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(A) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
CITY. The City of Covington, a home rule city of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
COMMERCIAL RATES. The user fees adopted by the city pursuant to division (B)(2) below.
CONTRACTOR. The entity with which the city has contracted for waste management services, or if no such contract exists, the entity or person with which an owner or commercial user has contracted for the delivery of such services.
COMMERCIAL USER. The entity or person that owns, operates and/or manages a multi- unit residential parcel or a business located on a commercial, industrial or mixed-use parcel, or any owner of a residential building containing four or fewer units who is in possession or regularly uses more carts than the maximum number of carts provided in division (C)(3) below.
DWELLING UNIT. A self-contained unit of accommodation used by one or more occupants as a residence, which is located on a residential parcel or multi-unit residential parcel.
MIXED-USE PARCEL. Any parcel, house, building or other structure that is designed or used partially for residential purposes and partially for commercial purposes, whether inhabited temporarily or continuously, or vacant, including any yard, grounds, walkway, driveway, porch, steps, vestibule or mailbox belonging or appurtenant to such structure.
MULTI-UNIT RESIDENTIAL PARCEL. Any parcel, house, building or other structure that is designed to house one-half or more dwelling units, whether inhabited temporarily or continuously, or vacant, including any yard, grounds, walkway, driveway, porch, steps, vestibule or mailbox belonging or appurtenant to such structure, and which does not house a business other than a home occupation.
OCCUPANT. Any person residing whether permanently or temporarily in a dwelling unit.
OWNER. The person or entity that is named in the county’s property records as being the owner of a parcel located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the city.
RESIDENTIAL PARCEL. Any parcel, house, building or other structure that is designed to house four or fewer dwelling units, whether inhabited temporarily or continuously, or vacant, including any yard, grounds, walkway, driveway, porch, steps, vestibule or mailbox belonging or appurtenant to such structure, and which does not house a business other than a home occupation.
RESIDENTIAL USER FEE. The user fees adopted by the city pursuant to division (B) below.
SERVICES. The collection, transportation and disposal of solid waste and/or recyclables generated by residents or businesses located within the geographical limits of the city, including without limitation any management or administrative functions that are necessary to provide such services.
(B) Establishment of user fee. There is hereby established a user fee to defray the reasonable costs associated with providing the services to residents and businesses located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the city.
(1) Calculating the residential user fee.
(a) Each calendar year, the Finance Director shall prepare a financial analysis of the projected costs of providing the services during the coming year, whether such costs are incurred under a franchise agreement or otherwise.
(b) Based upon this analysis, the City Manager will establish a user fee for residential parcels located in the city.
(c) The user fee is designated to be payable quarterly annually and shall be due on or before March 31 each year for that calendar year’s user fee.
(d) Fees for homestead units shall be adjusted to reflect the homestead exemption provided in KRS 132.810.
(2) Commercial rates. In the event that the city elects to award a franchise, pursuant to which user fees for services provided to commercial users are to be paid directly to the contractor by such users, the city shall adopt the monthly commercial rates established in the franchise agreement as soon as practicable after the city has awarded the franchise and at the beginning of each calendar year falling during the term of the franchise. If the commercial rates are to be paid directly to the city, the Finance Director shall prepare a financial analysis of the projected costs of providing commercial services over the coming year, and the City Manager shall establish monthly commercial rates for each calendar year based on the analysis so provided.
(C) Residential user fees. Each owner of a residential parcel shall be required to pay the residential user fee adopted pursuant to division (B)(1) above, multiplied by the number of dwelling units located on the residential parcel as determined by the city and the county’s property records.
(1) Assignment of carts. The city shall assign the following number of carts to each residential parcel according to the number of dwelling units located on the parcel.
Number of Dwellings Contained on Parcel
Number of Assigned Waste Carts
Number of Assigned Recycling Carts
One dwelling unit
Two dwelling units
Three dwelling units
Four dwelling units
(2) Adjustment of residential user fees. Any owner of a residential parcel in possession or making use of fewer carts than the number of carts assigned to the parcel may request that the residential user fee be prospectively adjusted to reflect the actual number of carts being serviced on the parcel; provided that:
(a) The owner of the parcel returns any carts in its possession that are not being used by no later June 30 of the calendar year in which the adjustment is requested; and
(b) The city is able to verify that the number of carts remaining on the parcel is less than the number of carts that were assigned to the parcel. Any annual fees assessed under this section shall be prorated beginning on first full calendar month following the return of the cart. Adjustments shall only be made once per calendar year.
