DIVISION I THE CHARTER AND OTHER RELATED LAWS
THE CHARTER
CHAPTER 847, SESSION  LAWS 1977
ARTICLE I
Incorporation, Corporate Powers and Boundaries
Section 1.1   Incorporation.
Section 1.2   Powers.
Section 1.3   Corporate  limits.
ARTICLE II
Mayor and Town Council
Section 2.1   Governing body.
Section 2.2   Town council: composition; terms of  office.
Section 2.3   Mayor: term of office: duties.
Section 2.4   Mayor  pro tempore.
ARTICLE III
Elections
Section 3.1   Regular municipal elections: conduct and method of  election.
Section 3.2   Election wards; ward boundaries.
Section 3.3   Election of  council members.
Section 3.4   Election of  the  mayor.
ARTICLE IV
Organization and Administration
Section 4.1   Form of  government.
Section 4.2   Administrative officers and employees.
Section 4.3   Consolidation of  administrative functions.
ARTICLE V
Alcoholic  Beverage Control
Section 5.1   Election authorized.
Section 5.2   Petition procedure.
Section 5.3   Election procedure: determination  of  results.
Section 5.4   Board of  alcoholic control: organization: use  of  funds.
Section 5.5   Subsequent elections.
Section 5.6   Limitations on  holding elections.
ARTICLE VI
Special Provisions
Section 6.1   Assessments for  street and sidewalk improvements: petition  unnecessary.
Section 6.2   Power of  eminent domain.
Section 6.3   Economic development.
ARTICLE I
Incorporation, Corporate Powers and Boundaries
Section 1.1   Incorporation.
The Town of Valdese, North Carolina, in the County of Burke, and the inhabitants thereof, shall continue to be a municipal body politic and corporate, under the name and style of the "Town of Valdese," hereinafter at times referred to as the "town."
Section 1.2   Powers.
The Town of Valdese shall have and may exercise all of the powers, duties, rights, privileges and immunities, which are now, or hereafter may be, conferred, either expressly or by implication, upon the Town of Valdese, specifically, or upon municipal corporations, generally, by this charter, by the State Constitution, or by general or local law.
State Law Reference:Corporate powers generally, G.S. 160A-11, 12.
Section 1.3   Corporate limits.
The corporate limits of the Town of Valdese shall be those existing at the time of ratification of this charter, as the same are set forth on the official map of the town, and as the same may be altered from time to time in accordance with law. An official map or description showing the current town boundaries, shall be maintained permanently in the office of the town clerk, and shall be available for public inspection. Immediately upon alteration of the corporate limits made pursuant to law, the appropriate changes to the official map or description of the town shall be made.
State Law Reference: Corporate houndarics. G.S.  160A-21.
ARTICLE II
Mayor and Town Council
State Law Reference:  Mayor and council, G.S. 160A-66 et seq.
Section 2-1   Governing body.
   The mayor and town council, elected and constituted as herein set forth, shall be the governing body of the town.  On behalf of the town, and in conformity with applicable laws, the mayor and council may provide for the exercise of all municipal powers, and shall be charged with the general government of the town.
Section 2.2   Town council; composition; terms of office.
   The town council shall be composed of five (5) members, each of whom shall be elected for terms of four (4) years in the manner provided by Article III of this charter, provided they shall serve until their successors are elected and qualified.
Section 2.3   Mayor; term of office; duties.
   The mayor shall be elected in the manner provided by Article II of this charter to serve for a term of four years, or until his successor is elected and qualified.  The mayor shall be the official head of the town government and shall preside at all meetings of the council.  He shall have the right to vote only when there is an equal number of votes in the affirmative and the negative on any motion before the council.  The mayor shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as presently are or hereafter may be conferred upon him by the General Statutes of North Carolina, by this charter, and by the ordinances of the town.  (Amended by Session Law 2000-28 of 1999, passed 6-29-2000)
Section 2.4   Mayor pro tempore.
