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PURE FEED FUND-TRANSFERRING TO GENERAL REVENUE MONEY TO CREDIT OF.
An Act transferring to the general revenue of the State all money now to the credit of the pure feed fund, except so much of the pure feed fund as may have accrued since the 12th day of July, 1907, and providing that all revenue hereafter paid into the State Treasury to the credit of either of said accounts, except so much of the pure feed fund as shall accrue prior to July 12th, 1909, shall forthwith be transferred to and become a part of the general revenue of the State, and declaring an emergency.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas:
SECTION 1. That all money or moneys now to the credit of the pure feed fund is hereby transferred to and made a part of the general revenue of the State of Texas, except so much of the pure feed fund as may have accrued since the 12th day of July, 1907, and the State Treasurer is hereby authorized and directed to pay over to the treasurer of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas so much of said fund as may have accrued since July 12th, 1907, and now held by the State Treasurer to the credit of said fund, and it is hereby made the duty of the State Treasurer to transfer said funds as provided herein.
All revenue hereafter paid into the State Treasury to the credit of either or all of said accounts shall be forthwith transferred to the general revenue by the State Treasurer, except so much of the pure feed fund as shall accrue prior to July 12th, 1909, which, if any, shall be paid into the State Treasury, [and] shall be paid over to the treasurer of the Agricultural and Mechanical College.
SEC. 2. The fact that large sums of money have accrued to the credit of two of the above funds which is unavailable for general appropriation, creates an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the Constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days be suspended, and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its passage, and it is so enacted.
Approved May 10, 1909.
Takes effect ninety days after adjournment.
RAILROAD COMPANIES-REQUIRING SUITABLE PASSENGER AND FREIGHT DEPOTS.
An Act requiring railroad companies to provide adequate and suitable passenger and freight depot buildings at their several stations and requiring them to keep all their passenger depots well lighted and warmed for the comfort and accommodation of the traveling public, and giving the Railroad Commission power to require compliance with this Act, and declaring an emergency. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas:
SECTION 1. It shall be the duty of all railroad companies in this State to provide and maintain adequate, comfortable and clean depots and depot buildings at their several stations for the accommodation of
passengers and to keep said depot buildings well lighted and warmed for the comfort and accommodation of the traveling public; provided further, that said railroad companies shall keep and maintain separate. apartments in such depot buildings for the use of white passengers and negro passengers, and to keep and maintain adequate and suitable freight depots and buildings for the receiving, handling, storing and delivering of all freights handled by such roads.
SEC. 2. Power is hereby conferred upon the Railroad Commission of Texas to require compliance by railroad companies with the provisions of this Act under such regulations as said commission may deem reasonable, and all railroad companies shall be subject to the penalties prescribed by law for failure to comply with such requirements.
SEC. 3. The fact that there is no adequate law of this State requiring railroad companies to provide adequate and suitable passenger and freight depot buildings at their several stations, creates an emergency and an imperative public necessity that this Act be passed under the suspension of the Constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days, and the rule is hereby suspended, and this Act shall take effect from and after its passage, and it is so enacted.
Approved May 10, 1909.
Takes effect ninety days after adjournment.
CITIES AND TOWNS-AUTHORIZING TO CONSTRUCT
S. B. No. 39.]
An Act to authorize incorporated towns, cities and villages in the State of Texas to construct permanent street improvements and assess part of the cost thereof against the owners of property abutting upon such improvements and their property, and against the owners of railroads or street railroads occupying streets or highways improved and their property, and to provide for the enforcement and collection of such assessments, and to provide for the submission hereof to a vote of the resident property tax-payers who are qualified voters of such towns, cities and villages, and declaring an emergency. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas:
SECTION 1. That towns, cities and villages incorporated under either general or special law, which shall accept the benefits of this Act as herein provided, shall have power to improve any street, avenue, alley, highway, public place or square, or any portion thereof within their limits, by filling, grading, raising, paving or repaving the same in a permanent manner or by the construction or reconstruction of sidewalks, curbs and gutters or by widening, narrowing or straightening the same and to construct necessary appurtenances thereto, including sewers and drains.
