§ 52.31  OTHER CHARGES AND SERVICES.
   (A)   Generally.  The following fees are authorized to offset the performance of work by the city utility workers as benefit to the citizens of the city.
Service
Charge
Service
Charge
Gray water septic tank waste dumping
$100
   No grease or commercial waste shall be accepted; in addition to the fee, any individual or entity that misrepresents the dumping of waste to be gray water waste shall be liable for any and all costs or fines resulting from the dumping of such waste; such costs shall include, but not be limited to, any damages resulting to sewer plant pumps and/or equipment; documentation shall be provided, in writing, by the carrier or its representation as to the contents of the waste being dumped into the sewer plant and shall be dated and signed by the carrier and by the Sewer Department personnel; a strainer must be at the discharge point
Late payment charge (bills due by the fifteenth day of the month; see division (D) below)
10% of the amount billed before taxes
Leak check service charge
$25
   This fee does not apply if the customer has been tagged by the Utility Office for a leak check
Pool fill from city hydrant (see division (C) below)
$76
   This fee shall be divided $51 for water and $25 to the City Fire Department for hose rental
Pool meter charge (see division (C) below)
$25
   Charge is per 4 business days
Returned check fee
$35
   In addition to the fee, if a second check is returned within l year, all payments will then be required to be cash
Vac truck usage
   Commercial
$175
   Residential; residential customers may have this fee waived 1 time per year provided that the vac truck usage occurs during normal city business hours
$100
Water shut-off at meter
$25
   This fee shall only apply if a shut off is requested after normal business hours
 
   (B)   Security deposits.
      (1)   Customers who open a new utility account with the city are required to pay a security deposit of $100 at the time the new account is opened. A customer must also show proof of identity, by way of a photo I.D., proof of residence, and complete an application for service. Once all items are submitted and the new account is approved, water service will begin within 24 hours.
      (2)   (a)   A customer who also is the owner of the property that is connected to the utility may be entitled to receive a refund of his of her deposit five years after the account was opened.
         (b)   In order to receive the refund, a property owner must show:
            1.   There have been no delinquent utility bills on the account for the past two years; and
            2.   Documentation (such as property tax records or a deed) demonstrating ownership of the property for at least the past five years.
      (3)   In the event that a customer has a delinquent utility bill, the security deposit shall be applied toward the delinquency, first towards unpaid water charges and second towards unpaid sewer charges. The customer will then be required to replenish the security deposit to the original $100 amount of the deposit. A customer who fails to replenish a security deposit will be considered delinquent and may have his or her service terminated pursuant to the city’s policies on delinquent accounts discussed herein.
      (4)   If a customer cancels or terminates utility service, the deposit shall be applied to the customer’s final bill. Any balance remaining shall be refunded to the customer if the customer provides a forwarding address. The security deposit shall be forfeited if the customer has not provided a forwarding address within one year of terminating service.
   (C)   Pool fill.
      (1)   Utility customers may fill a private pool using a city fire hydrant. A flat fee of $76 ($51 to the Water Department for the water and $25 to the City Fire Department for hose rental) must be paid in advance for this service. The pool fill must be supervised by employees of the Water or Fire Departments and a one and one-half-inch hose from the Fire Department will be used to fill the pool. Pool fills will only be performed during regular business hours and regular duties of the Departments will take precedence over pool fills.
      (2)   Pool meters are also available for use and may be picked up at the water office at City Hall. There is a $25 charge, per four days, to rent a pool meter. There is a $25 charge per day for each day the meter is not returned after the initial four-day period. If a meter is damaged or lost, there is a $135 charge. An adjustment will be made to a customer’s utility bill based upon a reading of the pool meter once returned.
      (3)   Utility customers may choose to use their own hose and spigot to fill a pool. However, no adjustments will be made to a customer’s utility bill for the pool fill if they elect to use this method.
   (D)   Late payments and delinquent bills.
      (1)   Utility bills are due on the fifteenth day of each month. A late fee is assessed to all bills not paid by the due date. The late payment charge shall be 10% of the total bill before tax.
      (2)   If a bill is past due for over one month, the account is considered delinquent and water service will be disconnected if the account is not brought out of delinquency. Written notice will be provided to a customer before water service is disconnected.
      (3)   Once service has been disconnected, it will not be reconnected until the account has been paid in full and a reconnection fee, in the amount of $50, has been paid. Service will be reconnected the following business day after the account has been fully paid and the reconnection fee has been paid.
      (4)   If a customer has a delinquent bill, no new service will be provided in the customer’s name (or in the name of another member of the household) until the delinquent bill is paid in full.
      (5)   In addition, no new service will be provided in the name of a different customer to an address with an outstanding delinquent bill. All amounts owed must be paid before service to the address will be connected. However, this policy shall not be applied if the ownership of the property has changed since the delinquent bill was incurred.
   (E)   Sewer liens.
