuisances within said city, or to require and compel the abatement and removal thereof, by or at the expense of the person causing the same, or by or at the expense of the owner or occupant of the ground on which the same are placed or found; to prevent horses, cattle, hogs, sheep or other animals and fowls of all kinds from running or being at large in said city, and as one means of prevention to provide for the impounding and confining of such animals and fowls, and, upon failure to reclaim, for the sale thereof; to provide for the making and maintaining of division fences by the owners of adjacent premises, and the proper drainage of lots or other parcels of land within, said city, by or at the expense of the owner or occupant thereof; to protect places of divine worship, and to preserve order in and about the premises where and when such worship is held; to prevent and punish desecration of the Sabbath day; to prevent and punish profane swearing; to prevent and punish the sale or exhibition of indecent pictures or other representations; to prevent and punish drunkenness; to prevent and punish the carrying of dangerous or deadly weapons of any kind; to punish for assault and batteries; to prevent and punish cruelty to animals; to prevent and punish lewd and lascivious, indecent and disorderly conduct; to suppress houses of ill-fame and arrest and punish persons visiting or loitering therein, or loitering in saloons or on the streets; to protect the persons of those residing or being within said city; to regulate the keeping of gunpowder and other inflammable or dangerous substances; to prevent and punish the illegal sale of all intoxicating liquors, drinks, mixtures and preparations, beer, ale, wine or drinks of like nature; to regulate and provide for the weighing and measuring of hay, coal, and other articles or products sold or offered for sale within said city; to erect or authorize or prohibit the erection of gas works, electric light works, or water works within the corporate limits of said city; to prevent injury to such works, or the pollution of any gas or water used or intended to be used by the public or individuals, and to do all filings necessary to adequately supply said city and the inhabitants thereof with pure, healthful and wholesome water; to use, generate, distribute, sell and control electricity and gas for heat, light and power, and to furnish light for streets, houses, buildings, stores and other places in and. about said city; to provide a sewerage system for said city; to establish and construct wharves and docks, and to repair, alter, or remove any landing, wharf or dock which has been or shall be so constructed, and to establish and collect rates and charges for the use thereof; to regulate the running and speed of engines and cars within the said city; to provide for the organization of one or more fire companies and provide necessary apparatus, tools, implements, engines or any of them, for their use, and, in the discretion of the council, to organize a fire department; to provide against damage or danger by fire, and establish and enforce such regulations as may be necessary to prevent or extinguish fires within said city; to regulate the erection and location of all telephone, telegraph, electric light or other poles within said city, and the extension of any wires, lines and poles by any individual or corporation; to regulate the construction and repair of all houses and other buildings within said city; to provide for the granting of building permits; and to cause the removal of unsafe walls or buildings; to grant and regulate all franchises in, upon, over and under the streets, alleys and public ways of said city for works of public utility and service, under such. restrictions as shall be provided by ordinance, but no exclusive franchise shall be granted by said council to any individual or corporation, nor shall any franchise be granted for a longer period than fifty years; to appoint when necessary or advisable a police force, permanent or temporary, to assist the chief of police in the discharge of his duties; to build, purchase or lease, and to use a suitable place within said city for the safe keeping or punishment of persons charged with or convicted of the violation of ordinances; to provide for the annual assessment of the taxable property, including dogs kept in said city; to impose a license tax on persons or companies keeping for hire carriages, hacks, buggies or wagons, or for carrying passengers for pay in any such vehicle in said city; to require a license for the doing of any thing for which a state license is required; to provide sufficient revenue for municipal purposes, and to appropriate such revenue to its expenses; and generally to take such measures as may be deemed necessary or advisable to protect the property, public or private, within said city; to preserve and maintain peace, quiet and good order therein, and to preserve and promote the health, safety, comfort and well-being of the inhabitants thereof.
Sec. 17. The council shall have and possess full power and authority to make, pass and adopt all needful ordinances, by-laws, orders and resolutions, not repugnant to the constitution and laws of the United States or of this state, to carry into effect these enumerated powers and all others by this act or by general .law conferred, or which may hereafter be conferred upon the said city or the council, or any of its officers, and to enforce any and all such ordinances, by-laws, orders or resolutions, by prescribing for a violation thereof fines and penalties, or imprisonment, or fines and penalties and imprisonment, in either the city lockup, or in the county jail of Marshall county, but no fine shall exceed fifty dollars, and no term of imprisonment shall exceed sixty days; and the council may provide for the employment of persons convicted of the violation of ordinances, or who may be committed in default of the payment of fines, penalties or costs, and who are otherwise unable to discharge the same, by putting them to work for the benefit of the city, and to use such means to prevent their escape while at work as they deem expedient.
