All municipal organizations now existing in the state of Alabama, whether incorporated under the general laws of the state or by special act of the legislative department of the state government, and now exercising corporate powers or functions and all towns and cities that may hereafter be incorporated under the provisions of this title shall be bodies politic and corporate, using a common seal, which may at any time be changed, and having perpetual succession under the name now used or hereafter assumed as provided in this title, and each under such name as the "City of _____" or "Town of _____," as the case may be, shall sue and be sued, contract and be contracted with, acquire property by purchase, gift, devise or appropriation for any municipal purpose authorized in this title, and the same shall be held, managed and controlled by the said municipal corporations under the applicable provisions of law contained in this title and all rules, regulations, resolutions and ordinances that may be required to carry out any or all of the applicable provisions of this title shall be adopted by the several councils thereof. Such municipal corporations shall be invested with the full powers, duties and authority granted in this title.
(a) The governing body of a Class 6 municipality may enter into contracts which provide for the police department of the municipality to provide law enforcement services beyond the corporate limits of the municipality, but within the police jurisdiction of the municipality, and may prescribe the conditions under which the services may be rendered. The governing body of the municipality may enter into a contract or contracts with any county or county board, any property owner of a manufacturing or industrial concern, or any property owner within any residential or business area for its police department to render law enforcement services on the terms as may be agreed to by the governing body of a Class 6 municipality and the contracting party or parties.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), the governing body of the municipality may not enter into a contract or contracts with any county or county board, any property owner of a manufacturing or industrial concern, or any property owner within any residential or business area for its police department to render law enforcement services to enforce traffic regulations, including speeding and enforcement of speed zones.
(c) When the police department of a Class 6 municipality is operating pursuant to a contract or contracts pursuant to this section on any call beyond the corporate limits, but within the police jurisdiction of the Class 6 municipality, the department shall be deemed to be operating in a governmental capacity and subject to the same liability for injuries as the department would be if the department was otherwise operating within the corporate limits of the Class 6 municipality.
(a) The police jurisdiction in cities having 6,000 or more inhabitants shall cover all adjoining territory within three miles of the corporate limits, and in cities having less than 6,000 inhabitants and in towns, such police jurisdiction shall extend also to the adjoining territory within a mile and a half of the corporate limits of such city or town.
(b) Ordinances of a city or town enforcing police or sanitary regulations and prescribing fines and penalties for violations thereof shall have force and effect in the limits of the city or town and in the police jurisdiction thereof and on any property or rights-of-way belonging to the city or town.
(c) The police jurisdiction of any municipality which pursuant to this section extends to include part of any island which has water immediately offshore adjacent to the boundary of the State of Florida, upon approval of the council of the municipality, shall extend to include the entire island including the water adjacent to the island extending to the existing police jurisdiction of the municipality and extending to the Florida state boundary where applicable.
No change from the mayor-council form of municipal government to the commission form of municipal government hereafter directed by vote of the electors of any municipality in this state shall become effective until October 1 of the general municipal election year next following the election at which such change is voted.
No change from the commission form of municipal government to the mayor-council form of municipal government hereafter directed by vote of the electors of any municipality in this state shall become effective until October 1 of the general municipal election year next following the election at which such change is voted. The term of any commissioner which might expire before such date is hereby extended until such date when the form of government changes.
(a) There are hereby established eight classes of municipalities based on the population as certified by the 1970 federal decennial census, as authorized by amendment No. 375, Constitution of Alabama, 1901, as follows:
Class 1: All cities with a population of 300,000 inhabitants or more;
Class 2: All cities with a population of not less than 175,000 and not more than 299,999 inhabitants;
Class 3: All cities with a population of not less than 100,000 and not more than 174,999 inhabitants;
Class 4: All cities with a population of not less than 50,000 and not more than 99,999 inhabitants;
Class 5: All cities with a population of not less than 25,000 and not more than 49,999 inhabitants;
Class 6: All cities with a population of not less than 12,000 and not more than 24,999 inhabitants;
Class 7: All cities with a population of not less than 6,000 and not more than 11,999 inhabitants;
Class 8: All cities and towns with a population of 5,999 inhabitants or less.
(b) The legislature may refer, in the title thereof, to the class or classes of municipalities herein set out, in adopting general laws.
(c) Any municipality incorporated after June 28, 1979, shall be placed in one of the above classes according to the population of the municipality at the time of its incorporation.
