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

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

(Code 2018)

Unpaid utility accounts will be delinquent after the 10th day of the month following the month of billing. After such delinquency, a notice of delinquency and right of hearing shall be served upon the customer. For the purposes of this article, the notice shall be served upon the customer in any of the following manners:

(a)   Personal service on the customer by a city employee or city agent; or

(b)   Attaching a copy of the notice to the front door of the residence of the customer as shown by the city records; or

(c)   The mailing of a copy of the notice to the customer at his address as shown on the city record. Said notice shall inform the customer that the customer’s water bill is delinquent and the customer has the right to make written application to the City Clerk for a hearing as to the delinquency within 10 days of the date of notice, and that if the customer does not pay the bill within the time specified or apply for hearing within the same time, the customer’s water service shall be cut off.

(Ord. 457; Ord. 516; Code 2018)

The Mayor shall appoint a standing committee of three council members to hear such disputes. The committee may make adjustments on the city’s billing for water usage, whether commercial or residential, when the committee deems it appropriate.

(Ord. 516; Code 2018)

Notice of the time and place of any hearing requested by customer shall be given by the City Clerk to the customer, and shall be served upon the customer as provided in section 15-102, and the customer shall have an opportunity to appear at such hearing in person or by attorney. After any hearing, any water bill determined to be due and owing by said committee shall be paid within one business day after the committee’s determination.

(Ord. 516; Code 2018)

If payment of the account is not made in full, or a request for hearing is not received by the City Clerk within a 10-day period, or after a hearing if the account has not been paid in full within one business day, the water service shall be terminated and cut off by the city. There shall be a turn on charge of $2500, along with the payment of all delinquent water bills and penalties, to be paid by the customer in advance of water service being restored by the city.

(Code 2018)

(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 deposit(s) required by subsection (a) shall not exceed an amount equal to the expected average bill for a three-month period for such utility service(s). At its discretion, the city may require a single utility deposit to be paid by the property owner or customer. If a single deposit is requested, the total amount of the deposit shall not exceed an amount equal to the expected average bills for a three-month period for all such utility services 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 “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)   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 past 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 therefor 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 utility fund of the city upon compliance with the provisions of K.S.A. 12-822 as amended.

(Code 2018)

(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 15-102:105. 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.

(K.S.A. 12-808c; Ord. 435; Code 2018)

(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 15-107, on real estate of the lessor.

(K.S.A. 12-808c; Ord. 435; Code 2018)

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 2018)

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 2018)

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 2018)