Such fines and penalties shall be imposed and recovered, and such imprisonment inflicted and enforced, by and under the judgment of the mayor of said city, or in case of his absence or inability to act, by the recorder of said city, or in case of the absence or inability to act of both of said officers, by one of the councilmen of said city.
Sec. 18. The process in proceedings to enforce any ordinance prescribing a fine or imprisonment, or a fine and imprisonment, for the violation thereof, shall be a summons in the name of the city of McMechen, as plaintiff, directed to the chief of police, or to any constable in the county of Marshall, requiring him to summons the person accused of such violation, and who may be designated the defendant, to appear before the mayor at a time and place therein named, within said town, to make answer to such accusation, and be dealt with according to law. Such summons shall be signed by the mayor, and shall contain such a statement of the facts alleged as will inform the accused of the general nature of the offence against the city with which he stands charged, and shall be issued only upon the complaint, on oath, of some credible person. But the mayor by endorsement on the summons may order the person so accused to be forthwith apprehended and brought before him for a. hearing of the charge.
The recorder, as well as the mayor, shall have the authority to receive any complaint in writing of the violation of any ordinance, and to sign and issue the proper summons based on such complaint.
Sec. 19. The mayor shall be the chief executive officer of said city, and shall take care that the orders, by-laws, ordinances and resolutions of the council thereof, are faithfully executed. He shall be a conservator of the peace within said city, and shall have and exercise therein all the criminal and police powers and duties which a justice of the peace may lawfully exercise. Any summons, warrant, or other process issued by him may be executed at any place within the county. He shall have control of the police of the city, and may appoint special police officers whenever he deems it necessary and it shall be his duty, especially, to see that the peace and good order of the city are preserved and that persons and property therein are protected, and to this end he may arrest and detain, or cause the arrest and detention of all riotous and disorderly persons before taking other proceedings in the case. He shall have and possess authority to hear and determine all complaints for violations of the ordinances, by-laws, orders and resolutions of said city, and to impose such penalties and punishments as are prescribed by the ordinances of said city, and may exercise the power and authority belonging to a justice under sections two hundred and twenty-four and two hundred and twenty-five of chapter fifty of the code of West Virginia, in summoning and enforcing the attendance and examination of witnesses, in punishing for contempt, in granting continuances and in securing and enforcing the further attendance of the accused with a view to a trial or hearing. He shall have power to issue an execution for any fine and costs assessed or imposed by him, for the violation of any ordinance; or he may at the time of rendering judgment therefor, or at any time thereafter, and before satisfaction of said judgment, by his order in writing, require the immediate payment thereof, and in default of such payment he may commit the person so in default to the city lockup or to the jail of Marshall county, until such fine and costs are fully paid; but such imprisonment shall not exceed sixty days. He shall from time to time recommend to the council such measures as he may deem needful for the benefit of the city.
Sec. 20. The authorities of said city may, with the consent of the county court of Marshall county entered, of record, use the jail of said county for any purpose for which the use of jail or lockup may be needed by them, under the ordinances of said city.
Sec. 21. A book well bound and indexed, to be called the "docket" shall be kept in the office of the mayor in which shall be noted each case brought or tried by him, together with the proceeding therein, including a statement of the complaint, summons and return, the fact of appearance or non-appearance, the defence, the hearing, the judgment, the costs, and, in case the judgment be one of conviction, the action taken to enforce the same. The record in such case shall be signed by the mayor, or other person acting in his stead, and the original papers thereof, if no appeal be taken, shall be kept together and preserved in his office.
