HOUSE BILL 1630
AN ACT TO REVISE AND CONSOLIDATE THE CHARTER OF LAGRANGE AND TO REPEAL PRIOR LOCAL ACTS.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
Section 1. The Charter of the Town of LaGrange is hereby revised and consolidated to read as follows:
"THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF LAGRANGE.
"ARTICLE I. INCORPORATION, CORPORATE POWERS AND
"Section 1.1. Incorporation. The Town of LaGrange, North Carolina, in the County of Lenoir, and the inhabitants thereof, shall continue to be a municipal body politic and corporate, under the name and style of the 'Town of LaGrange', hereinafter at times referred to as the 'Town'.
"Section 1.2. Powers. The Town of LaGrange shall have and may exercise all of the powers, duties, rights, privileges and immunities, which are now, or hereafter may be conferred, either expressly or by implication, upon the Town of LaGrange, specifically, or upon municipal corporations, generally, by this Charter, by the State Constitution, or by general or local law.
"Section 1.3. Corporate Limits. The corporate limits of the Town of LaGrange shall be those existing at the time of ratification of this Charter, as the same are set forth on the official map of the City, and as the same may be altered from time to time in accordance with law. An official map of the Town, showing the current Town boundaries, shall be maintained permanently in the office of the Town Clerk, and shall be available for public inspection. Immediately upon alteration of the corporate limits made pursuant to law, the appropriate changes to the official map of the Town shall be made.
"ARTICLE II. MAYOR AND COUNCIL.
"Section 2.1. Governing Body. The Mayor and Board of Commissioners, elected and constituted as herein set forth, shall be the governing body of the Town. On behalf of the Town, and in conformity with applicable laws, the Mayor and Board of Commissioners may provide for the exercise of all municipal powers, and shall be charged with the general government of the Town.
"Section 2.2. Board of Commissioners; Composition; Terms of Office. The Board of Commissioners shall be composed of six members, each of whom shall be elected for terms of four years in the manner provided by Article III of this Charter, provided they shall serve until their successors are elected and qualified.
"Section 2.3. Mayor; Term of Office; Duties. The Mayor shall be elected in the manner provided by Article III of this Charter to serve for a term of four years, or until his or her successor is elected and qualified. The Mayor shall be the official head of the Town Government and shall preside at all meetings of the Town Board of Commissioners. The Mayor shall have the right to vote only when there are an equal number of votes in the affirmative and the negative on any motion before the Board of Commissioners. The Mayor shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as presently are or hereafter may be conferred by the General Statutes of North Carolina, by this Charter, and by the ordinances of the Town.
"Section 2.4. Mayor Pro Tempore. In accordance with applicable State laws, the Board of Commissioners shall appoint one of its members to act as Mayor pro tempore to perform the duties of the Mayor in the Mayor's absence or disability. The Mayor pro tempore as such shall have no fixed term of office, but shall serve in such capacity at the pleasure of the remaining members of the Board of Commissioners.
"Section 2.5. Meetings of the Board of Commissioners. In accordance with the General Statutes, the Board of Commissioners shall establish a suitable time and place for its regular meetings. Special meetings shall be held according to the applicable provisions of the General Statutes.
"ARTICLE III. ELECTIONS.
"Section 3.1. Regular Municipal Elections. Regular municipal elections shall be held in the Town every two years in odd-numbered years and shall be conducted in accordance with the Uniform Municipal Election Laws of North Carolina.
"Section 3.2. Officers of the Town; Conduct and Method of Election. The officers of the municipality of LaGrange shall consist of a Mayor and six Commissioners. Beginning with the regular municipal election and primary to be held in 1975, the election shall be conducted on a partisan basis as provided in Articles 23 and 24 of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes of North Carolina.
"Section 3.3. Election of the Mayor; Election of the Commissioners. The Mayor shall be elected for a term of four years. In the 1975 election, the three candidates for the Board of Commissioners who received the higher number of votes shall be elected to terms of four years, and the three candidates receiving the next highest number of votes shall be elected for terms of two years. Thereafter, as the terms expire, the successors shall be elected for terms of four years each.
"ARTICLE IV. ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION.
"Section 4.1. Form of Government. The Town shall operate under the Mayor-Council form of government, in accordance with Part 3 of Article 7 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes.
