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ORDINANCE NO. _1438_
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 15, ARTICLE 1 OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE CITY OF
SECTION 1. Chapter 15, Article 1 of the City Code is hereby amended to read:
15-101. DEFINITION. 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.
15-102. DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS. 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 15-103:107.
15-103. DISCONTINUANCE OF UTILITY SERVICES. (a) The city may discontinue or refuse a particular utility service to any customer, without notice or hearing, for the following reasons:
(1) When the customer so requests.
(2) When it is determined by an employee of the city utility department, fire department or police department that the continuance of a particular utility service constitutes a dangerous condition presenting a likely immediate threat on or near the customer's premises.
(3) When a check for payment has been given to prevent utilities from being shut off and is returned for insufficient funds.
(4) When an excessive water leak is found or reported. The city may require proof a leak has been repaired prior to continuing service.
(5) When the customer refuses to pay for the utility deposit as initially agreed upon.
(b) The city may discontinue or refuse a particular utility service to any customer, following compliance with the notice and hearing requirements of section 15-105, for any of the following reasons:
(1) Nonpayment of utility bills and charges as provided in section 15-105 of this article.
(2) When the customer misrepresents his or her identity or otherwise intentionally provides false or incomplete information for the purpose of obtaining utility services from the city.
(c) The city may discontinue or refuse a particular utility service to any customer, following notice to the customer, for any reasons set out in this subsection. The customer shall have the right to a hearing within a reasonable time, not to exceed 10 days following termination or refusal of service. If after such hearing the hearing officer finds in favor of the customer the hearing officer may order connection or reconnection of the service at no cost to the customer.
(1) When the customer refuses to grant employees of the city's utility department access to equipment installed upon the premises of the customer for the purposes of inspection, meter reading, maintenance or replacement.
(2) When the customer violates any rule, regulations or ordinance of the city pertaining to utility services, which violation adversely affects the safety of customer or other persons, or the integrity of the city's utility services' delivery system.
(3) When the customer attempts, causes or permits unauthorized interference, diversion, theft, tampering, damage or use of utility services of the utility services or the utility services' delivery system situated or located on or near the customer’s premises, including turning water on at the meter when city staff has shut it off.
15-104. UTILITY BILLING DATES; DELINQUENCY DATE. Utility billings shall be mailed on approximately the 30th day of each month for the previous month serviced. All billings for utility services shall be due and payable upon receipt and must be paid in full by the 10th day of the following month. Failure to make payment on or before the 10th day of the month shall result in the mailing of an account delinquency and service disconnection notice.
15-105. NOTICE; HEARING. (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 delinquency charge;
(2) Notice that service will be terminated if the amount due is not paid within 10 days from the date of the notice unless the date on the notice to pay the charges due shall be on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, in which event such notice will give the consumer until the close of the next business day in which to pay the charges.
(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.
(d) No extensions of service will be given any two consecutive months, and no more than three extensions within a year will be given. April 1st will constitute the beginning of a new period each year. All extensions will be in writing. Extensions may only be signed by a person listed on the service application as one who is making application for service.
(e) Commercial and industrial customers who require their utility service as part of the manufacturing process of their product will be considered for special extensions on a case by case basis, with the following guidelines:
(1) Payment plans may be extended over a six month period, if diligent payments are made every 30 days as agreed to by the owner or owner’s authorized agent and the city clerk in a written extension agreement.
(2)The agreement must be signed by the tenant or tenant’s authorized agent and the city clerk.
(f) Following the hearing, if the hearing officer shall find that service should not be terminated, then notice of such finding shall e 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.
15-106. DISCONTINUANCE OF UTILITY SERVICES. City utility departments are hereby authorized to discontinue and disconnect utility services to any customer pursuant to the procedure set out in this article. Customers shall remain responsible for furnishing the city with the correct address for billing purposes.
15-107. LATE PAYMENT CHARGES AND RECONNECTION FEES. (a) Late Payment Charges. All bills delinquent after the 10th day of the month of the billing shall be subject to a 10 percent penalty.
(b) Administration Fees. Any bill which is not received in the night deposit box before 8:00 a.m. of the next business day or from the post office on the day disconnection for nonpayment is to be made, will be charged an administrative fee of $25.00, plus tax. An extension may be used for the administrative fee if the customer has an extension available for use.
(c) After Hour Call out Fee. After 4:00pm a $25.00 call out fee may be charged to have water turned off due to a water leak or sewer backup problem. Call outs to restore service after being shut off for non payment are not available. Payment to restore service must be made before 4:00 p.m. on weekdays.
15-108. UTILITY DEPOSITS; REQUIRED. (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, except as set out in Section 15-111 of this article. Such deposit shall cover all utility services furnished the customer regardless of the number and character of such services furnished.
(b) The deposit(s) required by subsection (a) shall not exceed $200. The deposit amount is to be paid in full before utility services are provided by the city.