      (1)   Delinquent sewer bills may also result in a lien being placed against the property to which service has been provided.
      (2)   If the property is occupied by someone other than the owner, the city may only place a lien against the property if the city has notified the owner of the delinquency within 20 days of the time the sewer bill became 60 days delinquent. However, the city is only required to provide notice to the owner of the property if the owner has provided the Utility Office with written notice of the address to which the notice is to be sent.
      (3)   Accordingly, all property owners who rent or lease their property are encouraged to provide the Utility Office with the aforementioned written notice in order to receive warning before a sewer lien is placed against the property.
   (F)   Disturbing water meters.  A city ordinance (2000-1201) prohibits anyone except the Utilities Superintendent (or persons designated by the Superintendent) from opening meter lids or otherwise disturbing, or adjusting a water meter. This section further prohibits placing objects on meter lids or otherwise obstructing Water Department personnel from reading water meters.
   (G)   Turning on or shutting off water service.  Normally, a request to turn on or shut off water service will be honored within 24 business hours of the request being made to the Utility Office. Additional time may, however, be required depending on the work schedules and responsibilities of utility personnel.
   (H)   Bill adjustments and variances from Department policies.
      (1)   Generally.
         (a)   Customers who believe that their bill is in error or should otherwise be adjusted (i.e., leak adjustment) may request that the Board of Public Works and Safety review their bill. Similarly, customers who wish to request a variance from the Department’s rule and regulations must submit the request to the Board. All adjustments and variances must be approved by the Board of Public Works and Safety.
         (b)   If a customer believes that his or her bill is misstated, he or she should first contact the Utility Office. The Utility Office will then schedule to have the customer’s water meter reread to determine if an error has been made in the reading of his or her meter. If the meter reading appears correct, Water Department personnel may then conduct a leak check to attempt to establish if there is a leak in the water line leading to the customer’s home/business or within the water pipes or fixtures within his or her home/business. Customers requesting leak checks will be charged $25, which fee is payable at the time of the service. This fee does not apply if the customer has been tagged by the Utility Office for a leak check.
      (2)   Leak adjustments.
         (a)   A customer may request an adjustment if they suffer a water leak. Typically such an adjustment consists of a reduction in the customer’s sewer bill by reducing the consumption from the actual meter reading to the customer’s average of the prior six month period. A customer is limited to one adjustment per one-month period.
         (b)   In limited circumstances, the Board may also consider making an adjustment to a customer’s water bill. Pursuant to I.C. 8-1.5-3.5, the city may make an adjustment to a sewer bill if the following criteria are satisfied:
            1.   The customer is a residential customer;
            2.   The customer has an UNUSUALLY LARGE BILL which is defined as a bill that is at least two times the customer’s average monthly usage at the premises;
            3.   The excessive use reflected in a monthly bill is the result of damage to any facility or equipment supplying water to the customer’s premises;
            4.   The damage was not visible or detectable on the customer’s premises except on excavation or some other disturbance of the property; and
            5.   The damage was not the result of the act of the customer (or any agent or contractor hired by the customer).
         (c)   If a customer presents adequate evidence to the Board that the above conditions are satisfied, the Board may consider adjusting the customer’s water and sewer bills by reducing them to the average for the prior three-month period.
      (3)   Procedure for requesting an adjustment or variance from Department rules.
         (a)   All bill adjustments or variances from Utility Department rules or regulations must be approved by the Board of Public Works. Customers who wish to request an adjustment or variance from Department policies may submit their request in writing to the Board of Public Works on the proper form which is available at the Utility Office.
         (b)   The Board of Public Works usually meets every third Monday of the month at 4:00 p.m. and will consider all requests for adjustments or variances that have been submitted prior to the beginning of the Board’s meeting. Customers requesting an adjustment or variance are not required to attend the Board’s meeting.
      (4)   Emergency relief.
         (a)   The city recognizes that in some emergency circumstances (meaning threatening or endangering life, health or property), a customer’s request for a variance from Department policies must be acted upon before the Board of Public Works next regularly scheduled meeting. Accordingly, the Office Manager may conditionally grant a variance from Department rules, subject to approval by the Board of Public Works at its next meeting.
         (b)   A customer requesting such emergency relief still must complete the appropriate form requesting the variance in writing. The Office Manager may then grant emergency relief by signing the form and indicating the relief granted. At the next regular meeting of the Board of Public Works, the full Board will then decide whether to affirm, rescind or modify the relief granted.
         (c)   If a customer’s request for emergency relief is denied by the Office Manager the customer’s request will still be considered by the Board of Public Works at its next meeting.
(Res. 2009-01-01, passed 2-10-2009; Res. 5-2010-1, passed 5-11-2010; Ord. 5-2010-1, passed 6-8-2010; Ord. 3-2013-1, passed 3-12-2013; Res. 2013-2, passed 3-18-2013; Ord. 11-2014-1, passed 11-18-2014)  Penalty, see § 52.99