Subd. 1. Fire hydrant utility. A fire hydrant utility for the city is hereby established. The municipal fire hydrant system shall be operated as a public utility pursuant to M.S. § 444.075, as it may be amended from time to time, from which revenue will be derived subject to the provisions of this chapter and to Minnesota Statutes. The fire hydrant utility will be a part of the fire department and under the administration of the fire chief.
   Subd. 2. Purpose of funds derived and allocation of revenue. The purpose of all funds derived is to pay for all or part of the construction, reconstruction, repair, enlargement, improvement or other obtainment and the maintenance, operation and use of the fire hydrant utility as established by the city. All revenues derived from the fee shall be credited to the Fire Department in the General Fund and applied to offset expenses incurred in provision of the fire hydrant utility.
   Subd. 3. Fire hydrant utility fee.
      A.   A fire hydrant utility fee for provision and availability of the fire hydrant facilities shall be determined by resolution of the Council and shall be just and equitable. A charge for the provision and availability of fire hydrant facilities may be imposed for all premises upon which are located structures intended for human occupation whether for residential, commercial, business, industrial, educational, or other purposes.
      B.   A fire hydrant utility fee for provision and availability of the fire hydrant facilities shall be determined by resolution of the Council and shall be just and equitable. Charges made for the use of the facilities may be fixed on the basis of hydrant use in protecting the property, or by reference to a reasonable classification of the types of premises to which the service is furnished, or by any other equitable basis including, but without limitation, any combination of those referred to above.
   Subd. 4. Adjustments. The Council may adopt, by resolution, policies and standards for the adjustment of the fee for parcels. Such adjustments shall not be made retroactively.
   Subd. 5. Exemptions. Undeveloped land, railroads, and city owned land are exempt from the fees established in Subd. 3, Subpar. B, above.
   Subd. 6. Billings. Bills for the charges for the fee shall be made and collected by the Austin Utilities. All bills shall be payable at the office of Austin Utilities.
   Subd. 7. Recalculation of fees. If a property owner or person responsible for paying the fee questions the correctness of such charge, that person may have the determination of the charge recomputed within six months of mailing, by submitting to the fire chief a written request for the recomputation.
   Subd. 8. Municipal utility charges a lien.
      A.   Payment for service and charges provided for herein shall be the primary responsibility of the owner of the premises served and shall be billed to him unless otherwise authorized in writing by the tenant and owner and consented to by the city or Austin Utilities, as the case may be. Austin Utilities, or the city, as the case may be, may collect the same in a civil action or, in the alternative and at the option of it, as otherwise provided in this subdivision.
      B.   Each such charge is hereby made a lien upon the premises served. All such charges which are on September 30 of each year more than 30 days past due, shall be certified by the City Administrator to the County Auditor between October 1 and 10 of each year, and the City Administrator in so certifying such charges to the County Auditor shall specify the amount thereof, the description of the premises served, and the name of the owner thereof. The amount so certified shall be extended by the Auditor on the tax rolls against such premises in the same manner as other taxes, and collected by the County Treasurer, and paid to the city along with other taxes.
(Ord. 686, Second Series, passed 12-7-20)