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(A) Definition. In this section, RESPONSIBLE AUTHORITY means the Chief of Police, City Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer or any person designated by the Council.
(B) Unclaimed property.
(1) Generally. Except as otherwise provided in this division (B) and division (C) below, any money or personal property, other than animals, coming into the possession of the city in the course of any municipal operation shall be handled and disposed of in the manner provided in this section.
(2) Custody. Any money or personal property coming into possession of any city officer, agent, employee or member of any city department shall, within 24 hours, be turned over to the responsible authority by such officer, agent or employee or member of a city department. The responsible authority shall make provisions for receiving and safe keeping of property and money delivered to and coming into the possession of this person in the course of municipal operations. A receipt shall be issued to the person delivering such property or money to the city. Such property shall be stored in a safe place and such money deposited with the city’s Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer in a special account for a period of three months unless claimed by the lawful owner.
(3) Claims by owners. During such three-month period, the responsible authority shall make a search to locate the lawful owner. The responsible authority may deliver such property or order such money paid to the owner thereof after receiving satisfactory proof of ownership and after providing ten days’ notice by mail to the person, other than the police officer or city employee, who delivered such property and to such other person who has asserted a claim of ownership. The City Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer shall not issue any order for the disbursement of such money without the written order of the responsible authority. If ownership cannot be determined to the satisfaction of the responsible authority, this person may refuse to deliver such property or order the payment of such money to anyone until ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(4) Claim by finder. If the lawful owner does not claim the property or money during this three- month period, the responsible authority may deliver the property or order the money paid to the person, other than the police officer or city employee, who found the property or money if such finder shall have previously asserted in writing a claim to the property or money.
(5) Transfer to General Fund. If any such money is not claimed by the lawful owner or finder within the three-month period, the responsible authority shall so notify the City Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer and the money shall be transferred to the General Fund of the city.
(6) Disposal. After the three-month period, property not delivered to the lawful owner or finder shall be sold by the responsible authority at public auction or appropriated to the use of the city. Instead of being sold at auction, any article or property may be appropriated to the use of the city by any department in need thereof. The method of appropriation by the City Council will be the following:
(a) The property be converted to the use of the Public Safety Department; if not then
(b) The property be converted to the use of the city; if not then
(c) The property be sold at public auction; if not then
(d) The property be given to a non-profit charitable organization; if not then
(e) The property destroyed.
(7) Notice of sale. On behalf of the city, the responsible authority shall sell all unclaimed property and all property not appropriated to or by the city following at least one published notice thereof in the city’s official newspaper not less than two weeks prior to such sale. The published notice shall contain the following information:
(a) Time and place of sale;
(b) Description of property to be sold;
(c) Terms of payment; and
(d) The sale will be at public auction and to the highest bidder.
(8) Public sale. If the volume and value of unclaimed property is insufficient in the opinion of both the Chief of Police and any appointed responsible authority to justify a public auction, the unclaimed property may be sold by public sale. The responsible authority shall follow the procedure in division (B)(7) above; except that, the sale will be at a public sale to the person with the first reasonable offer.
(9) Disposition of proceeds and unsold property. The responsible authority shall remit the proceeds of the auction/sale to the City Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer for deposit in the General Fund. Any property offered for sale, but not sold and not suitable for appropriation to the use of the city shall be deemed worthless and shall be disposed of in such manner as the responsible authority directs.
(10) Claim by owner after auction. The lawful owner of property sold at public auction or sale shall, upon application to the City Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer within six months from the date of sale and upon delivery of satisfactory proof of ownership, be paid the sale price from the General Fund, less the reasonable expenses incurred in the movement, storage, care and sale of such property.
(C) Confiscated property. Any money or personal property, other than animals, coming into the possession of the city’s Police Department in the course of investigating or prosecuting any criminal offenses or ordinance violations shall be handled and disposed of in the manner provided in division (B) above; except that, the three-month custody period shall not begin until such time as any prosecution and appeal proceedings, if any, shall have been completed for any criminal offense or ordinance violation involving such personal property or money.
(D) Unclaimed motor vehicles. Any unclaimed motor vehicles are defined by M.S. Ch. 169, as it may be amended from time to time, coming into the possession of the city in the course of any municipal operations shall be handled and disposed of in the manner provided in M.S. §§ 168B.01 through 168B.10, as they may be amended from time to time.
(E) Summary disposal. The responsible authority may, without notice and in such manner as this person determines to be in the public interest, summarily dispose of any property, determined as being dangerous or perishable, coming into the possession of this person. The responsible authority shall make a record of the pertinent facts of the receipt and disposal of such property.
(1994 Code, § 1-4)