In all cases in which there is now vested or there shall hereafter be vested in a treasurer, street superintendent, or other public official the power to sell at public auction, after demand upon him by the holder of any public improvement bond, any lot or parcel of land upon which exists or which shall hereafter exist a lien to secure the payment of a public improvement assessment represented by said bond, and the act or law establishing such power fails to prescribe the time within which such official may act, said official may sell at any time prior to the expiration of four years after the due date of said bond or of the last installment thereof or of the last principal coupon attached thereto, or prior to January 1, 1947, whichever is later, but not thereafter. This section is not intended to extend, enlarge or revive any power of sale which has heretofore been lost by reason of lapse of time or otherwise.
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