Chapter 13.05
UTILITY FEES

Sections:

13.05.010    Purpose.

13.05.015    Definitions.

13.05.020    Property owner liable for accounts.

13.05.030    Monthly water fees.

13.05.035    Irrigation well water rate.

13.05.040    Monthly sewer rates.

13.05.045    Repealed.

13.05.050    Monthly stormwater rates.

13.05.055    Boat Haven – Exemption from stormwater fees.

13.05.060    Repealed.

13.05.070    Commercial and industrial accounts – Deposits.

13.05.080    Bills – Preparation, delivery.

13.05.090    Utility bills – When delinquent – Late payment charge established.

13.05.100    Utility charges are a lien against property – Water shut-off – Notice and appeal provisions.

13.05.110    Discontinuation of utility services to rented dwellings – Tenant’s rights and obligations.

13.05.120    Satisfaction of unrecorded utility liens upon the sale of real property.

13.05.130    Deferred payment.

13.05.140    Partial payment to be prorated.

13.05.150    Contracts for use in special cases.

13.05.160    Payment of base rate – Abandonment of service and removal of meter.

13.05.170    Customer leak repair and bill adjustment.

13.05.180    Overpayments and refunds.

13.05.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to identify fees for water, sewer, and stormwater service, provide effective methods and remedies for dealing with cases of nonpayment or late payment of utility bills and to update the city’s billing procedures, to thereby protect the financial resources of the city and the rate-paying public. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997).

13.05.015 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following terms have the meaning as defined in this section, unless the context in which the term is used clearly establishes a different meaning.

A. “Base rate” or “operational and maintenance (O&M) rate” or “monthly fixed rate” means a monthly fixed fee billed to each utility account regardless of whether a volume charge is currently billed.

B. “Service” means that the property is physically connected to either the city’s water or sewer systems or that the property is eligible to be charged a stormwater fee and for which a utility account is established with the city. For purposes of this chapter, “service” may only be terminated by permanently physically removing the water meter or permanently physically capping the side sewer connection to the main sewer. A temporary shut-off of water or sewer does not constitute termination of service.

C. “Surcharge” means a fee billed to each utility account other than the base rate or volume charge, the use of which is specifically established by the city council. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016).

13.05.020 Property owner liable for accounts.

Except as provided in PTMC 13.05.110, in all cases of utility service to residential or commercial rental property, the property owner shall be liable for the payment of the utility account, and the property owner shall be listed as the customer to whom service is provided, except that accounts may be billed to the tenant if the landlord so requests in writing. In such cases, the landlord remains responsible in the event of nonpayment by the tenant and any unpaid fees remain a lien on the premises. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997).

13.05.030 Monthly water fees.

The following monthly rates shall be charged by the city and collected by the finance director for the use and furnishing of water service, all such rates and charges to be made and paid on a monthly basis. These rates will be for water usage starting on January 1, 2019, and billed in subsequent months:

A. Base Rate. All properties physically connected to the city’s water system, except those metered for closed connection for fire protection, shall pay a base rate. The base rate is determined by meter size according to the schedule adopted by this section.

A manifold meter installed for irrigation purposes only shall not be subject to a separate base rate in addition to that charged for the main service meter. Stand-alone irrigation meters shall be subject to the base rate.

B. Where a meter for a residential customer that is larger than five-eighths inch to three-quarters inch has been installed for the convenience of the city, the customer shall be assessed a base rate only for the size of the meter that would have been installed if the city had not requested a larger meter. The city’s public works department shall provide the finance department the information as to what size meter would have been installed if the city had not requested a larger meter.

C. Volume Charge.

1. All properties physically connected to the city’s water system that are actually receiving water shall pay a volume charge according to the schedule adopted by this section. If water has been temporarily shut off, the property shall not be billed a volume charge.

2. Meter reading shall be done on a monthly basis. Should there be a period during which meter readings cannot be obtained under a normal reading schedule, the volume charge shall be calculated by averaging the prior consumption for the two months immediately preceding the period for which a meter reading cannot be obtained. Charges for the next month during which actual meter readings are taken shall be adjusted for the difference between the average and the actual metered volume for the two-month period involved together with the appropriate meter rate. Where there is a circumstance which, in the reasonable judgment of the finance director, would make the volume charge calculation erroneous, the volume charge shall be established under such other method as the finance director deems reasonable and fair.

