Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 82.djvu/1202

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[82 STAT. 1160]
[82 STAT. 1160]
PUBLIC LAW 90-000—MMMM. DD, 1968

1160

Vaults unsafe for use. Order for removal.

Vault or vault opening dangerous to persons or property.

Vault rentals, collection.

PUBLIC LAW 90-596-OCT. 17, 1968

[82

STAT.

expenses to the District in connection with the use or abandonment of said space. SEC. 306. (a) Whenever the Commissioner determines that any vault is unsafe or is not in use, or the space occupied by such vault is required for street improvements, or the construction or extension of sewers, water mains, other public works, or public utility facilities, the Commissioner is authorized to serve upon the owner of property abutting public space occupied by such vault an order requiring such owner to remove m whole or in part, reconstruct, repair, or close such vault by filling, sealing, or otherwise rendering unusable in a manner satisfactory to the Commissioner. The failure or refusal of any such owner to comply with such order of the Commissioner within the time specified in such order shall constitute a violation of this Act. (b) In the event that any owner of property abutting an unused or unsafe vault fails to remove in whole or in part, reconstruct, repair, or close the same b^ filling, sealing, or otherwise rendering unusable in a manner satisfactory to the Commissioner within the time specified by him, the Commissioner is authorized to apply to the District of Columbia Court of General Sessions for, and the said court is hereby authorized to issue, an order empowering the Commissioner to enter upon the property of such owner for the purpose of performing such work as may be necessary in connection with the removal, reconstruction, repair, or closure of such vault, and the District and its officers and employees shall not be liable for any damage to real or personal property which may result from the performance of any such work, other than such damage as may be caused by the gross negligence of the District or of any of its officers or employees. Process in connection with the application for such order shall be served on the owner in accordance with the rules of said court relating to the service of process in civil actions. In the event such owner is not to be found in the District after reasonable search and an affidavit to this effect is made on behalf of the District, such process may be served by publication for one day each week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the District, and, if service of process is by publication, a copy of such process and publication shall be sent to such owner by certified mail at his last known address as recorded in the real estate assessment records of the District. SEC. 307. Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding section, whenever the Commissioner finds that any vault or vault opening is in such condition as to be imminently dangerous to persons or property, he shall immediately notify the owner, agent, or other person in charge of the private property abutting the public space in which such vault or vault opening is located, to cause such vault or vault opening to be made safe and secure. The person or persons so notified shall be allowed until 12 o'clock noon of the day following the service of such notice in which to commence making such vault or vault opening safe and secure: Provided, That in a case where the public safety requires immediate action the Commissioner may enter upon the private property abutting the public space in which such vault or vault opening is located, with such workmen and assistants as may be necessary, and cause such vault or vault opening to be made safe and secure. I n any case in which the Commissioner perf orms any work under the authority of this section, the cost to the District of performing such work shall be charged against the private property abutting the public space in which such vault or vault opening is located, and shall be collected in the manner provided by section 308. SEC. 308. (a) The Commissioner shall take such action as he in his discretion considers necessary or desirable to secure the payment to the District of rents due and payable on vaults; interest on late rental