Article 1. Municipal Property

§8-101    Falls City Code   §8-114

Article 1. Municipal Property

§8-101    MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; MAINTENANCE AND CONTROL.  The Governing Body shall have the care, supervision, and control of all public highways, bridges, streets, alleys, public squares, and commons within the Municipality, and shall cause the same to be kept open and in repair, and free from nuisances.  (Ref.  17-567 RS Neb.)

§8-102    MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; OBSTRUCTIONS.  Trees and shrubs, growing upon, or near, the lot line, or upon public ground and interfering with the use, or construction of any public improvements shall be deemed an obstruction under this Article.  Said trees, shrubs and their roots may be removed by the Street Commissioner at the expense of the owner of the property upon which the tree is located should the owner fail, or neglect, after notice, to do so. It shall be unlawful for any person, persons, firm, or corporation to obstruct, or encumber, by fences, gates, buildings, structures, or otherwise, any of the streets, alleys, or sidewalks.  No person shall erect, maintain, or suffer to remain on any street or public sidewalk or on any portion of the area between the lot line and the curb line of any street, any stand, wagon, display of merchandise, playground equipment, or any other obstruction injurious to, inconvenient and inconsistent with the public use of the same.  No person shall erect or maintain any gate or door which can swing out over any public street.  (Ref.  17-557.01 RS Neb.)

§8-103    MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; UNLAWFUL DRAINAGE.  It shall be unlawful for any person to allow the running of water over Municipal or private property.  It shall be the duty of every occupant or owner of land within the corporate limits to prevent stagnant water from accumulating thereon in such a way as to constitute a health hazard.  Any such drainage or accumulation shall be deemed to be a nuisance and the owner of occupant of any such property shall be deemed to be guilty of an offense.  (Ref.  17-567, 18-1220, 28-1303 RS Neb.)

§8-104    MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; PERMITTED OBSTRUCTIONS.  Persons engaged in the erection, construction, reconstruction, wrecking, or repairing of any building, or the construction, or repair, of a sidewalk along any street, may occupy the public street space with such building material and equipment as long as is necessary if such persons shall make application to and receive a permit in writing from the Governing Body to do so; Provided, no permit for the occupancy of the sidewalk space, or more than one-third (1/3) of the roadway of the public space adjacent to the real estate on which said building is to be constructed, erected, reconstructed, wrecked, or repaired shall be granted; and provided further, a suitable passageway for pedestrians shall be maintained within the public space included in the permit which shall be protected and lighted in the manner required by the Governing Body.  No obstruction permitted shall be construed to allow the obstruction of the free flow of water in the gutters.  The Governing Body may require the applicant to post a bond in such amount as it deems necessary to hold the Municipality harmless under the permit.  (Ref.  17-557.01 RS Neb.)

§8-105    MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; POLES AND WIRES.  Poles, wires, and other appurtenances of public service companies shall be erected or located over, upon, or under the streets, alleys, and common grounds or elsewhere, within the Municipality, only after application is made to the Governing Body and permission in writing is given to do so.  Public service companies granted right-of-way for the erection and maintenance of poles, conduits, and wires and all appurtenances thereto for the purpose of transacting their business upon, under, and over the streets, alleys, and public grounds of the Municipality shall at all times, when requested by the Governing Body, erect, locate, or relocate their poles and wires at such places and in such manner as designated by the Governing Body.  Such poles and wires shall be removed or relocated by such companies at their own expense when requested to do so by the Governing Body.  All poles and lines shall be erected in such a manner that they will not interfere with travel through the streets and alleys, or with any buildings.  When permitted, such pole lines shall be confined to the alleys, wherever possible.  

Whenever it becomes necessary for the Governing Body to use the ground where the poles or fixtures are located they shall notify the public service company or its agent at Falls City and the company, shall, within twenty-four (24) hours after receiving the notice at their own expense, cause the poles to be removed.  The Governing Body shall designate some place as close as possible where the poles or fixtures may be reset or placed.

