(1) To have and use a common seal;
(2) To contract and be contracted with;
(3) To institute, maintain and defend any civil action or other proceeding in any court;
(4) To take, purchase, hold and lease as lessee (on an annual fiscal year basis where tax revenues are to be used to make the rental payments required under any such lease, with or without an option to renew such lease each year for another such period), for any municipal purpose, real or personal property within or without the corporate limits of the municipality, and to acquire by condemnation real or personal property within or without the corporate limits of the municipality for the purposes set forth in and in accordance with the provisions of chapter fifty-four of this code, subject, however, to any limitations or qualifications set forth in this chapter eight; and
(5) To take by gift, donation, grant, bequest or devise and to hold and administer, real or personal property within or without the corporate limits of the municipality, absolutely, in trust or otherwise, for any public, charitable or municipal purpose, and to do all things necessary, useful, convenient or incidental to carry out the purpose of such gift, donation, grant, bequest, devise or trust, and to manage, sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the same in accordance with such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the donor, grantor or testator and accepted by the municipality.
(1) The creation or discontinuance of departments of the city's government and the prescription, modification or repeal of their powers and duties;
(2) The transaction of the city's business;
(3) The incurring of the city's obligations;
(4) The presentation, ascertainment, disposition and discharge of claims against the city;
(5) The acquisition, care, management and use of the city's streets, avenues, roads, alleys, ways and property;
(6) The levy, assessment, collection and administration of such taxes and such special assessments for benefits conferred, as have been or may be specifically authorized by the Legislature;
(7) The operation and maintenance of passenger transportation services and facilities, if authorized by the public service commission, and if so authorized, such transportation system may be operated without the corporate limits of such city, but may not be operated within the corporate limits of another municipality without the consent of the governing body thereof;
(8) The furnishing of all local public services;
(9) The government, protection, order, conduct, safety and health of persons or property therein;
(10) The adoption and enforcement of local police, sanitary and other similar regulations; and
(11) The imposition and enforcement of penalties for the violation of any of the provisions of its charter or of any of its ordinances.
(b) By charter provision, a civil service system may be provided for all or any class of city employees in addition to those classes for which a civil service system is made mandatory by general law.
(c) Any city is hereby authorized and empowered to require, for the purpose of inquiring into and investigating matters of concern to the city or its inhabitants, the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence. In case of the failure or refusal of a witness to appear and testify or to produce evidence, the governing body may invoke the aid of the circuit court of the county in which the city or the major portion of the territory thereof is located. Upon proper showing, the circuit court shall issue an order requiring the witness to appear and give testimony and produce evidence concerning the matter in question. A person who fails or refuses to obey the order of the circuit court may be punished by the court as for contempt. A claim that any such testimony or evidence may tend to incriminate the person giving the testimony or evidence shall not excuse the witness, but such testimony or evidence shall not be used against the witness in any criminal prosecution.
(d) Any city is hereby authorized and empowered to provide for a sealer of weights and measures who shall exercise his powers in accordance with the provisions of article one, chapter forty-seven of this code.
The provisions of this section shall be construed as conferring additional powers and authority upon cities, and shall not be construed as affecting any powers and authority heretofore conferred upon any city by general, special or local law or by special legislative charter, or parts thereof; however, whenever a board is established by charter provision in accordance with the provisions of this section in connection with a municipal public works, a city waterworks system, or combined city waterworks and sewerage system, as aforesaid, such board shall act in lieu of the governing body of the city with respect thereto, and the provisions of said articles sixteen, nineteen and twenty of this chapter authorizing the establishment of a board with respect to any such public works, waterworks system or combined waterworks and sewerage system shall not be applicable.
(b) Any city adopting any such charter provision or ordinance shall also have plenary power and authority to enact such other ordinances and adopt such resolutions as may be deemed necessary or desirable to (1) implement and make effective the provisions of subsection (a) of this section; and (2) provide for the implementation of the plans prepared by such city's department of development.
(1) The initiation of ordinances by petition bearing the signatures, written in their own handwriting, of not less than ten percent of the qualified voters of such city;
(2) The submission to the qualified voters of such city of a proposed ordinance at a regular municipal election or special municipal election upon petition bearing the signatures, written in their own handwriting, of not less than ten percent of the qualified voters of such city or upon resolution of the governing body of such city; and
(3) The holding of a special municipal election to submit to the qualified voters of such city the question of the recall of an elected officer upon petition bearing the signatures, written in their own handwriting, of not less than twenty percent of the qualified voters of such city. Not more than one recall election shall be held with respect to an officer during his term of office.