D. Capital Surcharge. All properties physically connected to the city’s water system shall pay a monthly capital surcharge according to the schedule adopted by this section.

E. Repealed by Ord. 3145.

F. Repealed by Ord. 2953.

 

 

Rates Effective January 2019 

Monthly Fixed Charge – All Classes

Inside City

Outside City

 

Volume Charges per 1,000 Gallons

Inside City

Outside City

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

 

5/8" to 3/4" (Low-Income)

$10.10

$10.00

$20.10

$12.11

$12.00

$24.11

 

Low-Income

$2.85

$3.42

5/8" to 3/4"

$20.19

$20.00

$40.19

$24.23

$24.00

$48.23

 

Residential (Including Duplexes)

$2.85

$3.42

1"

$50.50

$20.00

$70.50

$60.60

$24.00

$84.60

 

Multifamily (3 or More Units)

$2.21

$2.65

1-1/2"

$100.99

$20.00

$120.99

$121.19

$24.00

$145.19

 

Commercial A (Meter ≤ 2")

$3.29

$3.95

2"

$161.59

$20.00

$181.59

$193.91

$24.00

$217.91

 

Commercial B (Meter ≥ 3")

$4.94

$5.93

3"

$302.97

$20.00

$322.97

$363.56

$24.00

$387.56

 

Government

$4.28

$5.14

4"

$504.95

$20.00

$524.95

$605.94

$24.00

$629.94

 

Irrigation:

6"

$1,009.90

$20.00

$1,029.90

$1,211.88

$24.00

$1,235.88

 

Winter (November – April)

$3.42

$4.10

8"

$1,615.84

$20.00

$1,635.84

$1,939.01

$24.00

$1,963.01

 

Summer (May – October)

$6.00

$7.20

Rates Effective January 2020 

Monthly Fixed Charge – All Classes

Inside City

Outside City

 

Volume Charges per 1,000 Gallons

Inside City

Outside City

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

 

5/8" to 3/4" (Low-Income)

$10.40

$11.00

$21.40

$12.48

$13.20

$25.68

 

Low-Income

$2.94

$3.53

5/8" to 3/4"

$20.80

$22.00

$42.80

$24.96

$26.40

$51.36

 

Residential (Including Duplexes)

$2.94

$3.53

1"

$52.02

$22.00

$74.02

$62.42

$26.40

$88.82

 

Multifamily (3 or More Units)

$2.28

$2.74

1-1/2"

$104.02

$22.00

$126.02

$124.82

$26.40

$151.22

 

Commercial A (Meter ≤ 2")

$3.39

$4.07

2"

$166.44

$22.00

$188.44

$199.73

$26.40

$226.13

 

Commercial B (Meter ≥ 3")

$5.09

$6.11

3"

$312.06

$22.00

$334.06

$374.47

$26.40

$400.87

 

Government

$4.41

$5.29

4"

$520.10

$22.00

$542.10

$624.12

$26.40

$650.52

 

Irrigation:

6"

$1,040.20

$22.00

$1,062.20

$1,248.24

$26.40

$1,274.64

 

Winter (November – April)

$3.52

$4.22

8"

$1,664.32

$22.00

$1,686.32

$1,997.18

$26.40

$2,023.58

 

Summer (May – October)

$6.18

$7.42

Rates Effective January 2021 

Monthly Fixed Charge – All Classes

Inside City

Outside City

 

Volume Charges per 1,000 Gallons

Inside City

Outside City

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

 

5/8" to 3/4" (Low-Income)

$10.71

$11.00

$21.71

$12.85

$13.20

$26.05

 

Low-Income

$3.03

$3.64

5/8" to 3/4"

$21.42

$22.00

$43.42

$25.70

$26.40

$52.10

 

Residential (Including Duplexes)

$3.03

$3.64

1"

$53.58

$22.00

$75.58

$64.30

$26.40

$90.70

 

Multifamily (3 or More Units)

$2.35

$2.82

1-1/2"

$107.14

$22.00

$129.14

$128.57

$26.40

$154.97

 

Commercial A (Meter ≤ 2")

$3.49

$4.19

2"

$171.43

$22.00

$193.43

$205.72

$26.40

$232.12

 

Commercial B (Meter ≥ 3")

$5.24

$6.29

3"

$321.42

$22.00

$343.42

$385.70

$26.40

$412.10

 

Government

$4.54

$5.45

4"

$535.70

$22.00

$557.70

$642.84

$26.40

$669.24

 

Irrigation:

6"

$1,071.41

$22.00

$1,093.41

$1,285.69

$26.40

$1,312.09

 

Winter (November – April)

$3.63

$4.36

8"

$1,714.25

$22.00

$1,736.25

$2,057.10

$26.40

$2,083.50

 

Summer (May – October)

$6.37

$7.64

 

Rates Effective January 2022 

Monthly Fixed Charge – All Classes

Inside City

Outside City

 

Volume Charges per 1,000 Gallons

Inside City

Outside City

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

 

5/8" to 3/4" (Low-Income)

$11.03

$11.00

$22.03

$13.24

$13.20

$26.44

 

Low-Income

$3.12

$3.74

5/8" to 3/4"

$22.06

$22.00

$44.06

$26.47

$26.40

$52.87

 

Residential (Including Duplexes)

$3.12

$3.74

1"

$55.19

$22.00

$77.19

$66.23

$26.40

$92.63

 

Multifamily (3 or More Units)

$2.42

$2.90

1-1/2"

$110.35

$22.00

$132.35

$132.42

$26.40

$158.82

 

Commercial A (Meter ≤ 2")

$3.59

$4.31

2"

$176.57

$22.00

$198.57

$211.88

$26.40

$238.28

 

Commercial B (Meter ≥ 3")

$5.40

$6.48

3"

$331.06

$22.00

$353.06

$397.27

$26.40

$423.67

 

Government

$4.68

$5.62

4"

$551.77

$22.00

$573.77

$662.12

$26.40

$688.52

 

Irrigation:

6"

$1,103.55

$22.00

$1,125.55

$1,324.26

$26.40

$1,350.66

 

Winter (November – April)

$3.74

$4.49

8"

$1,765.68

$22.00

$1,787.68

$2,118.82

$26.40

$2,145.22

 

Summer (May – October)

$6.56

$7.87

 

Rates Effective January 2023 

Monthly Fixed Charge – All Classes

Inside City

Outside City

 

Volume Charges per 1,000 Gallons

Inside City

Outside City

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

 

5/8" to 3/4" (Low-Income)

$11.36

$11.00

$22.36

$13.63

$13.20

$26.83

 

Low-Income

$3.21

$3.85

5/8" to 3/4"

$22.72

$22.00

$44.72

$27.26

$26.40

$53.66

 

Residential (Including Duplexes)

$3.21

$3.85

1"

$56.85

$22.00

$78.85

$68.22

$26.40

$94.62

 

Multifamily (3 or More Units)

$2.49

$2.99

1-1/2"

$113.66

$22.00

$135.66

$136.39

$26.40

$162.79

 

Commercial A (Meter ≤ 2")

$3.70

$4.44

2"

$181.87

$22.00

$203.87

$218.24

$26.40

$244.64

 

Commercial B (Meter ≥ 3")

$5.56

$6.67

3"

$340.99

$22.00

$362.99

$409.19

$26.40

$435.59

 

Government

$4.82

$5.78

4"

$568.32

$22.00

$590.32

$681.98

$26.40

$708.38

 

Irrigation:

6"

$1,136.66

$22.00

$1,158.66

$1,363.99

$26.40

$1,390.39

 

Winter (November – April)

$3.85

$4.62

8"

$1,818.65

$22.00

$1,840.65

$2,182.38

$26.40

$2,208.78

 

Summer (May – October)

$6.76

$8.11

(Ord. 3199 § 2 (Exh. A), 2018; Ord. 3191 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 3142 § 2 (Exh. A), 2015; Ord. 3090 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 3071 § 1 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 2974 § 1, 2008; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2851 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2846 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2803 § 1, 2002; Ord. 2756 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2719 § 1, 1999; Ord. 2710 § 1, 1999; Ord. 2658 § 1, 1998; Ord. 2622 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2609 § 3, 1997; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2496 § 1, 1995; Ord. 2488 § 1, 1995; Ord. 2445 § 1, 1995; Ord. 2434 § 2, 1994; Ord. 2389 § 1, 1993; Ord. 2381 § 1, 1993; Ord. 2341 § 1, 1993; Ord. 2289 § 2, 1992; Ord. 2068 § 2, 1987; Ord. 1979 § 4, 1983; Ord. 1941 § 2, 1982; Ord. 1830 § 1, 1979; Ord. 1789 § 2, 1977; Ord. 1601 § 4, 1970; Ord. 1471 § 1, 1965; Ord. 1372 § 1, 1959; Ord. 1172 § 1, 1944; Ord. 1110 § 22, 1939).