§8-106    MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; SIGNS.  No person shall  hang any business sign or advertisement in any manner so as to project wholly or partially over any street or sidewalk of the Municipality, or suffer or permit any such sign owned by him  so to remain except as herein provided.  The person desiring to erect or maintain any sign shall make application to the Governing Body, which application shall give information as to the size, weight, and character of the sign and the distance it will project over the sidewalk, together with drawings or other data showing the method of securing and fastening the same.  Upon making such application, the person so applying shall pay to the Municipal Clerk a fee set by resolution of the Governing Body and on file at the office of the Municipal Clerk which shall be paid into the General Fund.  The Mayor or Municipal Clerk is hereby  authorized to issue permits on behalf of the Governing Body if  satisfied upon the information and data submitted that such sign will be safe and secure and not unsightly or a hazard to the public passing along such streets or to adjoining property.  The standard or globe of any whiteway pole shall never be used or approved for advertising purposes.  (Ref.  17-140 RS Neb.)   

§8-107    MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; AWNINGS OR MARQUEES.  No person, firm, or corporation shall erect, or maintain any marquee, signboard, poster, or rigid canopy over any street, sidewalk, alley, or on other public property without having first obtained a permit therefor.  Permits for signs, canopies, posters, and signboards shall be issued by the Municipal Clerk, subject to the approval of the Governing Body upon the payment of a fee set by resolution of the Governing Body.  The Mayor and Municipal Clerk are hereby authorized to issue permits on behalf of the Governing Body if satisfied upon the information and data submitted that such awning or marquee will be safe and secure and not unsightly or a hazard to the public passing  along such streets or to adjoining property.  All marquees and awnings extending over any public sidewalk, street, alley, or other public place must be securely fastened and constructed so that there will be no danger of the same being dislodged by ordinary winds,  or falling from other causes.  No marquee or awning shall be erected, or maintained, which extends over any public sidewalk, street, alley, or other public place in such a location as to obstruct the view of any traffic light, sign, or signal.  Upon the written order of the Governing Body, any person owning, or occupying, the premises where such a sign, canopy, poster, or signboard is located, shall cause the same to be removed within the time limit specified on such notice.  It shall be unlawful to erect or maintain any awning or marquee that is not elevated at least seven feet four inches (7 ft.  4 in.) at its lowest part from the top of the public ways and property and that projects over the public ways and property more than three-fourths (3/4) of the width of the sidewalk space.  (Ref.  17-140 RS Neb.) 

§8-108    MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; SPECIAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT; ASSESSMENT AND CREATION PROCEDURE.  The Municipality's Governing Body may, by ordinance, create a special improvement district for the purpose of replacing, reconstructing, or repairing an existing street, alley, water line, sewer line, or any other such improvement.

Except as provided in sections 19-2428 to 19-2431 RS Neb., the Governing Body shall have power to assess, to the extent of such benefits, the costs of such improvements upon the properties found especially benefitted thereby, whether or not such properties were previously assessed for the same general purpose.  In creating such special improvement district, the Governing Body shall follow procedures applicable to the creation and assessment of the same type of improvement district as otherwise provided by law.  (Ref.  18-1751 RS Neb.)   

§8-109    MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT; LAND ADJACENT.  Supplemental to any existing law on the subject, a Municipality may include land adjacent to such Municipality when creating an improvement district, such as a sewer, paving, water, water extension, or sanitary sewer extension district.  The Governing Body shall have power to assess, to the extent of special benefits, the costs of such improvements upon the properties found especially benefitted thereby, except as provided in section 8-110.  (Ref.  19-2427 RS Neb.)

§8-110    STREETS; DEFERRAL FROM SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS.  Whenever the Governing Body of a Municipality creates an improvement district as specified in section 8-109 which includes land adjacent to the Municipality which is within an agricultural use zone and is used exclusively for agricultural use, the owners of record title of such adjacent land may apply for a deferral from special assessments.  For purposes of this section, the terms agricultural use and agricultural use zone shall have the meaning specified in section 77-1343 Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska 1943.   

