The council shall have the right to institute proceedings, in the name of the city, for the condemnation of real estate for streets, alleys, avenues, sewers, drains, market grounds, city hall, reservoirs, electric light plant, pipe liens, or for any other ground, within or without the city, necessary for public improvements and which the council is authorized to acquire or maintain under this act; such proceedings shall conform to the provision of Chapter Forty-two of the Code of West Virginia, and the costs thereof shall be borne by the city, except that in contests involving a hearing in the Circuit Court, costs shall be recovered by the prevailing party.