In addition to the powers and authority granted by: (i) The Constitution of this state; (ii) other provisions of this chapter; (iii) other general law; and (iv) any charter, and to the extent not inconsistent or in conflict with any of the foregoing except special legislative charters, every municipality and the governing body thereof shall have plenary power and authority therein by ordinance or resolution, as the case may require, and by appropriate action based thereon:
(1) To lay off, establish, construct, open, alter, curb, recurb, pave or repave and keep in good repair, or vacate, discontinue and close, streets, avenues, roads, alleys, ways, sidewalks, drains and gutters, for the use of the public, and to improve and light the same, and have them kept free from obstructions on or over them which have not been authorized pursuant to the succeeding provisions of this subdivision; and, subject to such terms and conditions as the governing body shall prescribe, to permit, without in any way limiting the power and authority granted by the provisions of article sixteen of this chapter, any person to construct and maintain a passageway, building or other structure overhanging or crossing the airspace above a public street, avenue, road, alley, way, sidewalk or crosswalk, but before any permission for any person to construct and maintain a passageway, building or other structure overhanging or crossing any airspace is granted, a public hearing thereon shall be held by the governing body after publication of a notice of the date, time, place and purpose of the public hearing has been published as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for the publication shall be the municipality: Provided, That any permit so granted shall automatically cease and terminate in the event of abandonment and nonuse thereof for the purposes intended for a period of ninety days, and all rights therein or thereto shall revert to the municipality for its use and benefit;
(2) To provide for the opening and excavation of streets, avenues, roads, alleys, ways, sidewalks, crosswalks and public places belonging to the municipality and regulate the conditions under which any such opening may be made;
(3) To prevent by proper penalties the throwing, depositing or permitting to remain on any street, avenue, road, alley, way, sidewalk, square or other public place any glass, scrap iron, nails, tacks, wire, other litter or any offensive matter or anything likely to injure the feet of individuals or animals or the tires of vehicles;
(4) To regulate the use of streets, avenues, roads, alleys, ways, sidewalks, crosswalks and public places belonging to the municipality, including the naming or renaming thereof, and to consult with local postal authorities, the Division of Highways and the directors of county emergency communications centers to assure uniform, nonduplicative addressing on a permanent basis;
(5) To regulate the width of streets, avenues and roads, and, subject to the provisions of article eighteen of this chapter, to order the sidewalks, footways and crosswalks to be paved, repaved, curbed or recurbed and kept in good order, free and clean, by the owners or occupants thereof or of the real property next adjacent thereto;
(6) To establish, construct, alter, operate and maintain, or discontinue, bridges, tunnels and ferries and approaches thereto;
(7) To provide for the construction and maintenance of water drains, the drainage of swamps or marshlands and drainage systems;
(8) To provide for the construction, maintenance and covering over of watercourses;
(9) To control and administer the waterfront and waterways of the municipality and to acquire, establish, construct, operate and maintain and regulate flood control works, wharves and public landings, warehouses and all adjuncts and facilities for navigation and commerce and the utilization of the waterfront and waterways and adjacent property;
(10) To prohibit the accumulation and require the disposal of garbage, refuse, debris, wastes, ashes, trash and other similar accumulations whether on private or public property: Provided, That, in the event the municipality annexes an area which has been receiving solid waste collection services from a certificated solid waste motor carrier, the municipality and the solid waste motor carrier may negotiate an agreement for continuation of the private solid waste motor carrier services for a period of time, not to exceed three years, during which time the certificated solid waste motor carrier may continue to provide exclusive solid waste collection services in the annexed territory;
(11) To construct, establish, acquire, equip, maintain and operate incinerator plants and equipment and all other facilities for the efficient removal and destruction of garbage, refuse, wastes, ashes, trash and other similar matters;
(12) To regulate or prohibit the purchase or sale of articles intended for human use or consumption which are unfit for use or consumption, or which may be contaminated or otherwise unsanitary;
(13) To prevent injury or annoyance to the public or individuals from anything dangerous, offensive or unwholesome;
(14) To regulate the keeping of gunpowder and other combustibles;
(15) To make regulations guarding against danger or damage by fire;
(16) To arrest, convict and punish any individual for carrying about his or her person any revolver or other pistol, dirk, bowie knife, razor, slingshot, billy, metallic or other false knuckles or any other dangerous or other deadly weapon of like kind or character: Provided, That with respect to any firearm a municipality may only arrest, convict and punish someone if they are in violation of an ordinance authorized by subsection five-a of this article, a state law proscribing certain conduct with a firearm or applicable federal law;
(17) To arrest, convict and punish any person for importing, printing, publishing, selling or distributing any pornographic publications;
(18) To arrest, convict and punish any person for keeping a house of ill fame, or for letting to another person any house or other building for the purpose of being used or kept as a house of ill fame, or for knowingly permitting any house owned by him or her or under his or her control to be kept or used as a house of ill fame, or for loafing, boarding or loitering in a house of ill fame, or frequenting same;
(19) To prevent and suppress conduct and practices which are immoral, disorderly, lewd, obscene and indecent;
(20) To prevent the illegal sale of intoxicating liquors, drinks, mixtures and preparations;
(21) To arrest, convict and punish any individual for driving or operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of liquor, drugs or narcotics;
(22) To arrest, convict and punish any person for gambling or keeping any gaming tables, commonly called "A, B, C," or "E, O," table or faro bank or keno table, or table of like kind, under any denomination, whether the gaming table be played with cards, dice or otherwise, or any person who shall be a partner or concerned in interest, in keeping or exhibiting the table or bank, or keeping or maintaining any gaming house or place, or betting or gambling for money or anything of value;
(23) To provide for the elimination of hazards to public health and safety and to abate or cause to be abated anything which in the opinion of a majority of the governing body is a public nuisance;
(24) To license, or for good cause to refuse to license in a particular case, or in its discretion to prohibit in all cases, the operation of pool and billiard rooms and the maintaining for hire of pool and billiard tables notwithstanding the general law as to state licenses for any such business and the provisions of section four, article thirteen of this chapter; and when the municipality, in the exercise of its discretion, refuses to grant a license to operate a pool or billiard room, mandamus may not lie to compel the municipality to grant the license unless it shall clearly appear that the refusal of the municipality to grant a license is discriminatory or arbitrary; and in the event that the municipality determines to license any business, the municipality has plenary power and authority and it shall be the duty of its governing body to make and enforce reasonable ordinances regulating the licensing and operation of the businesses;
(25) To protect places of divine worship and to preserve peace and order in and about the premises where held;
(26) To regulate or prohibit the keeping of animals or fowls and to provide for the impounding, sale or destruction of animals or fowls kept contrary to law or found running at large;
