CHAPTER XV. UTILITIESCHAPTER XV. UTILITIES\ARTICLE 1. WATER

The waterworks system of the city shall be operated by a department to be known as the “Water Department.” The department shall consist of the governing body, a superintendent, and other employees of the city who shall devote all or part of their time to the conduct of the department. The governing body shall maintain, manage, conduct and control the waterworks system and make all such laws, rules and regulations as may be necessary for the safe, economical and efficient management of the waterworks.

(Code 1973, 13-101)

The water department shall be under the direct and immediate control and supervision of the city superintendent.

(Code 1973, 13-102)

The employment of the regular employees of the department shall be by the governing body. The governing body may authorize the superintendent to employ needed temporary help. Wages, except as made by ordinance, shall be fixed by resolution by the governing body, and if not fixed as to temporary employment, it shall be at such wage as may be agreed upon at the time of employment. All employees of the department shall be under the immediate control and management of the superintendent.

(Code 1973, 13-103)

(a)   Customer -- The utility service account holder of record.

(b)   Person -- Natural persons and all corporations, partnerships, associations and all other types and kind of organizations and entities, without limitations.

(c)   Utility Services -- Sanitary sewer service, water service, trash pickup services, and storm sewer services.

(Ord. 94-33, Sec. 1)

Any person, firm or corporation desiring and connection to the city water system and whose property is adjoining a water main or distribution line, shall apply to the office of the city clerk for a permit to make connection and shall at the time of application pay a non­refundable $500 service connection fee, for the installation of a 3/4” meter, for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the city in making such connection, including, but not necessarily limited to the setting of a water meter box, and which shall be deposited in the city water utility fund. For the installation of a 1” or larger meter, the non-refundable application fee will be determined and assessed based upon actual cost of materials and installation of the meter. The application shall be made in writing by the owner of the premises desiring connection or by his or her authorized representative. Such application shall be made on forms provided by the department and shall contain such information as the department shall reasonably require. The filing of the application and payment of the service connection fee and their acceptance by the department shall constitute a contract between the city and the applicant for the installation of the water connection.

(Ord. 2001-8, Sec. 1; Code 2008)

The city shall make all taps and bring the water to the curb line.

(Code 1973, 13-106)

Unless special written permission is granted by the governing body, each building or any lot or piece of ground shall have a separate and distinct water service connection.

(Code 1973, 13-109)

All plumbing work on any water pipes connected or to be connected with any water main or line of the city shall be performed in accordance with the plumbing regulations of the city. All service pipes shall be genuine galvanized wrought iron pipe, brass, copper or PVC, and shall be placed two and one-half feet below the established grade, or as low as the street mains.

(Code 1973, 13-110)

No person shall establish or permit to be established or maintain or permit to be maintained any cross-connection whereby a private, auxiliary or emergency water supply other than the regular public water supply of the city may enter the supply or distributing system of the city unless such private, auxiliary or emergency water supply and the method of connection and use of such supply shall have been approved by the city commission and by the state board of health.

(Code 1985)

The city may extend its water mains or lines within the city by construction or purchase, when applications have been made and agreements entered into persons along the proposed extension that will produce a revenue in the judgment of the governing body sufficient to pay interest on the cost of the extension, and the operating cost of the service; provided, that the city may make extensions without applications having been made if the condition of the water fund will permit such extensions in the judgment of the governing body.

(Code 1973, 13-107)

Any person wanting water outside the city limits shall appear in person before the city council for a permit. If permit is approved, only a regular 5/8” meter will be installed.

(Code 1973, 13-108)

There shall be a curb cock, of a kind to be approved by the superintendent in every service line attached to the water mains, the same to be placed between the curb line and lot line outside of the sidewalk. There shall be one or more stop and waste cocks to every supply pipe so that the water can be shut off and the house plumbing entirely drained. All outside cocks shall be enclosed in suitable boxes of approved construction. It shall be the duty of the owner of the property to keep the cocks and boxes in serviceable condition.

(Code 1973, 13-111)

Check valves shall be installed on all connections to steam boilers or on any connections otherwise deemed by the superintendent to require the same.

(Code 1973, 13-112)

Meters shall be placed in approved meter boxes and the same shall be covered and protected as required by the superintendent. In all cases the water meters shall be installed in such places as may be directed by the superintendent.

