§ 51.030  BILLING PROCEDURES; ACCOUNT INFORMATION.
   (A)   No water or sewer connections shall be made until such time that application has been made and all connection fees and availability fees paid. In projects requiring other permits, no connections shall be made until such time that all required building, zoning, driveway and other permits required by the Town of Beech Mountain, county, state or federal agencies have been obtained.
   (B)   The Town of Beech Mountain may reject any application for service not available under a standard rate, or which includes excessive service costs, or which may affect the supply of service to other customers or may be detrimental to the waste treatment process due to the volume, character or content of the discharge.
   (C)   The Town of Beech Mountain shall reject any applications for connection or applications for service when the applicant is delinquent in payment of bills incurred for service supplied at any location.
   (D)   Customers requesting the water and sewer services or transfer of these services shall pay, at the town office, utility service deposits in the amount required by ordinance at that time. Upon discontinuance of the water and sewer services, and after the customer has paid his or her final bill for those services, the deposit will be returned to the depositor upon request. No interest will be paid on water and sewer deposits. Security deposit charges are set by the Town Council. The master schedule of fees is maintained in the Clerk’s office.
   (E)   All service accounts shall be billed at least a minimum monthly charge as specified in the rate schedule adopted by the Town Council regardless of the account status, consumption, or occupancy of the structure. Charges shall commence effective with the installation of the meter.
   (F)   Accounts for sprinkler systems only shall not be billed a minimum charge nor shall water utilized in the extinguishment of fire be billed to the customer if said sprinkler system is separated from all other plumbing fixtures and appurtenances and is metered separately from all other consumption or usage. Any water passing through sprinkler systems due to negligence, carelessness, frozen pipes or improper maintenance shall be billed in accordance with the rate schedule in effect at the time.
   (G)   Bills are past due and delinquent the twentieth of each month. If the twentieth of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, the day of delinquency will move to the end of the next business day.  Delinquent accounts will be charged a monthly administrative fee computed on the date of delinquency at a rate of 15% on the full balance of the account.  Service may be discontinued by the town pursuant to §§ 51.130 et seq. herein.
   (H)   Disconnection of water service may take place on or after the date of the third billing cycle on all accounts that are two months in arrears, or upon shorter notice to the account holder if deemed appropriate by the Town Manager. Service will not be reconnected until the customer pays a deposit equal to twice the basic deposit, delinquency fees, reconnection fees, and the balance due on the account.  The master schedule of fees is established by Town Council and maintained in the Clerk's Office.
   (I)   In cases where the customer provides conclusive proof that a leak has occurred in his or her plumbing system that has caused demand to increase and has been fixed, the utility bill for the period of time when the leak occurred may be adjusted by reducing the sewer portion of the bill to reflect average sewage charges for the account, or the minimum sewage charge, whichever is greatest. In no such circumstances shall the sewage portion of the bill be reduced below the minimum monthly charge for the period.
   (J)   (1)   Any water account which is charged a large amount in any one billing  period due to a leak is eligible for a 15% reduction in water charges, if the following conditions apply:
         (a)   The leak must be verified by the Town Manager or their designee;
         (b)   The total water charges for the billing period must exceed $500; and
         (c)   The number of gallons recorded on the water meter for the billing period in question must be at least twice the average gallons consumed over the previous 12 months.
      (2)   The town will not accrue interest charges on the balance due from the leak, if the customer has been approved to pay the charges over a period of months. Interest charges will begin to accrue on the entire balance past due if the customer is late in making payment on the approved schedule. This provision applies only to large balances resulting from private plumbing leaks in a single billing period, and does not apply to subsequent charges for water service after the leak has been repaired.  Situations requiring that special arrangements be made for the payment of past due accounts may only be approved by the Town Manager. The Town Manager, or designee, is authorized to make further reductions in situations where the property owner has an “excusable defect.” An “excusable defect” shall mean a rupture or leakage of the customer's underground water line(s) from the meter to the foundation and/or under the foundation as may be caused by freezing weather, settlement, corrosion, wear or accident.  The term does not apply to defective or out-of-repair faucets (inside or outside), internal wall plumbing, sprinkler systems, sprinkler heads, sprinkler lines, sprinkler solenoids, swimming pools, auto-fill pool equipment, toilets, toilet flappers or any outdoor fixture/accessory such as an outdoor kitchen. A defect must have been repaired to be eligible for any reduction.  Proof of repair may take the form of a letter from a licensed plumbing contractor or signed letter or affidavit from the home owner or the home owner's agent. The list of excusable defects are not exhaustive and the manager or his designee may use reasonable judgment on granting a release. A reduction can be made to water and sewer down to the average amount for the same month in the previous year or comparable period. A utility customer is only eligible for one such reduction in a 24 month period.
   (K)   Not less than three-days’ notice must be given in person or in writing at the Town Utilities Office, to discontinue service for a change in occupancy. The outgoing party shall be responsible for all water consumed up to the time of departure or the time specified for departure, whichever period is longer.
(1989 Code, Title III, Ch. 30, § 2-6)  (Ord. passed 7-10-1990; Ord. passed 9-8-1992; Ord. passed 8-10-1999; Ord. passed 8-14-2006; Ord. passed 2-10-2009; Ord. 2014-02, passed 1-14-2014; Ord. 2017-04, passed 2-14-2017; Ord. 2017-05, passed 6-13-2017; Ord. 2017-06, passed 7-11-2017)
Editor's note:
   2 Second paragraph added by amendment August 10, 1999.
   3 Division (K) amended by resolution August 14, 2006.