§ 50.15 CONTRACT FOR UTILITY SERVICES.
   (A)   Customer accepts service. The rates, rules and regulations contained in this chapter shall constitute and be considered a part of the contract with every person, company or corporation who is supplied with water and sewer services from the water and sewer systems and every person, company or corporation, hereinafter called a "customer" who accepts and uses village water and sewer services shall be held to have consented to be bound thereby.
   (B)   Not liable for interrupted service. The Department shall endeavor at all times to provide a regular and uninterrupted supply of service, but in case the supply of service shall be interrupted or irregular, or defective, or fail from causes beyond its control or through ordinary negligence of employees, servants or agents, the Departments shall not be liable therefor.
   (C)   Using services without paving. Any person using utility services from the village without paying therefor, or who shall be found guilty of breaking the seal of any meter or appurtenances, or bypass any meter, shall be guilty of violating this code, and upon conviction, shall be fined a sum as provided in § 10.99.
   (D)   Destroying property.
      (1)   Any person found guilty of defacing, tampering, injuring or destroying, or in any manner, limiting the use or availability of any meter or any property of the water and sewer system, or erecting signs on the property of the Department without permission shall, upon conviction of the act, be fined as provided in § 10.99.
      (2)   Any residence where a water meter has been defaced, tampered, injured, destroyed, or in any manner, limiting the use or availability of any meter or any property of the water and sewer system, or the property owner will be charged an additional fee of $250.
   (E)   Service obtained by fraud.
      (1)   All contracts for water and sewer services shall be made in the name of the head of the household, firm or corporation using the established spelling of that person's or firm's name.
      (2)   Attempts to obtain service by the use of other names, different spellings or by substituting other persons or firms shall be considered a subterfuge and service shall be denied.
      (3)   If service has been discontinued because of nonpayment of bills, or any unpaid obligation and service has again been obtained through subterfuge, misrepresentation or fraud, that service shall be promptly disconnected and the whole or the part of the advanced payment as may be necessary to satisfy the unpaid obligation shall be retained by the village and credited to the appropriate account.
      (4)   All water accounts for rental property shall be in the name of the owner, landlord, manager, and not the tenant of the rental property. Existing deposits may be returned or applied to the new account in the name of owner, landlord, or manager.
   (F)   Failure to receive bill. Failure to receive a bill shall not excuse a customer from his or her obligation to pay within the time specified. Should the Department be unable to bill a customer for services used during any month, the following billing shall include the charges for services used during the unbilled month. A month shall be considered as that period of approximately 30 days.
   (G)   Request to discontinue service. Services shall have been deemed to have been supplied to any property connected to the water and sewer systems during a month unless the customer notifies the village prior to the first day of the new billing month in which the services are to be discontinued.
   (H)   Billing; utility shut-off; hearing.
      (1)   There shall be a monthly administration fee of $4.25 on each monthly utility bill.
      (2)   All bills for utility services shall be due and payable upon presentation. If a bill is not paid by the fifteenth day of the month, the bill payment shall be considered delinquent and a penalty equal to 10% of the amount due on the bill shall be added thereto. This penalty shall be in addition to the charges heretofore established for the utility services.
         (a)   Water bills are delinquent if not paid in full by the fifteenth of each month’s billing cycle. The service will be disconnected by the village with a 10% late fee assessed to the account, along with a $35 reconnection fee.
         (b)   Every resident may request a re-reading of their water meter once each calendar year for no additional charge. Any requested re-reading of the meter more than once each calendar year shall be charged as follows:
            1.   Fifteen dollars for the second reading in one calendar year and $25 for any additional readings beyond the second reading in one calendar year. The village retains its right to read any and all meters as needed and deemed appropriate.
      (3)   Once the village has disconnected utility services, if the village determines that the utility has been reconnected without the authorization of the village, the utility shall immediately be disconnected by the village and the customer charged an additional fee of $75.
      (4)   A $35 reprocessing fee shall be charged for any check for which the village is advised of charges by the bank due to insufficient funds in the customer’s checking account at the time of initial processing. All further payments must be made by cash, credit/debit card or money order.
      (5)   Any utility meter shall be removed and tested upon complaint by any customer and upon the payment of a service fee of $50. If the utility meter is accurate upon testing, then the village will retain the $50 fee. If the utility meter, upon testing is found to be not within 3% of accuracy, the utility meter will be repaired or replaced and the $50 service fee shall be returned to the customer.
      (6)   Whenever the current balance on a water bill exceeds the amount of the deposit held by the village on the account, the Village Water Clerk is authorized to take the deposit as payment toward the balance owed and the balance of the delinquent bill is to paid by the user.
   (I)   Lien notice.
      (1)   Whenever a bill for utility services becomes delinquent, the owner shall be promptly notified and advised that the delinquency may result in a lien on the real estate in accordance with ILCS Ch. 65, Act 5, § 11-139-8. When a delinquent bill remains unpaid for 90 days, the Treasurer shall advise the Chairperson of the Public Works committee.
      (2)   The Chairperson shall, at his or her discretion, direct the Village Attorney to file with the County Recorder of Deeds, a statement of lien claim. This statement shall contain the legal description of the premises served, the amount of the unpaid bill and a notice that the municipality claims a lien for this amount as well as for all charges for utility services served subsequent to the period covered by the bill.
   (J)   Foreclosure of lien.
      (1)   Property subject to a lien for unpaid utility charges may be sold for non-payment of the same, and the proceeds of the sale shall be applied to pay the charges after deducting costs, as is the case in the foreclosure of statutory liens. The foreclosure shall be by bill-in equity in the name of the village.
      (2)   The Village Attorney is hereby authorized to institute the proceedings in the name of the village in any court having jurisdiction over such matters, against any property for which the bill for utility services has remained unpaid 45 days after it has been rendered.
   (K)   Bad debt write-off. If an outstanding balance has not been paid, and lien proceedings have not been filed by the Village Attorney within 12 months subsequent to the date that service was disconnected at a given property, the unpaid balance shall be written-off and accounted for as a bad debt.
(1994 Code, § 38-2-1) (Ord. 01-10, passed 12-18-2001; Ord. 04-12, passed 12-7-2004; Ord. 05-16, passed 11-1-2005; Ord. 06-03, passed 1-17-2006; Ord. 09-06, passed 5-5-2009; Ord. 09-07, passed 5-19-2009; Ord. 12-06, passed 6-5-2012; Ord. 12-14, passed 11-8-2012; Ord. 13-09, passed 12-3-2013; Ord. 17-03, passed 6-6-2017; Ord. 19-07, passed 6-18-2019; Ord. 20-01, passed 1-7-2020; Ord. 20-09, passed 2-4-2020 ; Ord. 21-12, passed 12-7-2021 )