Sec. 18-8. Billing; payment of accounts.
   (a)   The owner of improved property or customer shall be liable for the payment of all water and sewer services furnished to such premises, and any minimum charges applicable for services not furnished in lieu of connection and furnishing of services. Additionally, the owner of property shall be liable for all water and sewer service to all premises occupied by tenants after tenants have vacated the premises in an amount not less than published minimum rates.
   If such charges are not paid, legal action may be taken to collect said charges and services disconnected (G.S. 160A-314).
   On or after the effective date of this chapter, no customer account shall be opened or transferred by any occupant or tenant of the premises. Only the owner of the property may open an account on new or existing service. At the request of the owner of any multi-unit property served by a single meter, bills may be rendered to an occupant or tenant provided the owner executes such direction and waives any notice of delinquency or disconnection to any other address than the billing address, and guarantees payment.
   (b)   Other than as contained in paragraph (a) above, all bills for water and sewer service shall be rendered to the owner at the address designated by the owner upon its account. All bills shall state a date upon which service is subject to cut-off for failure to pay by a stated date.
   (c)   Upon failure of the owner/customer to pay the amount charged for either water or sewer services within the time set forth on billing, both services may be discontinued without prejudice to the right of the town to recover for services rendered before discontinuance, and services shall not be restored until the account is paid in full. These rates shall generally be determined on the basis of water consumption measured for each customer through a metering device installed, maintained, and read by the town.
   (d)   The town council reserves the right to set special rates upon premises, residential and commercial, where in addition to town water service or in the absence of town water service, a private well services and supplies water to the property. These rates will be based on the average monthly usage over a twelve (12) month period for like and similar establishments or residences.
   (e)   For the purpose of spreading more evenly the capital costs associated with providing the required amount and quality of water and the collection and treatment of wastewater systems, system development fees shall be made according to the size of the water meter on both water and sewer. These charges, for customers both inside and outside the town limits, shall be as set forth in the fee schedule.
   (f)   Whenever water or sewer service is discontinued for any reason, a fee shall be charged for such discontinuance. Charges for such service work shall be determined from time to time by the council and such charge schedules shall be kept on file in the office of the town clerk.
   (g)   Other than as contained in paragraph (a) above, the owner of any multi-unit property served by a single meter shall be billed and liable for the payment of all water, sewer, and sanitation/trash services furnished to such premises.
   (h)   The town may reject any application for service when the applicant is delinquent in payment of bills incurred for service previously supplied at any location; provided, that when the owner of the premises has been served water and/or sewer and has not paid for the same, the town shall not be required to render service to anyone at the location where such water was used, until such water bill has been paid.
(Ord. No. 1992-1, 1-7-92; Ord. No. 1993-6, § 1, 2-2-93; Ord. No. 1993-7, §§ 1, 2, 2-2-93; Ord. No. 1993-8, § 1, 3-9-93; Ord. No. 1993-9, §§ 1, 2, 3-9-93; Ord. No. 1993-38, §§ 1-3, 12-7-93; Ord. No. 1995-5, § 1, 4-4-95; Ord. No. 2021-09, 5-4-21)