   In accordance with applicable state laws, the town council shall appoint one of its members to act as mayor pro tempore to perform the duties of the mayor in the mayor’s absence or disability.  The mayor pro tempore as such shall have no fixed term of office, but shall serve in such capacity at the pleasure of the remaining members of the council.
ARTICLE III
Elections
Section 3.1   Regular municipal elections; conduct and method of election.
   Regular municipal elections shall be held in the town every two (2) years in odd-numbered years and shall be conducted in accordance with the uniform municipal election laws of North Carolina.  The mayor and members of the council shall be elected according to the nonpartisan plurality method of election.
Section 3.2   Election wards; ward boundaries.
   (a)   The town shall continue to be divided into five (5) single-member election wards, numbered one through five, respectively.
   (b)   The election ward boundaries shall be those existing at the time of the ratification of this charter, as the same are set forth by an official written description.  The official written description of the election ward boundaries shall be maintained permanently in the office of the town clerk, and shall be available for public inspection.
   (c)   The town council is authorized, in accordance with state law, to revise from time to time the election ward boundaries of the town.  Upon alteration of the ward boundaries pursuant to law, the board shall cause to be made the appropriate changes in the official written description of the election ward boundaries.
Section 3.3   Election of council members.
   At the regular municipal elections in 1977 and quadriennially thereafter, there shall be elected three (3) council members to represent, respectively, election wards one, two and three, as hereinabove provided.  At the regular municipal elections in 1979, and quadriennially thereafter, there shall be elected two (2) council members to represent, respectively, election wards four and five as hereinabove provided.  Each candidate for the office of council member shall have been a resident of the ward from which he is a candidate for a period of not less than 30 days next preceding the date of the election. Candidates for council member shall be voted upon by the voters of the town voting at large.
Section 3.4   Election of the mayor.
   At the regular municipal election in 2001, and quadrennially thereafter, there shall be elected a mayor to serve a term of four years.  The mayor shall be elected by the voters of the town voting at large.  (Amended by Session Law 2000-28 of 1999, passed 6-29-2000)
State Law Reference: Uniform Municipal Election Laws, G.S. 163-279 et seq.
ARTICLE IV
Organization and Administration
Section 4.1   Form of government.
   The town shall operate under the council-manager form of government, in accordance with Part 2 of Article 7 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes.
State Law Reference: Council-manager form of government, G.S. 160A-147 et seq.
Section 4.2   Administrative officers and employees.
   Consistent with applicable state laws, the town council and town manager may establish positions, provide for the appointment of administrative officers and employees, and generally organize the town government in order to promote the orderly and efficient administration of the affairs of the town.
Section 4.3   Consolidation of administrative functions.
   The town council and town manager may consolidate any two (2) or more administrative positions in the town government or may assign the functions of any position to the holder or holders of any other position, subject to the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act, and other applicable state laws.
ARTICLE V
Alcoholic Beverage Control
Section 5.1   Election authorized.
   (a)   Subject to the limitations of Section 5.6 hereof, an election may at any time be called in the town upon written request of the town council or upon a petition to the appropriate board of elections conducting elections for the town on the question of submitting to the qualified voters of the town the question of establishing and operating in the town an alcoholic beverage control store, or stores, as herein provided.
   (b)   The election shall be called in the town by theappropriate board of elections upon the writtenrequest of the town council or upon a petitiontothe board of elections signed by a number of voters of the town equal to at least 20 percent of the number of registered voters of the town according to the registration figures certified by the State Board of Elections on the date the petition is presented to the appropriate board of elections. In calling the special election, the board of elections shall give at least 30 days'  public notice of the election before the closing of the registration books for such election, and the regis­ tration books shall close at the same time as for a regular town election.  A  new registration of voters for special alcoholic beverage control elec­ tions is not required,  and all qualified electors who are properly registered prior to the registra­ tion for the special election,  as well as those electors who register for the special alcoholic beverage control election, shall be entitled to vote in the election.
Section 5.2   Petition procedure.
Unless otherwise specified in this article, the procedural requirements relating to the petition shall be as provided in G.S. 18A-52(b), (c), (d), and (e), except the question shall be 'For' or 'Against' municipal alcoholic beverage control stores.
