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matter of such proposed improvement, which time shall be not less than six days from the first publication of such notice. At the time and place mentioned in such notice, the common council shall meet, and then, or at such other time as a majority of its members then present may appoint, shall hear all persons desiring to be heard upon the matter of said proposed improvement, or with reference to the district of assessment, and shall take such action thereon as it shall deem proper. No such improvement shall be ordered except by an ordinance, adopted by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members of the common council. The ordinance directing such improvement shall require and direct that the cost and expense thereof shall be defrayed by local assessment, and shall designate that portion of the city which shall be assessed therefor; such ordinance shall also contain a description of the lots or parcels of land, if any, required for such improvement.
§ 229. Acquisition of land by contract.-After the adoption of such ordinance, the commissioner of public works may contract with the owner or owners of any of the lands required for said improvement for the sale thereof, to said city, at a price, to be stated in said contract, which price shall be approved by the board of estimate and apportionment, and shall be payable at some time after the final confirmation of the apportionment and assessment of the probable cost and expense of said improvement, as hereinafter provided, and upon the delivery of a good and sufficient deed or deeds of the lands so contracted for, conveying to the said city in fee the lands so purchased, free and clear of all liens or encumbrances.
§ 230. Acquisition of land by legal proceedings. Whenever any lands are acquired for such improvement, for the purchase of which no contract shall be made, as provided for in the last preceding section, the commissioner of public works shall apply to the Schenectady county court, or to the supreme court at a special term thereof, held in the judicial district embracing the county of Schenectady, or in any county adjoining said county of Schenectady, for the appointment of three or more commissioners to inquire into and appraise the damages and compensation to be paid for the property to be taken. for such improvement.
§ 231. Notice of application for commissioners; when jurisdiction required. Notice of the application, and of the time and place thereof, signed by the corporation counsel, shall be served upon the owners or occupants and the parties interested in the lands to be taken for such improvement, by publishing the same in the official
newspaper at least eight days prior to the time named therein for the making of such obligation. The corporation counsel shall cause a copy of such notice to be served at least eight days prior to the time named therein for the making of such application, upon the owner or occupant of every lot or building, any part of which is to be taken for such improvement, personally, or by leaving the same at the residence, within said city, of such owner or occupant, or in charge of some person of suitable age and discretion; or if said lot or building so to be taken, or a part of which is so to be taken, shall be vacant or unoccupied, then such notice shall be affixed conspicuously upon some part of said lot or building, at least eight days prior to the time of such application.
The court to which such application shall be made shall be deemed to have acquired jurisdiction of the matter of such proceedings, and of all persons interested therein, by the publication of such notice, as provided in this section, and the directions contained in this section for the service upon the owner or occupant personally, or by leaving the same at the residence of such owner or occupant, or by affixing the same upon the lot or building to be taken, shall be regarded as directory only.
§ 232. Hearing; appointment of commissioners; guardian; filing order. At the time and place specified in the notice, or at such other time to which the court may adjourn, the commissioner of public works, by the corporation counsel, shall make application to said court for the appointment of three or more commissioners; and upon proof, by affidavit being filed of the publication of such notice, as required by the last preceding section, and upon hearing the corporation counsel on behalf of the city and also the parties interested, who appear and desire to be heard, the court shall, by its order, appoint three or more freeholders of said city, who are not interested in any of the land required for such improvement, nor of kin to any owner or occupant thereof, as commissioners to inquire into and appraise the damages and compensation to be paid for the parcel or parcels of land to be taken for such improvement.
If it shall appear on such hearing that any owner or party interested in any of the lands proposed to be taken for such improvement is an infant, or has been judicially declared to be incompetent to manage his affairs, and has no general guardian or committee, the court shall appoint a guardian or committee, as the case may be, to attend. to the interests of such person in such proceeding. The corporation counsel shall, forthwith, file with the city clerk copies of all orders made under this section, certified by the clerk of said court.
§ 233. Oath of commissioners; duties. The commissioners so appointed shall thereupon each take and subscribe an oath that he is not interested in any of the property to be taken for the purpose of such improvement, nor of kin to any person so interested, and that he will discharge the duties imposed upon him as such commissioner without favor or partiality.
The commissioners shall thereupon cause a notice of the time and place at which they will meet to enter upon their duties, to be published for at least five successive business days in the official newspaper. At the time and place specified in the notice, or subsequently at an adjourned meeting, the said commissioners shall view the premises proposed to be taken, and shall receive and hear any legal evidence that may be offered by any party interested. After hearing the evidence and allegations of the several parties interested, they shall ascertain and award to the respective owners of the property to be taken, and to all other persons interested in said property, such damages therefor as in their opinion will be a just compensation for them respectively. If there shall be a building or buildings situated wholly or partly upon any of the lands so to be taken, the commissioners shall also determine the value for removal of such building, or buildings; or if such building is only in part upon the land so to be taken, then of the value for removal of that part so upon the land to be taken.