Sec. 22. In any case for the violation of an ordinance of said city, in which there is a judgment by the mayor of imprisonment, or a fine of ten dollars, or over, an appeal shall lie at the instance of the person against whom such judgment is rendered to the circuit court of Marshall county. Such appeal shall not be granted by the mayor unless within ten days from the date of the judgment such person shall enter into a recognizance; with security deemed sufficient, to appear before the said court on the first day of the next term thereof, to answer for the offence against the city with which he stands charged and not thence depart without leave of said court. The provisions of chapter one hundred and sixty-two of the code of West Virginia, relating to recognizances in criminal cases, shall be applicable to the recognizances contemplated by this section, but any money recovered thereon by virtue thereof shall inure to said city.
Sec. 23. If such appeal be taken, the mayor shall forthwith deliver to the clerk of said court, a transcript of the record, including the judgment, recognizance, and all the original papers belonging to the case, and said clerk shall receive and file the same and place the case upon the trial docket of the next succeeding term of said court, and the said court shall proceed to try the same in its order.
Sec. 24. If the accused shall be found guilty of a violation of the ordinance in question, upon such appeal, whether by the verdict or otherwise, the court shall ascertain by its judgment the fine or imprisonment, or the fine and imprisonment, to be paid or suffered by such defendant, having regard to the punishment prescribed by such ordinance, and shall include in any such judgment the costs incurred by said city, as well in the proceedings before the mayor as those in court, and the fees, if any, of the jailer or the keeper of the city lockup; and the proceedings to enforce the collection of any such fine and costs as may be provided in sections ten, eleven and twelve of chapter thirty-six of the code of West Virginia, except that the writ mentioned in the tenth section may be issued by the clerk upon the order of the mayor of said city and the notice contemplated by the eleventh section shall be given to such officer. If the judgment be for the defendant he shall recover his costs against the city.
Sec. 25. It shall be the duty of the recorder to keep a complete .record of the proceedings of the council, and have charge of and preserve and securely keep the records, bonds, oaths of officers, papers and other documents belonging to the city. He shall, in case of sickness or disability of the mayor to act, or in case of his absence from the city, or during any vacancy in the office of mayor, perform the duties of mayor, and shall be vested with all the powers necessary for the performance of such duties. He shall also perform such other duties pertaining to the fiscal affairs of the city, or otherwise, as may be required of him by this act or by the council. He shall receive such salary as may be fixed by council which shall not be more than two hundred dollars per annum.
Sec. 26. It shall be the duty of the assessor to make an assessment of the property within the city subject to taxation, substantially in the manner and form in which assessments are made by county assessors, and make return thereof to the council on or before the first day of July in each year, including in such return a capitation upon each male inhabitant of said city who has attained the age of twenty-one years. The latest accessible assessment of real estate for state and county purposes, including values, shall be used and adopted by him, and to this end he shall have access to the books and public records of Marshall county, without expense to said assessor of said city; but as to personal property he shall ascertain the same, the owners and value thereof, without being governed by any other assessment; he shall have the same powers and be subject to the same penalties in ascertaining and assessing the property and subjects of taxation in said city as are conferred and imposed upon county assessors by general law. The council may correct any error on his part in making such assessment, upon the application of any person aggrieved.
The council shall have authority to prescribe by general ordinance such other rules and regulations as may be necessary to enable and require the assessor to ascertain and properly assess all property subject to taxation by said city, so that such assessment and taxation shall be uniform and equal and may enforce such rules and regulations by reasonable fines to be imposed upon anyone failing or refusing to comply therewith.
The said assessor shall also list the number of dogs or other animals subject to a license tax in said city and the names of the persons owning the same, which list shall be returned to the council at the same time the assessment is returned.
He shall receive for his services such compensation as shall be fixed by council.
Sec. 27. The council shall cause to be made up annually and spread upon its record book, an accurate estimate of all sums which are or may become lawfully chargeable against the city, and which ought to be paid within one year, and it shall order at a meeting held by it in the month of July in each year, a levy of so much as will in its judgment be necessary to pay the same. Such levy shall be upon all real and personal property therein subject to state and county taxes, and an annual capitation tax of one dollar upon each male inhabitant of said city who has attained the age of twenty-one years. Provided, however, that such levy shall not exceed one dollar on every one hundred dollars of the ascertained value of such property until all property, both real and personal, shall be assessed at its : true and actual value, as contemplated by chapter four, of the acts of the extra session of the legislature of one thousand nine hundred and four, after which it shall not exceed fifty cents on every one hundred dollars valuation.