(27) To arrest, convict and punish any person for cruelly, unnecessarily or needlessly beating, torturing, mutilating, killing, or overloading or overdriving or willfully depriving of necessary sustenance any domestic animal;
(28) To provide for the regular building of houses or other structures, for the making of division fences by the owners of adjacent premises and for the drainage of lots by proper drains and ditches;
(29) To provide for the protection and conservation of shade or ornamental trees, whether on public or private property, and for the removal of trees or limbs of trees in a dangerous condition;
(30) To prohibit with or without zoning the location of occupied house trailers or mobile homes in certain residential areas;
(31) To regulate the location and placing of signs, billboards, posters and similar advertising;
(32) To erect, establish, construct, acquire, improve, maintain and operate a gas system, a waterworks system, an electric system or sewer system and sewage treatment and disposal system, or any combination of the foregoing (subject to all of the pertinent provisions of articles nineteen and twenty of this chapter and particularly to the limitations or qualifications on the right of eminent domain set forth in articles nineteen and twenty), within or without the corporate limits of the municipality, except that the municipality may not erect any system partly without the corporate limits of the municipality to serve persons already obtaining service from an existing system of the character proposed and where the system is by the municipality erected, or has heretofore been so erected, partly within and partly without the corporate limits of the municipality, the municipality has the right to lay and collect charges for service rendered to those served within and those served without the corporate limits of the municipality and to prevent injury to the system or the pollution of the water thereof and its maintenance in a healthful condition for public use within the corporate limits of the municipality;
(33) To acquire watersheds, water and riparian rights, plant sites, rights-of-way and any and all other property and appurtenances necessary, appropriate, useful, convenient or incidental to any system, waterworks or sewage treatment and disposal works, as aforesaid, subject to all of the pertinent provisions of articles nineteen and twenty of this chapter;
(34) To establish, construct, acquire, maintain and operate and regulate markets and prescribe the time of holding the same;
(35) To regulate and provide for the weighing of articles sold or for sale;
(36) To establish, construct, acquire, maintain and operate public buildings, municipal buildings or city halls, auditoriums, arenas, jails, juvenile detention centers or homes, motor vehicle parking lots or any other public works;
(37) To establish, construct, acquire, provide, equip, maintain and operate recreational parks, playgrounds and other recreational facilities for public use and in this connection also to proceed in accordance with the provisions of article two, chapter ten of this code;
(38) To establish, construct, acquire, maintain and operate a public library or museum or both for public use;
(39) To provide for the appointment and financial support of a library board in accordance with the provisions of article one, chapter ten of this code;
(40) To establish and maintain a public health unit in accordance with the provisions of section two, article two, chapter sixteen of this code, which unit shall exercise its powers and perform its duties subject to the supervision and control of the West Virginia Board of Health and State Bureau for Public Health;
(41) To establish, construct, acquire, maintain and operate hospitals, sanitarians and dispensaries;
(42) To acquire, by purchase, condemnation or otherwise, land within or near the corporate limits of the municipality for providing and maintaining proper places for the burial of the dead and to maintain and operate the same and regulate interments therein upon terms and conditions as to price and otherwise as may be determined by the governing body and, in order to carry into effect the authority, the governing body may acquire any cemetery or cemeteries already established;
(43) To exercise general police jurisdiction over any territory without the corporate limits owned by the municipality or over which it has a right-of-way;
(44) To protect and promote the public morals, safety, health, welfare and good order;
(45) To adopt rules for the transaction of business and the government and regulation of its governing body;
(46) Except as otherwise provided, to require and take bonds from any officers, when considered necessary, payable to the municipality, in its corporate name, with such sureties and in a penalty as the governing body may see fit, conditioned upon the faithful discharge of their duties;
(47) To require and take from the employees and contractors such bonds in a penalty, with such sureties and with such conditions, as the governing body may see fit;
(48) To investigate and inquire into all matters of concern to the municipality or its inhabitants;
(49) To establish, construct, require, maintain and operate such instrumentalities, other than free public schools, for the instruction, enlightenment, improvement, entertainment, recreation and welfare of the municipality's inhabitants as the governing body may consider necessary or appropriate for the public interest;
(50) To create, maintain and operate a system for the enumeration, identification and registration, or either, of the inhabitants of the municipality and visitors thereto, or the classes thereof as may be considered advisable;
(51) To require owners, residents or occupants of factory-built homes situated in a factory-built rental home community with at least ten factory-built homes, to visibly post the specific numeric portion of the address of each factory-built home on the immediate premises of the factory-built home of sufficient size to be visible from the adjoining street: Provided, That in the event no numeric or other specific designation of an address exists for a factory-built home subject to the authorization granted by this subdivision, the municipality has the authority to provide a numeric or other specific designation of an address for the factory-built home and require that it be posted in accordance with the authority otherwise granted by this section.
(52) To appropriate and expend not exceeding twenty-five cents per capita per annum for advertising the municipality and the entertainment of visitors;
(53) To conduct programs to improve community relations and public relations generally and to expend municipal revenue for such purposes;
(54) To reimburse applicants for employment by the municipality for travel and other reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred by the applicants in traveling to and from the municipality to be interviewed;
(55) To provide revenue for the municipality and appropriate the same to its expenses;
(56) To create and maintain an employee benefits fund which may not exceed one tenth of one percent of the annual payroll budget for general employee benefits and which is set up for the purpose of stimulating and encouraging employees to develop and implement cost-saving ideas and programs and to expend moneys from the fund for these purposes;
(57) To enter into reciprocal agreements with governmental subdivisions or agencies of any state sharing a common border for the protection of people and property from fire and for emergency medical services and for the reciprocal use of equipment and personnel for these purposes;
(58) To provide penalties for the offenses and violations of law mentioned in this section, subject to the provisions of section one, article eleven of this chapter, and such penalties may not exceed any penalties provided in this chapter and chapter sixty-one of this code for like offenses and violations; and
(a) Except as provided by the provisions of this section and the provisions of section five of this article, neither a municipality nor the governing body of any municipality may, by ordinance or otherwise, limit the right of any person to purchase, possess, transfer, own, carry, transport, sell or store any revolver, pistol, rifle or shotgun or any ammunition or ammunition components to be used therewith nor to so regulate the keeping of gunpowder so as to directly or indirectly prohibit the ownership of the ammunition in any manner inconsistent with or in conflict with state law.