Any owner of record title eligible for the deferral granted by this section shall, to secure such assessment, make application to the Governing Body of the Municipality within ninety (90) days after creation of an improvement district as specified in section 8-109.  Any owner of record title who makes application for the deferral provided by this section shall notify the County Register of Deeds of such application in writing prior to approval by the Governing Body.  The Governing Body shall approve the application of any owner of record title upon determination that the property (a) is within an agricultural use zone and is used exclusively for agricultural use, and (b) the owner has met the requirements of this section.

The deferral provided for in this section shall be terminated upon any of the following events:

1.  Notification by the owner of record title to the Governing Body to remove such deferral;    

2.   Sale or transfer to a new owner who does not make a new application within sixty (60) days of the sale or transfer, except as provided in subdivision 3 of this section;  

3.  Transfer by reason of death of a former owner to a new owner who does not make application within one hundred twenty-five (125) days of the transfer;  

4.  The land is no longer being used as agricultural land; or

5.   Change of zoning to other than an agricultural zone.

Whenever property which has received a deferral pursuant to this section becomes disqualified for such deferral, the owner of record title of such property shall pay to the Municipality an amount equal to:

A. The total amount of special assessments which would have been assessed against such property, to the extent of special benefits, had such deferral not been granted; and  

B.   Interest upon the special assessments not paid each year at the rate of six percent (6%) from the dates at which such assessments would have been payable if no deferral had been granted.

In cases where the deferral provided by this section is terminated as a result of a sale or transfer described in subdivision 2 or 3 of this section the lien for assessments and interest shall attach as of the day preceding such sale or transfer.  (Ref.  19-2428 through 19-2431 RS Neb.) 

§ 8-110.01    MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; SALE AND CONVEYANCE. (1) Except as provided in subsection (9) of this section, the power of the Municipality to convey any real property owned by it, including land used for park purposes and public squares, except real property used in the operation of public utilities, shall be exercised by resolution, directing the sale at public auction or by sealed bid of such real property and the manner and terms thereof, except that such real property shall not be sold at public auction or by sealed bid when:

(a)  Such real property is being sold in compliance with the requirements of federal or state grants or programs;

(b)  Such real property is being conveyed to another public agency; or

(c)  Such real property consists of streets and alleys.

(2) The Governing Body may establish a minimum price for such real property at which bidding shall begin or shall serve as a minimum for a sealed bid.

(3)  After the passage of the resolution directing the sale, notice of all proposed sales of real property described in subsection (1) of this section and the terms thereof shall be published once each week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a legal newspaper published in or of general circulation in the Municipality.

(4)   If within thirty (30) days after the third publication of the notice a remonstrance against such sale is signed by registered voters of the Municipality equal in number to thirty percent (30%) of the registered voters of the Municipality voting at the last regular municipal election held therein and is filed with the Governing Body, such real property shall not then, nor within one (1) year thereafter, be sold.  If the date for filing the remonstrance falls upon a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the signatures shall be collected within the thirty-day period, but the filing shall be considered timely if filed or postmarked on or before the next business day.

(5)  Upon the receipt of the remonstrance, the Governing Body, with the aid and assistance of the Election Commissioner or County Clerk, shall determine the validity and sufficiency of signatures on the remonstrance.  The Governing Body shall deliver the remonstrance to the Election Commissioner or County Clerk by hand carrier, by use of law enforcement officials, or by certified mail, return receipt requested.  Upon receipt of the remonstrance, the Election Commissioner or County Clerk shall issue the Governing Body a written receipt that the remonstrance is in the custody of the Election Commissioner or County Clerk.  The Election Commissioner or County Clerk shall also compare the signer’s printed name, street and number or voting precinct, and municipal or post office address with the voter registration records to determine whether the signer was a registered voter.  The signature and address shall be presumed to be valid only if the Election Commissioner or County Clerk determines that the printed name, street and number or voting precinct, and municipal or post office address matches the registration records and that the registration was received on or before the date on which the remonstrance was filed with the Governing Body.  The determinations of the Election Commissioner or County Clerk may be rebutted by any credible evidence which the Governing Body finds sufficient.  The express purpose of the comparison of names and addresses with the voter registration records, in addition to helping to determine the validity of the remonstrance, the sufficiency of the remonstrance, and the qualification s of the signer, shall be to prevent fraud, deception, and misrepresentation in the remonstrance process.  Upon completion of the comparison of names and addresses with the voter registration records, the Election Commissioner or County Clerk shall prepare in writing a certification under the seal setting forth the name and address of each signer found not to be a registered voter and the signature page number and line number where the name is found, and if the reason for the invalidity of the signature or address is other than the nonregistration of the signer, the Election Commissioner or County Clerk shall set forth the reason for the invalidity of the signature.  If the Election Commissioner or County Clerk determines that a signer has affixed his or her signature more than once to the remonstrance and that only one person is registered by that name, the Election Commissioner or County Clerk shall prepare in writing a certification under seal setting forth the name of the duplicate signature and shall certify to the Governing Body the number of valid signatures necessary to constitute a valid remonstrance.  The Election Commissioner or County Clerk shall deliver the remonstrance and the certifications to the Governing Body within forty (40) days after the receipt of the remonstrance from the Governing Body.  The delivery shall be by hand carrier, by use of law enforcement officials, or by certified mail, return receipt requested.  Not more than twenty (20) signatures on one signature page shall be counted.