(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 “Consumer 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) On the second interest payment date following the deposit required above, the city clerk shall refund the deposit of any depositor who is owner of the premises wherein such utility service is being furnished and has not been delinquent in payment of any utility service charge during the year. Interest due and accrued shall not draw interest.
(f) Upon the discontinuance of any service at the request of the depositor, the deposit shall be refunded upon surrender of the original receipt therefore together with the accrued interest thereon less any amount due and owing the city for services furnished prior thereto or it may be credited towards the payment of the final bill rendered to the customer.
(g) Any security deposit not refunded within three years after discontinuance of service shall be deposited in the water fund of the city upon compliance with the provisions of K.S.A. 12-822 as amended.
15-109. SAME; APPLICATION. (a) At the time of making application for utility service, the property owner or customer shall make application and a cash deposit in the full amount set by the governing body to secure payment of accrued bills or bills due on discontinuance of service. Receipt thereof shall be issued to each such depositor. Application for service shall be completed prior to providing utility service.
(b) The property owner or customer must make written application for the utility service and provide any information as required by the city clerk.
15-110. SAME; APPLIED TO BILL. (a) Each new customer making application for utility service shall make a cash deposit to the city in the amount as specified in section 15-108(a), the deposits to serve as a guaranty for the payment of service thereafter furnished to the customer's premises.
(b) 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 credit against all amount 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. No service will be reconnected or continued until such time all amounts due to the city are paid in full, and a new deposit has been paid.
(c) Deposits collected pursuant to this section shall be governed by the provisions of K.S.A. 12-822.
15-111. SAME; LETTER OF CREDIT AND REFUND. (a) Deposits for utility service will not be required if the customer provides a letter of credit from their previous utility company. Acceptable letter must provide prior 12 months history without any delinquencies, and the letter must be certified by an authorized agent, and be submitted on the utility company’s letterhead.
(b) In all cases where any utility service is furnished a customer by the city, and the customer is current as set out in section 15-108(e), the security deposit made by such customer shall be refunded, and in the event any such customer moves to another location and desires any utility service to additional locations within the city, no security deposit shall be required for furnishing the same to such customer at such new or additional locations. This provision shall apply to both estranged spouses in the event of the subsequent legal separation or divorce of the customer and his or her spouse who qualified under this section.
(c) Deposits for utility service may be waived when a responsible party contract has been signed by a property owner. This situation may apply with a responsible party/tenant. In order for this contract to apply the following items must be met:
1) the responsible party must be a current customer residing in
2) the responsible party must also remain a current customer. Upon such time the responsible party would no longer reside in Oswego, the tenant must meet one of the following 1) submit a utility deposit as described in 15-108 (b) for continued services, or 2) have established good credit (at least one full year with no penalties) while utilities are under the guarantee of the responsible party.
3) the responsible party agrees to pay any utility bill left unpaid by the person receiving service under the responsible party contract and they understand and agree their utility service will become subject to disconnection if the tenant’s bill is not paid within ten days of providing notice to the responsible party.
(d) Customers who have lived in the city prior to reestablishing an account and have established good credit will not be required to pay a utility deposit, as long as payments are paid on time each month.
(e) The deposits of present customers shall not be increased while they are furnished utility service or services and maintain good credit practices, or at such time they transfer services to a new location. Deposits will not be required of customers’ moving from one location to another when customers have good credit practices and their deposit has been returned for such good payment.
(f) For customers wanting utility services at a second location or who open a business, no deposit will be required if they have a current paid account for two years, with no delinquent payments.
15-112. DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS; REFUSAL OF SERVICE; TERMINATION OF SERVICE; LIEN AGAINST PROPERTY.
(a) In the event that any person, except the
(b) In the event that any person, except the United States of 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 be 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 service(s) are owed by the
(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.
15-113. PETTY CASH FUND. A petty cash fund in the amount of $2,500 is established for the use of the city utilities department, for the purpose of paying postage, freight, temporary labor, return of community center deposits, and other emergency expenses, including refund of deposits made to secure payment of accounts.
15-114. SAME; DEPOSITS. The petty cash fund shall be deposited in a bank a determined by the city and paid out on the order of the city clerk by check which shall state clearly the purpose for which issued.
15-115. SAME; VOUCHERS. Whenever the petty cash fund becomes low or depleted, the city clerk shall prepare vouchers covering expenses that have been paid from the petty cash fund and shall submit 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 therefore shall be payable to the petty cash fund and shall be deposited therein to restore said petty cash fund to its original amount.
15-116. BAD DEBT CHARGES. All bills which are determined to be bad debt and turned over for outside collection, including the State of Kansas set-off program, shall be subject to a fee of twenty-five percent (25%) of the total of the delinquent amount. This bad debt administrative charge shall be applied prior to referral for collection.
SECTION 2. This ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage, approval and publication in the official city newspaper.
Passed by the Governing Body and approved by the Mayor of the City of Oswego, Kansas, this 10th day of February, 2020.
Daniel J. Chapman, Mayor
Carol J. Eddington, City Clerk