Charles County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted and amended as indicated in text.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Bond sales — See Ch. 8.
Building projects — See Ch. 17.
County Commissioners — See Ch. 27.
Garbage — See Ch. 58.
Roads and bridges — See Ch. 104.
Self-liquidating projects — See Ch. 119.
Sewers and drainage systems — See Ch. 122.
Trash disposal — See Ch. 133.
Code of Ethics — See Ch. 170.
Liability indemnification — See Ch. 185.
Occupational safety and health — See Ch. 192.
Building construction — See Ch. 224.
Flood damage control — See Ch. 238.
Grading and sediment control — See Ch. 244.
Mobile homes and mobile home courts — See Ch. 257.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 274.
Streets, roads and sidewalks — See Ch. 276.
Subdivision regulations — See Ch. 278.
Trash disposal areas — See Ch. 284.
Water and sewers — See Ch. 291.
Zoning regulations — See Ch. 297.

§ 97-1 Administrative procedures and general regulations for the operation and maintenance of County water and sewer systems.

[1969 Code, sec. 78A, P.L.L., 1975, ch. 817, sec. 78A; 1976, ch. 149, secs. 78B(e)-78B(m);[1] 1977, ch. 63, sec. 78B(f); 1977, ch. 62, sec. 78B(i); 1978, ch. 522; 1989, ch. 140]
A. 
Abolition of water or sewer authority and/or districts created; effect.
[1991, ch. 248]
(1) 
Subject to Paragraph (2) of this subsection, the County Commissioners may, by ordinance or resolution, provide for the abolition of any water or sewer authority created by the County Commissioners pursuant to Title 9, Subtitle 9, of the Environment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and the abolition of any district created pursuant to Title 9, Subtitle 6, of the Environment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
(2) 
Effect.
(a) 
Abolition of an authority or district under Paragraph (1) of this subsection may not impair or affect the validity or enforceability of any proceeding or action taken or any obligations or indebtedness incurred by the authority or district or its governing body prior to the effective date of the abolishing ordinance or resolution.
(b) 
All existing obligations, whether bonded indebtedness or otherwise, of the authority or district shall pass to and be assumed by the County Commissioner by operation of this subsection.
(c) 
A copy of the ordinance or resolution shall be filed with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, which shall receive them and endorse on the copy the date and time of receipt.
(3) 
On receipt of the ordinance or resolution by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, the corporate existence of the authority or district ceases, and the authority or district is abolished. The property, powers, rights, duties and obligations of the authority or district shall pass to and be exercised by the County Commissioners.
B. 
Creation of a Department of Planning and Growth Management and a Department of Facilities; powers and duties generally.
[1991, ch. 248; 1997, ch. 88]
(1) 
Where an authority or district has been abolished, the County Commissioners may create a Department of Planning and Growth Management, Department of Public Facilities, and Department of Utilities, provide for the organization and functions of each department, appoint a Director of Planning and Growth Management, a Director of Public Facilities, and a Director of Utilities and delegate to the Departments all or any delegable administrative duties or powers provided in Title 9, Subtitle 9, of the Environment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland when an authority has been abolished or as provided in Title 9, Subtitle 6, of the Environment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland when a district has been abolished. The delegation may not include duties or powers pertaining to the issuance of bonds or the imposition of taxes, fees or charges.
(2) 
A Department of Planning and Growth Management may be granted responsibility for planning, designing, regulating, engineering and other functions and duties as may be assigned by the County Administrator, relating to the following:
(a) 
General County public works, buildings, publicly owned water and sewerage facilities and capital projects.
(b) 
Roads, highways, bridges and streets, lanes, alleys, footways and culverts.
(c) 
Water supply facilities and projects.
(d) 
Wastewater collection, treatment and disposal facilities and projects.
(e) 
Solid waste collection, recycling and disposal facilities and projects.
(f) 
Storm drainage, erosion and sediment control facilities and projects.
(g) 
Lighting for roads, highways, alleys and other public places.