"Section 4.2. Town Attorney. The Board of Commissioners shall appoint a Town Attorney who shall be licensed to engage in the practice of law in the State of North Carolina. It shall be the duty of the Town Attorney to prosecute and defend suits against the Town; to advise the Mayor, Board of Commissioners and other Town officials with respect to the affairs of the Town; to draft all legal documents relating to the affairs of the Town; to inspect and pass upon all agreements, contracts, franchises and other instruments with which the Town may be concerned; to attend meetings of the Board of Commissioners; and to perform other duties required by law or as the Board of Commissioners may direct.
"Section 4.3. Town Clerk. The Board of Commissioners shall appoint a Town Clerk to keep a journal of the proceedings of the Board, to maintain in a safe place all records and documents pertaining to the affairs of the Town, and to perform such other duties as may be required by law or as the Board of Commissioners may direct.
"Section 4.4. Town Finance Officer. The Board of Commissioners shall appoint a Town Finance Officer to perform the duties of the finance officer as required by the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act.
"Section 4.5. Town Budget Officer. The Board of Commissioners shall appoint a Town Budget Officer to perform the duties of the budget officer as required by the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act.
"Section 4.6. Town Tax Collector. The Board of Commissioners shall appoint a Town Tax Collector to collect all taxes, licenses, fees and other moneys belonging to the Town, subject to the General Statutes, the provisions of this Charter and the ordinances of the Town. The Town Tax Collector shall diligently comply with and enforce all the laws of North Carolina relating to the collection of taxes by municipalities.
"Section 4.7. Consolidation of Functions. The Board of Commissioners may consolidate any two or more positions of Town Clerk, Town Tax Collector, Town Budget Officer and Town Finance Officer, or may assign the functions of any one or more of these positions to the holder or holders of any other of these positions, subject to the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act.
"Section 4.8. Other Administrative Officers and Employees. Consistent with applicable State laws, the Board of Commissioners may establish other positions, provide for the appointment of other administrative officers and employees, and generally organize the Town government in order to promote the orderly and efficient administration of the affairs of the Town.
"ARTICLE V. PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS.
"Section 5.1. Street Improvements; Assessments of Costs. In addition to any authority which is now or may hereafter be granted by general law to the Town for making street improvements, the Board of Commissioners is hereby authorized to make street improvements and to assess the cost thereof against abutting property owners in accordance with the provisions of Sections 5.1 through 5.6 herein.
"Section 5.2. When Petition Unnecessary. The Board of Commissioners may order street improvements and assess the cost thereof against the abutting property owners, exclusive of the costs incurred at street intersections, according to one or more of the assessment bases set forth in Article 10 of Chapter 160A of the North Carolina General Statutes, without the necessity of a petition, upon the finding by the Board as a fact:
(a) That the street improvement project does not exceed 1,200 linear feet, and
(b) That such street or part thereof is unsafe for vehicular traffic, and it is in the public interest to make such improvement, or
(c) That it is in the public interest to connect two streets, or portions of a street already improved, or
(d) That it is in the public interest to widen a street, or part thereof, which is already improved, provided, that assessments for widening any street or portion of street without a petition shall be limited to the cost of widening and otherwise improving such street in accordance with the street classification and improvement standards established by the Town's thoroughfare or major street plan for the particular street or part thereof to be widened and improved under the authority granted by this Article.
"Section 5.3. Street Improvement Defined. For the purposes of this Article, the term 'street improvement' shall include grading, regrading, surfacing, resurfacing, widening, paving, repaving, the acquisition of right-of-way, and the construction or reconstruction of curbs, gutters and street drainage facilities.
"Section 5.4. Sidewalks; Assessment of Costs. In addition to any authority which is now or may hereafter be granted by general law to the Town for making sidewalk improvements, the Board of Commissioners is hereby authorized without the necessity of a petition, to make or to order to be made sidewalk improvements or repairs according to standards and specifications of the Town, and to assess the total cost thereof against abutting property owners, according to one or more of the assessment bases set forth in Article 10 of Chapter 160A of the North Carolina General Statutes; provided, however, that regardless of the assessment basis or bases employed, the Board of Commissioners may order the cost of sidewalk improvements made only on one side of a street to be assessed against property owners abutting both sides of such street.