(b) For the purposes of this section:
(1) "Municipally owned or operated building" means any building that is used for the business of the municipality, such as a courthouse, city hall, convention center, administrative building or other similar municipal building used for a municipal purpose permitted by state law: Provided, That "municipally owned or operated building" does not include a building owned by a municipality that is leased to a private entity where the municipality primarily serves as a property owner receiving rental payments.
(2) "Municipally owned recreation facility" means any municipal swimming pool, recreation center, sports facility, facility housing an after-school program or other similar facility where children are regularly present.
(c)(1) A municipality may enact and enforce an ordinance or ordinances that prohibit or regulate the carrying or possessing of a firearm in municipally owned or operated buildings.
(2) A municipality may enact and enforce an ordinance or ordinances that prohibit a person from carrying or possessing a firearm openly or that is not lawfully concealed in a municipally owned recreation facility: Provided, That a municipality may not prohibit a person with a valid concealed handgun permit from carrying an otherwise lawfully possessed firearm into a municipally owned recreation facility and securely storing the firearm out of view and access to others during their time at the municipally owned recreation facility.
(3) A person may keep an otherwise lawfully possessed firearm in a motor vehicle in municipal public parking facilities if the vehicle is locked and the firearm is out of view.
(4) A municipality may not prohibit or regulate the carrying or possessing of a firearm on municipally owned or operated property other than municipally owned or operated buildings and municipally owned recreation facilities pursuant to subdivisions (1) and (2) of this section: Provided, That a municipality may prohibit persons who do not have a valid concealed handgun license from carrying or possessing a firearm on municipally owned or operated property.
(d) It shall be an absolute defense to an action for an alleged violation of an ordinance authorized by this section prohibiting or regulating the possession of a firearm that the person: (1) Upon being requested to do so, left the premises with the firearm or temporarily relinquished the firearm in response to being informed that his or her possession of the firearm was contrary to municipal ordinance; and (2) but for the municipal ordinance the person was lawfully in possession of the firearm.
(e) Any municipality that enacts an ordinance regulating or prohibiting the carrying or possessing of a firearm pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall prominently post a clear statement at each entrance to all applicable municipally owned or operated buildings or municipally owned recreation facilities setting forth the terms of the regulation or prohibition.
(f) Redress for an alleged violation of this section may be sought through the provisions of chapter fifty-three of this code, which may include the awarding of reasonable attorneys fees and costs.
(g) Upon the effective date of this section, section fourteen, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code is inapplicable to municipalities. For the purposes of that section, municipalities may not be considered a person charged with the care, custody and control of real property.
(h) This section does not:
(1) Impair the authority of any municipality, or the governing body thereof, to enact any ordinance or resolution respecting the power to arrest, convict and punish any individual under the provisions of subdivision (16), section five of this article or from enforcing any such ordinance or resolution;
(2) Authorize municipalities to restrict the carrying or possessing of firearms, which are otherwise lawfully possessed, on public streets and sidewalks of the municipality: Provided, That whenever pedestrian or vehicular traffic is prohibited in an area of a municipality for the purpose of a temporary event of limited duration, not to exceed fourteen days, which is authorized by a municipality, a municipality may prohibit persons who do not have a valid concealed handgun license from possessing a firearm in the area where the event is held; or
A municipality when adopting this ordinance, may delete therefrom such portions of paragraph (A), subdivision (4), subsection (b) of this section that it deems appropriate.
(b) The ordinance which municipalities may adopt pursuant to the power granted them under subsection (a) of this section shall be:
Section 1. Definitions.
For purposes of this ordinance:
(1) "Knowingly" means to have knowledge of or to be aware of the content or character of obscene matter.
(2) "Matter" means any book, magazine, newspaper or other printed or written material, or any picture, drawing or photograph, motion picture, or other visual representation, or live conduct, or any recording, transcription or mechanical, chemical or electrical reproduction, or any other articles, equipment, machines or materials.
(3) "Individual" means any human being regardless of age.
(4) "Obscene" means matter which the average individual applying contemporary community standards would find (i) taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest; (ii) depicts or describes in a patently offensive way ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated; and (iii) the matter, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value, and which either:
(A) Depicts or describes patently offensive representation of masturbation, excretory functions, lewd exhibition of the genitals, sodomy, fellatio, cunnilingus, bestiality, sadism, masochism; or
(B) Depicts or describes nudity or sexual acts of persons, male or female, below the age of eighteen years.
(5) "Person" means any individual, partnership, firm, association, corporation or other legal entity.
(6) "Prepare" means to produce, publish or print.
(7) "Public display" means the placing of material on or in a billboard, viewing screen, theatre, marquee, newsstand, display rack, window, showcase, display case or similar public place so that material can be purchased or viewed by individuals.
Section 1a. Injunctive relief.
The circuit court shall have jurisdiction to issue an injunction to enforce the purposes of this ordinance upon petition by the attorney for the municipality or a representative thereof or any citizen of the municipality who can show a good faith and valid reason for making such application. No bond shall be required unless for good cause shown.
Section 2. Activities prohibited; penalties.
Any person who knowingly sends or causes to be sent or causes to be brought into the municipality of (name of municipality) for sale or public display, or prepares, sells or makes a public display, or in the municipality of (name of municipality) offers to prepare, sell or make a public display, or has in his possession with the intent to sell or make a public display of any obscene matter to any individual, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or both fined and imprisoned. A person convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both fined and imprisoned.
Section 3. Employees acting within scope of employment shall not be prosecuted.
No employee shall be guilty of a violation of this ordinance when such employee is a projectionist, ticket taker, usher, or when such employee prepares, sells or makes a public display of obscene matter while acting within the scope of his regular employment, unless such employee has a proprietary interest in such obscene matter or is a shareholder or officer of a corporation which has a proprietary interest in such obscene matter.
Section 4. Exceptions.
Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed so as to apply to any person exercising a right secured by the constitution or laws of this state or of these United States.