At least once in each year the council shall cause to be made up and published in one or more newspapers published in Marshall county, the financial condition of said city, including therein the revenue received from the different sources, and of the expenditures upon the different accounts the preceding year or portion of the year, as the case may be.
Sec. 28. The collector and treasurer of said city, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, shall execute a bond conditioned for the faithful performance by him of the duties of his office and for the accounting for and paying over as required by law, all moneys which may come into his hands by virtue of his office, with sureties satisfactory to the council, payable to the city of McMechen in a penalty of not less than three thousand nor more than five thousand dollars, as the council may prescribe. He shall be the custodian of all moneys, bonds, notes, certificates and other evidences of indebtedness to the city, together with all valuable papers which may he placed in his hands by the council. He shall be chargeable with and it shall be his duty to collect the city taxes, levies and assessments, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law and the ordinances of the city, and he shall have the same power and authority to distrain and sell therefor as is possessed by officers charged with the collection of state and county taxes and levies.
Sec. 29. Immediately after the annual levy is made it shall be the duty of the recorder to extend the taxes in the property books returned by the assessor, including as well the proper capitation tax, and make out therefrom proper tax tickets, and the same, having been examined and compared by the finance committee and found to be correct, shall be turned over to the collector and treasurer on the first day of September following the levy, or as soon thereafter as practicable, whose receipt therefor shall be returned to the council and entered upon its records, and the collector and treasurer shall be charged herewith.
The collector and treasurer shall immediately give notice by hand bills posted throughout said city, that said tickets are in his hands for collection, stating the penalty for non-payment thereof, and the place at which the same may be paid; to all persons who shall pay their taxes in full before the first day of October next succeeding paid levy, there shall be allowed a discount of two and one-half per centum on the whole amount of taxes so paid, and not otherwise; to all taxes remaining unpaid on the first day of January next succeeding said levy, a penalty of ten per centum shall be added; and the collector and treasurer shall forthwith proceed to collect the same from the person chargeable therewith by distraint or otherwise, the entire amount of taxes with which they are severally charged therein, with interest at the rate of one per centum per month, from the first day of January, until they are fully paid together with the penalty herein provided to be added thereto.
Sec. 30. It shall be the duty of the collector and treasurer, at least once in each six months, during his continuance in office, and oftener if required by the council, to render an account of the taxes, levies, assessments and other claims in his hands for collection, and return a list of such as he shall have been unable to collect by reason of insolvency or other cause, to which list he shall append his affidavit, that he has used due diligence to collect the claims therein mentioned, but has been unable to do so; and if the council shall be satisfied with the correctness of said list, it shall allow him a credit for such claims, but may thereafter take such lawful measures to collect the same as shall be by it prescribed. The collector and treasurer shall keep regular books of accounts, to be approved by the council, of all moneys received and disbursed by him, and of other matters pertaining to his office, which books shall at all times be open to the inspection of the council or any committee appointed by it for such purpose. All moneys belonging to the city shall be paid over to the collector and treasurer, and no money shall be paid out by him except upon the order of the council.
He shall receive for his services such compensation as shall be fixed by the council, not exceeding five per centum on the amount duly collected and accounted for.
Sec. 31. If the collector and treasurer shall fail to collect, account for or pay over, all or any of the moneys with which he may be chargeable, belonging to the city, according to the conditions of his bond and the orders of the council, it shall be lawful for the council to recover the same 'by action or by motion upon ten days' notice, in the corporate name of the city, in the circuit court of Marshall bounty, against him and his sureties, or either of them, or his or their executors or administrators. If the sum claimed does not exceed three hundred dollars, such recovery may be had before the mayor or any Justice of the said county.
Sec. 32. There shall be a lien on all real estate within said city for the municipal taxes assessed thereon, and for all fines and penalties assessed to or imposed upon the owners thereof, by the authorities of said city, from the time the same are so assessed or imposed, which shall have priority over all other liens, except the lien for taxes due state, county and district, and which may be enforced in the same manner provided by law for the enforcement of the lien for county taxes. If any real estate within said city be returned delinquent for the non-payment of the delinquent taxes thereon, a copy of such delinquent list may be certified by the council to the auditor, and the same may be sold for the municipal taxes, interest and commissions thereon, in the same manner, at the same time, and by the same officer as real estate is sold for the non-payment of state, county and district taxes.
