Chapter 3.20


3.20.010    Short title.

3.20.020    Purpose.

3.20.030    Definitions.

3.20.040    Transportation utility fee.

3.20.050    Use of funds.

3.20.060    Billing and collection.

3.20.070    Appeal.

3.20.080    Liability.

3.20.090    Vacancies.

3.20.100    Authority of city manager.

3.20.010 Short title.

Ordinance No. 17-847 may be referred to as the “transportation utility fee ordinance” and will be cited and referred to herein as this “chapter.” [Ord. 17-847 § 2, 2017]

3.20.020 Purpose.

This chapter establishes a transportation utility fee, which fee when collected will subsidize the costs and expenses city incurs to provide street system services. The transportation utility fee provides a utility-based funding mechanism to pay for benefits conferred on city residents and businesses through road maintenance and repairs. Notwithstanding anything contained in this chapter to the contrary, the transportation utility fee is (1) a fee for service and not a charge against property, (2) premised on the direct and indirect use or benefit derived from use of city’s street system, and (3) not a property tax or subject to the limitations of Article XI, Section 11 of the Oregon Constitution. [Ord. 17-847 § 3, 2017]

3.20.030 Definitions.

Unless the context requires otherwise, when used in this chapter the following terms and phrases have the meanings assigned to them below:

“City” means city of Burns, Oregon.

“City council” or “council” means the then-appointed Burns city council.

“City manager” means city’s then-appointed city manager or his or her designee.

“City street system” or “street system” means all transportation-related components located on city-owned property, city right-of-way, and/or city easements within city’s incorporated limits that city is contractually or legally obligated to operate and maintain, including, without limitation, streets, alleys, curbs and gutters, bridges, sidewalks, paths, and improvements and installations related to such components, which are designated for use by motor vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, and/or other similar vehicles.

“City utility service(s)” means city’s water and/or sanitary sewer utility(ies).

“Customer(s)” means a person receiving city utility service(s).

“Developed property” means improved real property located in city’s incorporated limits containing one or more occupied units; provided, however, a “developed property” does not include property owned or controlled by city or the federal government.

“Dwelling” or “dwelling unit” means one or more habitable rooms that are occupied, or are intended or designed to be occupied, by one family with facilities for living, sleeping, sanitary facilities, cooking, and eating.

“Nonresidential property” means all developed property not used as residential property.

“Occupied unit(s)” means any structure(s) (or discrete portion thereof) located in city’s incorporated limits which is lawfully capable of being occupied as either residential property or nonresidential property. With respect to multifamily residential property, each separate dwelling unit is considered a separate occupied unit. Each separate and distinct business in a shopping mall or commercial or industrial building is considered a separate occupied unit. An “occupied unit” may include one or more structure(s) if all are part of the same dwelling unit or commercial or industrial operation. For example, a nonresidential property being used as an industrial or commercial site having several structures forming or being used as an integrated commercial or manufacturing business may constitute one occupied unit.

“Person(s)” means any natural person, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, firm, association, trust, unincorporated organization, government or governmental agency or political subdivision, or any other entity.

“Person(s) responsible” means the utility customer or person(s) who by usage, occupancy, and/or contractual arrangement are responsible to pay a city utility bill for an occupied unit.

“Premises” or “property” includes the subject real property and all improvements located thereon.

“Residential property” means developed property used or intended for use primarily as a personal domestic domicile, including, without limitation, single-family, multifamily, and group homes, but not including properties used primarily for transient (i.e., less than 30 days) occupancies such as hotels, resorts, and motels.

“Transportation utility fee(s),” “transportation fee(s),” or “fee(s)” means the transportation utility fee established under this chapter.

“Vacant” means that an occupied unit has become continuously unoccupied for 30 days or more; provided, however, “vacant” does not mean that only a portion of a property without a separate water meter has become vacant or unoccupied. [Ord. 17-847 § 4, 2017]

3.20.040 Transportation utility fee.

City hereby establishes and authorizes the imposition of a transportation utility fee in the amount of $5.00 per occupied unit, per month. Subject to the provisions of this chapter, the transportation fee will be collected from each occupied unit located in city’s incorporated limits. Property that is undeveloped or, if developed, vacant and with all city utilities turned off is not considered an occupied unit. Notwithstanding anything contained in this chapter to the contrary, the city manager will determine the property classification and number of occupied units concerning each property. The transportation fee may be adjusted from time to time by council resolution. Policies and/or procedures for calculating, billing, and/or collecting the transportation fee may be established from time to time by council resolution. [Ord. 17-847 § 5, 2017]

3.20.050 Use of funds.

All fees collected under this chapter will be paid into a city street utility fund. Street utility fund revenues will be used to pay the costs and expenses of operating the street system, including, without limitation, costs and expenses associated with the operation, maintenance, repair, engineering, improvement, renewal, safety, replacement, and/or reconstruction of the street system. It will not be necessary that the maintenance and repair expenditures from the street utility fund relate to any particular property from which the fee(s) for said purposes were collected. [Ord. 17-847 § 6, 2017]

3.20.060 Billing and collection.

(1) Fees. Subject to and in accordance with this chapter, the council may establish and/or modify from time to time such fees, charges, fines, and/or penalties related to the transportation fee as the council deems necessary or appropriate by council resolution, including, without limitation, late fees and penalties.

