CHAPTER XV. UTILITIESCHAPTER XV. UTILITIES\ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

For purposes of this article utility services shall include water, sewer, and the collection or disposal of refuse, trash, garbage and other solid waste and other utility services provided by the city.

(Code 2016)

(a)   Unless otherwise provided, water, sewer, solid waste (refuse) or other utility service shall be terminated for nonpayment of service fees or charges in accordance with sections 15-103:104.

(b)   All charges for the supplying of water and/or sewer by the City shall be paid to the City Clerk by the twentieth (20th) day of the month following such service. All such bills that are not paid on or before the twentieth (20th) day shall become delinquent and an eight percent (8%) penalty shall be added to and become a part of such charge. All such bills that remain unpaid on or before the twenty sixth (26th) day of the month shall be charged an additional five percent (5%) penalty and become a part of such charge. All such bills that remain unpaid on or before the second (2nd) of the following month, an additional five percent (5%) shall be added and become a part of such charge. When such delinquent bill remains unpaid through the fifth (5th) day of the following month, services to the consumer shall be disconnected. If such charge or charges are not paid within the time and in the manner provided, the City reserves the right, with proper notice, to submit the debt to the Kansas Setoff Program, and/ or other debt collection services, as well certify to the County Clerk of Osage County, the legal description of said real property enjoying the use of said water service together with the amount of such charge or charges remaining unpaid to be placed on the tax roll for collection, subject to the same penalties and collected in the same manner as other taxes are by law collectible, and shall become a lien upon the real property so served. When the above described dates fall on a weekend or holiday, the next business day will be used.

(c)   A non-refundable Disconnect Fee of $25.00 will be charged when service is disconnected for an unpaid bill.

(d)   A Returned Item fee of $25.00 will be charged to the customer when a check or other payment type is returned unpaid by their bank. Repeat offenders will be required to pay by cash or money order.

(Ord. 97; Ord. 105; Ord. 106; Ord. 368; Ord. 373; Code 2016)

(a)   If a utility bill has not been paid on or before the due date as provided in this chapter, a delinquency and termination notice shall be issued by the city clerk within five days after the delinquency occurs and mailed to the customer at his or her last known address. A copy also shall be mailed to the occupant of the premises if the occupant and the customer are not the same person.

(b)   The notice shall state:

(1)   The amount due, plus the schedule of delinquency charges in section 15-102(b);

(2)   Notice that service will be terminated if the amount due is not paid in accordance with section 15-102(b);

(3)   Notice that the customer has the right to a hearing before the designated hearing officer;

(4)   Notice that the request for a hearing must be in writing and filed with the city clerk no later than three days prior to the date for termination of service.

(c)   Upon receipt of a request for hearing, the city clerk shall advise the customer of the date, time and place of the hearing which shall be held within three working days following receipt of the request.

(Ord. 97; Ord. 368; Code 2016)

Following the hearing, if the hearing officer shall find that service should not be terminated, then notice of such finding shall be presented to the city clerk. If the officer finds that service should be terminated, an order shall be issued terminating service five days after the date of the order. The customer shall be notified either in person or by mailing a letter to his or her last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested. However, if the order is made at the hearing in the presence of the customer, then no further notice need be given. The hearing officer has a right, for good cause, to grant an extension, not to exceed 10 days, for the termination of such service.

(Code 2016)

(a)   Each new customer making application for utility service shall make a cash deposit to the city to serve as a guaranty for payment of service thereafter furnished to the customer’s premises.

(b)   The security deposit will be held until a request for cancellation of service is made and can be applied to a final bill or refunded to the customer once the final bill has been satisfied.

(c)   In the event that utility service shall be disconnected or discontinued for failure to pay any bill due the city for such utility, such cash deposit shall be applied as a credit against all amounts due from the customer to the city, and if there shall remain any surplus of such deposit, the same shall be returned to the customer.

(d)   The deposit so made shall be kept by the city clerk in a separate account and deposited in a fund designated as the “meter deposit fund.” Interest shall be payable at the rate determined by the state corporation commission yearly and credited to the customer’s account January 1st of each calendar year.

(e)   Any security deposit not refunded within three years after discontinuance of service shall be deposited in the utility fund of the city upon compliance with the provisions of K.S.A. 12-822 as amended.

(Ord. 193; Ord. 368; Code 2016)

(a)   In the event that any person, except the United States or the state of Kansas, shall fail to pay the fees or charges for such utility services(s), utility service shall be terminated as provided in sections 15-103:104 The governing body may refuse the delivery of utility service(s), as permitted by law, until such time as the fees and charges are paid in full.

(b)   In the event that any person, except the United States or the state of Kansas, residing, occupying, using or operating on property to which utility service(s) furnished by the city is not paid, the unpaid fees or charges shall constitute a lien upon the property to which the utilities are furnished. The amount of the unpaid fees or charges shall be certified by the governing body to the county clerk of the county in which the property is located, to be placed upon the tax roll for collection, subject to the same penalties and collected in the same manner as other taxes are collected by law.

(c)   The lien, described in subsection (b) of this section, shall not attach to property for unpaid utility fees or charges when:

(1)   The utility service(s) have been contracted for by a tenant and not by the landlord or the owner of the property, or the agent of such person, to which the utility service is provided; or,

(2)   The utility services are owed by the United States or the state of Kansas.

(d)   If at the time of application for utility service the applicant has an outstanding balance or unpaid fees or charges for utility services provided by the city, the application shall not be accepted until all fees or charges are paid in full.

(Code 2016)

(a)   Owners of premises served by utility service under this article shall be liable for payment of the costs of any utility service account delinquency arising from service provided to such premises, regardless of whether the utility service was furnished upon the application and request of the owner or lessee of the premises. This provision shall also apply when the premises are leased by or through an agent or other representative of the owner.

(b)   In the event that a delinquency arises involving leased premises, in addition to the tenant, the owner or owner’s agent shall be notified in writing of the delinquency of the lessee by first class regular mail within 10 days after the billing to the lessee becomes delinquent. Notice shall be sufficient if mailed to the last known address of the owner or owner’s agent known to city personnel responsible for said mailing, after reasonable inquiry.

(c)   If utility service is furnished to a leased premises on the application or request of the lessor of the premises, then all billings for utilities furnished to such leased premises shall be made directly to the lessor, and the lessor shall be fully liable for the cost of service furnished.

(d)   The city may collect the amount of the unpaid bill for utility services by any lawful means. Provided, however, that in no event may the city place a lien, as provided in subsection (b) of 15-106, on real estate of the lessor.

(K.S.A. 12-808c; Code 2016)

A petty cash fund in the amount of $1,000 is established for the use of the city utilities department, for the purpose of paying postage, freight, temporary labor, and other emergency expenses, including refund of deposits made to secure payment of accounts.

(Code 2016)

The petty cash fund shall be deposited in the regular depository bank of the city and paid out on the order of the city clerk by check which shall state clearly the purpose for which issued.

(Code 2016)

Whenever the petty cash fund becomes low or depleted, the city clerk shall prepare vouchers covering expenses as have been paid from the petty cash fund and shall submit such vouchers together with the paid checks to the governing body for review and allowance of the amounts from the regular funds of the utilities. Warrants issued therefor shall be payable to the petty cash fund and shall be deposited therein to restore said petty cash fund to its original amount.

(Code 2016)