Proposed Utility Fee and Deposit Changes
The public hearing dates associated with Ordinance No. 2022-01 will be held in Commission Chambers on January 11, 2022 (first reading) and January 25, 2022 (second reading). Below is a summary of the proposed changes.
Tampering with Property of Water Department
If tampering is found to have occurred, the charge shall increase according to the following:
- $100 plus cost of repairs for first occurrence
- $250 plus cost of repairs for second occurrence
- $500 plus cost of repairs for the third and any subsequent occurrence
- $125 plus cost of repairs for the first occurrence
- $350 plus cost of repairs for second occurrence
- $600 plus cost of repairs for the third and any subsequent occurrence
If an owner or user is found to have willfully or intentionally obstructed a meter or failed to remove an obstruction once notified by the City, the fee for the first, second, third and subsequent occurrence shall increase according to the following:
- $50 for first occurrence
- $100 for second occurrence
- $150 for the third and any subsequent occurrence
- $75 for first occurrence
- $150 for second occurrence
- $300 for third and any subsequent occurrence
If an account is turned off for non-payment or has two or more uncollectable payments within a year, the required deposit amount has historically doubled. A double deposit will no longer be required.
Deposits of single-family residential accounts in the name of the property owner have been refunded, without interest, after 24 billing periods provided that there have been no late payments, no returned payments, and no disconnections on the account during that time period. This policy will now also be extended to tenants in addition to property owners. Refunds shall be applied as a credit to the customer account rather than a physical payment to the customer.
Penalties; Non-payments; Transfers; Disconnections
Historically, utility service has been disconnected for reason of nonpayment if all or part of a user’s billings have been two months past due. The new policy dictates that a customer is susceptible to disconnection of service after one month of billings either partially or fully past due.
If service has been discontinued for nonpayment of bills, all amounts due plus a nonpayment charge of $60.00 were required before service was allowed to be restored. Under the new policy, the $60.00 nonpayment charge no longer applies. Rather, a pre-termination notice fee of $15 shall be applied to the account once a disconnect order is issued. A reconnection fee of $45 shall be imposed once an account has been disconnected for service.
Additional Miscellaneous Fees
The non-emergency after-hours call fee shall increase from $35 per occurrence to $70 per occurrence.
Application Fee (Service Initiation)
The application fee to initiate utility service with the City shall increase from $25 to $35 per customer.
For any questions relating to this City ordinance and utility rate study and resulting rate changes, please contact the Utility Billing Division at (352) 523-5053.