§ 13-803.  Administrative Procedure. 65
   (1)   Any person whose property has been damaged through a breakage in the water or sewer system may file a claim for damages with the City. The claim shall be made under oath setting forth:
      (a)   the location of the breakage in the water or sewer system;
      (b)   the name and address of the claimant and, if different, the address of the damaged property;
      (c)   an inventory of any personal property for which claim for damages is made, setting forth the market value of each item at the time it was destroyed and the market value of each item prior to being damaged together with its market value in the damaged condition;
      (d)   the location and description of any damage to real estate for which claim for damages is made, setting forth the market value of the property at the time it was damaged; the market value in its damaged condition; and the estimated cost of returning the property to its former state of repair;
      (e)   a description of events which resulted in damage to the property; and
      (f)   such other information required by the City to aid in investigating the claim.
   (2)   The Law Department shall examine the claim and may negotiate and make settlement in an amount necessary to fairly compensate affected property owners.
   (3)   The Law Department, in its discretion, either may appraise the claim and enter an award in favor of the claimant without a hearing or may order a hearing to adjudicate the claim. The Water and Law Departments are authorized to promulgate joint regulations to govern such hearings.
   (4)   If a hearing is ordered, it shall be held by the Water Commissioner or an examiner selected by him. The hearing shall be informal and technical rules of evidence shall not be applied. Testimony shall be under oath. The claimant may be represented by counsel at the hearing. Notes of testimony may be taken if desired by the examiner. Claimant may demand that notes of testimony be taken at the hearing if he pays the cost of taking and transcribing the notes. After hearing, an award may be entered by the Water Commissioner.
   (5)   The Water Department is authorized to promulgate regulations on the following topics concerning water mains and water main breakage:
      (a)   Treating every water main breakage as an emergency requiring twenty-four-hour a day, seven-day-a-week response;
      (b)   Managing a program to inspect water distribution mains throughout the city based upon reducing the number of water main breaks, particularly for pipes over 100 years old and for sections of the city with older water mains;
      (c)   Coordinating with other utilities and any other entities or City-related agencies, to accomplish the orderly restoration of utility services to affected properties and to address property-owner claims;
      (d)   Performing safety inspections as needed of all properties affected by the water main break, including an assessment of whether the properties have suffered structural damage or might be at risk of collapse, as a result of the water main break;
      (e)   Refraining from requiring affected property owners to use their homeowners' insurance to make repairs caused by the water main break, in accordance with applicable law;
      (f)   Establishing a schedule for the prompt and orderly processing of property owner claims and for keeping property owners informed about their claims; and
      (g)   Providing appropriate accommodations with responsible establishments that provide clean, safe and habitable lodging to all property owners that the City, through the Department of Licenses and Inspection in consultation with Risk Management, has determined require relocation solely as the result of damage caused by water main breakage.

 

Notes

65
   Amended, Bill No. 150642-A (approved December 23, 2015). Enrolled bill used "property-owners" throughout; revised to "property owners" by Code editor.