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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 24 Appendix : Municipal Charters

Chapter 009 : City of Rutland

Subchapter 003 : Powers of Municipality

(Cite as: 24 App. V.S.A. ch. 9, § 3.01)
  • § 3.1. Powers of the City of Rutland

    The powers of the City of Rutland under this charter shall be construed liberally in favor of the City and, except as expressly limited herein specific mention of particular powers in this charter shall not be construed as limiting in any way the general powers as stated herein. The City of Rutland may exercise any of its powers or perform any of its functions and may participate in the financing thereof, jointly or in cooperation, by contract or otherwise, with the State of Vermont or any subdivision or agency thereof, or provided it is so authorized under the general laws of the State of Vermont or by a special act, with the United States of America or any subdivision or agency thereof. The City of Rutland has the power to receive by gift, grant, devise, bequest, purchase, or condemnation any real or personal property, and to hold in fee, hold in trust, lease, or convey any such real or personal property within or without the limits of the City of Rutland as the purpose of the corporation may require; to borrow on the credit of the City in the mode and subject to the restrictions hereinafter provided; to contract, to sue, prosecute, and defend; to have, make use, and alter at pleasure a City seal; to have and to exercise all other rights, powers, privileges, and immunities conferred upon towns of the State of Vermont by law or necessary to carry out its corporate functions and duties. In the exercise of any of the powers granted to the City of Rutland by this charter, the City may enact ordinances, rules, and regulations and prescribe penalties for the violation of any such ordinances, rules, and regulations; provided, however, that no such penalties shall exceed imprisonment for one year or a fine of $500.00, or both. Without in any way limiting the powers hereinafter granted, the City of Rutland shall have the power:

    (1) to enact and enforce rules for its government;

    (2) to enter into any agreement on behalf of the City with the United States of America, or any department, subdivision, or agency thereof, to accept grants, loans, and assistance from the United States of America or any department, subdivision, or agency thereof to make public improvements within the City or upon property of the City outside its corporate limits and to make appropriations consistent with the provisions of this charter to accomplish such purpose; provided, however, no such agreement shall be entered into unless authorized under the general laws of the State of Vermont or by a special act;

    (3) to accept and administer gifts, grants, and bequests in trust or otherwise for public purposes;

    (4) to regulate the time and manner in which examinations of public documents, land records, and other records shall be made;

    (5) to acquire voting machines, so-called, and prescribe the use thereof in any or all elections held within said City;

    (6) to establish and create a fund or funds available as a pension to such employees of the City of Rutland as the City Council may hereafter from time to time designate; to create and authorize such boards or officers as may be necessary to administer, control, and make expenditures from such fund or funds; to appropriate funds from which such pension and the expenses incidental to the administration thereof may be paid; to designate by ordinance a retirement age for City employees beyond which age such employees may be removed from office and permanently retired; to establish the conditions and regulations under which such City employees may or shall be removed from office and retired; to designate and establish the sums that may be paid to such City employees as pensions and conditions of payment thereof; and to make, amend, or repeal such ordinances as may be convenient or necessary to create, manage, and operate a retirement plan and pension fund for City employees;

    (7) to establish a reserve or fund to compensate the City for any and all losses and damages to City property by reason of fire or other casualty and to pay to City employees or those entitled any and all compensation that may become their due under the workman’s compensation laws of the State of Vermont;

    (8) to establish and regulate a Police Commission and Police Department;

    (9) to prevent and prohibit riots, disturbances, and disorderly assemblages;

    (10) to prohibit vagrancy;

    (11) to regulate and control the use of streets and public places for pedestrian and vehicular traffic and the parking of vehicles of every kind and description;

    (12) to remove and impound at the expense of the owner any vehicle found parked in a public place in violation of any City ordinance and prescribe the terms and conditions upon which the owner may redeem such vehicle;

    (13) to install and operate coin operated parking meters for the regulation and control of parking of vehicles;

    (14) to establish and regulate a Fire Department;

    (15) to regulate and prohibit conditions and activities from which damage by fire or explosion may be apprehended;

    (16) to establish and regulate a Department of Public Works;

    (17) to provide a supply of water for the protection of the City against fire and for the use of the inhabitants of said City, and for other purposes; to establish, increase, maintain, and repair reservoirs, aqueducts, water pipes, pipelines, and other necessary apparatus for and in connection with its water supply; and from time to time to increase and add to its water supply; to preserve, protect, maintain, and operate the same; and in the exercise of such powers the said City of Rutland may purchase, and take, within or without its corporate limits, lands, springs, streams, and water rights of individuals and corporations, and divert water from natural channels into its water supply, on making compensation therefore. But the City shall not take, otherwise than by gift or purchase, waters or a spring of water, which the owner or lessee or other persons having a vested right or interest therein, or in the use thereof, may reasonably require for domestic use or watering stock; no money other than funds received on account of the water works will be appropriated without a vote to that effect by the legal voters of the City;

    (18) to establish, maintain, alter, and enlarge such sanitary sewers, storm drains, combined sewers, sewage disposal systems, and sewage disposal plants both within and without the City as the public health, safety, or convenience may require and to take private lands and rights, both within and without the City necessary to accomplish such purposes on making compensation for the same;

    (19) to establish a municipal system for the collection, removal, and disposal of garbage and other waste material and to make proper charges for such service;

    (20) to accept, establish, maintain, alter, and enlarge such highways as the public safety or convenience may require and to take private land and rights necessary to accomplish such purpose on making compensation for the same;

    (21) to construct, alter, and repair sidewalks and curbing and to assess abutting property owners for one-half of the cost of such improvements;