13.05.035 Irrigation well water rate.

Effective March 1, 2021, the irrigation well rate shall be $1.10 per 1,000 gallons. The volume charge shall be the complete rate. This rate is only for customers using city-operated irrigation wells for irrigation water. The volume charge is the complete charge, and customers using the irrigation well rate will not be charged the O&M rate or the capital surcharge. Effective January 1, 2022, the irrigation well rate shall be $1.29 per 1,000 gallons. Effective January 1, 2023, the irrigation well rate shall be $1.49 per 1,000 gallons. (Ord. 3261 § 1, 2021).

13.05.040 Monthly sewer rates.

Effective January 1, 2019, the following monthly rates shall be charged by the city and collected by the finance director for the use and furnishing of sewerage service, all such rates and charges to be made and paid on a monthly basis:

A. Base Rate. All properties physically connected to the city’s sewer system shall pay a base rate. The base rate is determined either by water usage or meter size according to the schedule adopted by this section.

B. Volume Charge. All properties physically connected to the city’s sewer system that are actually receiving water shall pay a volume charge according to the schedule adopted by this section. If water or sewer has been temporarily shut off, the property shall not be billed a volume charge.

C. Capital Surcharge. All properties physically connected to the city’s sewer system shall pay a monthly capital surcharge according to the schedule adopted by this section.

D. Industrial and Contract Customers. The city may establish fees for industrial and large usage customers that have unique or special use characteristics. The fees shall be based on existing contract conditions, costs of service including waste volume and strength, and such other factors deemed relevant in establishing reasonable fees in the judgment of the director of public works.

E. For all classes of sewer users subject to metered rates, should there be a period during which meter readings cannot be obtained under a normal reading schedule, the volume charge shall be calculated by averaging the prior consumption for the two months immediately preceding the period for which a meter reading cannot be obtained. Charges for the next month during which the actual meter reading is taken shall be adjusted for the difference between the average and the actual metered volume for the two-month period involved, together with the appropriate meter rate. Where there is a circumstance which, in the reasonable judgment of the finance director, would make the volume charge calculation erroneous, the volume charge shall be established under such other method as the finance director deems reasonable and fair.

Rates Effective January 2019 

Monthly Fixed Charge – All Classes

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

 

Volume Charges per 1,000 Gallons

Low-Income

 

Low-Income

(N/A)

Water Use ≤ 3,000 Gallons per Month

$17.44

$4.00

$21.44

 

Residential (Including Duplexes)

(N/A)

Water Use > 3,000 Gallons per Month

$21.56

$4.00

$25.56

 

Multifamily (3 or More Units)

$3.55

Residential (Including Duplexes)

 

Commercial A (Meter ≤ 2")

$4.79

Water Use ≤ 3,000 Gallons per Month

$34.87

$8.00

$42.87

 

Commercial B (Meter ≥ 3")

$3.14

Water Use > 3,000 Gallons per Month

$43.11

$8.00

$51.11

 

Government

$4.69

Multifamily & Commercial:

 

 

5/8" to 3/4"

$30.90

$8.00

$38.90

 

1"

$46.35

$8.00

$54.35

 

1-1/2"

$77.25

$8.00

$85.25

 

 

2"

$118.45

$8.00

$126.45

 

3"

$432.60

$8.00

$440.60

 

4"

$484.10

$8.00

$492.10

 

 

6"

$721.00

$8.00

$729.00

 

8"

$988.80

$8.00

$996.80

 

Rates Effective January 2020 

Monthly Fixed Charge – All Classes

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

 

Volume Charges per 1,000 Gallons

Low-Income

 

Low-Income

(N/A)

Water Use ≤ 3,000 Gallons per Month

$17.44

$4.00

$21.44

 

Residential (Including Duplexes)

(N/A)

Water Use > 3,000 Gallons per Month

$21.56

$4.00

$25.56

 

Multifamily (3 or More Units)

$3.55

Residential (Including Duplexes)

 

Commercial A (Meter ≤ 2")

$4.79

Water Use ≤ 3,000 Gallons per Month

$34.87

$8.00

$42.87

 

Commercial B (Meter ≥ 3")

$3.14

Water Use > 3,000 Gallons per Month

$43.11

$8.00

$51.11

 

Government

$4.69

Multifamily & Commercial:

 

 

