Within thirty (30) days after notice of an assessment, deficit assessment or reassessment for a local improvement is first mailed, if the assessment exceeds a minimum fixed by the Council, the owner of the property assessed may file a written application to pay the assessment in installments. The application shall provide that the owner agrees to pay the assessment in installments including interest and charges as specified by the Council. The application also shall describe the applicant's property assessed for the improvement. [June 7, 1915, new sec. 278; 1928 pub., sec. 278; 1942 recod., sec. 9-701; rev. Nov. 8, 1966; am. May 20, 1986; am. Nov. 3, 1992.]
After the time expires for filing applications to pay assessments in installments, the City official designated by ordinance shall enter all applications received in a docket kept for that purpose under separate heading for each improvement. Thereafter, that docket shall stand as a bond lien docket in favor of the City for the amount of the unpaid assessments docketed therein, with interest on unpaid assessments at a rate determined by ordinance, against each parcel of land assessed, until the assessments and interest are paid. All unpaid assessments and interest are a lien upon each parcel of land in favor of the City, and that lien shall have priority over all other liens and encumbrances. [New sec. Nov. 8, 1966; am. May 20, 1986; am. Nov. 3, 1992.]
After the bond lien docket is made up for the particular local improvement, the Council shall authorize by ordinance the issuance of bonds not exceeding the actual costs of the unpaid improvement assessments as shown on the bond lien docket. [New sec. Nov. 8, 1966; May 20, 1986; am. Nov. 3, 1992.]
Bonded assessments shall be paid in installments, plus accrued interest, penalties, and charges, as specified by ordinance. If payment of any installment is delinquent thirty (30) days, the entire unpaid balance is immediately due and payable, and the installment contract may be declared void. The property owner may execute a new agreement as provided by City Code, or the City may collect the total amount due in the manner as provided by ordinance. Prior to sale of the property for collection, the owner may remove the property from the sale list in the manner provided by Code. [New sec. Nov. 8, 1966; am. May 20, 1986; am. Nov. 3, 1992; am. May 18, 1994.]
After issuance of improvement bonds covering unpaid bonded assessment for a particular improvement, the City official designated by ordinance shall keep an account of money paid upon bonded improvement assessments separate from other City funds, as provided by ordinance.
Whenever improvement bonds issued upon bonded assessments are redeemable and it appears to the Council advantageous to redeem them, but money available in the sinking fund account is insufficient, the Council may transfer money from another sinking fund or sinking fund account as a temporary loan to the sinking fund account to be redeemed, to be repaid with interest at the rate fixed by the Council. The Council may authorize and provide for issuance and sale of new bonds upon bonded assessments to redeem outstanding bonds. Such new bonds shall be limited in amount to the amount of bonds to be redeemed from the proceeds, shall bear interest, be sold and be redeemable as provided in this Charter. In case of a temporary loan, if property owners fail to pay into the sinking fund a sufficient amount to repay the temporary loan, when needed, the Council shall provide money for repayment by the sale of bonds as provided in this Section. [New sec. Nov. 8, 1966; am. May 20, 1986; am. Nov. 3, 1992.]
To facilitate collection of delinquent assessments and to assist in financing local improvements, the Council may issue and dispose of bonds to be known as Assessment-Collection Bonds. The total amount of these bonds shall not exceed one million five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000) outstanding at any one time. The bonds shall be general obligations of the City and shall be issued and sold in any denominations in the same manner as other bonds of the City. The rate of interest thereon shall not exceed the maximum rate permitted under State law, and their maturity shall not exceed twenty (20) years.
Money from the sale of the bonds, after paying from the proceeds the costs of advertising and sale, shall be deposited in a special fund known as the "Assessment Collection Fund," which may be used under Council direction for purchasing property by and in the name of the City at Treasurer's sale or other sale for City assessments, and at foreclosure sales for delinquent taxes, to protect the interest and rights of the City in the property. Net proceeds from the sale of property purchased from the Assessment Collection Fund shall be credited to that fund.
In selling property purchased from the Assessment Collection Fund, or Treasurer's certificates thereon, no transfer of certificate of sale or deed to the City shall be held void or insufficient because of any omission, error, defect or objection, jurisdictional or otherwise, in the assessment or other proceedings if, at some stage of the proceedings before assessment was made, notice was given, and if the description of the property in the certificate or deed is reasonably sufficient to identify it. This provision is intended to be curative as fully as the people may enact, as to all matters affecting the validity of the certificate or deed. Every certificate of sale or deed shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity and sufficiency of all things affecting its validity. In any case where this curative provision is found insufficient, the money realized from the attempted sale shall be treated as not applying to the payment of the attempted assessment, and shall not discharge any obligation of the owner of the property to bear a fair and just proportion of the cost of the local improvement for which the attempted assessment was made. Proceeds from the attempted sale shall be refunded to the Assessment Collection Fund and the Council may make a reassessment against that property.
The Council may renew the Assessment Collection Fund from time to time by selling additional bonds, subject to the limitation in this Article on total amount.
The Council may provide for the sale and assignment of certificates of sale and the assignment or conveyance of the rights of the City in such property either before or after receiving the deed from the City Treasurer or from County officials; may provide for sale of the property under contract for not more than ten (10) years; may pay real estate commissions, court costs, legal and clerical services and all other expenses related to the purchase and clearance of title; may purchase or redeem any Treasurer's certificates of sale outstanding against the property; may pay any tax liens outstanding against the property; may transfer money from the Assessment Collection Fund to the General Fund, provided that provision is made for redemption of outstanding Assessment-Collection Bonds; may provide for waiving all or part of accrued penalties; may pay any bonded or open liens outstanding against the property and cancel assessments against it; and may enact ordinances to give full effect to this Section.
The Assessment Collection Fund may also be used to purchase and hold warrants issued upon any special local improvement fund formed or to be formed. The face amount and interest on warrants so purchased shall be credited, upon payment, to the Assessment Collection Fund. [New sec. Nov. 8, 1966; am. Dec. 14, 1971; am. May 20, 1986; am. Nov. 3, 1992.]