No general law which at the time of its enactment applies to only one municipality of the state shall be enacted unless notice of the intention to apply therefor shall have been given and shown as provided in section 106 of the Constitution of 1901 for special, private or local laws; provided, that such notice shall not be deemed to constitute such law a local law.
(a) The council or other governing body of Class 1 municipalities in Alabama and all municipalities in Alabama having a population of 250,000 or more according to the last and any subsequent federal decennial census, shall have the power and authority to grant to any member of such council or other governing body an amount of money for expenses incurred by such member on account of such member's attending the business of such municipality within its corporate limits. The maximum expense allowance shall be $300.00 per month for each member of the council, except the president or chairman of the council or other governing body who may be given an allowance not to exceed $350.00 per month.
(b) In addition to the authority granted by subsection (a) of this section, the council or other governing body of Class 1 municipalities in Alabama and all municipalities in Alabama having a population of 250,000 or more according to the last and any subsequent federal decennial census commencing November 15, 1983, shall have the power and authority to grant to any member of such council or other governing body who was elected for a term commencing in November, 1981, an amount of money in addition to that provided in subsection (a) of this section, for expenses incurred by such member on account of such member's attending the business of such municipality within its corporate limits. The maximum additional expense allowance shall be $200.00 per month for each such member of the council. No such additional expense allowance shall be paid to any council member after November 15, 1985.
(c) The provisions of this section shall not be construed so as to prevent any such member of such council or other governing body from being reimbursed for actual expenses incurred by him on or in connection with a trip on municipal business beyond the corporate limits of such municipality, which amount shall not accrue against the monetary amounts provided in subsection (a) of this section.
The incorporated municipalities and incorporated municipal boards of this state shall be exempt from the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act, which is codified in sections 35-12-20 through 35-12-48.
(a) The legislature of Alabama hereby finds and declares that the health, safety and welfare of the people of Class 1 cities are enhanced by the continual encouragement, development, growth and expansion of private enterprise within this state. That there are certain economically depressed areas in such cities that need particular attention to create new jobs, stimulate economic activity and attract private sector investment rather than government subsidy to improve the quality of life of their citizens. It is the purpose of this section to encourage new economic activity in these depressed areas of such Class 1 cities by means of reduced taxes and the removal of unnecessary governmental barriers to the production and earning of wages and profits and the creation of economic growth.
(b) In order to further the purposes of this section, Class 1 cities are hereby authorized to create by ordinance one or more specific areas as enterprise zones which the governing body finds are areas of pervasive poverty, unemployment, and general economic distress, and, in order to encourage private investment, to promote the creation of jobs within such zones, such Class 1 cities are hereby authorized within such zones to initiate and carry out special programs which include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) A reduction of municipal tax rates, municipal license rates and/or municipal fees for governmental services within such zones.
(2) An increase in the level or efficiency of public services within the zone including provision for the providing of such services by nongovernment entities.
(3) Reduction, removal, simplification, or other modification of regulatory requirements applying within such zones.
(4) Involvement of private entities, organizations, neighborhood associations, and community groups with such zones, including the provision by such entities of jobs, job training, and technical, financial, and other assistance to employers, employees, and residents of such zones.
(5) Other services or modification of requirements as may be necessary or desirable to qualify for financial assistance to such Class 1 cities or private entities within such zones under any act of the Congress of the United States heretofore or hereafter enacted.
(c) In carrying out any program established in an enterprise zone created hereunder, the governing body of the county in which such Class 1 city is situated, and all agencies of such Class 1 city and county agencies created thereby, and the state of Alabama and all agencies thereof, are hereby authorized to carry out programs which include, but are not limited to, those authorized for such Class 1 cities under the provisions of subdivisions (1), (2), (3), and (4) of subsection (b) above.
The city council of any Class 1 municipality may grant pension plan benefit increases to retired employee participants, and their beneficiaries, in terminated or inactive former pension plans of any Class 1 municipality, provided the increases shall not exceed the increases granted to retired participants in the City of Birmingham Retirement and Relief System created under Act No. 929, 1951 Regular Session, as amended. The benefit increases may be retroactive but shall be granted only after the city council receives the opinion of a licensed actuary regarding the cost of any increase.
(a) The Legislature finds that in all Class 1 municipalities some recipients of extraordinary disability benefits awarded prior to May 23, 1977, did not have a longevity component included in the monthly salary used to calculate their extraordinary disability benefit and hereby intends to remedy that omission.