"Section 5.5. Assessment Procedure. In ordering street and sidewalk improvements without a petition and assessing the cost thereof under authority of this Article, the Board of Commissioners shall comply with the procedure provided by Article 10, Chapter 160A of the General Statutes, except those provisions relating to the petition of property owners and the sufficiency thereof.
"Section 5.6. Effect of Assessments. The effect of the act of levying assessments under the authority of this Article shall for all purposes be the same as if the assessments were levied under authority of Article 10 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes.
"ARTICLE VI. SPECIAL PROVISIONS.
"Section 6.1. Authority to Construct a Health Center or Clinic.
a. The governing authority of the Town of LaGrange, in Lenoir County, is hereby authorized and empowered to appropriate from nontax funds the sum of at least ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for the purpose of acquiring a site and constructing thereon a health center or clinic for public health purposes or for use as a public health center, and the said Town of LaGrange is authorized not only to appropriate said funds but also to take any and all steps that may be necessary to acquire a site and to construct said public health center or clinic.
b. If and when the Town of LaGrange shall appropriate and make available the said sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for the purpose of a public health clinic, as mentioned in Section 1 of this act, then the Board of County Commissioners of Lenoir County is authorized, in its discretion, to appropriate and make available the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) from nontax funds for the purpose and as an aid to the construction of, and acquisition of a site for, a public health center or clinic in the Town of LaGrange. The expenditure of said funds shall be supervised by the Board of County Commissioners of Lenoir County if and when same are appropriated and made available the same shall be expended for the acquisition of said site and the construction of the public health center or clinic thereon according to a contract or agreement which shall be negotiated and entered into between the Board of County Commissioners of Lenoir County and the governing authority of the Town of LaGrange, which such contract or agreement is hereby authorized, and reciprocal resolutions, or a joint resolution, of the Boards of Commissioners of said Town of LaGrange and County of Lenoir shall be sufficient evidence of such contract or agreement.
c. If and when said site is acquired and public health center or clinic constructed, then with the joint approval and consent of the Board of County Commissioners of Lenoir County and the governing authority of the Town of LaGrange, any offices available in same may be rented to practicing physicians, such rentals to be approved by both authorities and the proceeds of such rentals shall be payable to the Town of LaGrange and the County of Lenoir as the interest of each authority may appear and according to the ratio of the funds appropriated by each authorities or board. The title to the site or property and any buildings for public health center or clinic purposes constructed thereon shall be owned and held by the Town of LaGrange and the County of Lenoir in proportion and in ratio to the amounts which each such authority or board shall appropriate for the construction and the purchase of the site of the public health center or clinic heretofore mentioned.
"Section 6.2. Retirement or Pension Fund for Employees.
a. The governing body of the Town of LaGrange is hereby authorized to establish or provide for a retirement system to provide for the payment of benefits to its employees or to their beneficiaries in the following cases:
(1) Retirement, because of age;
b. Such system shall include such officers and employees of the Town as shall be determined by the governing body. The Town shall contribute to the system in such amounts as it shall determine, in order to meet the liabilities accruing because of personal services rendered to the Town by its officers and employees; provided, however, that the system may also provide benefits which are based, partly or entirely, upon personal services rendered to the Town prior to the establishment thereof, and the Town may contribute the entire cost of benefits based on any such prior service. The governing body may provide that employees shall share in the cost of financing the system, upon such terms as it deems advisable. The expense of administering the system shall be paid as provided by the governing body and the governing body shall appropriate each year sufficient revenue to provide for the expense of the administration.
c. The system shall be maintained on a solvent actuarial reserve basis for all benefits beginning at its inauguration date, excepting the present value of benefits based on prior service.
d. The contribution required to cover the cost of benefits based on prior service, if any, shall be sufficient to fund the liability for such prior service in not more than 40 years from the date of establishment of the system.
e. The ordinance may provide for the appointment or election of a retirement board or board of trustees, and for the delegation to such board of such powers and duties as may be deemed necessary to carry out the intent and purpose for which the system is established. If such a retirement board or board of trustees is provided for, the said board shall consist of a member or members of the governing body, an employee or employees entitled to participate in the system, and one or more citizens of the town not officially connected with the Town nor entitled to participate in the system.
f. The Town may provide for the payment of one or more of the benefits enumerated in subsection b of this section by contracting with the governing body of any other municipality or municipalities in the State, with the United States government or any of its agencies or departments, with the State of North Carolina or any of its agencies or departments, or may contract with any insurance company or other corporation for the performance of any service in connection with the establishment of such fund, or for the investment, care, or administration of such fund, or for any other service relating thereto.
