At least thirty days before instituting a proceeding under the provisions of this article for the creation of a consolidated city, the counties and cities proposing to consolidate shall serve notice on the attorney for the Commonwealth or the attorney for the city or county, and on the chairman of the governing body or mayor of each county and city having a common boundary that they will, on a given day, petition the circuit court for a determination of whether the proposed consolidated city is eligible for city status. The notice served on each official shall include a certified copy of the consolidation agreement. A copy of the notice and the consolidation agreement, or a descriptive summary of the notice and agreement and a reference to the place within the city or town where copies of the notice and agreement may be examined, shall be published at least once a week for four successive weeks in some newspaper or newspapers having general circulation in the localities which are parties to the agreement. The notice and consolidation agreement shall be returned after service to the clerk of the circuit court. Certification of the owner, editor or manager of the newspaper publishing the notice and agreement shall be proof of publication.
1979, c. 85, § 15.1-1130.2; 1986, c. 312; 1997, c. 587.