Chapter 13.12
PAYMENT AND COLLECTION

Sections:

13.12.010    Billing and payment procedure.

13.12.020    Billing calculations.

13.12.030    Service applications.

13.12.040    Payment – Owner responsibility.

13.12.050    Remission of utility service charges.

13.12.060    Finance director – Collection duties.

13.12.070    Delinquency – Lien.

13.12.080    Delinquency – Water shutoff.

13.12.010 Billing and payment procedure.

A. Since the city provides year-round facilities for supplying water and collecting water, all users shall be billed for these services on a continuing basis. Billings will terminate upon disconnection from the system, but service will not be resumed until payment of a new connection, reconnection, or restoration fee for both sewer and water service, where applicable. Active military personnel shall not be required to pay a reconnection fee upon return from military activities. The city finance director shall be the sole determinant of determining active military eligibility. Billing will be on a monthly basis, and bills shall be due and payable upon receipt. Restoration fees shall apply to the first reconnection occurring after a nonirrigation water meter is removed from an unimproved lot. Subsequent reconnections shall be subject to payment of the reconnection fee in effect at the time of reconnection. Property qualifying for restoration fees pursuant to this subsection shall not be subject to the payment of any other connection charges.

B. Unpaid bills shall be delinquent on the first working day following the twenty-fifth day of each month and shall be assessed a delinquency fee in the amount of five percent of the outstanding current balance of water and/or sewer charges, representing the additional cost to the city for administration of the account; provided, however, the total amount of the delinquency fee shall not exceed the applicable amount that would be charged by the city for a new connection, including base charges and applicable local connection charges. Public entities, as defined in subsection C of this section, shall not be assessed the five percent delinquency fee on any outstanding balance due.

C. “Public entities” are defined as the United States of America or agencies thereof, the state of Washington, or political subdivisions or agencies thereof, school districts, irrigation districts, water districts, fire districts, or any other like public entities.

D. If a bill is over thirty days delinquent from the original date it was due and payable, the finance director may send the customer a shutoff notice.

E. Late Fees. Customers accruing a late fee will be allowed one waiver every twelve months upon verbal or written request to the finance director or his/her designee. All waivers will be noted in the customer’s utility account master file with the date such waiver was granted. (Ord. 1459 § 1, 2013; Ord. 1342 §§ 1, 2, 2007; Ord. 1268 § 1, 2003: Ord. 1199 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1009 § 1, 1995: Ord. 900 § 1, 1990; Ord. 852 § 1, 1983: Ord. 722 § 1, 1983: Ord. 674 § 16, 1980).

13.12.020 Billing calculations.

The amount billed to the water customer for water service shall be calculated on the basis of the monthly base rate, which rate and gallons used will be established by resolution. In addition, all water used in excess of those amounts established shall be billed at the adopted rate per thousand gallons. When a single meter serves a number of customers or family units, the minimum gallonage and the base rate shall be increased in proportion to the number of customers or units served. After the winter season, the first billing shall reflect an allowance of the monthly gallons used since the prior meter reading. (Ord. 1342 § 3, 2007: Ord. 1009 § 2, 1995: Ord. 674 § 17, 1980).

13.12.030 Service applications.

Service applications shall be made by the payment of the appropriate fee or charge to the finance director. The applicant shall be the owner, agent or tenant of the property to be served. (Ord. 1342 § 1, 2007; Ord. 674 § 18, 1980).

13.12.040 Payment – Owner responsibility.

The owner of the premises to which the water service is attached shall be responsible for the payment of all connections, shutoff/turn-on fees, service charges and liens. Accounts shall be established and remain in the owner’s name and bills shall be sent to the owner. (Ord. 1342 § 4, 2007: Ord. 674 § 19, 1980).

13.12.050 Remission of utility service charges.

The finance director, or his/her designee, is hereby authorized to adjust or waive fees/charges under the following circumstances:

A. Excess water usage due to broken lines, leaks, or unexplained water consumption occurring in winter months to unread meters. If requested by the customer, the finance director is authorized to allow a onetime adjustment to a customer’s utility bill for excess water usage when a broken line, leak, or unexplained usage has occurred during the winter months when meters are not read. The customer is required to make a written request within thirty days of mailing of the bill showing excess usage. If the overage is due to a leak, the customer is to provide proof of repair of the leak. The finance director is authorized to waive up to fifty percent of any excess water over what is typically billed to the customer based on a review of the customer’s account. No late fees or penalties shall be incurred by the customer making such request until the customer has been mailed a revised billing and had thirty days to pay the adjusted amount due.

B. Residence rendered uninhabitable by fire or natural disaster. If a single-family residence is destroyed or rendered uninhabitable due to fire or natural disaster and a customer requests water service be temporarily disconnected, the finance director may waive charges for water and/or sewer service, and for the fee for reconnecting water service, for a reasonable time, up to twenty-four months, to allow the customer to repair or reconstruct the single-family residence.

C. The city shall not be held liable for damages caused because of any leakage, frozen pipes, or break along the curbline or on the premises. (Ord. 1498 § 1, 2015: Ord. 1457 § 1, 2013; Ord. 1342 § 5, 2007: Ord. 674 § 20, 1980).

13.12.060 Finance director – Collection duties.

The finance director shall collect all the rates and charges provided for and accruing from time to time, and all such sums when collected shall be paid by the finance director into the fund entitled Water and Sewer Revenue Fund. The finance director shall pay from such fund into the Chelan 1947 Water and Sewer Bond Redemption Fund, created by Ordinance 210 of said city, all of the sums required by said ordinance to be paid into such fund at the time or times so required.

All new water connections that are served by the city’s main booster station shall be subject to a surcharge in the amount established by Ordinance 602 and subsequently by resolution of the city council. All funds collected shall be paid into the city’s “Chelan Hills-Gaukroger Water Improvements Fund” and shall only be used for water system improvements benefiting the areas served by this booster station. (Ord. 1342 § 1, 2007; Ord. 674 § 21, 1980).

13.12.070 Delinquency – Lien.

All charges for water and sewerage service or connections and all charges for turning water on after the same has been cut off as provided in Section 13.12.080, together with the penalties and interest thereon as provided in this chapter, shall be a lien on the property upon which such connection is made or water delivered or sewerage service rendered respectively, superior to all other liens or encumbrances except those for general taxes and special assessments. Enforcement of such lien or liens shall be in the manner provided by law for the enforcement of the same and for delinquent water and sewerage service charges. (Ord. 674 § 22, 1980).

13.12.080 Delinquency – Water shutoff.

As an additional and concurrent method of enforcing the lien of the city for the charges, the public works supervisor of the city is authorized and directed, on the date specified in the finance director’s shutoff notice, to shut off the water service to the premises to which such services were furnished and such water service shall remain shut off until all such charges, plus penalties and interest thereon, together with an additional amount as established for both a turnoff and a turn-on fee has been paid. (Ord. 1342 § 1, 2007; Ord. 722 § 2, 1983: Ord. 674 § 23, 1980).