(6)   The Governing Body shall, within thirty (30) days after the receipt of the remonstrance and certifications from the Election Commissioner or County Clerk, hold a public hearing to review the remonstrance and certifications and receive testimony regarding them.  The Governing Body shall, following the hearing, vote on whether or not the remonstrance is valid and shall uphold the remonstrance if sufficient valid signatures have been received.

(7)  Real estate now owned or hereafter owned by the Municipality may be conveyed without consideration to the State of Nebraska for state armory sites or, if acquired for state armory sites, such real property shall be conveyed strictly in accordance with the conditions of sections 18-1001 to 18-1006 RS Neb.

(8)   Following (a) passage of the resolution directing a sale, (b) publishing of the notice of the proposed sale, and (c) passing of the thirty-day right-of-remonstrance period, the real  property shall then be sold.  Such sale shall be confirmed by passage of an ordinance stating the name of the purchaser and terms of the sale.  The Municipal Clerk shall upon passage of such ordinance certify the name of the purchaser to the Register of Deeds of the county in which the real property is located.

(9)   Subsections (1) to (8) of this section shall not apply to the sale of real property if the authorizing resolution directs the sale of an item or items of real property, the total fair market value of which is less than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00).  Following passage of the resolution directing the sale of the real property, notice of the sale shall be posted in three (3) prominent places within the Municipality for a period of not less than seven (7) days prior to the sale of the real property.  The notice shall give a general description of the real  property offered for sale and state the terms and conditions of sale.  Confirmation of the sale by passage of an ordinance may be required.

(10)   Except as provided in subsection (11) of this section, the power of the Municipality to convey any personal property owned by it shall be exercised by resolution directing the sale and the manner and terms of the sale.  Following passage of the resolution directing the sale of the personal property, notice of the sale shall be posted in three (3) prominent places within the Municipality for a period of not less than seven (7) days prior to the sale of the property.  If the fair market value of the personal  property is greater than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), notice of the sale shall also be published once in a legal newspaper published in or of general circulation in the Municipality at least seven (7) days prior to the sale of the personal property.  The notice shall give a general description of the personal property offered for sale and state the terms and conditions of sale.  Confirmation of the sale by passage of an ordinance may be required.

(11)   Personal property may be conveyed notwithstanding the procedure in subsection (10) of this section when (a) such property is being sold in compliance with the requirements of federal or state grants or programs or (b) such property is being conveyed to another public agency.   (Ref. 17-503, 17-503.01 RS Neb.)  (Ord. #99-126; Ord. #09-100)

§8-111    MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY; CONSTRUCTION; ELECTIONS, WHEN REQUIRED.  (1) The Municipality is authorized and empowered to (a) purchase, (b) accept by gift or devise, (c) purchase real estate upon which to erect, and (d) erect a building or buildings for an auditorium, fire station, Municipal building, or community house for housing Municipal enterprises and social and recreation purposes, and other public buildings, and maintain, manage, and operate the same for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Municipality.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, before any such purchase can be made or building erected, the question shall be submitted to the electors of the Municipality at a general Municipal election or at an election duly called for that purpose, or as set forth in section 17-954 RS Neb., and be adopted by a majority of the electors voting on such question.