SEC. 2. That the term "city" whenever used herein shall include all incorporated towns, cities and villages; that the term "governing body" whenever used herein shall include the governing or legislative bodies of all incorporated towns, cities or villages, whether known as councils, commissions, boards of commissions, common councils, boards of alder
men or city councils, or whatever name such bodies may be known or designated under general or special laws; that whenever the term "highway" is used herein, it shall include any street, avenue, alley, highway, or public place or square, or portion thereof dedicated to public use.
SEC. 3. That the governing body of any city shall have power to order the improvement of any highway therein, or part thereof, and to select the materials and methods for such improvement, and to contract. for the construction of such improvements in the name of the city, and to provide for the payment of the cost of such improvements out of any available funds of the city or as herein provided.
SEC. 4. That the cost of making such improvements may be wholly paid by the city or partly by the city and partly by owners of property abutting thereon; provided, that in no event shall more than threefourths of the cost of any improvement, except sidewalks and curbs, be assessed against such property owners or their property; but the whole cost of construction of sidewalks and curbs in front of any property may be assessed against the owner thereof or his property.
SEC. 5. Subject to the terms hereof the governing body of any city shall have power to assess against the owner of any railroad or street railroad occupying any highway ordered to be improved, the whole cost of the improvement between or under the rails and tracks of said railroad or street railroad and two feet on the outside thereof, and shall have power by ordinance to levy a special tax upon said railroad, or street railroad and its roadbed, ties, rails, fixtures, rights and franchises, which tax shall constitute a lien thereon superior to any other lien or claim except State, county and municipal taxes, and which may be enforced either by sale of said property in the manner provided by law in the collection of ad valorem taxes by the city, or by suit against the owner in any court having jurisdiction. The ordinance levying said tax shall prescribe when same shall become due and delinquent, and the method or methods of enforcing the same.
SEC. 6. Subject to the terms hereof the governing body of any city shall have power by ordinance to assess the whole cost of constructing sidewalks or curbs, and not to exceed three-fourths of the cost of any other improvement, against the owners of property abutting on such improvement and against their abutting property benefited thereby, and to provide for the time and terms of payment of such assessments and the rate of interest payable upon deferred payments thereon, which rate of interest shall not exceed 8 per centum per annum, and to fix a lien upon the property and declare such assessments to be a personal liability of the owners of such abutting property, and such governing body shall have power to cause to be issued in the name of the city assignable certificates, declaring the liability of such owners and their property for the payment of such assessments, and to fix the terms and conditions of such certificate.
If any such certificate shall recite that the proceedings with reference to making such improvements have been regularly had in compliance with law and that all prerequisites to the fixing of the assessment lien against the property described in said certificate, and the personal lia
bility shall be prima facie evidence of the facts so recited and no further proof thereof shall be required in any court.
The ordinance making such assessments shall provide for the collection thereof with costs and reasonable attorneys fees if incurred. Such assessments shall be secured by and constitute a lien on said property which shall be the first enforcible claim against the property against which it is assessed, superior to all other liens and claims, except State, county and municipal taxes.
SEC. 7. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to empower any city to fix a lien by assessment against any property exempt by law from sale under execution, but the owner of such exempt property shall nevertheless be personally liable for the cost of improvements constructed in front of his property which may be assessed against him. The fact that any improvement is omitted in front of exempt property shall not invalidate the lien of assessments made against other property on the highway improved, not so exempt. The lien created against any property or the personal liability of the owner thereof, may be enforced by suit in any court having jurisdiction or by sale of the property assessed in the same manner as may be provided by law for the sale of property for ad valorem city taxes. The recital in any deed made pursuant to such sale, that all legal prerequisites to said assessment and sale have been complied with, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts so recited and shall in all courts be accepted without further proof.