(h) 
Fire hydrants, mosquito control facilities and programs and snow and ice removal.
(3) 
A Department of Public Facilities and a Department of Utilities may be granted responsibility for constructing, operating and maintaining and other functions and duties as may be assigned by the County Administrator, relating to the following:
(a) 
General County public works, buildings, publicly owned water and sewerage facilities and capital projects.
(b) 
Roads, highways, bridges and streets, lanes, alleys, footways and culverts.
(c) 
Water supply facilities and projects.
(d) 
Wastewater collection, treatment and disposal facilities and projects.
(e) 
Solid waste collection, recycling and disposal facilities and projects.
(f) 
Storm drainage, erosion and sediment control facilities and projects.
(g) 
Lighting for roads, highways, alleys and other public places.
(h) 
Fire hydrants, mosquito control facilities and programs and snow and ice removal.
C. 
Rules and regulations may be promulgated for a new Department of Planning and Growth Management, Department of Public Facilities, and Department of Utilities only after a public hearing is held by the County Commissioners. Notice of the public hearing shall be given in a local Charles County newspaper once a week for three weeks prior to the day of the hearing.
[1991, ch. 248; 1997, ch. 88]
D. 
The completed water and sewerage system of any housing subdivision development existing as of July 1, 1974, is exempted from the control of the Department of Planning and Growth Management, Department of Public Facilities, and Department of Utilities as long as it conforms to the standards set by the Departments.
[1991, ch. 248; 1997, ch. 88]
E. 
Continuance of sanitary districts as special taxing districts. When an authority or district is abolished as provided in this section, sanitary districts previously created in Charles County pursuant to Title 9, Subtitle 6, of the Environment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland shall remain special taxing districts for the purpose of levying charges, assessments and ad valorem taxes to retire the principal of and interest on bonds issued on the full faith and credit of the Charles County Sanitary District, Inc., and bonds issued by the County Commissioners pursuant to the authority of this section.
[1991, ch. 248]
F. 
Bonds.
(1) 
Issuance authorized; general regulations. For the purpose of providing funds for the design, construction, erection, repair, replacement, addition, extension, betterment, purchase or condemnation of and to a water system, sewerage system, solid waste disposal system and solid waste acceptance facility, as defined in § 9-601 of the Environment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, in Charles County, the County Commissioners may issue bonds on the full faith and credit of the County in amounts they consider necessary to make improvements consistent with that purpose and to provide the funds necessary to meet their cost. The cost, which shall include those elements of cost as defined in § 9-601 of the Environment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, shall be estimated at the time of the adoption of a resolution by the County Commissioners authorizing the bonds, but at no time shall the total issue of bonds outstanding and unpaid, which relates to improvements in any special taxing district for all purposes under this subsection, exceed 10% of the total value of the property assessed for County taxation purposes within the special taxing district. The authorizing resolution shall provide that the bonds of each issue shall be dated, shall bear interest at a rate or rates as may be determined by the County Commissioners, shall mature at such time, not exceeding 40 years from the date of issue, as may be determined by the County Commissioners, and may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the County Commissioners, at a price and under the terms and conditions as set by the County Commissioners prior to the issuance of the bonds. The County Commissioners, by the authorizing resolution, also shall determine the form of the bonds, including any interest coupons to be attached, any provisions for registration of the bonds or coupons, the manner of execution of the bonds, the denomination or denominations of the bonds, the place of payment of principal and interest, which may be at any bank or trust company, and may provide for other details as are incident to the sale, issuance and delivery of the bonds. Each of the bonds shall be issued under the Seal of the County and shall be signed by the chief executive officer and by the Clerk or Secretary of the County. All bonds issued under the provisions of this subsection shall have, as between successive holders, all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the laws of the State of Maryland. The issuance of the bonds is not subject to any limitations or conditions contained in any other law, including Article 31, §§ 9 to 11, inclusive, of the Annotated Code of Maryland. The County Commissioners may sell the bonds in a manner, either at public or at private sale, and for a price, at not less than par, as they may determine to be in the best interest of the County. Bonds issued pursuant to the authority of this subsection are exempt from state, County and municipal taxation in the State of Maryland. This subsection shall be construed as a specific grant of authority to the County Commissioners to issue and sell bonds in the manner prescribed in this subsection.