(b) In the event a municipality has not created or designated a planning commission in accordance with the provisions of article twenty-four of this chapter, every municipality and the governing body of the municipality may, in addition to all other powers of municipalities, adopt an ordinance that limits the areas of the municipality in which businesses may offer exotic entertainment. Any such ordinance shall be subject to the provisions of section fifty, article twenty-four of this chapter: Provided, That in the event of the partial or total loss of any existing business structure due to fire, flood, accident or any other unforeseen act, that business structure may be repaired or replaced and the business use of that structure may continue notwithstanding the existence of any ordinance authorized by this section. Any such repair or replacement will be limited to restoring or replacing the damaged or lost structure with one reasonably similar, or smaller, in size as measured in square footage, and any enlargement of the business structure will subject the structure to any existing ordinance authorized by this section.
(c) Any person adversely affected by an ordinance enacted pursuant to the authority granted in subsection (b) of this section is entitled to seek direct judicial review with regard to whether the ordinance impermissibly burdens his or her right to establish a business offering exotic entertainment.
(1) Comply with all Federal Communications Commission regulations and its rulings and orders;
(2) Reasonably accommodate amateur radio communications; and
(3) Represent the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the municipality's legitimate purpose.
(b) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit a municipal governing body from taking action to protect or preserve historic buildings, structures, sites and districts that have been established by federal, state or local law.
(1) "Energy-conservation measures" means goods or services, or both, to reduce energy consumption operating costs of municipality facilities. They include, but are not limited to, installation of one or more of the following:
(A) Insulation of a building structure and systems within a building;
(B) Storm windows or doors, caulking or weather stripping, multiglazed windows or doors, heat-absorbing or heat-reflective glazed and coated window or door systems, or other window or door modifications that reduce energy consumption;
(C) Automatic energy control systems;
(D) Heating, ventilating or air conditioning systems, including modifications or replacements;
(E) Replacement or modification of lighting fixtures to increase energy efficiency;
(F) Energy recovery systems;
(G) Cogeneration systems that produce steam or another form of energy for use by any agency in a building or complex of buildings owned by the municipality; or
(H) Energy-conservation maintenance measures that provide long-term operating cost reductions of the building's present cost of operation.
(2) "Energy-savings contract" means a performance-based contract for the evaluation and recommendation of energy operations conservation measures and for implementation of one or more energy-conservation measures.
(3) "Qualified provider" means a person, firm or corporation experienced in the design, implementation and installation of energy-conservation measures.
(b) Municipalities are authorized to enter into performance-based contracts with qualified providers of energy-conservation measures for the purpose of significantly reducing energy operating costs of municipality buildings, subject to the requirements of this section.
(c) Before entering into a contract or before the installation of equipment, modifications or remodeling to be furnished under a contract, the qualified provider shall first issue a proposal summarizing the scope of work to be performed. A proposal must contain estimates of all costs of installation, modifications or remodeling, including the costs of design, engineering, installation, maintenance, repairs or debt service, as well as estimates of the amounts by which energy operating costs will be reduced. If the municipality finds, after receiving the proposal, that the proposal includes one or more energy-conservation measures, the installation of which is guaranteed to result in a net savings of a minimum of five percent of the then current energy operating costs which savings will, at a minimum, satisfy any debt service required, the municipality may enter into a contract with the provider pursuant to this section.
(d) An energy-savings contract must include the following:
(1) A guarantee of a specific minimum net percentage amount of at least five percent of energy operating costs each year over the term of the contract that the municipality will save;
(2) A statement of all costs of energy-conservation measures, including the costs of design, engineering, installation, maintenance, repairs and operations; and
(3) A provision that payments, except obligations upon termination of the contract before its expiration, are to be made over time.
(e) A municipality may supplement its payments with federal, state or local funds to reduce the annual cost or to lower the initial amount to be financed.
(f) Any energy-savings contract entered into for the purpose of achieving one or more energy-conservation measures, as authorized by this section, shall be subject to a competitive bidding process as provided by municipal ordinance enacted pursuant to section ten-b, article twelve of this chapter.
(g) An energy-savings contract may extend beyond the fiscal year in which it first becomes effective: Provided, That such a contract may not exceed a fifteen-year term: Provided, however, That the long-term contract will be void unless the agreement provides that the municipality shall have the option during each fiscal year of the contract to terminate the agreement.
(h) Municipalities may enter into a "lease with an option to purchase" contract for the purchase and installation of energy-conservation measures if the term of the lease does not exceed fifteen years and the lease contract includes the provisions contained in subsection (f) of this section and meets federal tax requirements for tax-exempt municipal leasing or long-term financing.
(i) The municipality may include in its annual budget for each fiscal year any amounts payable under long-term energy-savings contracts during that fiscal year.
(b) Every municipality shall also have plenary power and authority to provide for the indemnification of its officers, agents and employees against any and all liability, losses, damages, expenses and costs, including court costs and reasonable and necessary attorney fees, arising from, growing out of, by reason of or in any way connected with any acts or omissions of said officers, agents or employees in the performance of their official duties. Such indemnification may be provided by a self- funding program, by expenditures from the general fund, or by the purchase of insurance as provided in subsection (a) of this section, with or without financial contribution or participation by such officers, agents and employees. Prior to the expenditure of any public funds pursuant to the power and authority conferred by the provisions of this subsection (b), the governing body shall determine by ordinance applicable to an entire class or classes of officers, agents or employees the manner in which such power and authority shall be exercised.
The municipality is hereby authorized and empowered to pay the entire premium cost, or any portion thereof, of said group policy or policies. Whenever the above-described regular employees shall indicate in writing that they have subscribed to any of the aforesaid insurance plans on a group basis and the entire cost thereof is not paid by the municipality, the municipality is hereby authorized and empowered to make periodic premium deductions of the amount of the contribution each such subscribing employee is required to make for such participation from the salary or wage payments due each such subscribing employee as specified in a written assignment furnished to the municipality by each such subscribing employee.
