The Council may determine that the cost of improving or paving any street or the cost of constructing any sewers, bridge or wharf shall be chargeable against the City at large or may determine that it is a local improvement and that the cost thereof shall be chargeable in whole or in part against the property benefited.
[Amended by L. 1943, c. 710]
The Council shall proceed to make all public improvements or purchases for the cost of which obligations of the City (other than tax anticipation notes) are issued or the cost of which is assessed in whole or in part against the property benefited in the following manner:
A detailed estimate of the cost of such public improvement or purchase shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk pursuant to order of the Council.
A notice signed by the City Clerk shall be published at least once in each of two successive weeks in the official newspaper of the City of Newburgh stating that such detailed estimate is on file in the City Clerk's office and open for inspection and that the Council will meet on a day and at a time and place to be therein specified to hear all persons who wish to be heard either for or against the making of the public improvement or purchase.
[Amended 12-14-1998 by L.L. No. 4-1998]
After such hearing, the Council shall determine whether or not such public improvement or purchase shall be made and shall record its determination by resolution.
If it shall determine to make the improvement or purchase, the City Manager shall proceed to advertise and let the contract therefor in accordance with specifications to be prepared by such officer as the Council may designate and report his action to the Council.
Where the improvement determined on is the paving of a street, the Council may either determine the material therefor before the contract is advertised or may call for alternative bids and determine the material thereof after the opening of the bids and before the letting of the contract.
The City Manager shall have the right to reject any and all bids, but any person who for any cause may deem himself aggrieved by the award of any contract by the City Manager under this section may, within 48 hours after the report of such away is presented to the Council, appeal to the Council from such award by filing with the City Clerk written notice of such appeal. The Council shall, with all convenient speed thereafter, after giving all persons interested an opportunity to be heard, either confirm or reject such award. In case the award is rejected by the Council, the City Manager shall readvertise and relet the contract.
Whenever any real property, real estate or interest therein shall be required for any municipal purpose, except as otherwise provided by law, the City Manager may acquire for the City the necessary lands and real estate or interest therein by gift or purchase at a price approved by the Council or by the proceedings specified in the Condemnation Law or, in the case of property required for street purposes, by the proceedings provided by law for acquiring and ascertaining damages for property taken for purposes of street opening.
[Amended by L. 1927, c. 329; L 1943, c. 710]
Upon the completion of any local improvement, the City Clerk shall compute and ascertain the total cost thereof. In the total cost shall be included awards for the taking of real estate, rights or easements, awards for damages resulting from such improvements, all sums paid by the City for surveyors, engineers, inspectors, commissioners and witnesses' fees, the costs and disbursements of the Corporation Counsel for and on account of such improvement, the interest paid or accrued at the time of the computation on notes issued by the City to pay the expense of such improvement and all expenses incident to the improvement and the assessment therefor. After the City Clerk shall compute and ascertain the total cost of any local improvement as aforesaid, he shall certify the same to the Council.
The Council, by resolution, shall determine the improvement to be a local improvement, determine the property benefited thereby and fix the proportion of the cost thereof to be assessed against the property benefited and the proportion thereof, if any, to be borne by the City at large.
The proportion determined to be borne by the City at large may be included in the general tax levy for City purposes for the next succeeding fiscal year.
The proportion determined to be assessed against the property benefited shall be assessed against such property, and the assessment, when completed, shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk, who shall publish a notice in at least one newspaper published in said City that such assessment has been completed and will remain on file in the City Clerk's office for inspection by any person interested until a day to be in said notice specified and that on that day, at a time and place to be specified, the Council will meet to review such assessment and to hear any objections that may be made to any assessment thereon, and the Council shall have the power to correct, alter, amend, subtract from or add to any of the several assessments in such manner as, in its judgment may be proper and shall then confirm the said assessment. Such assessment shall then be delivered to the Collector with a warrant annexed under the Seal of the City commanding him to receive and collect the same in the manner provided by this Act for the collection of taxes for general City purposes, together with such fees, interest and penalties as may be fixed by the Council.
In all cases of assessment for improvements, there shall be included in the apportionment all the expenses connected with or which were incident to the making of the improvement and assessment.
Where the payment of any portion of the cost of improving or paving any street in which the tracks of a street surface railroad corporation are laid is imposed by law upon such corporation, that portion of the cost of such improvement may, in the discretion of the Council, be included in the total cost of the improvement for which obligations of the City are issued and may be levied as an assessment against such street surface railroad corporation and made payable in one payment or in such annual installments, bearing such equitable rate of interest as the Council may determine.