(b) In all Class 1 municipalities, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in any section of Article VI of Act No. 929, S. 676, Regular Session 1951, as amended, all recipients of extraordinary disability benefits whose longevity payment received during the year prior to their disability was not included in the amount of monthly salary used in the calculation of the extraordinary disability benefit shall receive an increase in the monthly benefit of 70 percent of one-twelfth of the total longevity payment received during the year immediately preceding the recipient's disability application. The increase shall apply to future benefits only and no retroactive increase shall be paid.
(a) This section shall apply to Class 1 municipalities only.
(b) There is established a Retroactive Deferred Retirement Option ("Back Drop") Plan for any retirement and relief system established pursuant to Act 1272, 1973 Regular Session (Acts 1973, p. 2124), as amended.
A participant who retires at least 90 days following July 1, 2002, who has then completed at least 23 years of credited service, and who is otherwise entitled to retire and receive a normal retirement benefit, shall have the opportunity to elect a Back Drop plan. A participant eligible for the Back Drop plan can elect in writing at his or her retirement to retroactively drop his or her credited service in excess of 20 years, for a period of months not exceeding 36 months immediately preceding the date of retirement (the "Back Drop period"); provided that the beginning of the Back Drop period may not extend past the earliest date on which the participant would have qualified for a normal retirement benefit. A participant who is not actively employed may not make a Back Drop election. To be effective, a Back Drop election by a married participant must be approved in writing by his or her spouse.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 1 of Article VI of Act 1272, 1973 Regular Session (Acts 1973, p. 2124), as amended, in effect as of the date of a participant's retirement, any participant making the Back Drop election shall have his or her retirement benefits determined under said section as if retirement had occurred on the beginning date of the Back Drop period, so that for purposes of calculating the retirement benefits, service during the Back Drop period shall not count as credited service, and salary earned during the Back Drop period shall not be included in the calculation of final average salary.
(d) Any participant who elects the Back Drop plan shall receive, not less than 30 days or more than 90 days after his or her retirement, a lump-sum distribution equal to the monthly benefits that would have been paid during the Back Drop period if the participant's retirement had occurred on the beginning date of the Back Drop period, calculated as provided in subsection (c), together with interest thereon at a percentage rate as the board may determine, annually, compounded monthly from the date on which each monthly benefit would have been paid; provided that no interest shall be paid unless the actuary retained by the board determines that sufficient funds are available to pay the interest on a cost-neutral basis.
(e) If any participant who elects the Back Drop plan dies before the lump-sum distribution referred to in subsection (d) is paid, the Back Drop election shall be null and void, and the benefits to which the participant and his or her surviving spouse, if any, are entitled will be calculated as if the Back Drop election had never been made.
(f) If any participant was receiving retirement benefits under a Back Drop election made in accordance with the preceding provisions of this section, then notwithstanding any other provisions of Section 10 of Article VI of Act 1272, 1973 Regular Session (Acts 1973, p. 2124), as amended, the benefits to which the participant's surviving spouse is entitled shall be calculated on the basis of the retirement benefit which the participant was receiving as a result of the Back Drop election.
(g) The board shall have the authority to terminate the Back Drop plan created in this section prospectively at any time if it is determined that contributions to the system are not sufficient to pay the costs of the Back Drop plan; provided that no termination shall affect the rights of any participant, or surviving spouse of a participant, who has properly made his or her Back Drop election as required herein but has not yet begun receiving benefits to which he or she would be entitled as a result of the election.
(h) The board is authorized, with approval of the governing body of the municipality primarily served by the system, to make any and all rules and regulations necessary to implement and administer the Back Drop plan which are not inconsistent with this section or applicable law.
In all Class 1 municipalities, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in any section of Article VI of Act No. 929, S. 676, regular session 1951 (Acts 1951, p. 1579), as amended, any benefit payable on a monthly basis to a participant or retiree under Act No. 929, S. 676, regular session 1951 (Acts 1951, p. 1579), as amended, shall not be of an amount less than $400.00 per month, and any survivor's or spouse's benefit payable on a monthly basis shall not be of an amount less than $160.00 per month.
