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(A) (1) The City Manager is hereby authorized to enforce the payment of charges for water service to any premises by discounting the water service to such premises in accordance with the provisions of this section, and the payment of charges for sewage disposal service to any premises may be enforced by discontinuing either the water service or the sewage disposal service to such premises in accordance with the provisions of this section, or both, and an action of assumpsit may be instituted by the city against the customer.
(2) (a) It is the policy of the city to discontinue utility service to customers by reason of nonpayment of bills only after notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard on disputed bills. If any bill is not paid by or before the date noted in the bill, a second bill will be mailed containing a cutoff notice that if the bill is not paid within ten days of the mailing of the second bill, service will be discontinued for nonpayment.
(b) Any customer disputing the correctness of his bill shall have a right to a hearing at which time he may be represented in person and by counsel or any other person of his choosing and may present orally or in writing his complaint and contentions to the city official in charge of utility billing. This official shall be authorized to order that the customer's service not be discontinued and shall have the authority to make a final determination of the customer's complaint.
(c) Requests for delays or waiver of payment will not be entertained; only questions of proper and correct billing will be considered. In the absence of payment of the bill rendered or resort to the hearing procedure provided herein, service will be discontinued at the time specified.
(B) The charges for water service and sewage service which, under the provisions of Public Act 178, § 2, of 1939, being M.C.L.A. § 123.162, as amended, are made a lien on the premises to which furnished, are hereby recognized to constitute such lien; and the City Clerk shall, on the Tuesday following the second Monday in March of each year; certify to the City Council, at their regular Council meeting, the amounts which are over six months delinquent and the billing address on which the lien is to be placed.
(C) The City Council, no later than the Tuesday following the second Monday in April, shall at these regular Council meetings, direct the City Assessor to spread the several amounts against the properties listed on the summer tax roll. Such charges shall be collected in the same manner as general city taxes.
(D) (1) In cases where the city is properly notified in accordance with Public Act 178, § 5, of 1939, being M.C.L.A. § 123.165, that a tenant is responsible for water or sewage disposal service charges, no such service shall be commenced or continued to such premises until there has been deposited with the Department a $100 water deposit. This deposit shall be held by the city to apply against the final bill of the tenant when service is discontinued, either through default of payment or vacation of the premises. Any amount in excess of the final billing will be refunded to the tenant. Failure to pay the deposit shall result in shut-off of the service until the deposit is paid in full. The water deposit amount may be changed from time to time by resolution as deemed appropriate by City Council.
(2) It shall be the responsibility of the landlord to pay all water/sewer billings on rental properties. In the event an amount owed becomes six months delinquent, it shall be placed as a lien on the city tax roll pursuant to Public Act 178 of 1939, being M.C.L.A. §§ 123.162 - 123.167, as amended. In cases where the city is properly notified in accordance with Public Act 178 of 1939, being M.C.L.A. § 123.165, that a tenant is responsible for water/sewer billings, as stated in their lease agreement, then no such lien shall be place on the landlord's taxes. An affidavit with respect to the execution of a lease containing this provision shall be filed with the utility billing clerk, and 20 days written notice to the utility billing clerk shall be given by the lessor to the utility billing clerk of any cancellation, change in, or termination of the lease. In lieu of an affidavit, a verified copy of the current lease which has been signed and dated by both the landlord and tenant shall be filed with the utility billing clerk. The affidavit shall contain a notation of the expiration date of the lease. Upon expiration of the lease agreement, the water/sewer account shall be placed in the name of the landlord. Payment for subsequent billings shall then be the responsibility of the landlord and subject to tax liens, until such time that the city is provided a current lease properly signed and dated.
(3) In any other case where, in the discretion of the city, the collection of charges for water or sewage disposal service may be difficult or uncertain, the city may require a similar deposit.
(4) The city shall discontinue water/sewer service to any tenant in arrears of their water/sewer bill. When the water/sewer billing becomes 30 days past due, a 15-day Turn-Off Notice shall be sent to the tenant and the landlord. If the account is not paid in full or other payment arrangements made by the end of the 15-day period, the water service shall be shut-off. Thereafter, the water service shall not be renewed until payment is received in full, and a $40 reconnection fee is paid. This reconnection fee may be changed from time to time by resolution of City Council. In the event that any one tenant should vacate the premises with an outstanding balance due the city and reside at a different residence, then water/sewer service to the new residence shall not commence until any previous amounts owed to the city for the preceding six years are paid in full and a water deposit paid for the new residence in an amount set forth in division (D)(1) above.
(`73 Code, 25.080, § 2.132) (Ord. eff. 12-13-82; Am. Ord. eff. 2-14-83; Am. Ord. eff. 4-30-06)