The City may make such improvements as are authorized by this Charter and by law. The power to make public improvements may be exercised within or outside the City limits for the benefit of the City and its inhabitants.
All proceedings to make any public improvements except emergency work or repairs requiring prompt attention, ordinary maintenance work, work to be paid for out of the general fund of the City for which specific provision was made in the budget, or work to be paid out of the proceeds of any bond issue authorized by the vote of the people, shall be initiated by the adoption of a Resolution by the Council declaring the necessity of such improvement, specifying the general character and extent thereof, the probable cost, and method of payment thereof. If a special benefit district is to be created, the Resolution shall set forth the proposed boundaries.
Upon the adoption of such Resolution, the Council shall proceed to hold a public hearing if (1) the improvement, other than emergency work or ordinary maintenance work, is to be paid for in whole or in part out of the general funds of the City and specific provision therefor was not made in the budget, or (2) the improvement is to be paid for in whole or in part by special tax bills. Such public hearing shall be held not less than ten (10) nor more than thirty (30) days after the adoption of the Resolution.
The Council shall cause a copy of such Resolution, together with notice of the date of public hearing, to be published for two (2) consecutive issues in a newspaper of general circulation in the City, the first of which notices shall be published at least fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing. In addition, if the costs of such public improvement are to be paid for in whole or in part by special tax bills or other evidences of assessment upon real property, the Council shall cause a copy of such Resolution and notice to be mailed to the last known place of abode of the owners of all property, according to the City records, against which it is proposed to assess benefits for the payment in whole or in part of the cost of expense of such work or improvement.
If the Council, after such public hearing, determines that it is in the public interest that such improvement or any part thereof be made, it shall by Ordinance authorize such improvement, specify the method of payment therefor, and if any portion of the cost of the improvement is to be paid by special tax bills or assessments, the portion to be so paid, the boundaries of the district within which property is to be so assessed, and the basis on which assessments will be made.
[Ord. No. 2706-95, 12-13-1995 passed in election of 4-2-1996]
If at least sixty (60) percent of the resident owners of property who shall also own at least sixty (60) percent of the total front feet owned by residents of the City abutting on the proposed improvement or part thereof or included in a proposed special benefit district, and which property would be liable for the cost of the improvement, shall at least three (3) days prior to the public hearing file in writing with the City Clerk their protest against such improvement, the Council shall then authorize such improvement only on the affirmative vote of at least six (6) members.
The City Manager shall cause the Director of Public Works to prepare or have prepared, plans and specifications for the proposed improvement, and upon their completion shall submit them to the Council for approval.
When public improvement work, except emergency work or repairs requiring prompt attention, is to be done by contract, the City Manager shall advertise for bids in the manner and upon such notice as may be prescribed by Ordinance. The City Manager may reject any and all bids and readvertise the work. On receipt of the bids, the City Manager, unless he exercises the right of rejection, shall let the contract to the lowest responsible bidder and shall cause the contract to be formally executed by himself on behalf of the City and by the contractor. Such contract shall be confirmed by Ordinance before it becomes binding and effective. The contractor shall be required to give bond for the faithful performance of the contract and for the payment for all labor done and materials used in the improvement.
Public improvements may be paid for in whole or in part out of (1) the general funds of the City, (2) the revolving public improvement fund herein authorized, (3) the proceeds of bonds, and (4) special assessments on benefitted property which may be evidenced by special tax bills issued to the contractor. In case payment is to be made in whole or in part to the contractor by special tax bills, the City shall in no event be liable for the payment of such bills. Any such tax bills may be purchased by the City from the contractor out of any funds available for such purpose.
The Council, upon the completion of any public work to be paid for by special tax bills, shall, by Ordinance, direct the issuance of such bills. The tax bills so authorized shall thereupon become a lien upon the property charged therewith, which lien shall continue for ten (10) years from the date of issue, unless sooner paid or unless suit be brought to collect the same within that time, in which case the lien shall continue until the final determination of the proceedings to collect. In the case of tax bills payable in installments, the lien shall not expire until five (5) years after the date of maturity of the last installment.
There shall be no priority among special tax bills issued under the Charter, regardless of the date of such bills. They shall be payable to the party entitled thereto either at the office of the Director of Finance or at some bank or trust company in St. Louis City or County, at the option of the party so entitled. They shall promptly be registered in the office of the Director of Finance and delivered to the person entitled.
Special tax bills shall be prima facie evidence of what they contain and of their own validity, and no mere informality or clerical mistake in any of the proceedings shall be a defense. Such tax bills shall mature at such times and bear such rate of interest as may be prescribed by the Ordinance directing the issuance thereof, and at the request of the property owner, made in writing to the Director of Finance, at least thirty (30) days prior to the issuance of the bills, may be made payable in annual installments, not exceeding five (5). On default in the payment of any installment, the whole amount of the special tax bill shall at the election of the holder, become due and payable. All special tax bills authorized in this Article shall be assignable.
[Ord. No. 4457-16 §1, 1-20-2016 passed in election of 4-5-2016]
All property, whether publicly or privately owned, within the boundaries of any benefit district established by the Council, shall be liable for special assessments made or special tax bills issued against the property. Should any property deemed benefited by any public improvement be exempt from assessment by virtue of any provision of law, the proportionate share of the cost of the improvement which would have been assessed against such property, shall be paid out of the City funds.
If any such special tax bill or special assessment shall fail to be valid in whole or in part, or if for any cause, mistake, or inadvertence the amount assessed shall not be sufficient to pay the cost of such improvements, the Council shall have authority to cause such assessment to be reassessed.
When any public improvements to be paid for in whole or in part by special assessment are completed, the City Manager shall cause to be computed the entire cost and expense thereof, including any cost or expense incurred by the City. The Council shall levy and assess such cost and expense, or the part to be paid by special assessment as a special tax in accordance with the requirements of this Article.
The Council may make further provisions by general Ordinance, not inconsistent herewith, for special assessments, the issuance of special tax bills, the manner and basis of assessment, the collection thereof, and all matters incidental thereto.
There is hereby created a fund to be known as the "Revolving Public Improvement Fund." Such fund may be established and maintained from the following sources:
Appropriation from the general revenue funds.
Proceeds from bond issues as provided in this Charter.
Collection of special tax bills or special assessments, and any interest thereon levied or issued for public improvements previously paid for out of the said Revolving Improvement Funds.
The proceeds from the sale of special tax bills.
Any other source permitted by law or Ordinance.