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(A) Penalties and interest. All charges for utility or sanitation service remaining unpaid after they become due shall be charged a penalty of 10% and interest at the rate of 1.5% per month (18% per annum). The due date shall be 16 calendar days from the date that the utility bills are delivered to the United States Postal Service. If the due date as computed in the previous sentence falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the due date will be the next regular working day. No such penalty and interest charges shall be less than $5 except that this minimum charge shall apply only after computing the entire bill including water, sewer and sanitation charges, as appropriate, and shall not be charged on any bill already including a late utility charge.
(B) Utility shutoff. If all charges for all services are not paid by the due date of the delinquent notice, water service shall be discontinued. In addition to the 10% penalty, all service charges shall be paid before water is reconnected. If a check used for payment following a shutoff notice is returned for any reason, that service shall be shut off immediately without further notice.
(C) Returned payment fee. Any account on which payment is made partially or wholly by a check, returned bank draft or disputed credit card payment which is returned for any reason shall be charged a fee of $35. In addition, after the second such occurrence within a 12-month period, the city may require payment by cash, cashier's check or money order for a 12-month period. Thereafter, any single repetition shall cause the same requirements to be placed in effect indefinitely.
(D) Collection agency fee. Any inactive account on which payment is overdue is subject to processing through a collection agency. Any such account balance shall have an additional fee of 50% added to the amount due.
(E) Payment plans. The City Manager or his or her designee is authorized to establish and regulate a payment plan in special circumstances when needed and is further authorized to cease such plan for any delinquency or non-payment. Generally, such payment shall be in writing.
(F) Delinquency. On or after the effective date of this section, if any charges for utility services provided by the city shall remain unpaid beyond the due date of the delinquent notice, the city shall refuse new service to the delinquent applicant until all charges are paid. The delinquency shall be deemed to exist whether the outstanding delinquency is in the name of the applicant or spouse.
(G) Penalty for violation.
(1) The city may levy fines or penalties against a user for willful or malicious acts including but not limited to: turning on water at meter without city approval; installing a jumper or similar device specifically for the purpose of theft of water; turning on of fire hydrants; damage to city facilities. A fine or penalty may be placed on the user's water bill to cover the actual cost of the loss (i.e., cost of repair, estimated cost of stolen water; cost of labor to remove jumpers; etc.) plus an additional fine as follows:
(a) If water is turned on at the meter without city permission: $50 each occurrence.
(b) If a water meter jumper is installed: $100 each occurrence.
(c) Illegal use of fire hydrant or unmetered water source: $250 each occurrence.
(d) Intentional damage to city facilities: $50 to $200 per occurrence (based on severity of offense).
(2) The City Manager or his or her designee may determine the additional fine for other occurrences not listed above.
(Ord. 32-2018, passed 2-8-18)