[1991, ch. 248]
(2) 
Disbursement of proceeds; issuance of additional bonds; disposition of surplus proceeds. The proceeds of the bonds authorized in this subsection shall be used solely for the payment of the cost of the project or projects on account of which such bonds are issued and shall be disbursed in such manner and under such restrictions, if any, as the County Commissioners may provide in the authorizing resolution. If the proceeds of such bonds, by error of estimates or otherwise, shall be less than such cost, additional bonds may in like manner be issued to provide the amount of such deficit and, unless otherwise provided in the authorizing resolution, shall be deemed to be of the same issue and shall be entitled to payment from the same fund without preference or priority of the bonds first issued for the same purpose. If the proceeds of the bonds of any issue shall exceed the amount required for the purpose for which such bonds shall have been issued, the surplus shall be used for the retirement of bonds of such issue as in the authorizing resolution provided or, in the absence of such provision, for application to the next maturing principal payment on such bonds or, upon adoption of a resolution by the County Commissioners, other projects within the special taxing district or districts for which such bonds were issued or the purchase of bonds of the same issue or series on the open market for such price as the County Commissioners may determine to be in the best interest of the County, provided that no premium in excess of 5% of the par value of such bonds shall be paid on the purchase of such bonds, and bonds so purchased shall be canceled.
(3) 
Issuance of temporary, replacement or refund bonds. Prior to the preparation of definitive bonds, the County Commissioners may, under like restrictions, issue interim receipts or temporary bonds, with or without coupons, exchangeable for definitive bonds when such bonds have been executed and are available for delivery. The County Commissioners may also provide, by resolution, for the replacement of any bonds which shall be mutilated, destroyed or lost. The County Commissioners are hereby authorized and empowered to issue bonds to refund, pay or discharge all or any part of the outstanding bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness, including interest thereon, issued as hereinabove provided for the purpose of providing funds for water, sewage and solid waste disposal systems or solid waste acceptance facilities in the County. The relevant provisions of this subsection pertaining to bonds shall be equally applicable to the authorization and issuance of such refunding bonds, including the terms, rates and other aspects thereof.
G. 
Water or sewer connection charges. For the purpose of constructing, maintaining, repairing and operating the County water, sewerage and solid waste disposal system and for the purpose of paying the principal of and interest on any bonds issued or to be issued by the County Commissioners as in this section provided, the County Commissioners are hereby empowered and directed to make, within each special taxing district as established in the County, a charge for every water or sewer connection. The charges herein provided shall not be limited to the cost to the County for making such connections. Such charges may be based on reasonable classifications as the County Commissioners may determine and may vary from time to time among such districts depending upon any special circumstances which the County Commissioners may find to exist. The County Commissioners are empowered to determine the manner in which such charges shall be payable.
H. 
Benefit assessments.
(1) 
For the purpose of acquiring or constructing County water and sewerage systems or any parts thereof or for the purpose of paying the principal and interest on any bonds that are issued by the County Commissioners as provided in this section, the County Commissioners shall fix an annual assessment on all properties, improved or unimproved, binding upon a street, road, lane, alley or right-of-way in which a water main or sewer has been built. The annual assessment shall be made using the front-foot basis or an alternate basis, subject to uniform rules and regulations as may be determined by the County Commissioners. The first payment shall be collected during the year in which the construction is completed on the water or sewerage system or in which the system is purchased or acquired.
