Chapter 13.20


13.20.010    Utility bills – Payment and collection.

13.20.020    Shut-off notice.

13.20.010 Utility bills – Payment and collection.

A. Inasmuch as the city provides year-round facilities for supplying water and collecting wastewater and stormwater, all users will be billed on a continuing basis for the water and sewer availability. Billings shall continue during periods of non-use, including periods when the water has been disconnected due to delinquency or when a structure is unoccupied. Pursuant to the enabling authority contained in Chapter 35.92 RCW, property owners shall be responsible for all utility charges.

B. The city shall mail all utility bills to the property owner. The property owner shall be responsible for payment of the utility bill in accordance with this chapter. The owner of the premises to which the utility service is attached shall be responsible for the payment of all penalties, connections, shut-offs, turn-on, service charges and liens. Utility billings for any property occupied by someone other than the owner shall be billed to the owner. Upon the written request of the owner, a copy of the bill may be sent to a tenant; provided, however, even upon such written request being made, the owner shall remain responsible for the payment of all charges under this chapter. Failure to receive mail will not be recognized as a valid excuse for failure to pay bills when due.

C. Changes in ownership of property and changes in mailing address must be filed with the finance department on forms provided by the city for that purpose.

D. Availability charges will be assessed on a monthly basis. Meters will be read at least bimonthly and water consumption billed thereafter. Charges for utility services shall be due and payable on the fifteenth of the month. A monthly penalty of two percent of the past due balance but not less than $10.00 shall be charged to all delinquent accounts.

E. The city is authorized to discontinue the water service 30 days after the utility billing date if the bill is past due. The property owner will be notified by mail on the following statement regarding any past due amount. In order to have a discontinued service reinstated during the normal working hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, all charges plus the turn-on fee of $100.00 must be paid. Reinstatement outside the normal working hours 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, requires a payment of all charges plus a turn-on fee of $150.00.

F. If a bill becomes past due, no officer, agent, or employee of the city may process any application for a permit or license from the city, when such application has been requested by the person in whose name an account stands past due or when the delinquent utility bill is against the property or business to which the application for permit or license pertains. This requirement shall remain in effect until the past due account is paid in full.

G. The city is authorized to establish payment plans for past due utility customers meeting standard city guidelines for financial hardship. Such guidelines may be adopted and revised from time to time by the finance director. Payment plans are subject to a setup charge. Failure to abide by the terms of the payment plan arrangement shall be cause for shut-off and discontinuance of utility services until the total utility charges that are due are paid in full.

H. The finance director or designee is hereby authorized and directed to promulgate administrative policies and procedures for the implementation of this chapter. (Ord. 1465 § 9, 2013; Ord. 1151 § 8, 2005).

13.20.020 Shut-off notice.

The shut-off notices will state that if the consumer has questions or disputes concerning the amount of payment due, he or she may appeal to the finance director, or authorized designee, whose address and telephone number will be stated on the shut-off notice. (Ord. 1151 § 9, 2005).