5/8" to 3/4"

$30.90

$8.00

$38.90

 

1"

$46.35

$8.00

$54.35

 

1-1/2"

$77.25

$8.00

$85.25

 

 

2"

$118.45

$8.00

$126.45

 

3"

$432.60

$8.00

$440.60

 

4"

$484.10

$8.00

$492.10

 

 

6"

$721.00

$8.00

$729.00

 

8"

$988.80

$8.00

$996.80

 

 

Rates Effective January 2021 

Monthly Fixed Charge – All Classes

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

 

Volume Charges per 1,000 Gallons

Low-Income

 

Low-Income

(N/A)

Water Use ≤ 3,000 Gallons per Month

$17.96

$4.50

$22.46

 

Residential (Including Duplexes)

(N/A)

Water Use > 3,000 Gallons per Month

$22.20

$4.50

$26.70

 

Multifamily (3 or More Units)

$3.66

Residential (Including Duplexes)

 

Commercial A (Meter ≤ 2")

$4.93

Water Use ≤ 3,000 Gallons per Month

$35.91

$9.00

$44.91

 

Commercial B (Meter ≥ 3")

$3.24

Water Use > 3,000 Gallons per Month

$44.40

$9.00

$53.40

 

Government

$4.83

Multifamily & Commercial:

 

 

5/8" to 3/4"

$31.83

$9.00

$40.83

 

1"

$47.74

$9.00

$56.74

 

1-1/2"

$79.57

$9.00

$88.57

 

 

2"

$122.00

$9.00

$131.00

 

3"

$445.58

$9.00

$454.58

 

4"

$498.62

$9.00

$507.62

 

 

6"

$742.63

$9.00

$751.63

 

8"

$1,018.46

$9.00

$1,027.46

 

 

Rates Effective January 2022 

Monthly Fixed Charge – All Classes

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

 

Volume Charges per 1,000 Gallons

Low-Income

 

Low-Income

(N/A)

Water Use ≤ 3,000 Gallons per Month

$18.50

$4.50

$23.00

 

Residential (Including Duplexes)

(N/A)

Water Use > 3,000 Gallons per Month

$22.87

$4.50

$27.37

 

Multifamily (3 or More Units)

$3.77

Residential (Including Duplexes)

 

Commercial A (Meter ≤ 2")

$5.08

Water Use ≤ 3,000 Gallons per Month

$36.99

$9.00

$45.99

 

Commercial B (Meter ≥ 3")

$3.33

Water Use > 3,000 Gallons per Month

$45.73

$9.00

$54.73

 

Government

$4.97

Multifamily & Commercial:

 

 

5/8" to 3/4"

$32.78

$9.00

$41.78

 

1"

$49.17

$9.00

$58.17

 

1-1/2"

$81.95

$9.00

$90.95

 

 

2"

$125.66

$9.00

$134.66

 

3"

$458.95

$9.00

$467.95

 

4"

$513.58

$9.00

$522.58

 

 

6"

$764.91

$9.00

$773.91

 

8"

$1,049.02

$9.00

$1,058.02

 

Rates Effective January 2023 

Monthly Fixed Charge – All Classes

O&M Rate

Capital Surcharge

Total

 

Volume Charges per 1,000 Gallons

Low-Income

 

Low-Income

(N/A)

Water Use ≤ 3,000 Gallons per Month

$19.05

$4.50

$23.55

 

Residential (Including Duplexes)

(N/A)

Water Use > 3,000 Gallons per Month

$23.55

$4.50

$28.05

 

Multifamily (3 or More Units)

$3.88

Residential (Including Duplexes)

 

Commercial A (Meter ≤ 2")

$5.23

Water Use ≤ 3,000 Gallons per Month

$38.10

$9.00

$47.10

 

Commercial B (Meter ≥ 3")

$3.43

Water Use > 3,000 Gallons per Month

$47.10

$9.00

$56.10

 

Government

$5.12

Multifamily & Commercial:

 

 

5/8" to 3/4"

$33.77

$9.00

$42.77

 

1"

$50.65

$9.00

$59.65

 

1-1/2"

$84.41

$9.00

$93.41

 

 

2"

$129.43

$9.00

$138.43

 

3"

$472.71

$9.00

$481.71

 

4"

$528.99

$9.00

$537.99

 

 

6"

$787.86

$9.00

$796.86

 

8"

$1,080.49

$9.00

$1,089.49

 