SEC. 8. No assessment of any part of the cost of such improvement shall be made against any property abutting thereon or its owner, until a full and fair hearing shall first have been given to the owners of such property preceded by a reasonable notice thereof given to said owners, their agents, or attorneys. Such notice shall be by advertisement inserted at least three times in some newspaper published in the city, town or village where such tax is sought to be improved, [levied] if there be such a paper there, if not the nearest to said city, town or village, of general circulation in the county in which said city is located, the first publication to be made at least ten days before the date of the hearing. The governing body may provide for additional notice cumulative of notice by advertisement. Said hearing shall be before the governing body of such cities, at which hearing such owners shall have the right to contest the said assessment and personal liability, and the regularity of the proceedings with reference to the improvement, and the benefits of said improvement to their property, and any other matter with reference thereto.
But no assessment shall be made against any owner of abutting property or his property in any event in excess of the actual benefit to such owner in the enhanced value of his property by means of such improvements as ascertained at such hearing.
The governing body of any city making improvements under the terms. hereof shall by ordinance adopt rules and regulations providing for such hearings to property owners, and for giving reasonable notice thereof.
SEC. 9. The governing body of any city shall be empowered to correct any mistake or irregularity in any proceedings with reference to such improvement or the assessment of the cost thereof against abutting property and its owners, and in case of any error or invalidity to re
assess against any abutting property and its owner the cost or part of the cost of improvements subject to the terms hereof not in excess of the benefits in enhanced value of such property from such improvement, and to make reasonable rules and regulations for a notice to and hearing of property owners before such reassessment.
SEC. 10. Any property owner against whom or whose property any assessment or reassessment has been made shall have the right within twenty days thereafter to bring suit in any court having jurisdiction to set aside or correct the same or any proceeding with reference thereto, on account of any error or invalidity therein. But thereafter such owner, his heirs, assigns or successors shall be barred from any such action, or any defense of invalidity in such proceedings or assessments or reassessments in any action in which the same may be brought in question.
SEC. 11. The benefits of this Act shall apply to any city and the terms thereof extend to the same, when the governing body thereof shall submit the question of the adoption or rejection hereof, to a vote of the resident property taxpayers who are qualified voters of said city at a special election called for the purpose by said city. And said election shall be held as nearly as possible in compliance with the law with reference to regular city elections in said city; but said governing body is hereby empowered by resolution to order said election and prescribe the time and manner of holding the same. Said body shall canvass and determine the results of such election and if a majority of the voters voting upon the question of the adoption of this Act at such election. shall vote to adopt the same, the result of the election shall by said governing body be entered upon their minutes, and thereupon all the terms hereof shall be applicable to and govern such city adopting the same. A certified copy of said minutes shall be prima facie evidence of the result of such election and the regularity thereof, and the facts therein recited shall in all courts be accepted as true. Whenever this Act has been adopted by any city the governing body thereof shall have full power to pass all ordinances or resolutions necessary or proper to give full force and effect thereto and to every part thereof. Whenever one hundred qualified voters in any city shall in writing petition for an election to determine the adoption of this Act, it shall be the duty of its governing body to order such election.
SEC. 12. This Act shall not repeal any law, general or special, already in existence, pertaining to the making of such improvements, but the provisions of this Act and of resolutions or ordinances passed pursuant thereto, shall be cumulative of and in addition to such existing laws; provided, that in any case in which a conflict may exist or arise between the provisions of this Act and the provisions of any law granting a special charter to any city in the State, the provisions of such special charter shall control.
SEC. 13. The fact that many cities have no general funds out of which street improvements can be constructed and no charter powers under which the cost thereof can be collected from owners of abutting property benefited thereby or from public service corporations occupying the streets, and the fact that such improvements are urgently needed, and that the citizens of many cities are anxious to obtain the benefits