Any municipality heretofore incorporated or which shall hereafter be incorporated and which has no substantial indebtedness, and which shall fail for one year to exercise its corporate powers and privileges, or which has not twenty qualified voters, or in which there were not twenty legal votes cast at its last election, or the population of which shall be reduced below one hundred persons and so remain for six consecutive months, shall in either event have its charter or certificate of incorporation and all rights, powers and privileges so conferred upon such municipality forfeited.
The county court of the county wherein any such municipality or the major portion of the territory thereof is located shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine all matters relating to the forfeiture of such charter or certificate of incorporation, upon the petition of one or more of its inhabitants, and to dissolve such municipal corporation. Ten days' notice of the filing of such petition with the clerk of the county court of such county, served upon the mayor and recorder or on the last mayor or recorder thereof, shall be sufficient notice upon which such county court shall so act, and upon the proper proof of the allegations of such petition, any such charter or certificate of incorporation shall be declared forfeited and the municipal corporation dissolved and all debts of such municipality shall be ordered paid and the forfeiture and dissolution shall not become effective until such debts have been paid. Upon such forfeiture and dissolution all interest of such municipality in corporate funds, if any, in excess of the amounts required to pay corporate debts shall be and the same is hereby transferred to and vested in the State of West Virginia to be controlled by the State Auditor. If the territory so incorporated, or a major part thereof, either in area or in population, shall, however, within one year next after such declaration of forfeiture and dissolution by the county court be reincorporated under this chapter, then the Auditor of the State of West Virginia shall convey unto such new municipality all of the rights of the State of West Virginia in and to the corporate property, moneys, claims, demands and taxes collected or uncollected, of the former municipal corporation so dissolved.
Upon petition of twenty-five or more percent of the legal voters of any Class III city or Class IV town or village, the governing body thereof shall submit to the qualified voters of such municipal corporation at the next regular municipal election, or at a special municipal election called for that purpose, the question of continuing or dissolving such municipal corporation. It shall be the responsibility of the governing body to verify the total number of eligible petitioners and to determine whether the required percentage of petitioners has been obtained. The ballots, or ballot labels where voting machines are used, shall have written or printed on them the words:
/ For Continuance of Municipal Corporation
/ For Dissolution of Municipal Corporation
If a majority of the legal votes cast be for dissolution, then such municipal corporation shall by operation of law be dissolved upon termination of the term of the governing body then in office: Provided, That all debts or other obligations outstanding against such municipal corporation shall be settled in full. If a majority of the legal votes cast be for continuance, then such municipal corporation shall continue in existence unless and until dissolved at some later date under the provisions of section one of this article or this section two: Provided, however, That another election under the provisions of this section two shall not be held within two years of the last such election. Any election under the provisions of this section two shall be held, conducted and superintended and the result thereof ascertained, certified, returned and canvassed in the same manner and by the same persons as an election for municipal officers of such municipal corporation.