§ 50.01  ESTABLISHMENT, TRANSFER AND TERMINATION OF UTILITIES ACCOUNTS.
   (A)   Application. Each customer requesting utilities services shall submit an application for service on forms provided by the City Clerk’s office. Each application must be signed by the customer or the customer’s authorized agent. The application shall contain the personal and financial information as is customarily required for the extension of credit, as well as other information appropriate to the establishment or transfer of the utilities account. The City Clerk’s office may deny an application or require a creditworthy co-applicant if the information provided on the application does not support a finding of the customer’s creditworthiness. If the customer is requesting utilities services for premises in which utilities are not already connected, the application must be submitted and approved prior to the connection of utilities. If the customer is requesting transfer of an existing account for premises in which utilities services are already connected, the application must be submitted and approved no later than ten days after the request for the transfer of the account to the customer’s name.
   (B)   Notification. The City Clerk’s office shall notify the customer of the application requirement when the request for establishment or transfer of an account is made. If the request is made by someone other than the customer whose name is on the account, the City Clerk’s office shall attempt to contact the customer by telephone; if unable to make contact by telephone, that office shall promptly send written notice to the customer of the application requirement. This notice shall be sent to the address to be served by the utilities services, unless the City Clerk’s office has actual knowledge of a different address of the customer. The notice shall inform the customer that failure to submit an approvable application within ten days of the date of the account transfer, or within ten days of the date of notification under this section, whichever is later, shall be deemed a violation of this section and shall be subject to the enforcement provisions of this chapter, including termination of utilities services.
   (C)   Co-applicants. If more than one person signs the application for utilities services, the co-applicants shall designate one applicant’s name to appear on utility bills, but each co-applicant shall be considered the customer, and each shall be jointly and severally liable for all utilities charges on the account.
   (D)   Request for termination. Request for termination of a customer’s account when a customer is vacating premises shall be made on forms provided by the City Clerk’s office. Each termination request form must be signed by the customer or the customer’s authorized agent. The termination request form shall include the date of termination, the customer’s forwarding address for the final bill, the name into which the account is to be transferred and other information as may be appropriate.
   (E)   Property not occupied by owner.
      (1)   Utilities services provided to rental, contract for deed or other non-owner occupied premises shall be the responsibility of the property owner, and the property owner shall be considered the customer, unless and until the occupant requests a transfer of the utilities account into the occupant’s name and submits the application required by this section. Notwithstanding the fact that a utilities account is in the name of a non-owner occupant, the city may impose liens against the property for unpaid utility bills to the extent provided and permitted by law.
      (2)   The city will not be responsible for enforcing agreements between owners and occupants regarding responsibility for payment of utilities charges. If an account has been in the name of a non-owner occupant, and that customer requests termination of the account in accordance with this regulation, the account shall be transferred into the name of the property owner unless and until another occupant applies for services. If the city becomes aware that the non-owner has vacated the premises (for example, by return of a utility bill by the post office indicating that the occupant has moved with no forwarding address), and no request for termination or transfer of the account has been received, the account shall likewise be transferred into the name of the property owner. Upon the transfer of an account to the property owner, the City Clerk’s office shall notify the owner by first class mailing to the owner’s last-known address that the account has been transferred into the owner’s name, that the owner will be responsible for all utility charges incurred after the date of transfer, and that a lien may be imposed against the property for any unpaid balance.
   (F)   Multiple-occupant premises. If multiple units within the premises are served by one meter for utility service, all of the utility charges related to that service will be billed to one customer. If the premises includes any residential property, the customer billed will be the property owner. If the premises does not include any residential property, the customer can be either the property owner or one occupant and the customer is responsible for the collection of payment from the occupants. The city will not be responsible for allocating charges among multiple occupants unless separate meters are installed for each unit.
   (G)   Voluntary shut-offs. All requests for shut-offs of utility services (other than those initiated by the city by reason of delinquent accounts, emergency situations or other authorized reasons) shall be made by the property owner or the owner’s authorized agent on forms provided by the City Clerk’s office. An occupant who is not the property owner shall not be considered an authorized agent of the owner unless written confirmation of the authority is provided by the owner. The owner’s request for voluntary shut-off must contain a statement that the premises will not be occupied at the date of the requested shut-off.
   (H)   Minimum fixed service rate. The property owner is liable for paying a minimum fixed service rate, as established from time to time by the City Council, regardless of whether or not the owner uses the municipal water and/or wastewater systems as connected.
(Ord. 94, passed 2-9-2004; Ord. 126, passed 4-9-2018)