Chapter 3.20
MUNICIPAL SERVICE CHARGES*

Sections:

3.20.010    Scope.

3.20.020    Exceptions.

3.20.030    Deposit required.

3.20.035    Enforcement.

3.20.040    Collection methods.

3.20.045    Solid waste capital improvement service charges.

3.20.062    Municipal service charges—Public hearing.

3.20.063    Municipal service charges—Establishment of rates.

3.20.070    Due date.

3.20.090    Additional charges.

3.20.100    Right of entry.

3.20.110    Service discontinuance.

3.20.130    Water service—Continuance.

3.20.140    Easements.

3.20.150    Advance deposit requirement.

*    See also Ch. 8.32, Garbage Collection, and Title 13, Water and Sewage.

3.20.010 Scope.

A.    As used in this code, “municipal services” includes, but is not limited to, the collection of solid waste, the provision of sanitary sewer service, the furnishing of water service for domestic, commercial or industrial use, and the furnishing of water service for an automatic fire sprinkler protection system.

B.    “Municipal service charges” means charges for municipal services and shall be no greater than the costs incurred by the city in providing the service to the user, including but not limited to the costs required to maintain, upgrade, and extend the facilities necessary to provide the municipal services. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.020 Exceptions.

Municipal service charges may be discontinued upon written request for a period of no less than two months when a dwelling, house, or residence will be unoccupied. The minimum time of discontinuing service will be two months. A service charge equal to two months’ charges for all city services will be charged to the utility user, for the removal and redelivery of the assigned automated containers and turn-off and turn-on of water service, when services have been temporarily discontinued. This service charge will be paid at the time service is discontinued. Upon occupancy of a dwelling, house or residence the utility user must contact the city to restart service. If the occupant of a dwelling, house, or residence does not contact the city to restart service, the city may bill back to the discontinuance of service all monthly charges. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.030 Deposit required.

Unless the owner of the premises to which municipal service is to be furnished applies for such service in his own name, the applicant for service may, at the discretion of the city, be required to deposit with the city an amount equal to the estimated charge for services for six months in advance. The deposit is refundable by the city upon termination of occupancy and may be refunded by the city after one year of completed service if the city deems itself secure. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.035 Enforcement.

A.    The finance director shall enforce the provisions of this chapter.

B.    Collection of any amounts owed for services provided by the city that are charged pursuant to this chapter may be by any legal method including but not limited to a civil action brought in the name of the city in a court of competent jurisdiction. To the extent other enforcement is necessary under this chapter, this title may also be enforced pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 1.08 through 1.10, inclusive, of this code.

C.    Each of the sanctions for administrative violations identified in Section 1.09.013 shall also be available for enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.

D.    Upon determination of a delinquency, the finance director may serve a turn-off tag on the responsible person. The turn-off tag shall set forth the deadline for payment of all unpaid fees and charges, including any penalties assessed as of the date of such notice. If the delinquency is not cured by the date set forth in the turn-off tag, the city may pursue any remedy available by law. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.040 Collection methods.

The methods of collection set forth in this chapter are in addition to any other method permitted or allowed by law and shall not repeal any existing law or ordinance now in effect. Unpaid charges may become a lien on any property to the extent authorized by law. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.045 Solid waste capital improvement service charges.

A.    There is hereby established a capital improvement service charge which shall be collected prior to the issuance of building permits for all residential development and upon application to the finance department for all commercial/industrial development as established by resolution of the city council.

B.    Purpose. The purpose of the fee is to establish a fund for financing equipment and capital improvement purchases required to maintain municipal services at adequate levels as service requirements increase with the construction of commercial/industrial developments and dwelling units.

C.    Inflationary Adjustment. The solid waste capital improvement service charges established by this section shall automatically be adjusted on July 1st of each fiscal year by a percentage equal to the increase, if any, in construction costs since the prior fiscal year as determined by the director based upon Engineering News Record (or similar publication) construction cost indices. The determination shall be reported to the city council by the finance director on or about June 30th of each year or as soon as the information is available. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.062 Municipal service charges—Public hearing.

The city clerk shall cause notice to be provided in accordance with the Government Code and any other applicable law, and the city council shall receive at a regularly scheduled public meeting, oral and written presentations concerning any change in the municipal service charges. Such notice, oral and written presentation and public hearing shall be provided by the city council prior to taking any action on the proposed change to the municipal service charges. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.063 Municipal service charges—Establishment of rates.

There is levied and assessed a monthly service charge against the municipal service customer (user), for municipal services as defined in Section 3.20.010(A). The amount of these municipal service charges shall be set by resolution of the city council and may be adjusted from time to time by resolution so as to reflect the cost of the services provided. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.070 Due date.

All charges for municipal services are due and payable monthly in advance, except for metered water service. Charges for metered water service shall be due and payable monthly upon receipt of a bill reflecting the quantity of water used during the prior measurement period. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.090 Additional charges.

There are levied and assessed the following charges on the unpaid municipal service charge billing not paid within the twenty days of its due date:

A.    Finance Charge. A late payment finance charge of one and one-half percent per month on all unpaid municipal service charges that are not paid on or before the due date listed on the monthly billing form.

B.    Additional Charge to Cover Collection Costs. In addition to the finance charge imposed pursuant to subsection A of this section, there shall be an additional twenty-five percent processing fee assessed against all unpaid municipal service charges that are one hundred twenty days past due to cover the costs of collection; notwithstanding this provision, the city shall be entitled to recover all costs of collection, including attorneys’ fees. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.100 Right of entry.

Subject to any restrictions imposed by the state or federal Constitution or state or federal law, the city shall have at all reasonable times the right of ingress to and egress from the consumer’s premises for any purpose properly connected with the furnishing of municipal services to the consumer as provided in Section 1.09.025. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.110 Service discontinuance.

The city shall have the right to refuse or to discontinue any or all municipal services to any premises for nonpayment or if necessary to protect itself against fraud or abuse. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.130 Water service—Continuance.

The city will exercise reasonable diligence to furnish a continuous and adequate supply of water to its consumers and to avoid any shortage or interruption of delivery thereof. It cannot, however, guarantee complete freedom from interruption. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.140 Easements.

All easements for water service and sewage service are specifically set aside for such use, and any construction of improvements over such easements may require removal of such improvements by the owner upon notice by the city. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)

3.20.150 Advance deposit requirement.

In any case where the user of municipal services is persistently late in the payment of charges, three times in a twenty-four-month period, the finance director may, as a condition to continued service or renewal of discontinued service, require an advance deposit of estimated charges for municipal services in such an amount as he/she deems proper to make the city secure. (Ord. 1050 § 2 (part), 2006)