The Town or any other governing body, agency, insurance company, person, or corporation contracting with the Town for the investment, care or administration of said system may invest and reinvest the funds thereof in one or more of the types of securities or other investments authorized by Sections 58-79 of the General Statutes of North Carolina, as heretofore or hereafter amended, and by other State law, for the investment of assets of domestic life insurance companies.
g. Nothing in this act shall be construed so as to prohibit the Town from providing or continuing to provide Old Age and Survivors' Insurance, or Social Security coverage for its officers and employees as the same may be authorized by Federal and State laws, either separately or in addition to the fund authorized herein, or any other retirement or pension plan or fund authorized by general law or local act."
Sec. 2. The purpose of this act is to revise the Charter of the Town of LaGrange and to consolidate herein certain acts concerning the property, affairs, and government of the Town. It is intended to continue without interruption those provisions of prior acts which are consolidated into this act, so that all rights and liabilities that have accrued are preserved and may be enforced.
Sec. 3. This act shall not be deemed to repeal, modify, or in any manner affect any of the following acts, portions of acts, or amendments thereto, whether or not such acts, portions of acts, or amendments are expressly set forth herein:
(a) Any acts concerning the property, affairs, or government of public schools in the Town of LaGrange.
(b) Any acts validating, confirming, approving, or legalizing official proceedings, actions, contracts, or obligations of any kind.
Sec. 4. The following acts or portions of acts, having served the purposes for which they were enacted, or having been consolidated into this act are hereby repealed:
Chapter 100, Private Laws of 1869
Chapter 107, Private Laws of 1874-75
Chapter 35, Private Laws of 1879
Chapter 65, Private Laws of 1881
Chapter 7, Private Laws of 1885
Chapter 452, Public Laws of 1889
Chapter 532, Public Laws of 1897
Chapter 181, Private Laws of 1905
Chapter 335, Private Laws of 1915
Chapter 339, Private Laws of 1915
Chapter 640, Public-Local Laws of 1915
Chapter 218, Private Laws of 1929
Chapter 360, Public-Local Laws of 1937
Chapter 375, Public-Local Laws of 1939
Chapter 438, Session Laws of 1955
Chapter 1055, Session Laws of 1961
Sec. 5. No provision of this act is intended, nor shall be construed, to affect in any way any rights or interests (whether public or private):
(a) Now vested or accrued, in whole or in part, the validity of which might be sustained or preserved by reference to any provisions of law repealed by this act.
(b) Derived from, or which might be sustained or preserved in reliance upon, action heretofore taken pursuant to or within the scope of any provisions of law repealed by this act.
Sec. 6. No law heretofore repealed expressly or by implication, and no law granting authority which has been exhausted, shall be revived by:
(a) The repeal herein of any act repealing such law, or
(b) Any provision of this act that disclaims an intention to repeal or affect enumerated or designated laws.
Sec. 7. (a) All existing ordinances and resolutions of the Town of LaGrange and all existing rules or regulations of departments or agencies of the Town of LaGrange, not inconsistent with the provisions of this act, shall continue in full force and effect until repealed, modified or amended.
(b) No action or proceeding of any nature (whether civil or criminal, judicial or administrative, or otherwise) pending at the effective date of this act by or against the Town of LaGrange or any of its departments or agencies shall be abated or otherwise affected by the adoption of this act.
Sec. 8. If any of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.
Sec. 9. Whenever a reference is made in this act to a particular provision of the General Statutes, and such provision is later amended, repealed or superseded, the reference shall be deemed amended to refer to the amended General Statute, or to the General Statute which most clearly corresponds to the statutory provision which is repealed or superseded.
Sec. 10. All laws and clauses of laws in conflict with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed.
Sec. 11. This act is effective upon ratification.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified, this the 23rd day of June, 1980.