Notwithstanding any other laws, in Class 1 municipalities, any benefit payable on a monthly basis to a participant or retiree under the Policemen's Pension and Relief Fund provided by Act No. 502 of the 1923 Session of the Legislature, as amended, the Firemen's Pension and Relief Fund provided by Act No. 307 of the 1943 Session of the Legislature, as amended, the Separate Policemen's Retirement and Relief System provided by Act No. 470 of the 1955 Regular Session of the Legislature, as amended, or the Separate Firemen's Pension and Relief System provided by Act No. 217 of the 1966 Special Session of the Legislature, as amended, shall be in an amount not less than five hundred fifty dollars ($550) per month, and any survivor's or spouse's benefit payable therefrom on a monthly basis shall be in an amount not less than three hundred twenty dollars ($320) per month.
In the absence of wantonness or willful misconduct, in any Class 1 municipality, the board of firemen and policemen for the Class 1 municipality, the members of the board of firemen and policemen, and any officer, employee, or agent of a Class 1 municipality or of the board of firemen and policemen shall not incur any liability, individually or on behalf of any other individuals or on behalf of a Class 1 municipality or the board of firemen and policemen in a Class 1 municipality, for any act or failure to act in relation to the plan or the fund of any firemen's and policemen's supplemental pension system established pursuant to Act 556 of the 1959 Regular Session (Acts 1959, p. 1376).
In the absence of wantonness or willful misconduct, officers and members of the board, employees in any Class 1 municipalities, and agents of any Class 1 municipality and of the board of firemen and policemen shall be indemnified against any and all liabilities arising by reason of any act, or failure to act, in relation to the plan or the fund of the firemen's and policemen's supplemental pension system. This indemnification shall not apply to any act or failure to act made in bad faith, nor shall it apply to a paid consultant or paid agent of the fund. This indemnification shall include, without limitation, expenses reasonably incurred in the defense of any claim relating to the plan or the fund of the firemen's and policemen's supplemental pension system, and amounts paid in any compromise or settlement relating to the plan or the fund of the firemen's and policemen's supplemental pension system. The indemnification shall be paid from the fund and shall apply retrospectively as well as prospectively.
In all Class 1 municipalities, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any benefit payable on a monthly basis to a participant or retiree under the Policemen's Pension and Relief Plan provided by Act No. 502 of the 1923 Session of the legislature of Alabama, as amended or codified; the Firemen's Pension and Relief Plan provided by Act No. 307 of the 1943 Session of the legislature of Alabama, as amended (General Acts of Alabama of 1943, p. 264); the Limited Policemen's Retirement and Relief System provided by Act No. 470 of the 1955 Regular Session of the legislature of Alabama, as amended (Acts of Alabama of 1955, p. 1067); and Limited Firemen's Pension and Relief System provided by Act No. 217 of the 1966 Special Session of the legislature of Alabama, as amended (Acts of Alabama, Special Session 1966, p. 280) shall not be of an amount less than $400.00 per month, and any survivor's or spouse's benefit payable on a monthly basis shall not be of an amount less than $160.00 per month.
In addition to all other powers heretofore granted by law, any Class 1 municipality that owns a civic center, or any public corporation that owns a civic center located within a Class 1 municipality, shall have the power to own and operate a hotel, together with any related restaurants, meeting rooms and other facilities and services commonly provided by hotels, subject to the requirements that (i) such hotel and such restaurants and other facilities are located within, or are located on a tract of land contiguous to, the area designated for civic center purposes by the governing body of the municipality in which such civic center is located, (ii) such hotel is of sufficient size and quality to accommodate persons attending conventions held at such civic center, and (iii) if such hotel is to be owned or operated by the Class 1 municipality, and if there is at the time a public corporation in existence that owns a civic center located within such municipality, such municipality shall obtain the approval of the governing body of such public corporation and the approval of the governing body of the county in which all or the largest part of the area of such municipality is located as conditions precedent to the ownership or operation of such hotel by such municipality, such approvals to be evidenced by formal resolutions respectively adopted by the governing bodies of such public corporation and such county. For purposes of clause (i) in the preceding sentence, two tracts of land shall be deemed to be contiguous if such tracts share a common boundary line or perimeter point or if such tracts are separated only by a public street or highway. A hotel shall be deemed to satisfy the requirement set forth in clause (ii) in the first sentence of this paragraph if either of the following two conditions is satisfied: (a) the governing body of the municipality in which such civic center is located, or, alternatively, if such civic center is owned by a separate public corporation, the governing body of such public corporation, shall adopt a resolution finding that the size, quality and other physical and operating characteristics of such hotel are appropriate for its use as a primary lodging facility for guests attending conventions at such civic center; or (b) at the time such hotel is acquired by any municipality or separate public corporation, or at the time any project for the construction, expansion or renovation of such hotel is undertaken by any municipality or separate public corporation, as the case may be, such hotel, as it then exists or as it is expected to exist after completion of any planned construction, expansion or renovation project, shall have the largest number of rentable rooms of any hotel that is then operational and located in the same municipality.