Sec. 33. It shall be the duty of the chief of police to preserve order and quiet in said city, and to see that all subordinate police officers faithfully perform their official duties. He shall, with the consent of the council entered of record, but not otherwise, appoint one or more police officers as the council may determine. He shall before entering upon the discharge of his duties execute a bond conditioned for the faithful performance by him of the duties of his office, and for the accounting for and paying over as required by law. to the collector and treasurer all moneys which may come into his hands by virtue of his office, payable to the city of McMechen, with sureties satisfactory to the council in a penalty of not less than one thousand dollars nor more than three thousand dollars. He shall execute within the county of Marshall, any proper process issued by the mayor, in proceedings for the enforcement of ordinances; he shall collect, by levy of execution or otherwise, and duly account for and pay over to the collector and treasurer on or before the last day of each and every month all fines and costs imposed in such proceedings, taking the receipt of the collector and treasurer therefor. He shall also have all the rights and powers within said city in regard to the arrest of persons, the collection of claims and the execution and return of process, that are or may be lawfully exercised by a constable of said county and shall be entitled to the same compensation therefor; and he and his sureties shall be liable to all fines, penalties and forfeitures that a constable is liable to for any dereliction of duty in office, to be recovered in the same manner and in the same courts that such fines, penalties and forfeitures are recovered against constables.
He shall receive such salary as may be fixed by council which shall not be less than four hundred nor more than eight hundred dollars per annum.
Sec. 34. In case of a violation of any ordinance of said city committed in the presence or within view of the chief of police or other police officer, the offender may be forthwith apprehended and taken before the mayor, and a complaint under oath, stating such violation, there lodged and filed, and thereupon such offender shall be tried and dealt with according to law without summons or warrant.
Sec. 35. When twenty per centum of the legal voters of said city, as ascertained at the last regular municipal election, shall petition the council at least thirty days prior to the time of holding any general city election, the question of granting or refusing licenses for the sale of spiritous liquors, wine, porter, ale or beer, or drinks of a like nature, shall be submitted to the voters at such election. The persons voting on the subject of granting such licenses shall have on their ballots the words, printed, "For license" and "Against license." If a majority of the votes cast on this question be in favor of license, the council shall have authority, provided the consent of the county court of Marshall county be first obtained, and until such question be again voted upon, to grant such license to any proper person applying therefor; but if a majority of the votes so cast be opposed, no license shall be granted.
The council shall have authority to impose for the use of said city, a uniform tax upon such license at the rate of not less than three hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, in each instance, for each year. When any such license is granted by the council it shall take from the person so licensed, a bond with approved security, in a penalty of not less than three thousand dollars, payable to the city of McMechen, and conditioned as prescribed in section twenty-two of chapter thirty-two of the code of West Virginia. The council may provide for the punishment of such persons for the violation of any of the conditions of said bond, and suits may be brought and maintained against such person and his sureties on such bond, for the same objects, by the same persons in the same manner and with like effect as upon a bond taken under the section mentioned; and also for any fine and costs that may be imposed by the mayor for any offence against the city, under its ordinance, involving a breach of the conditions of such bond.
The council shall have the power and authority to revoke any such license for a breach of any of the conditions of such bond, or for other good cause shown; but the person holding the license must first have reasonable notice of the time and place of hearing and adjudicating the matter as well as the cause alleged, and he shall be entitled to be heard in person or by counsel in opposition to such revocation.
Sec. 36. The council shall have power and authority to require and grant licenses for anything to be done, (except as hereinbefore provided in section thirty-five of this act) carried on or exhibited within said city, for which a state license is now or may hereafter be required, for the keeping of hacks, carriages, carts, wagons, drays and every description of wheeled vehicles for hire within said city; to license hawkers and peddlers within said city, and the keeping of dogs within said city, and to subject the same to such regulations as the interests of the city may require; upon all such licenses the council shall have power to levy and collect a reasonable tax for the use of the city. The council may provide for the killing of all dogs, the keeping of which is not so licensed.
Sec. 37. The council shall prescribe by ordinance the manner in which licenses of all kinds shall be applied for and granted, and shall require the payment of the tax thereon to be made to the collector and the treasurer before delivery to the person applying therefor.
