Chapter 14.05


14.05.010    Rules for water shortage emergencies.

14.05.030    Utility bills – Delinquent accounts – Liens.

14.05.040    Delinquent bills – Service charge.

14.05.050    Surcharge for NSF checks.

14.05.060    Voluntary discontinuance of water service.

14.05.070    Involuntary discontinuance of water service.

14.05.080    Disconnection and reconnection charges.

14.05.090    Fees for utility search services.

14.05.010 Rules for water shortage emergencies.

The provisions of Chapter 14.08 MMC relating to water shortage emergencies are incorporated by reference. (Ord. 2816 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 1434, 1985).

14.05.030 Utility bills – Delinquent accounts – Liens.

(1) Combined billing statements for the garbage, surface water, water and sewer utilities shall be sent to all customers on a regular and periodic basis to be determined by the finance director. All bills shall be mailed to the address of the owner of the property being served by the utilities, as the address appears in the records of the city utility department. Upon written request of an owner, billing statements may be sent directly to the occupant of the property being served; however, in such cases the owner shall remain ultimately liable for payment of the bill, and the property shall remain subject to a lien for a delinquent account, as provided below.

(2) All payments on utility bills shall be applied first to the garbage account, second to the surface water account, third to the sewer account, and fourth to the water account. In the event that any fees or charges assessed for such services are not paid within the date set forth on the billing for such services, they shall be considered delinquent and shall automatically constitute a lien against the property to which the services were rendered. Such a lien, for up to four months of charges, shall encumber the property, and shall be the obligation of the owner of the property, its heirs, successors and assigns, until the same is paid in full. The city may enforce the lien by shutting off water, sewer and/or garbage service until all delinquent and unpaid charges are paid in full; provided, that discontinuance of service shall be subject to the provisions of MMC 14.05.070.

(3) Where a parcel is not served by city water, and there is no water account, the city shall have separate sewerage and garbage liens as allowed by law. The sewerage lien, which may include any charge for storm or surface water, shall be for delinquent and unpaid rates, penalties, and interest. Said sewerage lien shall be superior to all other liens except the lien for general taxes and local and special assessments. In accordance with the provisions of RCW 35.67.215, said sewerage lien shall be effective for a total not to exceed one year’s delinquent service charges without the necessity of any writing or recording of the lien with the county auditor. Unpaid charges for sewerage shall bear interest at eight percent per annum computed on a monthly basis. Said sewerage lien shall be foreclosed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 35.67 RCW. Any lien for garbage shall be foreclosed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 35.21 RCW. (Ord. 2924 § 1, 2013; Ord. 2816 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2654 § 1, 2006; Ord. 1434, 1985).

14.05.040 Delinquent bills – Service charge.

For each notice sent to a utility customer advising the customer that an account is delinquent or that utility service will be discontinued by reason of the delinquency, there shall be a service charge added to the account as set forth in MMC 14.07.005. The finance director, or his designee, is authorized to waive the service charge under the following circumstances:

(1) Where a utility customer has made arrangements with the city, prior to the date the billing is due, for deferral of the payment of the bill;

(2) Where another public agency must obtain approval for payment of the billing and the customer’s payment cycle is inconsistent with the city’s billing cycle; or

(3) In such other circumstances where, in the judgment of the finance director or his or her designee, the customer can demonstrate a bona fide economic hardship.

(a) If the mayor or governor has declared a state of emergency and the finance director determines that the delinquency is related to the emergency, he or she may waive the service charge. (Ord. 3147 § 1 (Exh. A), 2020; Ord. 2816 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2106 § 12, 1996; Ord. 1861, 1991; Ord. 1434, 1985).

14.05.050 Surcharge for NSF checks.

If a utility account is dishonored by the drawer’s bank by reason of insufficient funds, a surcharge, as set forth in MMC 14.07.005, shall be added to the utility account. (Ord. 2816 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2106 § 13, 1996; Ord. 1434, 1985).

14.05.060 Voluntary discontinuance of water service.

(1) A customer may request voluntary discontinuance of water service during periods that the premises are vacant. Three days’ advance notice of such discontinuance shall be given to the city, and the customer shall pay the city any delinquent fees or charges, plus a shutoff fee as specified in MMC 14.07.005. Following such discontinuance, no fees for water or sewer service shall accrue, and no liens shall accumulate, until the service is reconnected.

(2) In the event that the occupants of premises have allowed delinquent utility bills to accrue, the owner of the premises, or the owner of a delinquent mortgage thereon, may give the city written notice to discontinue water service. The notice shall be accompanied by payment of all delinquent and unpaid charges owed to the city with respect to the premises, together with a shutoff charge, as specified in MMC 14.07.005. The city shall then discontinue water service to the premises, and no fees, charges or liens shall accrue thereafter with respect to the premises until the service is reconnected. (Ord. 2816 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2106 § 14, 1996; Ord. 1434, 1985).