(Ord. 3199 § 3 (Exh. B), 2018; Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 3142 § 3 (Exh. B), 2015; Ord. 3090 § 1 (Exh. B), 2013; Ord. 3071 § 1 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 2974 § 1, 2008; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2851 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2846 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2719 § 2, 1999; Ord. 2622 § 2, 1997; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2556 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2489 § 1, 1995; Ord. 2434 § 1, 1994; Ord. 2382 § 1, 1993; Ord. 2342 § 1, 1993; Ord. 2302 § 1, 1992; Ord. 2287 § 2, 1992; Ord. 2063 § 1, 1987; Ord. 2055 § 1, 1986; Ord. 2026 § 1, 1986; Ord. 1980 § 2, 1983; Ord. 1942 § 3, 1982; Ord. 1872 § 1, 1980; Ord. 1791 § 1, 1977; Ord. 1657 § 1, 1973; Ord. 1508 § 3, 1967).

13.05.045 Rate increase to compensate for changes to utility credit program.

Repealed by Ord. 2953. (Ord. 2852 § 3, 2004).

13.05.050 Monthly stormwater rates.

A. Single-Family Residential Fees. The monthly service fee for each single-family dwelling shall be per the chart below; provided, that the impervious surface on the lot shall not exceed 3,000 square feet. If the impervious surface exceeds 3,000 square feet, the rate established in subsection B of this section shall apply.

Rate Effective January 2020

Rate Effective January 2021

Rate Effective January 2022

Rate Effective January 2023

$7.98

$8.33

$8.63

$8.93

B. Commercial/Multifamily and All Other Fees. The monthly fee for all other property within the city not covered by subsection A of this section shall be according to the following formula:

(Impervious area/3,000 sq. ft.) x single-family rate = monthly fee.

C. State Highway Charge. Pursuant to RCW 90.03.525, the city may charge a monthly fee for state highway right-of-way.

D. Capital Surcharge. There is imposed a $6.00 monthly surcharge per stormwater utility account. (Ord. 3236 § 1, 2019; Ord. 3222 § 1, 2019; Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 3142 § 4, 2015; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2934 § 1, 2006; Ord. 2622 § 3, 1997; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2274 § 1, 1991; Ord. 2071 § 2, 1987; Ord. 2065 § 1, 1987; Ord. 2054 §§ 2, 4, 1986).

13.05.055 Boat Haven – Exemption from stormwater fees.

Because the port at Boat Haven has its own stormwater system that is independent of the city’s system, and the city’s system does not handle stormwater which originates on the port property from the port or its tenants, and because the port is required to maintain its separate Boat Haven stormwater system consistent with legal requirements, the port’s Boat Haven property and its tenants at Boat Haven are exempt from the city’s stormwater utility fees. “Boat Haven” means property that is zoned M-II(A) (Boat Haven) marine-related uses. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 3082 § 1, 2012).

13.05.060 Stormwater reserve capacity charges.

Repealed by Ord. 2708A. (Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2054 § 8, 1986).

13.05.070 Commercial and industrial accounts – Deposits.

A. At the time a commercial or industrial account is requested and before it is authorized, the city finance director may require the person requesting services to make a deposit with the city.

B. Such deposit will normally be based on one month’s estimated utility charges for the business type for which services are requested.

C. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the city requiring additional or new deposits when conditions such as chronic delinquencies warrant. This additional deposit will cause the total deposit to equal twice the customer’s highest bill.

D. A deposit, once established, may be refunded in whole or in part to the person or credited to the account of that person upon receipt by the city of the person’s prior utility credit rating deemed suitable by the city finance director or designee to assure with certainty that the account with the city will not become delinquent. In the absence of such assurance, the deposit may be retained by the city until a customer discontinues service. The city will apply such deposit to fully pay any remaining charges on the account. Under no circumstances shall any part of the deposit be used as payment for charges until an account has been finalized and all services have been discontinued. If circumstances such as timely payment history warrant, the city finance director may, by determining that the city is assured with certainty that an account will not become delinquent, release all or part of the deposit to the depositor upon request prior to discontinuance of service; provided, however, that no such refund will occur without the customer having a good payment history with the city for at least 12 months from the time of deposit. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997).

13.05.080 Bills – Preparation, delivery.

A. The city finance director shall establish and maintain a monthly system of billing for utilities provided or billed by the city. The billing shall be a consolidated billing for all utilities.