Sec. 38. The provisions of the twenty-ninth section of chapter thirty-two of the code of West Virginia, relating to state licenses, shall be deemed applicable to licenses of a similar character to those therein mentioned, when granted by or under the authority of the council of said city.
Licenses for the keeping of dogs shall also expire on the thirtieth day of April next after they are granted; all other licenses may be for such times as the council may determine.
Sec. 39. The council shall have the power and authority to condemn any lot, parcel of land; or other real estate, for streets, alleys, drains, market grounds, landings, wharves, public buildings, or for any other public purpose or work of public utility. Proceedings for the condemnation of real estate shall conform to the provisions of chapter forty-two of the code of West Virginia, and the costs thereof shall be borne by said city, except for contests involving a hearing in the circuit court, when the costs shall be recovered by the prevailing party.
Sec. 40. After having caused proper curb of brick, stone or other suitable material to be set and placed on any of the streets or alleys of said city at the expense of said city, the council may require the sidewalks or footways on such streets or alleys to be paved with brick stone or other suitable material as the council may determine, under the direction of the street commissioner, by the owners, respectively, of the lots or fractional parts of lots fronting or abutting on such sidewalk or footway, and if the owner of such sidewalk or footway, or of the real property next adjacent thereto, shall fail or refuse to pave the same in the manner or within the time required by the council, the council may cause the same to be done at the expense of the city and assess the amount of such expenses upon such owner, and the same may be collected in the manner herein provided for the collection of municipal taxes, and the same shall constitute a lien on said property, and may be enforced in a suit in equity in the name of the city, in the circuit court of Marshall county, as other liens against other real estate are enforced; provided, however, that reasonable notice shall first be given to said owners that they are required to construct such sidewalks or footways, and in case the owner is a non- resident of the state, the notice aforesaid may be given by publication for four successive weeks in some newspaper published in Marshall county.
The provisions of this section shall also be applicable to needed repairs to any of the pavements in said city, and to the substitution of new pavements for any which may have been heretofore or which may be hereafter laid and completed and which may be deemed insufficient.
Sec. 41. Upon the petition in writing of the persons owning the greater amount of frontage of lots abutting on both sides of any street or alley, between two cross streets, or between a cross street and alley, the council of said city may order such part of any such street or alley to be payed between the sidewalks with brick or other suitable material, under such regulations as may be prescribed by ordinance, upon the lowest and best terms obtainable, after advertising for bids or proposals therefor; two-thirds of the cost of such paving shall be assessed to the owners of the lots or fractional parts of lots abutting on that part of the street or alley so paved in proportion to the distance such lots or part of a lot abuts on such street, or alley; the other one-third shall be paved by the said city; in making such assessment the basis shall be the cost of paving that part of the street or alley on which the property lies included between the adjoining cross streets or alleys and the amount assessed against the owner of each lot or fractional part of a lot bears to the whole cost of paying said street or alley between said cross streets or cross street and alley as aforesaid. One-half of the sum so assessed shall be paid by the owners to the city within thirty days after the completion of the work, and the remaining one-half within six months thereafter, or at such other time or times as the council may prescribe. The intersection of streets, or of a street and alley, paved under this section, shall be correspondingly paved at the sole expense of the city. The assessment so made to any such owner may be collected in the manner herein provided for the collection of municipal taxes, and the same shall constitute a lien on such real estate, and like proceeding may be had and taken to enforce such lien or to recover from such owner the amount of such assessment, or on any instalment thereof, as those provided for in the preceding section in the case of pavements. Provided, however, that nothing herein shall he construed to relieve any street railway company or other public utility company from paving any portion of any of the streets or alleys of said city required under any franchise heretofore or which may hereafter be granted.
Sec. 42. All officers of the town of McMechen, as heretofore existing, acting as such at the time this enactment takes effect, shall continue to act as such until the first Monday in April, 1906, or until their successors, the officers herein mentioned, are elected or appointed and qualified, and shall exercise the powers, perform the duties and receive the compensation conferred by the charter of said town, by general law, or by the ordinances of said town. The ordinances of said town in force at the time referred to shall continue to have full operation and effect until amended, repealed or superseded by the council of the city hereby created.
Sec. 43. The certificate of incorporation heretofore granted to the town of McMechen by the circuit court of Marshall county, West Virginia, is hereby annulled.
Communities of West Virginia