Section 5.3   Election procedure;  determination of results.
   (a)   The appropriate board of elections shall im­ mediately call an election pursuant to the provi­ sions of G.S. 18A-52, subsections (a) through (i), Which are hereby adopted, except that subsection (j) shall allow the presentation of one or more of the following.
   (1)   'For' or 'Against' Off-Premises Sales Only of Unchilled Unfortified Wine.
   (2)   'For' or 'Against' Off-Premises Sales Only of Unchilled Malt Beverages.
   (b)   This section shall in no way be construed as to limit the provisions of G.S.  18A-52,  but is solely to allow the additional questions as to on­ chilled malt beverages or wine to be presented to the voters in addition to those contained in sub­ section (j),  pursuant to the 1973 amendment of the North Carolina Legislature,  or to be in addition to any questions which might later be allowed by the legislature.
   (c)   Those favoring the setting up and operation of alcoholic beverage control stores in the Town of Valdese shall place a mark in the voting square to the left of the words 'For Municipal Alcoholic Beverage Control Stores'  printed on the ballot, and those opposed to setting up and operating al­ coholic beverage control stores in the Town of Valdese shall place a mark in the voting square to to the left of the words'Against Municipal Alco­ holic Beverage Control Stores',  printed on the same ballot. If a majority of the votes cast in such election shall be for municipal alcoholic beverage control stores, then an alcoholic beverage control store,  or alcoholic beverage control stores,  may be set up and operated in the Town of Valdese as herein provided. If a majority of the votes cast at the election are against municipal alcoholic bev­ erage control stores,  then no alcoholic beverage control store shall be set up or operated in the Town of Valdese under the provisions of this article.
Section 5.4   Board of alcoholic control; organization; use of funds.
   (a)    If the operation of a municipal alcoholic beverage control store is authorized under the provisions of this article,  the mayor and council shall immediately create a town board of alcoholic control to be composed of a chairman and two (2) other members who shall be well known for their character,  ability and business acumen.  Said board shall be known and designated as "The Town of Valdese Board of Alcoholic Control." The chairman of said board shall be designated by the mayor and town council and shall serve for his first term a period of three (3) years; one member shall serve for his first term a period of two (2) years; the other member shall serve for a term of one (I) year. All terms shall begin with the date of their appointment and after such terms shall have expired,  the successors in office shall serve for a period of three (3) years. The successors and any vacancies occurring in the Town Board of Alcoholic Control shall be named or filled by the mayor and the council of the town.
   (b)   The board of alcoholic control shall have all the powers and duties imposed by the General Statutes on county boards of alcoholic control and shall be subject to the powers and authority of the State Board of Alcoholic Control the same as county boards of alcoholic control, as provided in the General Statutes. The town board of alcoholic control and the operation of any town liquor store authorized under the provisions of this section shall be subject to and in pursuance with the provisions of Chapter 18A of the General Statutes, except to the extent which the same article. Wherever the term "county" board of alcoholic control appears in Chapter 18A, it shall include the Town of Valdese board of alcoholic control. The net profits remaining after the first deducting necessary working capital, salaries and expenses,  including those sums expended for law enforcement and for education on the excessive use of alcoholic beverages and for the rehabilita­ tion of alcoholics as required by G.S. 18A-17, shall be distributed not less than annually as follows:
   (1)   10 percent of the net profits paid into the general fund of Burke County to be used only for capital outlay for the county public schools;
   (2)   90 percent of the net profits paid into the general fund of the Town of Valdese to be appropriated by the governing body of the town for any proper governmental purpose.
Section 5.5   Subsequent elections.
