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(A) Each residential or commercial water and sewer customer of the city shall be entitled to one adjustment in his or her water and sewer bill after it has been determined that a leak exists on the customer’s side of the meter.
(B) For purposes of this chapter, a leak shall be presumed to exist if, and only if, a customer’s water bill for a one month period totals an amount greater than or equal to two times the customer’s average water bill for the 12-month period immediately preceding the month for which the customer received the higher bill. In all other cases, the customer shall have the burden of proving that a leak existed by presenting to the City Manager, or his or her designee, the affidavit of a plumber or an employee of the City’s Water Department stating that a leak existed for the month in question and, further, the affidavit must state that the leak has been repaired.
(C) If the City Manager or his or her designee determine that a leak existed in accordance with division (B) above, the customer shall be entitled to pay an adjusted rate for the month in which the leak existed. The adjusted rate shall be calculated as follows.
(1) The customer shall be charged, for the month in which the leak existed, the current water rate multiplied by the customer’s average water usage for the 12 months immediately preceding the month in which the leak existed.
(2) In the event that the customer has been connected to the city water and sewer facilities for less than 12 months, the customer shall be charged, for the month in which the leak existed, the current water rate, multiplied by the average water usage for the number of months that the customer has been connected to the city water and sewer facilities.
(3) In the event that the leak existed during the first month following connection, the city may use the previous property owner’s average billing, calculated in the same manner as described in divisions (C)(1) and (C)(2) above, as a guide in calculating the adjusted rate, or bring the issue before the City Commission for resolution.
(D) Each customer shall be entitled to only one adjustment to a water and sewer bill in a 12-month period. It shall be the customer’s responsibility to promptly notify the city of the leak. The adjustment shall be made to one month’s bill only. If a leak persists for more than one month, the customer shall be responsible for all of his or her water bills for the duration of the leak, and any adjustment granted by the city shall only be applied to the month in which the leak was discovered or reported by the customer.
(E) If the customer is not satisfied with the adjustment made by the City Manager, or his or her designee, the customer can appeal the adjustment decision to the City Commission by notifying the City Manager, in writing, within five days of the adjustment decision, of the customer’s intent to appeal. All appeals shall be brought before the City Commission during the regularly scheduled City Commission meeting which occurs on the fourth Monday of the month following the month in which the City Manager received the written notice of the customer’s intent to appeal. The City Commission shall review the decision of the City Manager, or his or her designee, and shall uphold the decision unless the City Commission determines that the decision was clearly erroneous.
(Ord. 610.7-5-96, passed 5-16-1996)