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Water Utility Billing Rules and Regulations

 


WATER UTILITY

BILLING RULES AND REGULATIONS

 

I.        AUTHORITY

 

The City of Iron Mountain, in accordance with Chapter XII of the City Charter and in conjunction with the City water ordinance, shall possess and hereby reserves to itself all the powers granted to cities by law to acquire, construct, own, operate, improve, enlarge, extend, repair and maintain, whether within or without its corporate limits, public utilities for supplying water to the municipality and its inhabitants thereof; and also to sell and deliver water without its corporate limits as authorized by law.

 

The City Council shall have the power to establish from time to time, such just and equitable rates as may be deemed advisable for supplying the inhabitants with water.

 

The City Council shall provide for the collection of all public utility charges made by the City and for such purpose, shall have all the power granted to cities by statue.

 

2.       BILLING PROCEDURE

 

There are four separate billing periods; Bi-monthly for Central/East Side, South/West Side, and North Side and Monthly bills.

 

          a)       The schedule for bi-monthly bills, by section is as follows:

                             Water used from:   January to March.......... is due in April

                                                       March to May.............. is due in June

                                                       May to July................. is due in August

                                                       July to September......... is due in October

                                                       September to November. is due in December

                                                       November to January..... is due in February

 

                   South/West Side:            Bills are mailed the 5th of the even months

                                                       Due date is the 25th of the same month

 

                   North Side:                     Bills are mailed the 15th of the even month

                                                       Due date is the 5th of the odd months

 

                   Central/East Side:            Bills are mailed the 25th of the odd months

                                                       Due date is the 15th of the even months

 

                   Monthly:                        Bills are mailed the 5th of every month

                                                       Due date is the 15th of the same month

 

          b)       Consumers will be billed in accordance with the current water and sewage rate schedules as established by the City Council based on the classification of residential/commercial meter utilized.

 

                   No consumer, agency, organization or department of the City will be granted free water service.

 

          c)       There shall be a minimum charge to any consumer with a meter in service and no consumption during the billing period.

 

          d)       The water service shall be in the name of the owner of the premises to which the water service is connected.  If the premise is to be occupied by a non-owner, the water service will not be transferred to the non-owner until the appropriate security deposit is made.  Upon the issuance of the final bill to a non-owner, any charges remaining unpaid after ten (10) days from the due date of the original bill, which exceed the security deposit, will become the responsibility of the owner.  Excluding situations where non-owner transfers the service to another site within the city water service area.  In this case, the bill will be forwarded to the new location for collection.  Collection procedures as would normally apply towards delinquent accounts will apply here as well.  Unless otherwise stated by the owner, an active account status will automatically transfer back into the name of the owner when a non-owner vacates the premises and or orders a final reading be taken.

 

3.       DISPUTED BILLS

 

          a)       If a consumer deputes the charges on their current utility bill, it shall be consumers’ responsibility to contact the City prior to the due date of such disputed bill.

 

          b)       The City will promptly investigate the reasons behind the disputed charges and try to settle the dispute to each parties satisfaction.

 

          c)       No penalty will be assessed nor will service be disconnected during the period of dispute, however, the consumer shall be responsible to pay any portion of the bill not disputed by the due date or the normal penalty will be assessed and the disconnect procedures will be enforced on the non-disputed portion.

 

          d)       If the City is found to be in error on the water charges, the consumers account will be adjusted accordingly.  If it is found that no error occurred and the charges are correct, the amount of the disputed bill shall be due and payable.  If not paid, the normal penalty notification and disconnect procedures will be enforced.  Disconnection sequence will coincide with billing section timetable as condition warrants.

 

          e)       If the consumer requests that the meter be removed and checked for accuracy and the meter is found to be recording within AWWA standards, the applicable meter test charge will be billed.  If the meter is found to be recording in error, no fee will be charged for the test service and the outstanding obligation will be adjusted accordingly as it pertains to the water and sewage charges.

 

4.       COLLECTIONS

 

          a)       Water bills are due and payable on the due date as indicated on the bill.  A one day grace period is allowed after the original due date.  After the one day grace period, the account is considered delinquent and a 10% penalty is assessed on the unpaid balance.  Where a late payment penalty is assessed, the amount of the penalty shall not be dismissed due to the untimely delivery, to the water department, of the customer payment made at an offsite payment location.  Also, payments sent through the mail, postmarked on the due date will still be considered delinquent if received after the grace date.