(3) If the funds to be used to finance the purchase or construction of a building pursuant to this section are available other than through a bond issue, then either:

(a) Notice of the proposed purchase or construction shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Municipality and no election shall be required to approve the purchase or construction unless within thirty (30) days after the publication of the notice, a remonstrance against the purchase or construction is signed by registered voters of the Municipality equal in number to fifteen percent (15%) of the registered voters of the Municipality voting at the last regular Municipal election held therein and is filed with the Governing Body.  If the date for filing the remonstrance falls upon a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the signatures shall be considered timely if filed or postmarked on or before the next business day.  If a remonstrance with the necessary number of qualified signatures is timely filed, the question shall be submitted to the voters of the Municipality at a general Municipal election or a special election duly called for that purpose.  If the purchase or construction is not approved, the property involved shall not then, nor within one (1) year following the election, be purchased or constructed; or

(b) The Governing Body may proceed without providing the notice and right of remonstrance required in subdivision (a) of this subsection if the property can be purchased below the fair market value as determined by an appraisal, there is a willing seller, and the purchase price is less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00).  The purchase shall be approved by the Governing Body after notice and public hearing as provided in section 18-1755 RS Neb.  (Ref. 17-953, 17-953.01 RS Neb.)(Amended by Ord. 96-121)

§8-112  MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY; APPRAISAL.  The Municipality shall not purchase, lease-purchase, or acquire for consideration real property having an estimated value of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) or more unless an appraisal of such property has been performed by a certified real estate appraiser.  (Ref.  13-403 RS Neb.) Added Ord.  95-113.

§8-114.  MUNICIPAL PROPERTY; PUBLIC WORKS INVOLVING ARCHITECTURE OR ENGINEERING; REQUIREMENTS.  (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the Municipality shall not engage in the construction of any public works involving architecture or engineering unless the plans, specifications, and estimates have been prepared and the construction has been observed by an architect, a professional engineer, or a person under the direct supervision of an architect, professional engineer, or those under the direct supervision of an architect or professional engineer.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to the following activities:

(a)  Any public works project with contemplated expenditures for the completed project that do not exceed forty thousand dollars ($40,000);

(b)  Any alteration, renovation, or remodeling of a building if the alteration, renovation, or remodeling does not affect architectural or engineering safety features of the building;

(c) Performance of professional services for itself if the Municipality appoints a municipal engineer or employs a full-time person licensed under the Engineers and Architects Regulation Act who is in responsible charge of architectural or engineering work;

(d) The practice of any other certified trade or legally recognized profession;

(e) Earthmoving and related work associated with soil and water conservation practices performed on any land owned by the Municipality that is not subject to a permit from the Department of Water Resources;

(f) The work of employees and agents of the Municipality performing, in accordance with other requirements of law, their customary duties in the administration and enforcement of codes, permit programs, and land-use regulations and their customary duties in utility and public works construction, operation, and maintenance.

(g) Those services ordinarily performed by subordinates under direct supervision of a professional engineer or those commonly designated as locomotive, stationary, marine operating engineers, power plant operating engineers, or manufacturers who supervise the operation of or operate machinery or equipment or who supervise construction within their own plant;

(h)  The construction of municipal water wells as defined in section 46-1212 RS Neb., the installation of pumps and pumping equipment into municipal water wells, and the decommissioning of municipal water wells, unless such construction, installation, or decommissioning is required by the Municipality to be designed or supervised by an engineer or unless legal requirements are imposed upon the Municipality to be designed or supervised by an engineer or unless legal requirements are imposed upon the Municipality as a part of a public water supply; and

(i)   Any other activities described in sections 81-3449 to 81-3453 RS Neb.  (Ref. 81-3423, 81-3445, 81-3449 through 81-3453 RS Neb.)  (Ord. #99-127)

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