The appropriate board of elections shall, upon request by the town council or receipt of a petition signed by 20 percent of all registered voters of the town, call a subsequent election, to be conducted in accordance with Sections 5.1  through 5.4 hereof, for the purpose ofvoting'For' or'Against' liquor control stores. If,after the establishment of an alcoholic beverage control store or stores in the town under the provisions of this article, a subsequent election shall be held and, if, at such election a majority of the votes shall be cast "Against Municipal Alcoholic Beverage Control Stores," the board of alcoholic control shall, within three (3) months from the canvassing of such votes and the declaration of the result there­ of, close such store or stores and shall thereafter cease to operate the same. Within three (3) months therefrom the board shall dispose of all alcoholic beverages on hand, all fixtures, and all other property in the hands and under the control of the board of alcoholic control and convert the same into cash and turn the same over to the town finance officer. Thereafter, all Public, Public­Local, Private and Session Laws applicable to the sale of intoxicating beverages within the town in force and effect prior to the authorization to oper­ ate a municipal alcoholic beverage control store shall be in full force and effect as if such election had not been held,  until and unless another election is held under the provisions of this article in which a majority of the votes shall be cast"For Municipal Alcoholic Beverage Control Stores."
Section 5.6   Limitations on holding elections.
No election shall be called and held in the town under the provisions of this article within three (3) years from the holding of the last election there­ under. It shall be the duty of the board of elections for the Town of Valdese to order the special liquor election herein authorized within 60 days after request by the town council or after the filing of a sufficient petition requesting the same, but no election under this act shall be held on the day of any biennial county or town general election or primary election,  or within 45 days of any such election.
Section 6.1   Assessments for street and sidewalk improvements; petition unnecessary.
   (a)   In addition to any authority which is now or may hereafter be granted by general law to the town for making street improvements, the town council is hereby authorized to make street im­ provements and to assess the cost thereof against abutting property owners in accordance with the provisions of this section.
   (b)   The town council may order street improvements and assess the cost thereof against the abutting property owners,  exclusive of the costs incurred at street intersections, according to one or more of the assessment bases set forth in Article 10 of Chapter 160A of theNorth Carolina General Statutes without the necessity of a petition,  upon the finding by the board as a fact:
   (1)   that the street improvement project does not exceed 1,200 linear feet, and
   (2)   that such street or part thereof is unsafe for vehicular traffic,  and it is in the public interest to make such improvement, or
   (3)   that it is in the public interest to connect two streets, or portions of a street already improved, or
   (4)   that it is in the public interest to widen a street, or part thereof, which is already improved, provided,  that assessments for widening any street or portion of street without a petition shall be limited to the cost of widening and otherwise improving such street in accordance with the street classification and improvement standards established by the town's thoroughfare or major street plan for the particular street or part thereof to be widened and improved under the authority granted by this article:
   (c)    For the purposes of this section the term "street improvement" shall refer to the initial im­ provement of an unimproved, unpaved street, including initial acquisition of rights-of-way, grading, surfacing, and the construction of curb and gutter and street drainage facilities.  For the purposes of this section, the term "sidewalk improvement" shall refer to the initial acquisition of rights-of-way, laying out,  grading and surfacing of new sidewalks. The provisions of this section are not intended to refer to those activities that are normally included under the city's [town's] facing and repairs, curb and gutter and sidewalk maintenance and repairs.
   (d)   rn addition to any authority which is now or may hereafter be granted by general law to the town for making sidewalk improvements, the town council is hereby authorized without the necessity of a petition, to make or to order to be made sidewalk improvements or repairs according to standards and specifications of the town, and to assess the total cost thereof against abutting property owners,  according to one or more of the assessment bases set forth in Article 10 of Chapter 160A of the North Carolina General Statutes;  provided, however,  that regardless of the assessment basis or bases employed,  the board of commissioners [town council] may order the cost of sidewalk improvements made only on one side of a street to be assessed against property owners abutting both sides of such street.
   (e)    In ordering street and sidewalk improvements without a petition and assessing the cost thereof under authority of this article, the board of commissioners [town council]  shall comply with the procedure provided by Article 10 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes,  except those provisions relating to the petition of property owners and the sufficiency thereof.
   (f)   The effect of the act of levying assessments under the authority of this article shall for all purposes be the same as if the assessments were levied under authority of Article 110 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes.