 

          b)       Bills may be paid at the City Water Department (City Hall during business hours, or the drop box located behind City Hall, or ACH Pmt set-up), First National Bank (main or branch offices), and Econo Foods.  All delinquent bills must be paid directly at the City Water Department and not accepted at an offsite payment location.

 

5.       NON-PAYMENT OF BILLS

 

If the consumer is unable to pay a bill for water service, it shall be his or her responsibility to so notify the City Water Department prior to the due date so indicated on the bill.  Whereupon, post due date payment(s) can be arranged such that the payment(s) in full will be received prior to the issuance of the next regularly scheduled billing.  If the consumer is eligible for assistance from the Department of Social Services or other agency, the agency or service organization involved shall notify the City Water Department in a timely manner, whereupon, final arrangements can be approved between all parties.  However, a balance will be permitted to be carried into the next billing period when:

 

                   1)       the amount owing is less than $10.00 or;

                   2)       where the financial arrangements made through an accredited service agency has guaranteed the payment or;

                   3)       when resident has notified City Water Department of intent to leave area for a duration of less than 2 billing periods in time, has paid current bill and has made advance payment equal to 1 normal bill amount or;

                   4)       when next bill issued is the final bill

 

Aside from the circumstances afore mentioned, arrangements are to be made with the consumer which will allow for the bill to be paid prior to the issuance of their next regularly scheduled billing.

 

If payment in full has not been received, in lieu of the agreed upon arrangements and with proper notifications given, the City Water Department shall consider the account delinquent and subject to disconnection.

 

In circumstances where a home owner’s water account remains in arrears, [for six (6) months or more] a tax lien may be placed on the property to which service was provided in accordance with the City water ordinance.

 

          a)       REMINDER NOTICE

 

                   After a one day grace period following the original due date, a reminder is mailed to all delinquent accounts and a five (5) day extension is granted.

 

          b)       DISCONNECT NOTICE

 

                   On the work day immediately following the extension, a termination notice is mailed.  The date of disconnection will be seven (7) days from the date the disconnection notice is mailed.  Not withstanding these efforts, the City will bear no responsibility to make personal contact with the consumer following the issuance of the disconnection notice.

 

          c)       DISCONNECT FOR NON-PAYMENT

 

                   If the account has not been settled by the time indicated on the disconnection notice, the service will be disconnected.  After water crew personnel are at the site to physically shut off the water service, no other payment arrangements can be made to postpone shut off from occurring.  Payments are not permitted to be taken by outside water department personnel.

 

          d)       TIME OF DISCONNECT

 

                   Disconnection of service for non-payment will attempt to be made between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.  Disconnection will not be made on a day or on a day preceding the day that City personnel are not available for the purpose of re-connection.

 

          e)       RE-CONNECTION

 

                   Following disconnection for non-payment, and upon satisfactory settlement of the consumer’s account, the City will promptly restore service.  The City will endeavor to make the re-connection on the same day the account is settled and the consumer requests re-connection.  Customer requests for service restoration initiated after 3:00 p.m. will result in the next day action (excluding weekends).

 

As a condition of service re-connection, the applicable reconnect charge shall be paid in advance.  If service to the same consumer has been disconnected for non-payment during the preceding twelve (12) months, the City reserves the right to require a security deposit prior to restoring service.

 

6.       FINAL BILLS

 

Final bills are sent to a customer who requests his service to be disconnected and is leaving the City service area or is moving to another location within the City service area.

 

          a)       Final bills are due and payable on the due date as indicated on the bill.

 

          b)       After final bills are due, a past due notice is mailed.  If remaining unpaid, the account may be turned over to the Credit Bureau for collection.

 

          c)       If the customer is moving to another location within the City service area, the final bill will be transferred to the customers new account address.  If remaining unpaid the disconnect procedure may be enforced.  If disconnect is called fore, a door tag will be placed at the new residence allowing a two (2) day period for payment to be made before actual shut off takes place.