When a participating employee shall retire from his employment, he may, if he so elects, remain a member of the group plan and retain coverage for his spouse and dependents, by paying the entire premium for the coverage involved. Spouses and dependents of any deceased member may remain a member of the group plan by paying the entire premium for the coverage: Provided, That nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting the municipality from paying a portion or all of the cost of any coverage. In the event that a municipality changes insurance carriers, as a condition precedent to any such change, the municipality shall assure that all retirees, their spouses and dependents, and the spouses and dependents of any deceased member are guaranteed acceptance, at the same cost for the same coverage as regular employees of similar age groupings, their spouses and dependents.
(b) Every municipality is hereby empowered and authorized to provide by ordinance whether competitive bidding is to be required in the purchase of materials, supplies and equipment and if so the type or types of purchases with respect to which the same shall be required and the method and manner in which bids shall be obtained. Any ordinance adopted by any municipality in accordance with the provisions of this subsection (b) shall supersede any provision pertaining to competitive bidding contained in the special legislative charter of such municipality.
The funds for the initial rental payment under any such agreement must be legally at the disposal of the municipality for expenditure in the fiscal year in which such agreement is executed, and in the event the municipality elects during any subsequent fiscal year to continue the agreement for any additional rental period or to pay in advance the balance due, the funds for the additional rental period or the funds to be used to pay the balance in advance must be legally at the disposal of the municipality for expenditure in the fiscal year in which the municipality elects to continue the agreement or to pay in advance the balance due, as the case may be.
Any such ordinance may provide that the police force or department of such municipality shall police the parking facility; and that overtime parking at the facility or other violations of the ordinance shall be a misdemeanor punishable as provided in said ordinance. Any such ordinance shall also provide for the collection of reasonable charges for the use of such parking facility by the public generally, and any such ordinance may be amended from time to time. Any lease entered into by and between any such municipality and the owner or owners of any such real property may contain such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon between the parties, not inconsistent with any of the provisions of this section or other provisions of law. The ordinance authorizing any such lease may also specify terms and conditions which must be contained in such lease.
Under no circumstances whatever shall any obligation incurred under the provisions of this section or any such lease be deemed to be or create an indebtedness of the municipality, the governing body or any member thereof, any officer thereof, or other municipal official, and all of the expenses of whatever kind, nature or character incident to the establishment, maintenance and operation of such parking facility, including, but not limited to, such rental payments as are provided for in the lease and the cost of policing the facility, shall be paid solely from revenues derived from such parking facility, and from revenues derived from other parking facilities or meters not pledged to pay for such other parking facilities or meters. No member of the governing body of any such municipality, or any officer thereof, or other municipal official, shall under any circumstances be personally liable under any such lease or upon any obligation of any kind, nature or character arising under the provisions of this section.
The power and authority herein granted shall be in addition to and not in derogation of any power and authority vested in any municipality under any constitutional, statutory or charter provision now or hereafter in effect. This section shall, without reference to any other provisions of this code or any other statute or any charter, be deemed full authority for the acquisition of any such real property by lease for a parking facility, for the establishment, maintenance and operation of any such parking facility and for the enactment of an ordinance as hereinbefore specified. This section shall be construed as an additional alternative method for providing off-street parking facilities, and shall not in any way limit the provisions of article sixteen of this chapter authorizing the establishment, maintenance, operation and financing of such facilities by the issuance of revenue bonds.
This section, being necessary for the public safety and welfare, shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes.
(1) Regulate the erection, construction, repair or alteration of structures of every kind within the corporate limits of the municipality, prohibit, within specified territorial limits, the erection, construction, repair or alteration of structures of wood or other combustible material, and regulate excavations upon private property;
(2) Regulate electric wiring by prescribing minimum specifications to be followed in the installation, alteration or repair thereof; and
(3) Regulate plumbing by prescribing the minimum specifications to be followed in the installation, alteration or repair of plumbing, including equipment, water and sewer pipe, traps, drains, cesspools and septic tanks.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), all existing municipal building codes are void one year after the promulgation of a state building code by the state fire commission as provided in chapter twenty-nine, article three, section five-b of this code.
Upon the voidance of the municipality's existing building code, if the municipality votes to adopt a building code, it must be the state building code promulgated pursuant to chapter twenty-nine, article three, section five-b of this code.
(c) The governing body of every municipality shall have plenary power and authority by ordinance or a code of ordinances to adopt such state building code promulgated by the state fire commission.
Acts, 1989 Reg. Sess., Ch. 79.
(a) Plenary power and authority are hereby conferred upon every municipality to adopt ordinances regulating the repair, alteration or improvement, or the vacating and closing or removal or demolition, or any combination thereof, of any dwellings or other buildings unfit for human habitation due to dilapidation, defects increasing the hazard of fire, accidents or other calamities, lack of ventilation, light or sanitary facilities or any other conditions prevailing in any dwelling or building, whether used for human habitation or not, which would cause such dwellings or other buildings to be unsafe, unsanitary, dangerous or detrimental to the public safety or welfare.
(b) The governing body in formally adopting the ordinances shall designate the enforcement agency, which shall consist of the mayor, the municipal engineer or building inspector and one member at large, to be selected by and to serve at the will and pleasure of the mayor. The ranking health officer and fire chief shall serve as ex officio members of the enforcement agency.
(c) Any ordinance adopted pursuant to the provisions of this section must provide fair and equitable rules of procedure and any other standards deemed necessary to guide the enforcement agency, or its agents, in the investigation of dwelling or building conditions, and in conducting hearings: Provided, That any entrance upon premises for the purpose of making examinations is made in a manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession.
(d) The governing body of every municipality has plenary power and authority to adopt an ordinance requiring the owner or owners of any dwelling or building under determination of the State Fire Marshal, as provided in section twelve, article three, chapter twenty-nine of this code, or under order of the enforcement agency of the municipality, to pay for the costs of repairing, altering or improving, or of vacating and closing, removing or demolishing any dwelling or building.