(2) 
Classification of property; notification of assessment. For the purpose of assessing benefits, the County Commissioners shall divide all properties binding upon a street, road, lane, alley or right-of-way in which a water pipe or sanitary sewer is to be laid into four classes, namely: agricultural, small acreage, industrial or business, and subdivision property. The County Commissioners may subdivide each of these classes in such manner as they deem to be in the public interest. Whenever any water supply or sewerage project in the special taxing district has been completed and declared ready for service, the County Commissioners shall fix and levy an assessment for the remainder of the fiscal year on a pro rata basis upon all property in such district abutting upon the water main or sewer in accordance with the classification or subdivision thereof, and they shall notify, in writing, all owners of said properties into which class and subdivision their respective properties fall and the charge determined upon, naming also in the notice a time and place when and at which the owner will be heard. Such notice may be mailed to the last known address of the owner or served in person upon any adult occupying the premises or, in the case of a vacant or unimproved property, posted upon the premises.
(3) 
Determination of assessment generally; assessments for agricultural land. The classification of a benefit assessment made against any property by the County Commissioners shall be final, subject only to revision at the hearing as hereinbefore provided. The County Commissioners may change the classification of properties from time to time as the properties change in the uses to which they are put. The benefit assessment shall be levied for both water supply and sewerage construction and shall be based for each class of property upon the number of front feet abutting upon the street, road, lane, alley or right-of-way in which the water pipe or sewer is placed; provided, however, that in the case of any irregular-shaped lot abutting upon a street, road, lane, alley or right-of-way in which there is or is being constructed a water main or sewer at any point, the lot shall be assessed for such frontage as the County Commissioners may determine to be reasonable and fair, and provided, further, that no lot in a subdivision property may be assessed on more than one side unless it abuts upon two parallel streets, that corner lots may be averaged and assessed upon such frontage as the County Commissioners may deem reasonable and fair and that all lots in the subdivision property classification shall be assessed even though a water main or sewer may not extend along the full length of any boundary, and provided, further, that no land classified as agricultural by the County Commissioners shall be assessed a front-foot benefit when it has constructed through it or in front of it a sewer or water main until such time as the water or sewer connection is made, and when so made and for every connection, such land shall become liable to a front-foot assessment for such reasonable frontage, not exceeding 300 feet, as may be determined by the County Commissioners and shall be immediately assessed at the rate of assessment determined by the County Commissioners for agricultural land.
(4) 
Uniformity of assessments; exception. Front-foot benefit assessments for water supply and sewerage construction shall be as nearly uniform as is reasonable and practicable for each class or subclass of property throughout each special taxing district for any one year; provided, however, that whenever the County Commissioners require an existing system, other than a municipal system, the cost of construction of which has been added, in whole or in part, to the purchase price of land or lots abutting upon the system and which contribution the County Commissioners have determined to be a factor in the cost to the County Commissioners of such system, the County Commissioners, in their discretion, may levy a front-foot assessment less than the uniform front-foot assessment levied in the remainder of the special taxing district in which the system is located.
(5) 
Changes in assessments; payment. The amount of the assessment per front foot for each class of property for both water mains and sewers may be changed from time to time by the County Commissioners, in their discretion, in order to provide revenues for the purpose as specified in this section. The benefit assessments shall be paid annually by all properties located as above specified for a period of years coextensive with the period of maturity of the bonds out of the proceeds of which such construction was done.
(6) 
Connection and assessment of nonabutting property. The County Commissioners may at any time permit a connection with a water main or sewer by a property owner whose property does not abut on a water main or sewer and who has not previously paid a benefit assessment for the construction of the water main or sewer, provided that the County Commissioners classify the property and determine a front-foot assessment to be paid by the property owner as though the property abutted upon a water main or sewer, and if the connection is made, the property owner and the property, as to all charges, rates and benefits, stand in each respect in the same position as if the property abutted upon a water main or sewer.
I. 
Service charges.