§ 234. Vacancies.- If any of the commissioners so appointed decline to serve, or be or become incapable of acting by reason of absence, death, sickness or other disability or incapacity, the court so appointing such commissioners may, upon the application of any party interested, and upon five days' notice to all parties who have appeared in the proceeding, appoint a commissioner or commissioners in place of those declining or unable to serve.
§ 235. Report of commissioners.-The said commissioners or a majority of them shall, as soon as may be, make their written report upon the matters so referred to them, in which they shall describe with all practicable certainty the several parcels of land and the buildings, when the buildings are owned separately from the land, to be taken for such improvement, and the names and residences of the owners thereof, and of all other persons having a legal interest therein, so far as the same have been ascertained by the commissioners, and the particular rights and interests respectively of such owners or other persons so far as can be ascertained, and the amount of compensation to be paid to such respective owners or other persons,
interested in the property so to be taken. If any of the owners or other persons interested in the property are unknown, that fact shall be stated in said report. Such report, with all the evidence, if any, taken before such commissioners, shall be by them delivered to the corporation counsel.
§ 236. Notice of filing report; motion for confirmation. Upon the receipt of such report and evidence, the corporation counsel shall file the same with the clerk of Schenectady county, and give notice that such report is so filed, and that the commissioner of public works, at a time and place to be stated in such notice, will apply to the court for the confirmation of said report, which notice shall be published at least five successive business days, in the official newspaper, and a copy thereof served personally, or by mail upon all the parties interested in the property so to be taken, who have appeared in the proceeding, at least five days before the time stated in said notice for said application.
§ 237. Hearing of motion for confirmation; order of court.- At the time and place designated in the notice, or at such other time and place to which the said court shall adjourn the matter, the said court, upon proof of service and publication of said notice as required by the last preceding section, and after hearing the corporation counsel and all parties interested, who shall desire to be heard upon such hearing, and who shall file with said court written objections to said report, or any part thereof, may by its order confirm the same, or so much thereof as relates to any of the separate pieces or parcels of land referred to therein, if such report shall embrace more than one parcel of land, without alteration; or with such alteration, except as to the amount of compensation, as it shall deem proper; or may set the said report aside as to all or any of the parcels of land embraced therein.
§ 238. Reappraisals. If the said report be so set aside, either in whole or in part, so far as relates to any of the several pieces or parcels of land embraced therein, it shall be referred by the said court to the same commissioners, or to new commissioners to be appointed by said court, to inquire into and appraise the damages and compensation to be paid for the parcel or parcels of land as to which said report shall have been set aside. The said commissioners shall thereupon proceed to inquire into and appraise the damages and compensation to be paid for such parcel or parcels in the same manner, and shall make a like report thereon, and the same proceeding shall be had for the confirmation of such report, as herein before provided for the original appraisal.
§ 239. Report to be filed. Whenever any such report shall be confirmed in whole or in part, in the manner aforesaid, the corporation counsel shall cause a copy thereof, and of the order confirming the same, each duly certified by the clerk of the court, to be filed in the office of the city clerk. Thereupon the said report, or so much thereof as has been confirmed, and the confirmation thereof shall be final and conclusive, unless an appeal be taken therefrom within the time and in the manner hereinafter provided.
§ 240. Effect of report on lease or other agreement.- Where the whole of any lot required to be taken for such improvement is subject to a lease or other agreement, all the covenants and stipulations contained in such lease or agreement shall, upon the final confirmation of such report, as herein before provided, cease and determine and be absolutely discharged. Where a part only of such lot shall be required and taken, as aforesaid, the said covenants and stipulations shall cease and determine and be discharged so far only as relates to such part; and the county court of Schenectady county may, on the written application of either the landlord, tenant or other person interested in such land so required to be taken for such improvement, upon proof of service of a notice of such application, at least eight days prior thereto, upon all parties interested in such land, if no party shall object to such appointment, appoint three, or a less number, if agreed upon by the parties, disinterested freeholders, inhabitants of said city, to determine the rents or moneys to be thereafter payable by virtue of such lease or agreement, for the residue of such lot, a part of which shall be so required and taken for such improvement, as aforesaid. The determination in writing, under the hands. of the persons so appointed, or a majority of them, upon being confirmed by said court, shall be conclusive and binding upon all the parties interested in said lot. In case any party interested shall oppose and object to the application for the appointment of said freeholders, as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of said court to dismiss said application.
§ 241. Disposition of buildings. If a building is on any of the land taken for such improvement, the value of which building, for removal, shall have been ascertained and reported by the commissioners aforesaid, and such report as to such parcel shall have been finally confirmed in the manner aforesaid, the owner of such parcel of land, upon filing with the city clerk, within ten days after such final confirmation, a written notice that he elects to remove such building, may remove such building from the land so to be taken,