(e) Every municipality:
(1) May file a lien against the real property in question for an amount that reflects all costs incurred by the municipality for repairing, altering or improving, or of vacating and closing, removing or demolishing any dwelling or building; and
(2) May institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction against the landowner or other responsible party for all costs incurred by the municipality with respect to the property and for reasonable attorney fees and court costs incurred in the prosecution of the action.
(f) Not less than ten days prior to instituting a civil action as provided in this section, the governing body of the municipality shall send notice to the landowner by certified mail, return receipt requested, advising the landowner of the governing body's intention to institute such action.
(g) The notice shall be sent to the most recent address of the landowner of record in the office of the assessor of the county where the subject property is located. If, for any reason, such certified mail is returned without evidence of proper receipt thereof, then in such event, the governing body shall cause a Class III-0 legal advertisement to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county wherein the subject property is located and post notice on the front door or other conspicuous location on the subject property.
(h) If any landowner desires to contest any demand brought forth pursuant to this section, the landowner may seek relief in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(i) For purposes of this section, "owner" or "landowner" means a person who individually or jointly with others:
(1) Has legal title to the property, with or without actual possession of the property;
(2) Has charge, care or control of the property as owner or agent of the owner;
(3) Is an executor, administrator, trustee or guardian of the estate of the owner;
(4) Is the agent of the owner for the purpose of managing, controlling or collecting rents; or
(5) Is entitled to control or direct the management or disposition of the property.
(j) All orders issued by the enforcement agency shall be served in accordance with the law of this state concerning the service of process in civil actions, and be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises affected by the complaint or order: Provided, That no ordinance may be adopted without providing for the right to apply to the circuit court for a temporary injunction restraining the enforcement agency pending final disposition of the cause.
(k) In the event such application is made, a hearing thereon shall be had within twenty days, or as soon thereafter as possible, and the court shall enter such final order or decree as the law and justice may require.
(a) The governing body of a municipality may, by ordinance, establish a property registration for any real property improved by a structure that is uninhabitable and violates the applicable building code adopted by the municipality. An owner of real property subject to the registration shall be assessed a fee as provided by the ordinance.
(b) The mayor of the municipality shall appoint a code enforcement officer to investigate and determine whether real property violates provisions of the applicable building code of the municipality.
(c) After inspecting the property, if the officer determines the property is uninhabitable and violates the applicable building code, then:
(1) The officer shall post a written notice on the property which shall include:
(A) An explanation of the violation(s);
(B) A description of the registration;
(C) The date the fee will be assessed;
(D) An explanation of how to be removed from the registration; (E) An explanation of the appeals process; and
(F) A statement that if the fee is not paid, then the property is subject to forfeiture; and
(2) Within five business days of the inspection and the posting of the property, the officer shall, by certified mail, send a copy of the notice that was posted to the owner(s) of the property at the last known address according to the county property tax records.
(d) Within forty-five days of receipt of the notification by the owner(s), the property owner may:
(1) Make and complete any repairs to the property that violate the applicable building code; or
(2) Provide written information to the officer showing that repairs are forthcoming in a reasonable period of time.
(e) For purposes of this section, "owner" or "property owner" means a person who individually or jointly with others:
(1) Has legal title to the property, with or without actual possession of the property;
(2) Has charge, care or control of the property as owner or agent of the owner;
(3) Is an executor, administrator, trustee or guardian of the estate of the owner;
(4) Is the agent of the owner for the purpose of managing, controlling or collecting rents; or
(5) Is entitled to control or direct the management or disposition of the property.
(f) After the repairs are made, the owner may request a reinspection of the property to ensure compliance with the applicable building code. If the officer finds the violations are fixed, the owner is not subject to the registration and no fee will be incurred.
(g) The officer may reinspect the property at any time to determine where in the process the repairs fall.
(h) Within ninety days of receipt of the notification by the owner(s), the property owner has the right to appeal the decision of the officer to the enforcement agency, created in section sixteen, article twelve of this chapter.
(i) If an appeal is not filed within ninety days, the property is registered and the fee is assessed to the owner(s) on the date specified in the notice. The notice of the fee shall be recorded in the office of the clerk of the county commission of the county where the property is located and if different, in the office of the clerk of the county commission of the county where the property is assessed for real property taxes.
(j) If the enforcement agency affirms the registration and assessment of the registration fee, the property owner has the right to appeal the decision of the enforcement agency to the circuit court within thirty days of the decision. If the decision is not appealed in a timely manner to the circuit court, then the property is registered and the fee is assessed on the date specified in the notice. The notice of the fee shall be recorded in the office of the clerk of the county commission of the county where the property is located and if different, in the office of the clerk of the county commission of the county where the property is assessed for real property taxes.
(k) A fee assessed under this section shall be recorded in the same manner as a lien is recorded in the office of the clerk of the county commission of the county.
(l) If the fee is paid, then the municipality shall record a release of the fee in the office of the clerk of the county commission of the county where the property is located and if different, in the office of the clerk of the county commission of the county where the property is assessed for real property taxes.
(m) If an owner fails to pay the fee, then the officer shall annually post the written notice on the property and send the written notice to the owner(s) by certified mail.
(n) If a registration fee remains delinquent for two years from the date it was placed on record in the clerk of the county commission in which the property is located and assessed, the municipality may take action to receive the subject property by means of forfeiture. Should the municipality take the steps necessary to receive the subject property, the municipality then becomes the owner of record and takes the property subject to all liens and real and personal property taxes.
(b) The ordinance enacted, pursuant to this section, must specify the duties to be performed by the special litter prevention officers and the required training such officers must undertake prior to commencement of their duties.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a special litter prevention officer may be presently employed by the municipality in another capacity. In the performance of the duties of special litter prevention officer, such officers shall be vested with the power to issue a citation, issue a summons, and sign a complaint. Such officers shall display at all times a badge or other sign of authority issued by the municipality.
