CHAPTER XV. UTILITIESCHAPTER XV. UTILITIES\ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

For purposes of this article, “utility services” shall include water, electric, sewer, solid waste (refuse) and other utility services provided by the City.

(Ord. 1368; Code 2014)

(a)   All persons requesting services who are owner-occupants of the property for which service is requested, shall join the application for service in writing.

(b)   Persons who are Lessees of the subject property shall provide a copy of the written lease, if any, to the Clerk at the time of request for service.  The Lessee shall provide the names of any persons of legal age residing at the location, and all such persons shall join the request for service in writing.

(c)   The utility account will be subject to disconnection of all services should any of the applicants at said addresses owe unpaid utility debts to the City.  Before utilities may be re-established, all unpaid utility obligations to the City owed by residents of legal age shall be paid in full.

(d)   All contracts for residential utility services must be made in the name of Head of Household using the established spelling of that person’s name. Attempts to obtain services by use of other names, different spellings, or by substituting other persons for the Head of Household will be considered a subterfuge and services will be denied. If the service has been terminated due to non-payment of obligations hereunder, and service has again been obtained through subterfuge, misrepresentation, or fraud, such service will be promptly disconnected, and the unpaid obligation shall be remitted to the City within ten (10) days.

(Ord. 1368; Code 2014)

(a)   All accounts and charges for water, electric, sewer and refuse service shall be due and payable at the City Offices on or before the 15th of the month following such service.  If the amount is not paid when due, a penalty of ten (10) percent shall be added thereto.

(b)   If a utility bill has not been paid on or before the due date as provided in this ordinance, a delinquency and termination notice shall be issued by the Utility Billing Department within five (5) days after the delinquency occurs and mailed to the customer at his or her last known address.

(c)   The notice shall state:

(1)   The amount due, plus delinquency charge;

(2)   Notice that service will be terminated if the billing amount is not paid within seven (7) days from the date of the notice unless the date on the notice to pay the charges due shall be on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, in which event such notice will give the consumer until the close of the next business day in which to pay the charges.

(3)   Notice that the customer has the right to a hearing before the Utility Hearing Board.

(4)   Notice that the Request for a hearing must be in writing and filed with the City Clerk’s Office no later than three (3) days prior to the date for termination of service.

(5)   Upon receipt of request for hearing the City Administrator or City Clerk shall advise the customer of the date, time, and place of the hearing which shall be held within three (3) working days following receipt of request.

(d)   Following the hearing, if the utility hearing board shall find that service should not be terminated, the notice of such finding shall be presented to the City’s Utility Billing Department. If the board finds that the service should be terminated, an order shall be issued terminating service within five (5) days after the order is issued. The customer shall be notified either in person or by mailing a letter to his or her last known address by return receipt requested. However, if the order is made at the hearing in the presence of the customer, then no further notice need be given. The hearing board has a right, for good cause, to grant an extension, not to exceed 10 days, for the termination of such service. The hearing board has a right, for good cause; to negotiate a payment plan option is cases in which the delinquent amount is in excess of five hundred dollars ($500), not to exceed 90 days, for the termination of such service. All determinations of the Utility Hearing Board final and binding.

(e)   If the account remains delinquent the service shall be terminated seven (7) days from the date of the notice unless the date on the notice to pay the charges due shall be on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, in which event such notice will give the consumer until the close of the next business day in which to pay the charges.

(f)   There is hereby created a “Utility Hearing Board” which shall consist of a City Utility Supervisor or designed appointee, an appointee of the City Clerk’s Office acting as billing clerk, The City Administrator, and one of the elected City Council Members. Nothing in the section shall limit other appointees being named to the board as circumstances dictate.  

(Ord. 1368; Code 2014)

A customer with a delinquent account may request an extension, on the designated agreement form, up to the last working day prior to the scheduled disconnect date.  Extensions may be granted to the 3rd day of the following month.  Customers may obtain the form from the City Office or from the city website.  However, if a customer has requested an extension and fails to make the arrangements as agreed upon, no additional extensions will be granted during a 12 month period following the date of the failed agreement.

(Ord. 1368; Code 2014)

(a)   Each customer shall pay a utility connect fee to begin utility services in the amount of $125.00, unless they meet the City’s letter of credit / fee waiver policy.

(b)   Letter of Credit / Fee Waiver Policy: Under the following circumstances the City may waive the utility fee requirement for a customer account:

(1)   The responsible party must have at least one (1) year of good pay history for other utility accounts. A good pay history is defined as a record of 12 monthly payments made timely.

(2)   The responsible billing party’s name must be the same as the account referred to in Section II above.

(3)   If three or more notices of discontinuance and/or any returned checks are received on this account in any twelve-month period, the City has the option to require that the customer pay the utility install fee under the above paragraph.

(4)   The grant of a letter of credit / fee waiver shall be at the sole discretion of the City.

(5)   In the event a customer is disconnected under Section 15-103, before a re-connection is made, the customer shall be required to pay all past due utility use amounts in addition to a $50.00 (includes sales tax) re-connect fee.  All re-connects shall occur during regular business hours of the City (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday); no re-connections are made outside of the regular business hours of the City.

(Ord. 1368; Code 2014)

Tampering with or stealing services from a municipal utility is unlawful and such utilities are protected by municipal ordinance and State Law.

(Ord. 1368; Code 2014)