All cities and towns shall have a seal, in the center of which shall be the words, "city seal" or "town seal," as the case may be, and around the margin the name of the city or town, which shall be affixed to all transcripts, orders or certificates which it may be necessary or proper to authenticate.
Any municipality or separate public corporation authorized to own and operate a hotel pursuant to the provisions of section 11-40-19 and this section may operate such hotel through one or more management contracts with private companies experienced in the operation of hotels, and such management contract shall be exempt from the provisions of sections 41-16-50 through 41-16-63, inclusive, and shall be awarded for such term and in accordance with such conditions as shall be determined by the governing body of said municipality or separate public corporation, as the case may be. Nothing contained in section 11-40-19 or this section shall be construed to limit any hotel owned and operated by any municipality or public corporation to providing services to persons attending conventions that use the civic center facilities owned by such municipality or public corporation, and any hotel owned and operated by a municipality or a public corporation pursuant to section 11-40-19 and this section shall be entitled to serve the general public to the full extent permitted hotels under the laws of the state.
In any Class 3 municipality, any law to the contrary notwithstanding, the number of members who shall serve on any existing or future municipal board, committee, or like body, shall be the same as the number of members on the municipal governing body unless the municipal governing body by a two-thirds vote of the total membership of the municipal governing body shall provide for a greater or lesser number of members.
(a) Notwithstanding any limitations of law pertaining to the municipality, the mayor of any municipality in Alabama is hereby authorized, subject to budget restraints approved by the governing body, to make cash or non-cash awards not to exceed $1,000 to employees of the municipality in recognition of exemplary performance or for innovations that significantly reduce costs or result in outstanding improvements in services to the public.
(b) Any employee selected to receive a cash or non-cash award for exemplary performance or for innovations that significantly reduce costs must first be recommended by his or her supervisor and approved by the governing body of the municipality.
(c) Nothing in this section shall affect any program in existence on September 22, 1997.
Each person engaged in the business of purchasing and receiving or collecting waste grease and animal by-products for rendering or recycling, from businesses, schools, and institutions located in various cities of the state, shall pay the following annual license tax in cities of:
|over 100,000 population||$50.00|
|25,000 to 100,000 population||25.00|
|12,000 to 25,000 population||20.00|
|6,000 to 12,000 population||15.00|
|2,000 to 6,000 population||10.00|
|0 to 2,000 population||5.00|
Affirmative action shall not be necessary for cities and towns to acquire the rights, power and authority granted in this title. Municipalities shall, however, hold such elections and pass such ordinances and resolutions as are required by this title.
Any incorporated municipality of the state may, after notice as provided herein, move or demolish buildings and structures, or parts of buildings and structures, party walls, and foundations when found by the governing body of the municipality to be unsafe to the extent of being a public nuisance from any cause.
The term "appropriate municipal official" as used in this article shall mean any municipal building official or deputy and any other municipal official or municipal employee designated by the mayor or other chief executive officer of the municipality as the person to exercise the authority and perform the duties delegated by this article. Whenever the appropriate municipal official of the municipality finds that any building, structure, part of building or structure, party wall, or foundation situated in the municipality is unsafe to the extent that it is a public nuisance, the official shall give the person or persons, firm, association, or corporation last assessing the property for state taxes and all mortgagees of record, by certified or registered mail to the address on file in the tax collector's or revenue commissioner's office, notice to remedy the unsafe or dangerous condition of the building or structure, or to demolish the same, within a reasonable time set out in the notice, which time shall not be less than 30 days or suffer the building or structure to be demolished by the municipality and the cost thereof assessed against the property. The mailing of the certified or registered mail notice, properly addressed and postage prepaid, shall constitute notice as required herein. Notice of the order, or a copy thereof, shall, within three days of the date of mailing, also be posted at or within three feet of an entrance to the building or structure. If there is no entrance, the notice may be posted at any location on the building or structure.