(d) The governing body of the municipality may require such special litter prevention officers to give bond, payable to the municipality, in its corporate name, with such sureties and such penalties as the governing body may see fit, conditioned for the faithful performance of their duties.
(a) The governing body of a municipality shall have plenary power and authority to establish by ordinance a vacant building and property registration and maintenance program.
(b) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Owner" or "property owner" means a person who individually or jointly with others:
(A) Has legal title to the property, with or without actual possession of the property;
(B) Has charge, care or control of the property as owner or agent of the owner;
(C) Is an executor, administrator, trustee or guardian of the estate of the owner;
(D) Is the agent of the owner for the purpose of managing, controlling or collecting rents; or
(E) Is entitled to control or direct the management or disposition of the property.
(2) "Vacant building" means a building or other structure that is unoccupied, or unsecured and occupied by one or more unauthorized persons for an amount of time as determined by the ordinance. A new building under construction or a building that by definition is exempted by ordinance of the municipality, is not deemed a vacant building. The governing body of a municipality, on a case-by-case basis, upon request by the property owner, shall exempt a vacant building from registration upon a finding for good cause shown that the person will be unable to occupy the building for a determinant period of time.
(3) "Vacant property" means a property on which no building is erected and no routine activity occurs.
(c) An owner of real property subject to registration and maintenance requirements may be charged a fee or fees as provided by ordinance. The ordinance shall provide administrative procedures for the administration and enforcement of registration and payment and collection of registration fees.
(d) The ordinance may require that when the owner of the vacant building or property resides outside of the state that the owner provide the name and address of a person who resides within the state who is authorized to accept service of process and notices of fees due under this section on behalf of the owner and who is designated as a responsible, local party or agent for the purposes of notification in the event of an emergency affecting the public health, safety or welfare.
(e) The ordinance may authorize the municipality to institute a civil action against the property owner and/or file a lien on real property for unpaid and delinquent vacant building registration fees. Before any lien is filed, the municipality shall give notice to the property owner or owner's agent, by certified mail, return receipt requested, that the municipality will file the lien unless the delinquent fees are paid by a date stated in the notice, which must be no less than thirty days from the date the notice is received by the owner or the owner's agent, which shall be the date of delivery shown on the signed certified mail return receipt card. The ordinance may provide for alternative means of service when service cannot be obtained by certified mail.
(f) The ordinance may require that the owner maintain the vacant building or property to a standard deemed reasonable by the governing body. The ordinance may include authority for the municipality, following notice to the owner, to act to bring the vacant building or property into compliance with the standard, or otherwise eliminate the public nuisance caused by any noncomplaint conditions: Provided, That nothing in this section is to be interpreted to impose a duty, obligation or requirement that a municipality must undertake such repairs, demolition or maintenance measures which remain as obligations and responsibilities of the owner. Cost of the repairs, demolition and maintenance and related legal and administrative costs incurred by the municipality are to be paid by the owner. Collection of these costs may be enforced in civil proceedings against the owner.
(g) The ordinance shall permit a property owner to challenge any determination made pursuant to the ordinance. The administrative procedures adopted pursuant to the ordinance shall include the right to appeal to the circuit court of the county in which the property is located.
(h) The governing body of a municipality shall deposit the fee into a separate account, which shall be used to:
(1) Improve public safety efforts, especially for police and fire personnel, who most often contend with the dangerous situations manifested in vacant properties;
(2) Monitor and administer this section; and
The requirements of this section shall not apply to the sale or lease of any part of the properties of any such public utility determined by the governing body to be unnecessary for the efficient rendering of the service of such utility.
(b) In all other cases involving a sale, any municipality is hereby empowered and authorized to sell any of its real or personal property or any interest therein or any part thereof for a fair and adequate consideration, the property to be sold at public auction at a place designated by the governing body, but before making any sale, notice of the time, terms and place of sale, together with a brief description of the property to be sold, shall be published as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for the publication shall be the municipality. The requirements of notice and public auction shall not apply to the sale of any one item or piece of property of less value than one thousand dollars and under no circumstances shall the provisions of this section be construed as being applicable to any transaction involving the trading in of municipally owned property on the purchase of new or other property for the municipality and every municipality shall have plenary power and authority to enter into and consummate any trade-in transaction.
(c) In all other cases involving a lease, any municipality is hereby empowered and authorized to lease as lessor any of its real or personal property or any interest therein or any part thereof for a fair and adequate consideration and for a term not exceeding fifty years. Every lease shall be authorized by resolution of the governing body of the municipality, which resolution may specify terms and conditions which must be contained in such lease: Provided, That before any proposed lease is authorized by resolution of the governing body, a public hearing on the proposed lease shall be held by the governing body after notice of the date, time, place and purpose of the public hearing has been published as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for the publication shall be the municipality. The power and authority granted in this subsection shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, any power and authority vested in any municipality under any constitutional or other statutory provision now or hereafter in effect.
Acts, 1990 Reg. Sess., Ch. 139.
(b) The regulations shall be limited to the following:
(1) Requirements for the condition of the taxicabs;
(2) The location of taxi stands;
(3) Background checks for taxi drivers;
(4) Drug testing for taxi drivers;
(5) Violations of regulations adopted pursuant to this section for which citations may be issued and penalties imposed;
(6) The requirement that a taxicab company place a sign, visible to passengers, in the taxicab which contains contact information which passengers may use to make complaints about the taxicab company or its taxi drivers. The municipality may assist passengers in resolving complaints, and shall forward complaints to the public service commission in the event that further action is needed; and
(7) Requirements for safety inspections of the taxicabs.
(8) Requirements to improve reliability of service.
(c) This section is not intended to increase the number of
operators or owners of taxicabs and taxi stands.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.