(Code 1973, 13-113)

The city reserves the right for duly authorized employees of the department to enter upon any premises at any reasonable hour for the purpose of reading, inspecting or examining the water meters and pipes.

(Code 1973, 13-114)

It shall be the duty of the superintendent from time to time to cause the water meters to be inspected and to repair the same as may be required. The superintendent shall cause any meter complained of to be tested, and if the meter does not register 95% or more accurate, the same shall be repaired or replaced by the city. If the meter registers less than 95% accurate, the previous rendered bill shall be corrected accordingly. The city reserves the right to repair or have installed any meter without notice, when the meter is found not to be registering or out of repair, or in any manner defective. The consumer shall pay for any damage or sabotage to such meter.

(Code 1973, 13-116)

No allowance shall be made for water used, lost or wasted through leaks, carelessness, neglect or otherwise after the same shall have passed through the meter. If the property owner, to, through, or upon which any water service pipe line shall supply water and which shall, within 24 hours after knowledge of or notice of any such condition, have such service line or connections repaired by a competent plumber. Upon the failure of any such owner to have such repairs made, the city may proceed to have such repairs as are necessary made, and then may shut off the water and deny the use of any water to any such property until the city has been reimbursed for the expense of such repairs.

(Code 1973, 13-117)

The city reserves the right to shut off at any time, without notice, the water supply in its mains or laterals, for the purpose of making repairs or extensions, and all persons, firms, or corporations having boilers or hot water tanks depending on pressure in the mains to keep the boilers and tanks supplied with water are cautioned against danger of combustion or explosion. The city shall not be liable for any damage done or any accident incident of the lack of water supply or failure of the city water pumps.

(Code 1973, 13-118)

It shall be the duty of all water consumers to prevent unnecessary waste of water and keep all water outlets closed when not in actual use. The city reserves the right to cut off the supply of water if unnecessary use of water takes place. The city reserves the right to prohibit the use of water for yard sprinklers, elevators or other large consumers of water and to restrict the use of domestic consumers when in the judgment of the governing body it is necessary because of the inadequate supply of water or for other reasons.

(Code 1973, 13-119)

It shall be unlawful for any person to deface, damage, destroy or molest any of the property of the waterworks system, operate valves, hydrants, stop gates, or meters or in any other manner interfere with the operation of the system.

(Code 1973, 13-121)

(a)   The city may discontinue or refuse a particular utility service to any customer, without notice or hearing, for any of the following reasons:

(1)   When the customer so requests.

(2)   When it is determined by an employee of the city utility department, fire department or police department that the continuance of a particular utility service constitutes a dangerous condition presenting a likely immediate threat to health or safety of persons or to property on or near the customer's premises.

(b)   The city may discontinue or refuse a particular utility service to any
customer, following compliance with the notice requirements of section 15-123 of this article, for any of the following reasons:

(1)   Nonpayment of utility bills and charges as provided in section 15-123 of this article.

(2)   When the customer misrepresents his or her identity or otherwise intentionally provides false information for the purpose of obtaining utility services from the city.

(c)   The city may discontinue or refuse a particular utility service to any
customer, following notice to the customer, for any of the reasons set out in this subsection.

(1)   When the customer refuses to grant employees of the city's utility department access to equipment installed upon the premises of the customer for the purpose of inspection, meter reading, maintenance or replacement.

(2)   When the customer violates any rule, regulation or ordinance of the city pertaining to utility services, which violation adversely affects the safety of the customer or other persons, or the integrity of the city's utility services' delivery system.

(3)   When the customer attempts, causes or permits unauthorized interference, diversion, theft, tampering, damage or use of utility services or the utility services' delivery system situated or delivered on or about the customer's premises.

(Ord. 94-33, Sec. 2; Code 2008)

Utility billings shall be mailed on or before the 5th day of each month for the previous month services. All billings for utility services shall be due and payable in full at the office of the city clerk on the 15th day of the month, or the next business day, if the 15th falls on a weekend or holiday. Failure to make payment before the date specified in this section shall result in the mailing of an account delinquency and service discontinuation notice, and assessment of a late payment penalty, as specified in Sections 15-123 and 15-125. Water meter readings shall occur on the last business day of each month.