(a) Within the time specified in the notice, but not more than 30 days from the date the notice is given, any person, firm, or corporation having an interest in the building or structure may file a written request for a hearing before the governing body of the municipality, together with his or her objections to the finding by the municipal official that the building or structure is unsafe to the extent of becoming a public nuisance. The filing of the request shall hold in abeyance any action on the finding of the municipal official until determination thereon is made by the governing body. Upon holding the hearing, which hearing shall be held not less than five nor more than 30 days after the request, or in the event no hearing is timely requested, the governing body, after the expiration of 30 days from the date the notice is given, shall determine whether or not the building or structure is unsafe to the extent that it is a public nuisance. If it is determined by the governing body that the building or structure is unsafe to the extent that it is a public nuisance, the governing body shall order the building or structure to be demolished. The demolition may be accomplished by the municipality by the use of its own forces, or it may provide by contract for the demolition. The municipality may sell or otherwise dispose of salvaged materials resulting from the demolition.
(b) Any person aggrieved by the decision of the governing body at the hearing may, within 10 days thereafter, appeal to the circuit court upon filing with the clerk of the court notice of the appeal and bond for security of costs in the form and amount to be approved by the circuit clerk. Upon filing of the notice of appeal and approval of the bond, the clerk of the court shall serve a copy of the notice of appeal on the clerk of the municipality and the appeal shall be docketed in the court, and shall be a preferred case therein. The clerk of the municipality shall, upon receiving the notice, file with the clerk of the court a copy of the findings and determination of the governing body in its proceedings. Any trials shall be held without jury upon the determination of the governing body that the building or structure is unsafe to the extent that it is a public nuisance.
Upon demolition of the building or structure, the appropriate municipal official shall make a report to the governing body of the cost thereof, and the governing body shall adopt a resolution fixing the costs which it finds were reasonably incurred in the demolition and assessing the costs against the property. The proceeds of any moneys received from the sale of salvaged materials from the building or structure shall be used or applied against the cost of demolition. Any person, firm, or corporation having an interest in the property may be heard at the meeting as to any objection to the fixing of the costs or the amounts thereof. The municipal clerk of the municipality shall give notice of the meeting at which the fixing of the costs is to be considered by first-class mail to all entities having an interest in the property whose address and interest is determined from the tax collector's or revenue commissioner's records on the property or is otherwise known to the clerk. The fixing of the costs by the governing body shall constitute a special assessment against the lot or lots, parcel or parcels of land upon which the building or structure was located, and thus made and confirmed shall constitute a lien on the property for the amount of the assessment. The lien shall be superior to all other liens on the property except liens for taxes, and shall continue in force until paid. A certified copy of the resolution shall also be filed in the office of the judge of probate of the county in which the municipality is situated. Upon filing, the tax collector or revenue commissioner of the county shall add the amount of the lien to the ad valorem tax bill on the property and shall collect the amount as if it were a tax and remit the amount to the municipality.
The municipality may assess the costs authorized herein against any lot or lots, parcel or parcels of land purchased by the State of Alabama at any sale for the nonpayment of taxes, and where the assessment is made against the lot or lots, parcel or parcels of land, a subsequent redemption thereof by any person authorized to redeem, or sale thereof by the state, shall not operate to discharge, or in any manner affect the lien of the municipality for the assessment, but any redemptioner or purchaser at any sale by the state of any lot or lots, parcel or parcels of land upon which an assessment has been levied, whether prior to or subsequent to a sale to the state for the nonpayment of taxes, shall take the same subject to the assessment. The assessment shall then be added to the tax bill of the property, collected as a tax, and remitted to the municipality.
Payment of the assessment shall be made in the manner and as provided for the payment of municipal improvement assessments in Section 11-48-48, as the same has heretofore or may hereafter be amended. Any Class 2 municipality may use the provisions of Section 11-48-48.1 as the same has heretofore or may hereafter be amended. Upon the property owner's failure to pay the assessment the officer designated by the municipality to collect the assessments shall proceed to collect the assessment as provided in Sections 11-48-49 to 11-48-60, inclusive. The municipality may, in the latter notice, elect to have the tax collector or revenue commissioner collect the assessment by adding the assessment to the tax bill. Upon the election, the tax collector or revenue commissioner shall collect the assessment using all methods available for collecting ad valorem taxes.
This article is cumulative in nature and is in addition to any power and authority which any municipality may have under any other law.
Rights of action and rights of property arising before or existing at the time of a change of corporate organization, as directed in this title, shall be enforced against or in favor of such city or town, and all civil actions then pending in favor of or against municipal corporations shall continue to judgment unaffected by this title and shall be enforced in favor of or against such city or town, as the case may be, notwithstanding a change of name or of organization.