Where a street surface railroad corporation is chargeable with the duty of paving or otherwise improving any portion of any street in which tracks of such street surface railroad corporation are laid and has actually made such improvement at its own expense in compliance with an order or resolution of the Council, the City, in the discretion of the Council and upon written request of such street surface railroad corporation, may pay to such street surface railroad corporation the whole or any portion of the actual cost of such improvement paid by such street surface railroad corporation and levy the amount of such payment as an assessment against such street surface railroad corporation, payable in such annual installments bearing such equitable rate of interest as the Council may determine.
No action or proceeding to set aside, vacate, cancel or annul any assessment or tax for a local improvement shall be maintained, except for total want of jurisdiction to levy and assess the same on the part of the officer, officers, board or body authorized by law to make such levy or assessment or to order the improvement on account of which the levy or assessment was made. No action or proceedings shall be maintained to modify or reduce any such assessment or tax, except for fraud or substantial error by reason of which the amount of such tax or assessment is in substantial excess of the amount which should have been lawfully levied or assessed.
No action or proceeding shall be maintained to set aside, vacate, cancel, annul, review, reduce or otherwise question, test or affect the legality or validity of any assessment or tax for a local improvement, except in the form and manner and by the proceedings herein provided. If, in the proceedings relative to an assessment or tax, entire absence of jurisdiction on the part of the officers, board or body authorized by law to assess the same or order the improvement on account of which the assessment was made or tax imposed is alleged to have existed, or in case any fraud or substantial error, other than the errors or irregularities specified in the preceding section (§ C10.50), by reason of which substantial damages have been sustained, are alleged to have existed or to have been committed, any party aggrieved thereby, who shall have filed objections thereto within the time and in the manner specified by law therefor, may apply to the Supreme Court at any Special Term thereof, held within the judicial district in which the City is situated, for an order vacating or modifying such assessment as to lands in which he has an interest, upon the grounds in said objections specified, and no other, and upon due notice of such application to the Corporation Counsel. Each such application shall be made within 20 days after the confirmation of the assessment. Thereupon such Court may proceed to hear the proofs and allegations of the parties and determine the same or may appoint a referee to take the proof and report thereon or to hear, try and determine the same. If it shall be determined in such proceeding that the officers, board or body had no jurisdiction to make the levy or assessment complained of or to order the improvement, the Court may order such assessment or tax vacated. If it shall be determined therein that any such fraud or substantial error has been committed and that the party applying for such relief has suffered substantial damages by reason thereof, the Court may order that the assessment or tax be modified as to such party and as so modified that it be confirmed. A like application may be made to secure a modification or reduction of any such assessment or tax on account of fraud or such substantial error occurring in the performance of the work of the improvement on account of which such assessment or tax is made or levied, and it shall be determined in like manner. If, in any such proceeding, it shall be determined that such fraud or substantial error has been committed, by reason of which the assessment or tax of any such aggrieved party has been unlawfully substantially increased, the Court may order that such assessment or tax be modified by deducting therefrom such amount as is in the same proportion to such assessment or tax as the whole amount of such unlawful increase is to the whole amount of the assessment or tax for the improvement An order so made in any such proceeding shall be entered in the County Clerk's office of Orange County and shall have the same force and effect as a judgment. The Court may, during the pendency of such proceeding, stay the collection of any assessment or tax involved therein as against the parties thereto. Costs and disbursements of any such proceeding may be allowed in the discretion of the Court. No appeal shall be allowed or taken from the order made in any such proceeding, but the determination so made therein shall be final and conclusive upon all parties thereto. No assessment or tax shall be modified otherwise than to reduce it to the extent that the same may be shown by the parties complaining thereof to have been in fact increased in dollars and cents by reasons of such fraud or substantial error. In no event shall that proportion of any such assessment which is the equivalent of the fair value or fair cost of the improvement be changed or modified for any cause. No money paid on account of any assessment or tax shall be recovered for any cause, except the amount of the excess of such assessment or tax over and above the fair value and cost of the improvement In case of the failure of any assessment or tax for any cause, it shall be the duty the Council to forthwith cause the same to be reassessed and levied in a proper manner.
Two or more persons may unite in commencing and prosecuting the proceedings to vacate or modify assessments; and when two or more persons have commenced separate proceedings to vacate or modify assessments for the same improvement, the court before which the same are commenced or pending or a Judge thereof at special term or chambers may, by order, upon due application and notice, consolidate such separate proceedings into one proceeding.
Whenever any assessments made or tax levied under the provisions this Act shall be set aside or shall be decided by any court having jurisdiction thereof to have been improperly or illegally made or whenever it shall be ascertained that the proceedings under which said assessment has been made or said tax levied shall have been so far irregular and erroneous as to make the collection of such assessment illegal, then and in that case a reassessment shall be made with the same force and effects as if it had been an original assessment.
[Amended by L. 1943, c. 710]
Whenever the City Clerk shall certify to the Council the total cost of any local improvement, the Council may, by ordinance, direct that the amount of money necessary for the payment of the cost of such improvement shall be raised by the City.