B. Once prepared, this bill shall be delivered to the customer, by deposit in the regular United States mail or by electronic means as established by the finance director, addressed to the address shown on the application for utility service submitted by the customer to the city or on any change of address submitted by the consumer to the city.

C. Deposit in the United States mail pursuant to subsection B of this section shall be deemed full and complete notice to the consumer of the nature and amount of any particular utility billing.

D. All utility bills are due and payable without further notice, when properly deposited by the city in the United States mail.

E. When service is temporarily shut off, or terminated by removal of the water meter or capping of the side sewer, the customer is responsible for payment of all outstanding utility bills.

F. The city finance director is authorized to promulgate rules and policies for the implementation of this chapter. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997).

13.05.090 Utility bills – When delinquent – Late payment charge established.

A. Utility bills for which payment is not filed and received by the twentieth of the month shall be considered delinquent. Payment by the customer occurs when the payment is filed and received. Payment is deemed filed and received by the city on the date shown by the post office cancellation mark stamped on the envelope. Delinquent accounts will be assessed a minimum penalty of $5.00 or one and one-half percent of the outstanding balance per month.

B. In all cases the city finance director has the discretion to consider a deferred payment plan in accordance with PTMC 13.05.130. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997).

13.05.100 Utility charges are a lien against property – Water shut-off – Notice and appeal provisions.

A. Lien and Collection Rights. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, all utility rates shall be charged against the premises for which the service is installed. All utility charges which become delinquent and unpaid shall be a lien against the premises for which the service is installed. This lien may be enforced by all means available at law or in equity. In addition, the city can collect the money owed by using all legal means available for the collection of a debt, including but not limited to use of a collection agency, or by filing a collection action in small claims court or superior court.

B. Water Shut-Off Notice. Pursuant to state law (RCW 35.21.290 through 35.21.300) the city may temporarily shut off water to a customer who is delinquent in paying his or her water bill. Temporarily shutting off the water does not constitute termination of water service. Prior to temporarily shutting off the water, the city shall send the customer a water shut-off notice, stating that if all delinquencies are not paid by the date identified in the notice, the city will temporarily shut off water without further notice on or after a date certain to be stated in the notice. The water shut-off notice shall state that all base rates still apply during the period the water is temporarily shut off. The water shut-off notice shall further state that if the customer has questions or concerns concerning the utility bill, he or she may request an informal hearing before the city finance director, at the address and telephone number stated in the notice, and shall inform the customer of any appeal rights of the decision of the city finance director. Any request for an informal hearing before the city finance director must be made at least seven days prior to the date of the shut-off notice.

1. The city finance director shall have the authority to review the facts, to correct any errors in the billing, and to arrange for payment terms pursuant to this chapter.

2. The city finance director’s decision may be appealed pursuant to Chapter 1.14 PTMC; provided, however, that no appeal filing fee shall be charged.

3. Restoration of Water to the Premises. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, water shall not be restored until all arrears, delinquent and unpaid charges, late payment fees, the water turn-on fee, and any required deposits are paid; provided, however, that pursuant to RCW 35.21.290 and 35.21.300, water must be restored to the premises if the last four months of water bills are paid. All other remedies available at law or in equity may be used to collect the remainder of the delinquent charges.

C. Delinquent Sewer and Stormwater Charges. The city shall have and may exercise all of those powers for collection of delinquent sewer and stormwater charges as set forth in the sewer lien foreclosure statutes, RCW 35.67.200 through 35.67.280. As an additional and concurrent method of enforcing such liens, the city may also shut off water to the premises to which such sewer and stormwater service was furnished in order to enforce payment of a delinquent sewer and stormwater bill, as provided for by RCW 35.67.290.

D. City Finance Director Authority. The city finance director is authorized to promulgate further rules and policies for the implementation of this section. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997).

13.05.110 Discontinuation of utility services to rented dwellings – Tenant’s rights and obligations.

A. Notice that utility services, whether voluntary (requested by property owner) or involuntary (for nonpayment of utility charges), may be temporarily discontinued shall be provided to both the owner and occupant of the premises, if the owner does not reside there. Notice to the occupant may be provided by mailing the notice to the occupant of the premises by regular mail, or posting the notice on the property. Temporary discontinuation of utility services to rented dwellings does not constitute termination of utility services, and base rates and sucharges shall continue to apply.