(2) Billing. The transportation fee will be billed and collected monthly, or at such other interval determined by city, from the person responsible for an occupied unit in a manner similar to the process used for collection of utility bills for city utility services. In cases where a developed property is subject to water and/or sewer utility charges, the transportation fee bill will be directed to the same person as the bill for water and/or sewer charges. If a developed property receives one utility bill despite multiple occupied units located on the property, the transportation fee will be imposed on each occupied unit located on the property, including, without limitation, each occupied unit in a mixed-use property. The owner(s) of a non-owner-occupied premises will be jointly and severally liable for all transportation fees and related charges, fees, expenses, losses, damages, and/or fines incurred by tenant(s) of the non-owner-occupied premises, including, without limitation, any late and/or penalty fees. The city manager will be responsible for the calculation and collection of the transportation fee.

(3) Place of Payment. All payments will be made to city at the place designated on the most recent utility bill.

(4) Bill Payment. If the transportation fee is not paid when due as designated on the bill, the city manager may proceed to collect the fee in accordance with this chapter and/or in any manner provided under law. Accounts which have not been paid in full by the due date designated on the bill will be considered delinquent and will incur the then applicable late fees and penalties. If a bill is not paid by the due date designated on the bill, a delinquent notice will be mailed to the person(s) responsible, owner(s), and/or occupant(s) (if different). The delinquent notice will provide (a) the balance due and owing and the amount of any late fees and penalties, (b) the date that water service will be terminated if the account is not paid in full, (c) that the person(s) responsible, owner(s), and/or occupant(s) (if different) may appeal the notice in accordance with BMC 3.20.070, and (d) the date a written notice of appeal must be filed with the city manager. If an account is not paid in full within 30 days of the mailing of the delinquent notice, water service may be terminated to the occupied unit. All bills for other fees and charges are due and payable at the time such fees or charges are assessed.

(5) Delinquent Accounts. After 30 days’ notice is provided as described in subsection (4) of this section, city may terminate water service to the occupied unit being served for which payment is delinquent unless the person(s) responsible, owner(s), and/or occupant(s) (if different) filed a timely notice of appeal with the city manager. On the termination date, city will deliver notice to the person(s) responsible, owner(s), and/or occupant(s) (if different) stating that water service will be terminated until all delinquent amounts have been paid in full. A delivery to any person residing at the occupied unit will be considered delivery to the person(s) responsible, owner(s), and/or occupant(s). If there is no person present at the occupied unit, the notice may be left at the occupied unit.

(6) Tenant Accounts. An owner of any non-owner-occupied premises will notify city if the non-owner-occupied premises (or any unit thereof) becomes vacant in accordance with BMC 3.20.090. Until the owner provides the required vacancy notice, the owner(s) will be required to pay the transportation fee. Prior to transferring a claim against an occupant to the owner(s) of the premises, city will provide notice of the delinquent status to the occupant and mail a copy of the notice of delinquency by first class mail to the last address of the owner or owner’s agent then on file with city within 30 days from the time the payment is due on the account. The transfer does not relieve the tenant of the obligation to pay the claim. [Ord. 17-847 § 7, 2017]

3.20.070 Appeal.

(1) Any person aggrieved by a ruling or interpretation of this chapter may appeal the ruling or interpretation by filing a written notice of appeal with the city manager. The notice of appeal must be filed no later than five days prior to the proposed termination date or within 10 days after the date notice of the ruling or interpretation is delivered to the person, whichever is earlier. The notice of appeal must contain (a) the name, address, and telephone number of the appellant, (b) a copy of the ruling or interpretation being appealed, and (c) the basis for the appeal, describing with reasonable specificity why the ruling or interpretation is in error. No termination of service will occur during the pendency of a timely and properly filed appeal before the city manager and/or council under this section.

(2) The city manager will conduct an informal hearing on the matter and after consideration of the material presented by the appellant and city, the city manager will decide whether to approve or deny the appeal. If necessary, the city manager will prepare a written decision based upon the city manager’s findings. The city manager will send his or her written decision, if applicable, to the appellant and the council.

(3) If the appellant determines that his or her appeal has not been handled by the city manager to his or her satisfaction, he or she may, within 10 days after receipt of the city manager’s decision, request that the council complete an independent review of the appeal. The city manager will forward his or her entire file on the case for review of the council. The council will, within 30 days after receipt of the request for an independent review, issue a written decision on the matter and send the decision to the appellant and city manager. The council’s decision is final, conclusive, and binding. [Ord. 17-847 § 8, 2017]

3.20.080 Liability.

City is not liable or responsible for any actual, consequential, and/or other damage(s) to person(s) or property resulting from city’s pursuit of any rights or remedies under this chapter or applicable law, including, without limitation, termination of water service to any person(s) or premises. [Ord. 17-847 § 9, 2017]

3.20.090 Vacancies.

A person responsible for an occupied unit may request a temporary waiver of the transportation fee by notifying city in writing of the date the occupied unit will become vacant. Each person responsible must exercise its best efforts to provide city no less than 10 days’ prior written notice of the date an occupied unit will become vacant. The notice must include a signed statement, affirming under penalty of perjury, that the occupied unit is vacant or will become vacant on a specified date. The person responsible requesting a temporary waiver must have all outstanding water, sanitary sewer, and transportation fees and charges paid in full. If the notice described in this section is not timely given to city, city may require payment for all charges through the date city determines, in city’s discretion, that the occupied unit has been vacated. A person responsible for an occupied unit will notify city no less than 10 days of a vacant premises being occupied, partially occupied, or used, regardless of whether utility services are restored. [Ord. 17-847 § 10, 2017]

3.20.100 Authority of city manager.

The city manager is responsible for the administration of this chapter. Unless otherwise expressly stated herein, the city manager will make all interpretations and discretionary determinations under this chapter, including, without limitation, determinations as to approvals, authorizations, judgments, adjustments, requirements, options, and/or impacts upon the transportation system. [Ord. 17-847 § 11, 2017]