(Ord. 94-33, Sec. 3; Ord. 2017-05)

(a)   An account delinquency and service discontinuance notice shall be issued in writing after 10:00 a.m. on the 15th day of the month with respect to any delinquent and unpaid utility service bill, unless the 15th day of the month falls on a weekend or holiday. In such instances, account delinquency and service discontinuance notices shall be mailed after 10:00 a.m. on the next business day following the determination that the account is delinquent. Notice shall be sent by first class mail to the customer (and a copy also sent by first class mail to the occupant of the premises served if the occupant is not the customer) at the last known address of the customer as shown on the records of the city. Written notice may also be provided by personal service upon the customer by an employee of the city utility department, any city law enforcement officer or by such city employee posting the written notice upon a door of a building upon the property serviced.

(b)   The notice of account delinquency and service discontinuance shall provide the following information:

(1)   Name of customer and address where service is being provided.

(2)   Account number.

(3)   Amount past due plus delinquency charges.

(4)   Notice that utility service shall be terminated upon failure to pay the delinquent billing plus delinquency charges, after 10:00 a.m. on the 24th day of the month, unless such day falls on a weekend or holiday, then disconnection shall be the next business day following the 24th day of the month.

(c)   Any utility customer receiving a notice of account delinquency and service discontinuance shall have the right to a hearing prior to disconnection. At such hearing, the applicant customer, and the city, shall have the right to present such evidence as is pertinent to the issue, may be represented by counsel, and may examine and cross-examine witnesses, however formal rules of evidence shall not be followed. The hearing shall be conducted by the city clerk or such other hearing officer as may be appointed by the mayor, with the consent of the governing body. In the event the hearing officer finds utility service(s) should not be disconnected, the hearing officer shall so order and advise the city thereof. In the event the hearing officer finds utility service(s) should be discontinued, the hearing officer shall so order and advise the city thereof. Unless otherwise ordered by the hearing officer, utility service(s) shall be discontinued on the date that the order of discontinuance is issued by the hearing officer. Extensions of the date of discontinuance may be granted to enable the customer to make arrangements of reasonable installment payments or for other good cause shown. The customer shall be given notice of order of discontinuance in person, or by certified mail. In making a determination of whether discontinuance should be ordered, the hearing officer shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors: whether discontinuance is dangerous to the health of the customer, the customer's family or any other residents of the premises affected; the weather; unforeseen financial hardship of the customer; or the medical conditions, ages or disability of the customer, the customer's family or other residents of the premises.

(Ord. 94-33, Sec. 4; Ord. 2017-05)

City utility departments are hereby authorized to discontinue and disconnect utility services to any customer pursuant to the procedure set out in this article. Customers shall remain responsible for furnishing the city with the correct address for billing purposes.

(Ord. 94-33, Sec. 5)

(a)   Late Payment Charges. All bills delinquent after the 15th day of the month following billing shall be subject to a 10% penalty, assessed after 10:00 a.m. on the 15th, unless the 15th day of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, then the 10% penalty shall be charged for all delinquent accounts on the next regular business day of the city.

(b)   Disconnection and Reconnection Charges. Prior to reconnecting a utility service disconnected following a delinquency, the customer shall pay to the city the entire balance due and owing to the city at the time of reconnection. The customer shall also pay a disconnection charge of $10 and a reconnection charge of $10 for disconnection and reconnection of a sanitary sewer service, and/or a disconnection charge of $10 and a reconnection charge of $10 for disconnection and reconnection of water service, as the case may be.

(Ord. 94-33, Sec. 6; Ord. 2017-05)

A customer shall give the department proper notice of at least two days requesting the city to discontinue service. Upon failure to give such notice, he or she shall be liable for the water registered by the meter, or the minimum bill, until such time as notice is given. No person shall connect or disconnect any water service connection without the approval of the superintendent.

(Code 1973, 13-120)

Any person desiring water service shall pay a deposit to the city clerk to guarantee prompt payment of water account, the deposits shall be in the following amounts:

(a)   Water for residence - $100.

(b)   Water for business - $150.