The corporate limits of any city or town shall not be altered or affected by the adoption of this Code.
The provisions of this article shall apply in any Class 2 municipality. The term "appropriate city official" as used in this article shall mean any city official or city employee designated by the mayor or other chief executive officer of the city as the person to exercise the authority and perform the duties delegated by this article.
(a) In addition to any other authority granted to the city, any Class 2 municipality shall have authority to enact and may, by ordinance, prescribe standards for the rehabilitation, repair, and maintenance of all structures, party walls, foundations, buildings, parts of buildings, and vacant parcels, situated in the city and shall have the authority to require the vacation, relocation of occupants, securing, or repair of any building that is:
(1) Dilapidated, substandard, or unfit for human habitation.
(2) A hazard to the public health, safety, and welfare.
(b) The ordinance shall:
(1) Establish minimum standards for the continued use and occupancy of all buildings regardless of the date of their construction.
(2) Provide for giving proper notice to the owner of a building.
(3) Provide for a hearing, as provided in this article, to determine whether a building complies with the standards set out in the ordinance, and to review the action of the appropriate city official. The city may provide for the hearing to be held before the governing body of the city, or, if the city has created an architectural review board, the hearing may be held before the architectural review board.
(c) Whenever the appropriate city official shall find that any building, structure, part of building or structure, party wall or foundation situated in the city is in violation of the minimum standards, the official shall give notice to all persons or entities provided for in Section 2 of Act No. 140, H. 108, First Special Session 1971 (Acts 1971, p. 219), setting forth in detail the basis for the finding of non-conformity, and shall direct the owner:
(1) To accomplish the specified repairs or improvements within no less than 45 days of the date of the notice.
(2) To prepare and submit a work plan and work schedule within no less than 45 days of the date of the notice for the correction of the deficiencies specified in the notice.
(d) If the owner is directed to submit a work plan and work schedule to the appropriate city official, the owner's plan shall be reviewed within 30 days, and thereafter the official shall, by written decision:
(1) Approve the plan, with or without conditions or modifications, and issue a certificate of approval, or approval as modified, to the owner.
(2) Disapprove the plan, giving detailed reasons therefor, and direct the owner to resubmit an acceptable plan within 15 days of the date of the notice of disapproval. If, after review of the resubmitted plan, the appropriate official determines it fails to conform to the standards, the official may continue to negotiate with the owner, or issue a work plan and schedule, and certify the substituted plan to the owner.
(e) In considering any repairs ordered on the work plan and work schedule submitted pursuant to this subsection, the official shall consider and determine the merits of the owner's assertions, if any, of unreasonable economic hardship as justifying modification, revision, or non-compliance with the applicable agency action.
(f) For the purposes of this article, the term "unreasonable economic hardship" means that failure to relieve an owner of the burden of the official's directive or portion thereof would amount to a taking of the owner's property without just compensation, or, in the case of an owner whose income is less than or equal to 125 percent of the official poverty level threshold as defined from time to time by the United States Office of Management and Budget, the failure would place an onerous and excessive financial burden upon the owner.
(a) Any owner aggrieved by an action of the appropriate city official may, within 15 days of receipt of a notice of non-conformity, a certificate of approval with modifications or conditions, or a notice of disapproval with or without a substituted plan, petition for review of the official's action.
(b) The petition for review shall be filed by serving the chair of the reviewing body designated in the ordinance, shall be in writing, shall set forth the grounds for review, and shall also be served upon the official who issued the affecting notice, order, or certificate. That official shall be a party to the review proceeding.
(c) The reviewing body shall forthwith, and in any case within 14 days of the filing date of the owner's petition, conduct a hearing on the record.
(d) The reviewing body may establish reasonable rules for the conduct of hearings before it, shall consider any evidence submitted in support of the owner's objections to the agency action, and the agency's rebuttal evidence. Parties may be represented by counsel.
(e) The reviewing body shall also consider and decide the owner's assertions, if any, of unreasonable economic hardship as justifying a modification, revision, or non-compliance with the applicable agency action.
(a) The reviewing body's administrative orders or decisions may be appealed to the circuit court on the record established within 30 days of the date of any decision or order appealed from.
(b) The circuit court, after a hearing, may vary the application of any provision of this ordinance to any particular case when, in its opinion, based on the record established before the reviewing body, the enforcement thereof would result in manifest injustice or the order or decision is arbitrary and capricious.