(1) 
For the purpose of providing funds for maintaining, repairing and operating the County water, sewerage and solid waste disposal systems and for other expenses, including proper depreciation allowances, and for interest on and the retirement of bonds as provided in this section, the County Commissioners are hereby empowered to make the following charges:
(a) 
Water service charges. Rates for water service shall consist of a minimum or ready-to-serve charge, which shall be based upon the size of the meter on the water connection leading to the property, and of a charge for water used, which shall be based upon the water passing through the meter during the period between the last two readings. A meter shall be required to be placed on each water connection by and at the sole expenses of the County, and it shall remain the property of the County. Such rates shall be uniform throughout each special taxing district, but the County Commissioners may make such classifications as they deem advisable within any such district based upon quantities of water used. If the County at any time shall not have meters available to install in all the properties in a given locality that are connected to the system, then a flat rate shall be charged on properties in which meters have not yet been installed, which rate shall be uniform in each special taxing district and based upon the ready-to-serve charge and the amount of water used. If any bill for such charges remains unpaid after 30 days from date of sending, the County Commissioners, after written notice left upon the premises or mailed to the last known address of the owner, shall turn off the water from the property in question, and the water shall not be turned on again until the bill has been paid, including a penalty of $5.
(b) 
Sewer service charges and solid waste disposal charges. Sewer service charges and charges for the operation of a solid waste disposal system may be made on whatever reasonable basis the County Commissioners select, such charges being chargeable against all properties served by a County solid waste disposal system or having a connection with any sewer pipe under the supervision or ownership of the County Commissioners. Neither the dates of collection nor the intervals between such dates need be uniform throughout a special taxing district.
(c) 
Charges for the upkeep of sewerage systems. Charges for the upkeep of sewerage systems shall be made upon such reasonable basis as the County Commissioners may determine and shall be collected annually in the same manner as are front-foot benefit assessments against all property having a connection with a sewer under supervision or ownership of the County Commissioners. The charges shall be based upon such classifications as the County Commissioners from time to time may establish and shall be uniform throughout each special taxing district within each such classification.
(2) 
Bills for all or any of the charges described in this subsection shall be sent to the property served on an annual, semiannual or quarterly basis, in the discretion of the County Commissioners, and shall thereupon be payable at the office of the County Commissioners or such other place as they may designate. Any such bill remaining unpaid for 60 days after being sent shall be collectible, together with any penalty thereon, from the owner of the property served in the same manner and subject to the same interest as taxes are collectible in the County.
J. 
Publication and hearing requirements for proposed rates, charges or assessments. At such time as the County Commissioners may decide to exercise the powers under this section and establish rates, charges or assessments as provided herein or may decide to modify rates, charges or assessments which they have previously established, they shall promptly after each such decision, give notice of the proposed rates, charges or assessments, and their intention to hold a public hearing relating thereto, in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the County. The County Commissioners shall thereafter conduct a public hearing on the necessity or advisability of the proposed rates, charges or assessments.
K. 
Payment and collection of charges and assessments.
(1) 
Billing; subsequent action upon nonpayment.
(a) 
Annual benefit assessments shall be included on the annual state and County real estate tax bills issued by the County Treasurer. Annual benefit assessments shall bear interest at the same rate as County real estate taxes and are due and payable at the same time as County real estate taxes.
(b) 
The County Treasurer may not accept payment of state or County real estate taxes for any property unless payment of any annual benefit assessment is made at the same time.
(c) 
An annual benefit assessment or other charge as above specified, including any penalty or interest thereon, shall be a first lien upon the property against which it is assessed until paid, any statute of limitations to the contrary notwithstanding. It shall be subject only to prior state and County taxes. If any property is sold for state or County taxes by the County Treasurer and if, after sale, there is a surplus after all costs and expenses incident to such sale shall have been paid, the County Commissioners, upon proper petition to the Circuit Court for Charles County, shall be allowed any balance from the surplus and shall be a preferred lienor to the extent of their lien.
(d) 
Unpaid and overdue annual benefit assessments may be collected by a tax sale in the same manner as County or state real estate taxes.