14.05.070 Involuntary discontinuance of water service.

(1) Water service may be discontinued by the city for any of the following reasons:

(a) For delinquent and unpaid charges, as specified in MMC 14.05.030;

(b) For the use of water and sewer utilities for purposes or properties other than that specified in the application;

(c) For willful waste of water through improper or imperfect piping, equipment or otherwise;

(d) When a customer’s piping or equipment does not meet the city’s standards, or fails to comply with other applicable codes and regulations;

(e) For tampering with property of the city utility system;

(f) In case of vacation of the premises by the customer;

(g) For the use of the utility lines in a manner which adversely affects the city’s service to its other customers;

(h) For fraudulent or improper obtaining or use of utility service.

(2) Except in the case of danger to life or property, fraudulent use, impairment of service, or violation of law, the city shall use its best efforts to comply with the following procedures prior to an involuntary discontinuance of service:

(a) The city shall send the owner and occupant of the premises, using addresses shown in the city utility records, written notice that water service to the property will be shut off on a date not less than 10 days thereafter unless the delinquencies are paid in full. The notice shall state that the owner and occupant of the premises have a right to a hearing before the chief administrative officer for the purpose of resolving disputed accounts. A request for such a hearing must be made not less than five days prior to the shutoff date. At the hearing the chief administrative officer is authorized to compromise and settle disputes in the interest of justice; provided, the chief administrative officer shall not be authorized to waive or reduce bills which are legitimately due, or to allow a deferred payment schedule, except that when the mayor or governor has declared a state of emergency and the chief administrative officer determines that the delinquency is related to the emergency, he or she may agree to allow a deferred payment schedule.

(b) If service is not discontinued within three days after the stated shutoff date, unless other mutually acceptable arrangements have been made, the shutoff notice shall become void and a new notice shall be required before the service can be disconnected thereafter.

(c) In the event of a disputed account, at any time before the city shuts off service, the owner or occupant of the premises may tender the amount he claims to be due; provided, that the amount must be reasonably supported by document evidence. The right of the city to thereafter shut off service shall not accrue until the dispute has been administratively or judicially resolved.

(d) Except in case of danger to life or property, no disconnection shall be accomplished on Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays or any day on which the city cannot reestablish service on the same or following day.

(e) Where service is provided to a master meter, or where the city has reasonable grounds to believe that service is to other than the customer of record, the city shall undertake all reasonable efforts to inform the occupants of the service address of the impending disconnection. Upon request of one or more service users, where service is to other than the subscriber of record, an additional five days shall be allowed prior to shutoff to permit the service users to arrange for continued service.

(f) When a city employee is dispatched to disconnect service, that person shall be authorized to accept payment of a delinquent account, plus disconnection and reconnection charges, at the service address if the same is tendered by a check made payable in the exact amount to the order of the city of Marysville.

(g) Charges for disconnection and reconnection of water service, as specified in MMC 14.05.080, shall be added to the account, and shall be paid in full prior to reconnection.

(3) At any time that an owner or occupant of premises requests a closing statement on a water account, or requests a change of the customer’s name on such account, the city shall read the water meter and shall issue a statement showing the then-current account balance. If the account is in a delinquent status, the city shall immediately disconnect the water service without the necessity of advance written notice pursuant to subsection (2) of this section. (Ord. 3147 § 1 (Exh. A), 2020; Ord. 2816 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 1570, 1987; Ord. 1434, 1985).

14.05.080 Disconnection and reconnection charges.

(1) There shall be a shutoff charge assessed for each voluntary or involuntary discontinuance of service; provided, that the shutoff charge shall be more if the utility department is required to make a special trip for a single account. The disconnection charges are set forth in MMC 14.07.005.

(2) There shall be a reconnection charge assessed for each reconnection; provided, that the reconnection charge shall be more if the utility department is required to make a special trip for one account. The reconnection charges are set forth in MMC 14.07.005. If a customer insists upon a reconnection after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, weekends or holidays, the fee for such after-hours reconnection is set forth in MMC 14.07.005.

(3) If service is shut off by reason of an account being delinquent at a single premises more than once within a 12-month period, the shutoff and reconnection charges after the first time during the 12-month period shall be doubled. (Ord. 2816 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2106 § 15, 1996; Ord. 1434, 1985).

14.05.090 Fees for utility search services.

The following fees are established for services provided by the city in researching and calculating property lien information and information regarding lien closing payoff totals for parcels of real property in response to requests for such services:

(1) Twenty-five dollars per real property parcel for electronic inquiries by persons or companies who use the city of Marysville website. Such fee shall allow multiple electronic inquiries for said parcel within a 70-day time period.

(2) Thirty dollars for each manual search conducted by the city for those persons or companies who choose not to use such electronic search means of accessing lien records. Such fee shall be imposed for each manual search conducted regarding each parcel of real property. (Ord. 2816 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2612 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2598 § 1, 2005).