Section 6.2   Power of eminent domain.
The procedures provided in Article 9 of Chapter 136 of the General Statutes, as specifically authorized by G.S.  136-66.3(c), shall be applicable to the town in the case of acquisition of lands, easements, privileges, rights-of-way and other interest in real property for streets,  sewer lines, water lines, electric power lines, and other utility lines in the exercise of the power of eminent domain. The town,  when seeking to acquire such property or rights or easements therein or thereto, shall have the right and authority, at its option and election, to use the provisions and procedures as authorized and provided in G.S. 136-66.3(c) and Article 9 of Chapter 136 of the General Statutes for any of such purposes without being limited to streets constituting a part of the State Highway System;  provided, however,  that the provisions of this section shall not apply with regard to properties owned by public service corpo­ rations as defined in G.S. 160A-243(c), unless (1) the exercise of such power of eminent domain is either consented to by the owner of the property to be acquired by the town, or (2)  it is first adjudicated after notice and a hearing that such acq uisition will not prevent or unreasonably impair the continued devotion to the public use of such properties and the operation by such public service corporation.
Section 6.3   Economic development.
   (a)   As used in this section, the term ""economic development project" means an economic capital development project within a certain defined area or areas of the town as established by the town council comprising one or more lots,  buildings, or other improvements and including any public or private facilities. Said project may include programs or facilities for improving downtown redevelopment, 'pocket of proverty'  or other federal or state assistance programs which the town council determines to be in need of economic capital development or revitalization and which qualify for capital assistance under applicable federal or state programs. (b) (1) In addition to any other authority granted by law, the Town of Valdese may accept grants, expend funds, make grants, or loans, acquire property and participate in economic development projects which the town council determines will enhance the economic development and revitalization of the town in accordance with the authority granted herein.  Such project may include both public and private lots, buildings or facilities financed in whole or in part by federal or state grants (including but not limited to urban development action grants)  and may include any capital expenditures which the town council finds necessary to comply with conditions in any federal or state grant agreements and which the town council finds will complement the project and improve the public tax base and general economy of the town. Such projects may be partially financed with town funds received from federal or state sources and being granted or loaned to the private owner for said construction or renovation; in addition, other town funds from any sources may be used for acquisition, construction, leasing and operation of facilities by the town for the general public and for capital improvements to public facilities which will support and enhance the private facilities and the general economy of the town.
   (2)   When the town council finds that it will promote the economic development or revitalization of the town, the town may acquire, construct, and operate or participate in the acquisition, construction,  ownership and operation of an economic development project or of specific buildings or facilities within such a project and may comply with any state or federal government grant requirements in connection therewith. The town may enter into binding contracts with one or more private parties or governmental units with respect to acquiring, constructing, owning oroperating such a project. Such a contract may,  among other provisions, specify the responsibilities of the town and the developer or developers and operators or owners of the project, including the financing of the project. Such a contract may be entered into before the acquisition of any real property necessary to the project by the town or the developer or other parties.
   (c)   An economic development project may be constructed on property acquired by the developer or developers, or on property directly acquired by the town, or on property acquired by the Redevelopment Commission while exercising powers, duties and responsibilities pursuant to G.S. 160A-505.
   (d)   In connection with an economic development project, the town may convey interests in property owned by it, including air rights over public facilities, as follows:
   (1)   If the property was acquired under the urban redevelopment law, the property interests may be conveyed in accordance with said law.
   (2)   If the property was acquired by the town directly, the town may convey property interests by any procedures set forth in its charter or the general law or by private negotiation or sale.
   (e)   The town may contract for the operation of any public facility or facilities included in an economic development project by a person, partnership, firm or corporation, public or private. In addition, the town,  upon consideration, may contract through lease or otherwise whereby it may operate privately constructed parking facilities to serve the general public.  Such a contract shall include provisions sufficient to assure that any such facility or facilities are operated for the benefit of the citizens of the town.  (Ratified 2/17/83)
RELATED LOCAL LAWS
(Reserved)