(2) 
Notice of existing liens; maintenance of public records. For the purpose of giving notice to the general public as to existing liens and charges against any property within the special taxing district abutting upon any water or sewer main or connected thereto, the County Commissioners shall keep a public record of all names of owners of property, locations of all property, lot numbers when of record and the amount of any benefit assessments, water service charges or other charges that may become liens from time to time. These records shall be kept as a public record in the office of the County Commissioners or in any other place they may designate and among the land records of the County. They shall be legal notice of all existing liens within the special taxing district.
(3) 
Collection of unpaid charges; legal procedures and judgments. If bills for any charges other than benefit assessments, including any penalties or interest thereon, shall remain unpaid for 60 days after becoming due, they may be collected by an action of assumpsit or by a bill in equity to enforce the liens created and any judgment or decree obtained, where the defendants have been served by a subpoena or in any other manner provided by law, shall have the force and effect of a judgment in personam, and the County Commissioners may sue or file a bill in equity to enforce said liens against the owner of record at the time that suit is filed, or any owner of record between said dates, and publication thereon shall be notice to all persons having any interest in the property.
L. 
Payment of interest and principal expenses; levy of ad valorem taxes. The payment of the principal of and interest on any bonds issued pursuant to this section shall be provided out of the funds received under the provisions of Subsections G, H and I, respectively, of this section and, to the extent necessary, by a levy annually against all taxable property in the special taxing district, less the benefit assessments, connection charges and other available funds on hand or estimated to be received during such year applicable to the payment of interest and principal expenses for all bonds issued, provided that in the event that such sum so levied shall not provide a sufficient fund to pay the aforesaid interest and principal, respectively, then the County Commissioners shall levy annually an ad valorem tax upon all assessable property within the corporate limits of the County in rate and amount sufficient to provide for such payment when due, together with all accrued interest to the date of payment. In the event that the proceeds from such ad valorem taxes so levied in any fiscal year shall prove inadequate for the payment of principal of and interest on such bonds, the County Commissioners shall levy additional taxes in the succeeding fiscal years to make up such deficiency.
[1]
Editor's Note: Chapter 149 of 1976 added new Subsections (e) to (m). Section 2 of this Act provided that "the authority to issue bonds conferred on the County Commissioners by this Act shall be deemed to provide an additional and alternative authority for borrowing money and shall be regarded as supplemental and additional to powers conferred upon the County by other laws and shall not be regarded as in derogation of any power now existing, and all Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland heretofore passed authorizing the County to borrow money are hereby continued to the extent that the powers contained in such Acts have not heretofore been exercised, and nothing herein contained shall be construed to impair, in any way whatsoever, the validity of the bonds which may have been issued by the County under the authority of any of said Acts, and the validity of said bonds is hereby ratified, confirmed and approved. This Act, being necessary for the welfare of the inhabitants of Charles County, shall be liberally construed to effect the purposes hereof. All Acts and parts of Acts inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

§ 97-2 Authority granted.

[P.L.L., 1989, ch. 319; 1991, ch. 248; 1997, ch. 88; 1997, ch. 464]
A. 
In accordance with this article, the County Commissioners may:
(1) 
Acquire and improve private water or sewer systems or stormwater management areas after receiving a request that the private water or sewer system or stormwater management area be taken into the County system.
(2) 
Construct new or extend existing water or sewer systems or stormwater management areas after receiving a request for the construction of a new or the extension of an existing water or sewer system or stormwater management area.
(3) 
Levy an annual benefit assessment on the properties served or to be served by the water or sewer system or stormwater management area to reimburse the County for the costs of acquisition and improvement, and construction or extension.
B. 
After acquisition of a private water or sewer system or stormwater management area, or construction of a new or extension of an existing water or sewer system or stormwater management area, it shall be operated and maintained by the Department of Facilities pursuant to the Department's rates and regulations.
C. 
