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(A) There shall be and there are hereby established sanitary sewer user service charges for the use of and for the service supplied by the sewerage works of the city which shall consist of a customer charge, plus a fixed customer charge, for operation and maintenance, plus replacement and penalties if applicable.
(B) The city shall prepare annually, prior to the close of the fiscal year, an estimate of anticipated costs of operation, maintenance and replacement for the forthcoming fiscal year, specifically including direct operation and maintenance, administration, equipment replacement and depreciation costs, which estimate shall be submitted to the City Council to be considered amended if necessary and adopted for the subsequent year by ordinance.
(C) Each user will be notified, at least annually, in conjunction with a regular bill, of the sanitary sewer user charge and the customer charge.
(D) Water usage shall be determined from readings taken from approved water meters during the winter quarter period to provide equitable accounting for water not returned to the sanitary sewers during other quarters of the year. The total annual water use for the purpose of establishing the customer charge rate shall be equal to four times the winter quarter use.
(E) (1) The rates to be used in the computation of the sanitary sewer user service charge shall be as set out in the fee schedule.
(2) A fixed customer charge, based solely on customer class, shall be assessed quarterly against all users of the sanitary sewer system as set out in the fee schedule.
(2) The fees set forth in this section shall be minimum amounts and such fees may be changed from time to time by motion, as Council deems necessary.
(F) The adequacy of the sewer user service charges shall be reviewed annually by the certified public accountants for the city in their annual audit report. The service charges shall be revised periodically to reflect changes in operation and maintenance costs including replacement costs.
(G) Meter usage shall be read to the lowest even increment of 100 cubic feet, bill per 1,000 gallons. Sewer users who obtain any portion of their water service, from other than public water supply sources shall install and maintain, at no expense to the city, water meters of a type approved by the Superintendent for the purpose of metering the water usage obtained from such other sources. Wherever required by the Superintendent, sewage metering devices shall be installed and maintained, at no expense to the city, when the volume of wastewater discharged to the public sewer cannot be otherwise determined by use of water meters. Metering devices shall not be removed without the consent of the Superintendent unless sewer use service is cancelled.
(H) The city shall read water meters located in meter pits. All other metered water users shall receive a mail-in card on which the user shall record the water meter reading and return said card to the city within ten days of receipt. Failure to return said card properly filled out within ten days of receipt shall result in a penalty assessment, as set out in the fee schedule, for the billing period, and the service charges shall be based upon an estimated water use consistent with previous usage.
(I) Sewer user service charges shall be payable quarterly on the first day of each month. The owner of the premises, the occupant thereof and the user of the service shall be jointly and severally liable to pay for the service on such premises, and the service is furnished to the premises by the city upon the condition that the owner of the premises, occupant and user of the service are jointly and severally liable therefore to the city. All user charges levied under the provisions of this section shall be a lien upon the lands within the sewerage system service area. All bills for service shall be rendered quarterly and shall be payable not later than the close of business on the twentieth day following posting. If payment of the full amount of the bill is made after said period, then a penalty of 5% of the amount of the bill shall be added thereto.
(J) In the event the charges for service are not paid within the 30 days after the date of billing for such service, such charges shall be deemed and are hereby declared to be delinquent, and thereafter such delinquencies shall constitute liens upon the real estate for which such service is supplied and the City Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to file sworn statements showing such delinquencies in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of Lake County, Illinois, the filing of such statements shall be deemed notice for the payment of such charges for service, in the event that any user fails to pay the billed charge within 60 days after the date of billing, the city shall serve termination notice upon such user and proceed to terminate service, as provided below.
(K) (1) It is hereby declared to be a policy of the city that in the event that any person or other legal entity whose residence or other building is connected to sewers which are tributary to the works of the system fails to pay the user charges as assessed under this chapter, they shall, upon the due process, be disconnected.
(2) The following procedure, in the event of non-payment of user charges, shall constitute the procedure to be utilized by the city in terminating service of such user:
(a) In the event that the payment of the user charge, after having been billed in accordance with this chapter, remains unpaid 60 days thereafter, the following notice shall be forwarded by registered mail, return receipt requested, certified mail or personal service to the occupants at the address of the building being serviced by the city:
NOTICE OF DELINQUENCY
You are hereby notified that the sewer user charges billed to you under date of (insert date) under the Sewer User Charge Ordinance of The City of Lake Forest for the building located at (insert address) have not been paid and remain delinquent, In the event that you fail to pay said user charges within 30 days hereafter, and unless you have applied for a hardship payment delay, your service will be disconnected and your building will be red-tagged as unfit for human occupancy on the fourth-fifth day after date of this notice.
THE CITY OF LAKE FOREST, ILLINOIS
(b) The City Council hereby declares that it is against public policy for a building to be occupied by human inhabitants which has been red-tagged by the city after appropriate notice has been given that the building is “unfit for human occupancy.”
(c) In the event that such user charge remains unpaid on the thirtieth day after the posting of the aforesaid notice, the following notice shall be forwarded by registered mail, return receipt requested, certified mail, or personal service to the occupants of the building and also thumb-tacked or taped to the front door of the building or housing unit within a building:
NOTICE OF TERMINATION
You are hereby notified that there has been no response to the notice of delinquency in the payment of the sewer user charge and the 30 day period therein stated has lapsed. You are hereby notified that on (here insert date 45 days after service of notice of delinquency) , the city will physically disconnect the sewer system of your building from the lateral sewer to which it is connected and will red-tag the building located at (here insert address) as “unfit for human occupancy.”
THE CITY OF LAKE FOREST, ILLINOIS
(d) The manner of severance and procedure for disconnection shall be determined by the city. Upon completion of said disconnection, the city shall forward to the occupant of the building by registered mail, return receipt requested, certified mail or personal service, a bill for the costs of making the disconnection, including all costs for labor and materials, and a service charge as set out in the fee schedule for city supervision.
(e) In the event of severance of service, the service may be reinstated in the following manner:
(L) Upon payment to the city of the full delinquency, plus penalties, plus the cost of the disconnection and the city supervision fee, as set out in the fee schedule, the city will issue a permit for reconnection of the building service line to the works of the system. Such reconnection costs, plus inspection fees in accordance with city ordinances, shall be at the sole expense of the user.
(M) Upon reconnection and payment of all costs described above, the city through its agents, shall remove the red-tag from the building and the building shall, so far as the city is concerned, be “fit for human occupancy.”
(N) Where the ownership of property changes, by sale, foreclosure or otherwise, and sewer rates and charges are unpaid, it shall be the duty of the Superintendent to accept payment of current rates and charges from the new owner or owners, and to proceed to collect the unpaid rates and charges from the person or persons liable therefor; provided, the party offering to pay sewer charges subsequent to his or her purchase shall be required to make affidavit as to the time of purchase, stating in his or her affidavit the date of the deed, and the name of the grantor, together with a record of the deed, as shown by the Recorder’s office in which such deed is recorded.
(Prior Code, § 48-2) (Ord. 1580, passed 4-7-1986; Ord. 07-13, passed 3-19-2007)