(c)   In lieu of a deposit as set out in (a) or (b) above, the city may accept a letter of credit from another utility company or municipality.

The city clerk will refund deposit, plus interest earned, after one year of service, if the utility bill has been current with no penalty charges, and if there are no other debts outstanding to the city. Any refund less than $1 shall be credited to administrative cost.

A separate account of the date on which such deposit is received, the name of the depositor and the amount thereof shall be kept by the city clerk and the city shall be required to pay to the customer making the deposit interest at the rate determined by the state corporation commission. Such interest shall be credited in January thereafter, to such customer's outstanding account, unless, prior to January 1st, such customer shall request the payment of such interest in cash, in which event payment of interest shall be made as requested. Any interest credited shall be subject to call and payment at any time, but shall not draw interest

Such advance deposit, together with the interest due thereon may be applied to the payment of any accrued bills, or bills due on disconnection and which may encompass costs incurred from handling a delinquent payment, including, but not necessarily limited to, certification costs of a delinquent notice and a returned check fee for payment on an account that becomes delinquent when a check is returned. No further deposit shall be required except for a new connection or a connection following disconnection.

Any person, firm, or corporation desiring to transfer their deposits from one service address to a different service address shall pay a transfer fee of $10, such fee may be paid at the time of transfer or shall be added to the utility bill.

Any person, firm or corporation terminating water service within 15 days of connecting water service shall be charged a $20 service fee. Such fee shall be deducted from the customer meter deposit refund.

(Ord. 2001-8, Sec. 2; Code 2008)

It shall be the duty of the city clerk to maintain a system of accounting which shall show all accounts due the city for water and sewer services furnished any customer. Such accounts shall be kept in the name of each customer separately. The city clerk shall make out all water bills and shall keep a proper record of each account, showing the meter reading, water used, charges made, sales tax collected, other charges, penalties, rebates and all other financial transactions between the city and the customer.

(Code 1973, 13-202)

The city clerk shall maintain a water fund and a sales tax fund and pay into each fund respectively all moneys received from the operation of the water department.

(Code 1973, 13-203)

All water sold by the city through its waterlines to each of its regular customers shall be on a metered basis.  Each metered connection to a city waterline shall constitute a separate customer.  The rates to be charged therefore shall be as follows:

(a)   A minimum fee of $33.30 shall be charged to every customer within the city limits for the first three thousand (3,000) metered gallons consumed by a customer each month, regardless of the actual gallons of water consumed;

(b)   For all water sold to a customer within the city limits in excess of three thousand (3,000) metered gallons per month, the following tiered charges shall apply:

 3,001 to 15,000 gallons           $1.64 per 1000 metered gallons

15,001 to 25,000 gallons         $1.76 per 1000 metered gallons

25,001 to 50,000 gallons         $1.94 per 1000 metered gallons

50,001 and up                         $2.00 per 1000 metered gallons

(c)   Where two or more apartments, mobile homes, dwellings or commercial establishments are served through one (1) meter, the rate schedule hereinbefore described shall be applied by multiplying the minimum fee by the number of units served through said meter, and adding thereto for water sold in excess of 3,000 metered gallons times the number of units served, an additional fee pursuant to the table set out in subsection (b) above.

(d)   Water rates for all water sold to each customer outside the city limits shall be double the existing rates within the city limits.

(Ord. 2002-6; Code 2008; Ord. 2010-01; Ord. 2016-01)

It shall be unlawful for any customer of the city receiving water therefrom, or for any other person or entity to tamper with, alter, or destroy and water meter owned by the city. Any person convicted of tampering with, altering, damaging or destroying a water meter owned by the city shall be required to pay as a penalty therefore, the sum of $50. Failure to pay the $50 penalty shall result in water service to the offending party being terminated until such time as the penalty is fully paid.

(Ord. 2002-6, Sec 2; Code 2008)

A service fee of $20 shall be charged to any customer receiving water from the city for any check returned unpaid to the city. This $20 service fee shall become a part of the outstanding balance owed to the city and must be paid in full to the city pursuant to termination of utility services ordinance now in effect for the city.

(Ord. 2002-6, Sec. 3; Code 2008)

There shall be no meter hook-ups for utilities to buildings or structures not in compliance with the building codes of the city.

(Code 1985)