In the exercise of the powers granted by the Article, the County Commissioners, by ordinance, may adopt all necessary regulations and conditions for the acceptance, acquisition, improvement and maintenance of private water or sewer systems or stormwater management areas and for the construction of a new or extension of existing water or sewer systems or stormwater management areas. The ordinance shall provide for the method of determining the annual benefit assessments to be levied against the properties served or to be served by the private water or sewer system for the purpose of reimbursing the County for all costs of the improvement and acquisition or to be served by the constructed or extended water or sewer system to reimburse the County for the costs of construction or extension. The ordinance shall specify the time and manner of payment, which may not exceed 30 years. The County Commissioners shall charge interest on the amount of County funds provided to acquire, improve, construct or extend a water or sewer system or stormwater management area and shall determine the rate of interest imposed.
[Amended 6-7-2016 by Bill No. 2016-04]
D. 
Annual benefit assessments shall be a first lien upon the properties against which they are assessed until paid, subject only to prior state and County taxes. If any property is sold for state and County taxes and a surplus remains after the sale, then the County Commissioners, upon petition to the Circuit Court, may be allowed the payment of their lien.

§ 97-3 Notice to public.

[P.L.L., 1989, ch. 319]
For the purpose of giving notice to the general public as to the existing liens and charges against any property for the benefit assessments authorized under § 97-2 of this article, the County Commissioners shall keep a public record of all names of property owners, the location of the properties and the amount of the benefit charges. This public record shall be found among the land records of Charles County that are under the supervision of the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Recordation of the benefit assessments with the Clerk of the Circuit Court is legal notice of the liens.

§ 97-4 Benefit assessments.

[P.L.L., 1989, ch. 319]
A. 
On or before July 1 of each year, the County Commissioners shall certify its benefit assessments to the County Treasurer for collection from the property owners affected.
B. 
The Treasurer shall add the benefit assessments to the state and County property tax bills for collection, subject to discount and interest allowances or charges as are now provided by law for Charles County taxes on real property. If a property owner fails to pay a benefit assessment, the assessment sum may be deducted from any surplus in the hands of the Treasurer after sale, under order of the Circuit Court, for nonpayment of state and County property taxes. In the alternative, the lien created in favor of the annual benefit assessment may be enforced by bill in equity or by action at law.
C. 
A deed or conveyance of real property may not be transferred by the Assessor's office until proof of payment of all benefit assessments has been made to the Transfer Clerk.

§ 97-5 Required procedure.

[P.L.L., 1989, ch. 319; 1997, ch. 464]
Before the County Commissioners exercise the powers granted by this article, there shall be:
A. 
A petition filed by a majority of the property owners whose property is:
(1) 
Served or to be served by the private water or sewer system or stormwater management area that requests the County to acquire and improve the private water or sewer system or stormwater management area; or
(2) 
To be served by the constructed or extended water or sewer system or stormwater management area that requests the County to construct a new or extend an existing water or sewer system or stormwater management area.
B. 
A recommendation by the Director of the Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services to the County Commissioners on the length of the assessment based on the length and characteristics of any debt service required to finance the construction or improvement.
[Added6-7-2016 by Bill No. 2016-04[1]]
[1]
Editor’s Note: This bill also redesignated former Subsections B through D as Subsections C through E, respectively.
C. 
A public hearing upon the petition after 10 days' notice in a newspaper regularly published in Charles County.
D. 
The approval of the petition by the County Commissioners.
E. 
The passage of an appropriate ordinance under § 97-2 of this article that states:
(1) 
The improvements being acquired or improved or the construction or extension being constructed or extended.
(2) 
The property owners affected.
(3) 
All material terms of the annual benefit assessments to be levied to pay the cost of the improvement and acquisition or any reasonable portion of the cost as determined by the County Commissioners.

§ 97-6 Appeals.

[P.L.L., 1989, ch. 319]
A. 
Any interested person aggrieved by the levying of any benefit assessment under this article may appeal to the Charles County Circuit Court within 30 days after the final adoption of the ordinance by the County Commissioners.
B. 
The Court, sitting without a jury, may hear and determine whether:
(1) 
The County Commissioners fulfilled the requirements imposed by this article; and
(2) 
The benefit assessments were levied under the provisions of this article.