B. When a rented dwelling for which a delinquent utility bill is owed is occupied by a tenant, but the utility account is in the landlord’s name and the account is not billed to the tenant for payment, water will not be discontinued unless the tenant is first provided an opportunity to place the account in his or her own name without incurring any liability for the landlord’s delinquent bill. If service is discontinued before the tenant has exercised this right, the tenant can have water restored without liability for the delinquent bill by applying to place the account in his or her name for future service, and by paying the published reconnection charges.

C. A new tenant shall not be refused water service because of a prior tenant’s failure to pay a utility bill.

D. A tenant’s unpaid balance from an existing account may be transferred to a new account if the tenant moves to an address within the city’s utility service area; provided, however, that the transferred balance remains a lien against the premises where the liability was incurred and not on the new premises. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997).

13.05.120 Satisfaction of unrecorded utility liens upon the sale of real property.

Effective January 1, 1997, upon the sale of property with unpaid charges, the city’s lien rights shall be as specified in Chapter 60.80 RCW. That law generally provides that closing agents must request a final billing from all defined utilities, which includes the city utilities. The city is required to provide the closing agent with an estimated or actual final billing within a specified time frame. If the city fails to provide the requested information in a timely manner, any unrecorded lien for charges incurred prior to the closing date is extinguished and the city may not recover the unpaid charges from the purchaser of the property. The city retains the right to recover unpaid charges from the seller as more fully set forth in Chapter 60.80 RCW. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997).

13.05.130 Deferred payment.

If the customer is unable to pay the full amount of utility charges due because of temporary financial difficulties or other hardship, the city finance director may accept a deferred payment agreement. The city is not required to enter into any deferred payment agreement with any consumer who has not fully and satisfactorily complied with terms of any previous agreement. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997).

13.05.140 Partial payment to be prorated.

Any partial payment shall be prorated to the various utilities in the following order: water, sewer, and stormwater. Late fees shall be credited after partial payments have been assigned. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2062 § 11, 1987; Ord. 1110 § 26, 1939).

13.05.150 Contracts for use in special cases.

The city may enter into special contracts for the use of water, sewer, or stormwater service in extraordinary cases when the same do not conflict with the terms of this chapter. Further, nothing in this chapter shall affect a pre-existing rate agreement between a customer and the city for the term of such agreement(s). (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 1110 § 28, 1939).

13.05.160 Payment of base rate – Abandonment of service and removal of meter.

A. All premises, whether occupied or vacant, shall be charged a base rate, consistent with the adopted fee schedule, for reservation of system capacity. A customer may request that water and sewer to the property be totally abandoned, in which case the city will permanently remove the meter. The owner will no longer be considered a current customer, and upon application to restore water and sewer in the future will be required to pay all current applicable fees and charges, including but not limited to SDCs, connection, and drop-in fees.

B. Utility customers who are participating in the low-income fee program established in Chapter 13.02 PTMC, and whose water has been temporarily shut off, shall not be charged a base rate on water or sewer, or be charged a water or sewer surcharge, or be charged a late fee, for up to one month during a given temporary shut-off period. A customer is eligible for the provisions of this subsection twice in any one calendar year. Customer shall pay stormwater fees and surcharges, and shall pay reconnection charges. (Ord. 3147 § 1, 2016; Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997).

13.05.170 Customer leak repair and bill adjustment.

When excessive meter registration is caused by broken or leaking water service pipes from the water meter into the structure or water pipes under the structure, including any crawl space or other structural components of the structure, without the knowledge of the customer, an adjustment to the water and wastewater bills may be made upon written application and satisfactory proof showing where the leak or break occurred and that a repair has been made. The adjustment would be for up to two months’ billing cycles. The basis for adjustment shall be the normal consumption under similar operating conditions. The billing adjustment shall not exceed $500.00. The average winter water use calculation for sewer rates shall be established in accordance with PTMC 13.05.040. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016; Ord. 2953 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997).

13.05.180 Overpayments and refunds.

A. Any customer may apply for a refund of utility fees (base rate, volume charge, or surcharge) erroneously overpaid. No refund or credit shall be made for fees paid more than four years prior to the beginning of the calendar year in which the refund application is made.

B. If the utility customer has been underbilled, the finance director shall assess the amount of fees underbilled. The city shall not assess any underbilled fees that would have accrued more than four years prior to the beginning of the calendar year in which the underbilling was discovered. The finance director shall waive any late fees, interest, or penalties for underbilling if the director determines that the underbilling resulted from the city’s error. (Ord. 3145 § 3 (Exh. B), 2016).