§ 31.102  BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
   (A)   Appointment; election; organization.
      (1)   If a water works, electric light plant, artificial or natural gas plant or other similar public utility is situated in the municipality, or when the Legislative Authority orders a water works, electric light plant, artificial or natural gas plant or other similar public utility to be constructed, or to be leased or purchased from any individual, company or corporation, or when the Legislative Authority determines to establish a schedule of rates or charges of rents for use of the sewerage system and sewage pumping, treatment and disposal works of the municipality, The Legislative Authority shall establish a Board of Trustees of Public Affairs, which shall consist of three members who are residents of the municipality.
      (2)   All members shall have four-year terms, except that members of boards established after July 26, 1967, shall be elected as follows: at the next regular election of municipal officials occurring more than 100 days after the appointment of the first members of the Board as provided in this section, one member shall be elected for a term of two years and two members shall be elected for terms of four years each. Thereafter, all such members shall be elected for terms of four years.
      (3)   When the Legislative Authority establishes such Board, the Mayor shall appoint the members thereof, subject to the confirmation of the Legislative Authority. The successors of such appointed members shall be elected at the next regular election of municipal officers held in the municipality which occurs more than 100 days after the appointment.
      (4)   In case of a vacancy in the Board from death, resignation or otherwise, it shall be filled for the unexpired term by appointment by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Legislative Authority.
      (5)   The Board shall organize by electing one of its members President. Unless the office of Clerk of the Board has been consolidated with the office of Clerk of the municipality, as authorized by R.C. § 733.28, it may elect a Clerk, who shall be known as the Clerk of the Board of Trustees of Public Affairs.
(R.C. § 735.28)
   (B)   General powers and duties.
      (1)   The Board of Trustees of Public Affairs appointed under division (A) of this section shall manage, conduct and control the waterworks, electric light plants, artificial or natural gas plants or other similar public utilities, furnish supplies of water, electricity or gas, collect all water, electric and gas rents or charges and appoint necessary officers, employees and agents.
      (2)   The Board may make such bylaws and rules as it determines to be necessary for the safe, economical and efficient management and protection of the works, plants and public utilities. These bylaws and rules, when not repugnant to local ordinances or to the Constitution or laws of the state, shall have the same validity as ordinances.
      (3)   For the purpose of paying the expenses of conducting and managing the waterworks, plants and public utilities or of making necessary additions thereto and extensions and repairs thereon, the Board may assess a water rent or charge, or a light, power, gas or utility rent, of sufficient amount and in such manner as it determines to be most equitable, upon all tenements and premises supplied therewith. When the rents, except water rents and charges, are not paid when due, the Board may certify them to the County Auditor to be placed on the duplicate and collected as other municipal taxes, or it may collect them by actions at law in the name of the municipality. When water rents or charges are not paid when due, the Board may do either or both of the following:
         (a)   Certify them, together with any penalties, to the County Auditor. The County Auditor shall place the certified amount on the real property tax list and duplicate against the property served by the connection if he or she also receives from the Board additional certification that the unpaid rents or charges have arisen pursuant to a service contract made directly with an owner who occupies the property served. The amount placed on the tax list and duplicate shall be a lien on the property served from the date placed on the list and duplicate and shall be collected in the same manner as other taxes, except that, notwithstanding R.C. § 323.15, the County Treasurer shall accept a payment in such amount when separately tendered as payment for the full amount of the unpaid water rents or charges and associated penalties. The lien shall be released immediately upon payment in full of the certified amount. Any amounts collected by the County Treasurer under this division shall be placed for immediate distribution to the municipality, in the appropriate distinct fund established for water rents and charges.
         (b)   Collect them by action at law in the name of the municipality from an owner, tenant or other person who is liable to pay the rents or charges.
      (4)   The Board shall have the same powers and perform the same duties as are provided in R.C. §§ 743.01, 743.05 through 743.07, 743.10, 743.11, 743.18, 743.24 and 735.05 through 735.09, which powers and duties relating to waterworks in any of these sections shall extend to and include electric light, power and gas plants, and such other duties as are prescribed by law or ordinance not inconsistent herewith.
      (5)   If the Board assesses water rents or charges, it shall determine the actual amount of rents due, based upon an actual reading of each customer’s meter at least once in each three-month period, and at least quarterly the Board shall render a bill for the actual amount shown by the meter reading to be due, except that estimated bills may be rendered if access to a customer’s meter was unobtainable for a timely reading. If the Board assesses water rents or charges, it shall establish procedures providing fair and reasonable opportunity for resolution of billing disputes.
      (6)   When property to which water service is provided is about to be sold, any party to the sale or his or her agent may request the Board to read the meter at that property and to render, within ten days following the date on which the request is made, a final bill for all outstanding rents and charges for water service. Such a request shall be made at least 14 days prior to the transfer of the title of the property.
      (7)   At any time prior to a certification under division (B)(3)(a) of this section, the Board shall accept any partial payment of unpaid water rents or charges, in the amount of $10 or more.
(R.C. § 735.29) (Rev. 2002)
Cross-reference:
    Abolishment and re-establishment of Board of Trustees of Public Affairs, see § 31.101(B)
    Merger of offices of Clerk and Clerk of Board of Trustees of Public Affairs, see § 31.042