(c) All appeals shall be made solely on the record established before the reviewing body and under the same standard of review established for appeals from the city's municipal court.
(a) If the owner of any property cited under the provisions of the ordinance fails to comply with any notice of non-conformity, fails to comply with any certificate of approval as modified, certificate of disapproval, or certificate directing compliance with a substituted plan, the municipality may:
(1) Repair the building at the expense of the municipality and assess the expenses on the land on which the building stands or to which it is attached.
(2) Assess a civil penalty against the owner of the property.
(b) The civil penalty shall be in the amount of one percent of the current assessed value of the property per month until the deficiency is corrected and until the penalty is paid. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the minimum monthly fine imposed shall be $250 per month or $3,000 per year.
(c) In collecting any penalty imposed by this article, the municipality may:
(1) Impose a lien against the land on which the building stands or stood to secure the payment of the repair or the civil penalty. Promptly after the imposition of the lien, the municipality shall file for record, in recordable form in the office of the probate court for the county in which the land is located, a written notice of the imposition of the lien. The notice shall contain a legal description of the land.
(2) Allow payment of any assessment for repairs or the civil penalty in the manner and as provided for the payment of municipal improvement assessments in the provisions of Section 11-48-48 as the same has heretofore or may hereafter be amended, and upon the property owner's failure to pay the assessment, the officer designated by the city to collect the assessments shall proceed to collect the assessment as provided in Sections 11-48-49 to 11-48-60, inclusive.
(3) Provide a copy of the civil penalty or assessment for repairs to the Revenue Commissioner who, under the "Optional Method of Taxation," is charged with the collection of municipal taxes pursuant to Sections 11-51-40 to 11-51-74, inclusive, whereupon it shall be the duty of the Revenue Commissioner to add the amount of the civil penalty or assessment for repairs to the next regular bills for taxes levied against the respective parts and parcels of land, and thereafter the amounts shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal ad valorem taxes are collected and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure under foreclosure and sale in case of delinquency.
(d) The remedies contained in subsection (c) of this section shall be cumulative.
(e) Any collection or amounts realized under the provisions of this section need not be consigned to general revenue, but may be held in one or more accounts designated in the ordinance and shall be allocated, upon approval of the governing body, for those purposes designated in the ordinance.
Municipal corporations now existing or hereafter organized under this title containing 2,000 or more inhabitants shall be called cities. All incorporated municipalities containing less than 2,000 inhabitants shall be called towns. The last census, whether federal or taken as authorized in this title, shall be used in determining the population of a city or town.
At the next election more than four months after the one hundred twentieth day after the first day of the first regular business session of the legislature held next after the publication by the federal government of the regular federal decennial population census for Alabama, if the municipality shows a population which authorizes a change in its government under this title, the proper officers for such a city shall be elected and perform the duties prescribed in this title.
Any city or town may change its corporate name by passing an ordinance stating the new name proposed and submitting the question of change to a vote of the qualified electors of such municipality at the next general municipal election to be held therein. The result of the election shall be ascertained by the officers holding such general election, and return shall be made to the council or other governing authorities which, in the event that a majority of the votes cast at such election are in favor of the change, shall pass a resolution or ordinance declaring the result of the election and stating the new name of the city or town.
The owner of any tract or body of land, located within the planning jurisdiction of any Class 2 municipality, no part of which tract or body of land is adjacent or contiguous to any public road or highway, shall have and may acquire pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 3, Title 18, a convenient right-of-way, not exceeding in width 50 feet, over the lands intervening and lying between the tract or body of land and the public road nearest or most convenient thereto provided written approval is obtained from the municipal government and the planning board of the municipality, when a right-of-way exceeding 30 feet is needed to comply with local ordinances or conditions of the municipality.
The several councils of cities or towns shall divide such cities or towns into wards having as nearly as may be the same number of inhabitants, the lines thereof conforming to the center of the streets or alleys and being rectangular as far as practicable.
Ward lines, having once been fixed, shall not be changed by the council within three months previous to an election nor within 18 months of the time last established; except, that in the cases where a census showing a population authorizing a change in the form of government shall have been taken or where, within such time, additional territory shall have been annexed to such city or town, such councils shall have the right to create new wards or annex such territory to wards already established.
The organization of cities and towns existing at the adoption of this Code shall continue until changed in accordance with the provisions of this Code or some subsequent statute.