Chapter 160A.

Cities and Towns.

Article 1.

Definitions and Statutory Construction.

160A-1. Application and meaning of terms.

Unless otherwise specifically provided, or unless otherwise clearly required by the context, the words and phrases defined in this section shall have the meaning indicated when used in this Chapter.

(1) "Charter" means the entire body of local acts currently in force applicable to a particular city, including articles of incorporation issued to a city by an administrative agency of the State, and any amendments thereto adopted pursuant to 1917 Public Laws, Chapter 136, Subchapter 16, Part VIII, sections 1 and 2, or Article 5, Part 4, of this Chapter.

(2) "City" means a municipal corporation organized under the laws of this State for the better government of the people within its jurisdiction and having the powers, duties, privileges, and immunities conferred by law on cities, towns, and villages. The term "city" does not include counties or municipal corporations organized for a special purpose. "City" is interchangeable with the terms "town" and "village," is used throughout this Chapter in preference to those terms, and shall mean any city as defined in this subdivision without regard to the terminology employed in charters, local acts, other portions of the General Statutes, or local customary usage. The terms "city" or "incorporated municipality" do not include a municipal corporation that, without regard to its date of incorporation, would be disqualified from receiving gasoline tax allocations by G.S. 136-41.2(a), except that the end of status as a city under this sentence shall not affect the levy or collection of any tax or assessment, or any criminal or civil liability, and shall not serve to escheat any property until five years after the end of such status as a city, or until September 1, 1991, whichever comes later.

(3) "Council" means the governing board of a city. "Council" is interchangeable with the terms "board of aldermen" and "board of commissioners," is used throughout this Chapter in preference to those terms, and shall mean any city council as defined in this subdivision without regard to the terminology employed in charters, local acts, other portions of the General Statutes, or local customary usage.

(4) "General law" means an act of the General Assembly applying to all units of local government, to all cities, or to all cities within a class defined by population or other criteria, including a law that meets the foregoing standards but contains a clause or section exempting from its effect one or more cities or all cities in one or more counties.

(5) "Local act" means an act of the General Assembly applying to one or more specific cities by name, or to all cities within one or more specifically named counties. "Local act" is interchangeable with the terms "special act," "public-local act," and "private act," is used throughout this Chapter in preference to those terms, and shall mean a local act as defined in this subdivision without regard to the terminology employed in charters, local acts, or other portions of the General Statutes.

(6) "Mayor" means the chief executive officer of a city by whatever title known.

(7) "Publish," "publication," and other forms of the verb "to publish" mean insertion in a newspaper qualified under G.S. 1-597 to publish legal advertisements in the county or counties in which the city is located.

(8) "Rural Fire Department" means, for the purpose of Articles 4A or 14 of this Chapter, a bona fide department which, as determined by the Commissioner of Insurance, is classified as not less than class "9" in accordance with rating methods, schedules, classifications, underwriting rules, bylaws or regulations effective or applied with respect to the establishment of rates or premiums used or charged pursuant to Article 36 or Article 40 of Chapter 58 of the General Statutes, and which operates fire apparatus and equipment of the value of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or more; but it does not include a municipal fire department. (1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1973, c. 426, s. 3; 1983, c. 636, s. 17.1; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 934, s. 1.)