(3) Additional carts. Any owner of a residential parcel in possession or making use of a number of carts that is greater than the number of carts actually assigned to the residential parcel shall, in addition to any residential user fee assessed in accordance with this section, pay a fee equal to 50% of the residential user fee for each additional waste cart, and 25% of the residential user fee for each additional recycling cart. Any residential user fees assessed under this section shall be prorated beginning on first full calendar month after which an additional cart is delivered to the parcel.
(4) Maximum number of carts. Any owner of a residential parcel in possession or making use of a number of carts that is greater than the maximum number of carts allowable for the size of a parcel shall be considered a commercial user and shall be required to pay the applicable commercial rates.
Number of Dwellings Located on Parcel
Maximum Number of Waste Carts
Maximum Number of Recycling Carts
One dwelling unit
Two dwelling units
Three dwelling units
Four dwelling units
(D) Payment dates. Interest on late payments and penalties.
(1) Not less than 30 days prior to the date the user fee is due as specified herein, or as soon thereafter as practicable, the city, or its designee, shall issue each residential parcel owner a bill for the residential user fee for solid waste and recycling services for the current calendar year. Payment for such bill shall be due and payable on or before March 31 each year (hereinafter “due date”).
(2) The following amounts shall be assessed for any payments made after the due date for the user fee:
30 - 59 days after due date
2.5% of the user fee
60 - 89 days after the due date
5% of the user fee
90 - 119 days after due date
7.5% of the user fee
(3) If payment has not been made within 120 days from the due date, a penalty equal to 10% of any unpaid user fees shall be assessed against any owner of a residential parcel who has not yet paid the amount of the residential user fee assessed on the residential parcel, and any interest accruing thereupon, which together with any such unpaid amounts shall be added to the real estate tax bills for that calendar year.
(4) The total amount due on account of user fees, excluding any interest or penalties, shall bear an interest rate of 6% per annum beginning on the day after the last day upon which real estate taxes are due.
(E) Refund of residential user fees. The owner of a residential parcels may request a refund for any overpayments made on account of user fees assessed under this section, by requesting an adjustment to the user fee in the manner provided in division (C)(6) above, and by submitting an application for a refund with the city’s Finance Department no later than one year from the date upon which the overpayment was made. The city shall not refund any fees, penalties, interest imposed under division (D) above.
(F) Commercial refunds.
(1) In the event that the city elects to award a franchise pursuant to which commercial rates are to be paid directly to the contractor, commercial users shall be responsible to observe the contractor’s applicable refund or adjustment policy.
(2) If the commercial rates are to be paid directly to the city, commercial users may request a refund for any overpayments in the same manner as provided in division (E) above as applicable.
(G) Enforcement and penalty.
(1) Failure to pay a residential user fee shall constitute a civil offense and any person, firm or corporation who fails to pay a residential user fee shall be subject to a civil fine. The civil fine to be imposed for failure to pay a residential user fee shall be equal to the amount of the unpaid user fee, including interest and penalties, and the city may seek enforcement of the civil fine through appropriate procedures under Ch. 92 of these ordinances.
(2) In addition, the city may enforce the collection of user fees, commercial rates, penalties and any interest accruing thereupon, as applicable, by filing a civil action with an administrative board, and/or court of appropriate jurisdiction, and the city shall be entitled to recover all court costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred to enforce any provision of this section. The city shall also possess a lien against the owner of real property for all fines and costs related to the failure to pay residential user fees. The lien for failure to pay a residential user fee shall be superior to and have priority over all other liens, if all legal requirements are satisfied.
(H) Revenues. The revenues realized from the collection of user fees and, when applicable, the collection of commercial rates, shall be accounted for in a special revenue account, and these revenues shall be used to defray the costs of providing the services and of managing related programs or incentives adopted by the city, including, without limitation, the reasonable cost of administering such programs or incentives, the reasonable costs of labor and materials used to provide or coordinate the delivery of the services and any amounts paid to finance waste related expenses.
(1984 Code, § 98.01) (Ord. O-12-84, passed 2-28-1984; Ord. O-31-84, passed 6-5-1984; Ord. O-53-88, passed 8-4-1988; Ord. O-42-90, passed 8-31-1990; Ord. O-46-01, passed 11-13-2001; Ord. O-47-15, passed 12-8-2015; Ord. O-34-16, passed 11-15-2016; Ord. O-30-17, passed 12-5-2017)