    (22) to require all persons to remove from the sidewalks and gutters in front of the premises owned or occupied by them all snow, ice, dirt, and rubbish, and to keep such sidewalks and gutters clean; and to require the owners or occupants of any land or premises in the City to cut and remove from the same and from the street or sidewalk in front of such land or premises all grass, brush, and weeds growing or being thereon under such regulations as shall be prescribed therefore;

    (23) to fix, impose, and enforce such terms, conditions, and regulations for the use and occupancy of any highway or other public lands in the City for the transmission of material, energy, or information by any public service or utility corporation or by any persons enjoying the privileges or exercising the functions of said corporations;

    (24) to construct and maintain an electric generating and distribution system;

    (25) to provide for the lighting of streets and public places;

    (26) to regulate the size, height, material, and manner of erection and construction of new buildings, and the repairing, alteration, or removal of buildings already constructed in said City, or in certain prescribed localities therein; and to regulate the use of streets for such purposes;

    (27) to establish and regulate a Department of Buildings and to prescribe the powers and duties of the Building Inspector;

    (28) to regulate by ordinance minimum health and safety standards relative to housing;

    (29) to adopt and enforce codes and regulations relative to the installation and maintenance of electric wiring, plumbing, heating, and fire protection and to license and regulate artisans engaged in the installation and maintenance of such facilities;

    (30) to establish and regulate a Planning Department;

    (31) to establish and operate a Recreation Department and to acquire and provide land and structures for recreational purposes;

    (32) to provide for and regulate the care, preservation, improvement, and use of public property;

    (33) to establish and operate a Welfare Department;

    (34) to retain a City Physician;

    (35) to appoint a Milk Inspector and to regulate the production of milk, cream, or milk products for distribution within the City and the sale and distribution of such products within the City and to license persons engaged in these activities;

    (36) to establish and operate a Department of Civil Defense and to make ordinances and regulations for the protection of the City in the event of a public emergency;

    (37) to establish an Airport Department and to operate a municipal airport within or without the City;

    (38) to appropriate a sum for the support and maintenance of the Rutland Free Library Association, Inc., provided that the inhabitants of the City shall at all reasonable and proper times have the free use of said library;

    (39) to establish and regulate a market and to prohibit or regulate the selling of provisions and merchandise of any kind on public lands;

    (40) to regulate, license, tax, or prohibit vendors, peddlers, solicitors, beggars, and transient auctioneers, except when licensed by State or federal authorities;

    (41) to license and regulate the processing and sale of meat;

    (42) to regulate, license, tax, or prohibit entertainments of every kind exhibited for money, including circuses, fairs, plays, motion pictures, exhibitions, and mechanical and amusement devices including coin machines;

    (43) to regulate the location and manner of operation of all slaughter houses, filling stations, fuel storage depots, public garages, manufacturing establishments, junk yards, vehicle repair shops, welding shops, and other commercial activities or establishments that cause smoke, fumes, soot, dust, or noxious substances to be cast upon the public ways;

    (44) to license and regulate hotels, motels, and other lodging places, restaurants, and other victualing establishments and to tax the same for revenue purposes;

    (45) to license and regulate public dance halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, and other places of amusement and to tax the same for revenue purposes;

    (46) to license and regulate truckmen, taxicabs, busses, and the owners or drivers of automobiles and motor trucks furnishing transportation for hire and to regulate their fees and prescribe their duties;

    (47) to permit, regulate, license, tax, or prohibit the suspending, erection, or maintenance of any sign, awning, marquee, or display in or over any street or public place or visible therefrom and whenever the public good may require to order that any such sign, awning, marquee, or display be removed;

    (48) to fix, impose, and establish terms, conditions, and regulations under which persons may use or occupy public land for private purposes;

    (49) to regulate the manner of subdivision and development of real estate;

    (50) to abate, enjoin, and remove nuisances;

    (51) to regulate or prohibit gaming of all descriptions and to order and affect the destruction of all instruments and devices used for that purpose;

    (52) to prohibit and punish for prostitution;

    (53) to compel the owner or occupant of any unwholesome, noisome, or offensive house or place to remedy such condition so far as may be necessary for the health, safety, or comfort of the inhabitants of the City;

    (54) to require the removal from private property of trees that due to their damaged or diseased condition represent a hazard to persons or property;

    (55) to prohibit and punish for cruelty and inhumane treatment to animals;

    (56) to prohibit the obstruction or the encumbering of streets, sidewalks, or other public places;

    (57) to prohibit or regulate the keeping or running at large of animals within the City;

    (58) to license and tax the owning or keeping of any animals in addition to any license fee or tax imposed by the State of Vermont;

    (59) to prohibit and punish for trespasses or willful damage to public or private property;

    (60) to prohibit or regulate the use of firearms or potentially dangerous weapons and to regulate the sale and transportation of the same within the City;

    (61) to prohibit or regulate the preparation and use of rockets, missiles, and fireworks of all kinds within the City;

    (62) to adopt a zoning ordinance to permit, prohibit, restrict, regulate, and determine land use or development, including the following:

    (A) specific use of land, water courses, and other bodies of water;

    (B) dimensions, location, erection, construction, repair, maintenance, alteration, razing, removal, and use of structures;

    (C) areas and dimensions of land and bodies of water to be occupied by uses and structures, as well as areas, courts, yards, and other open spaces and distances to be left unoccupied by uses and structures;

    (D) density of population and intensity of use;

    (63) to establish and regulate a Department of Community Development;

    (64) to establish, maintain, and fund a Redevelopment Authority;

    (65) to establish and regulate campaign contributions and expenditures for local elections held within the City; provided that the provisions of Title 24 relating to the procedures for adopting ordinances and permissive referendums shall apply to ordinances adopted, amended, or repealed under this subdivision. (Amended 1997, No. M-17 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)