 

7.       TEMPORARY DISCONNECTS

 

At the owner’s request, the City will disconnect the water service to the owner’s premises for seasonal or temporary vacancies.  Aside from the owner, a duly authorized agent acting in the name of the owner may request this service.  As a condition of service re-connection, the applicable reconnect charge shall be paid in advance.

 

Reconnect schedule will be restricted to the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Monday thru Friday.  Whereby, a one (1) day notice is required.  Requesting an alternate time outside of the hours previously stated, will require a two (2) day notice.

 

8.       DEPOSITS, FEES AND SPECIAL CHARGES

 

The City will require payment of certain deposits, fees and charges for special services as provided in the schedule below.  The purpose of these charges is to discourage misuse and to minimize subsidy of special services by other customers through the water rates.  No refunds will be made except as specially provided in these rules and regulations.

 

          a)       CHARGE FOR SPECIAL SERVICES

 

                   Reconnect charge: (if shut off due to non payment)........... $50.00

                                           (if shut off due to owner request)............ $25.00

 

                    Thawing water services:

                             During regular working hours (minimum charge)......... $60.00/hr

                             Outside regular working hours (minimum charge)....... $85.00/hr

 

                   Meter Test Charge........................................................ $35.00

                   NSF Check handling charge............................................. $25.00

                   Hydrant Usage Charge................................................... $35.00

                   Readiness to serve sprinkler charge (per line)..................... $100.00

                   Delinquent Ready to serve accounts......................... $20.00 add’l

 

Where an account does not pay within the designated period for payment, a notice will be sent.  The notice will indicate the payment outstanding along with a penalty amount being assessed.  In addition, will stipulate a disconnect date for the water service.

 

          b)       SECURITY DEPOSITS

 

The City will require security deposits in case of chronic delinquency and in cases where the customer does not own the premises, which includes land contracts.  A deposit is required for all rental units (commercial and residential) before water service is provided.  A deposit will be required for each unit or meter servicing the unit in the case of more than one water service per unit.

 

          c)       AMOUNT OF DEPOSIT

 

The amount of each security deposit shall be as follows:

          Residential:    $100.00

          Commercial:   $150.00

 

          d)       REFUNDS

 

The security deposit will be refunded only after service has been terminated and a final bill has been issued and paid.  The deposit amount can be applied towards satisfaction of their outstanding balance.  The deposit receipt given to the consumer must be signed and presented to the Water Department for the refund.  If the customer cannot present the receipt for refund, a release form must be signed as provided by City Water Department.

 

          e)       TRANSFER OF SECURITY DEPOSIT

 

If the customer is moving to another location within the City’s service area, the security deposit may be transferred to the new location providing the customer has an excellent payment history (no delinquencies during the preceding twelve (12) months) or when the final bill from the previous address has been issued and paid.  Changing an account from a non-owner name back to that of the landlord can be done by either the landlord or the non-owner contacting the City Water department.  If the City Water Department should receive differing dates being requested for a final reading, (one from the non-owner and another from the landlord), the landlord’s date will be recognized.  Otherwise, the City will bear no responsibility for the correctness of a final reading date.

 

          f)       NSF (NON SUFFICIENT FUNDS) CONDITIONS

 

For Non Sufficient Fund checks, when returned to the City, the consumer affected will be attempted to be contacted via the telephone or a door tag, and arrangements made to redeem the check.  If contact cannot be made in this manner, a door tag will be placed at the customer residence allowing one (1) day to redeem the check for cash.  Customer is further informed that the water service will be shut off if the check is not redeemed in the time period stated.  Total charges will be indicated on the door tag which includes the NSF charge.

 

9.       WATER LET-RUNS

 

In December or January, at the discretion of the water department foreman, consumers who have a history of freezing problems (water or sewer) will be notified to let their water run.  A meter reading must be taken at the time of notification and entered in the WLR Log along with date reading was taken.  Water Department will notify the consumer to cease the let run when the possibility of freezing is past.  A reading must be taken upon termination and recorded.  If reading cannot be determined, and a second attempt made to read the meter proves unsuccessful, a notification tag will be left at the residence requesting that the reading be called in.  All let runs must be metered or estimated in order to determine the amount of billed water.  Where possible, consumer usage amounts will be based on average billing period consumption history available over the past year or two years determined through water department history records.

 

10.     CONNECTION OF NEW WATER SERVICE

 

Upon request from a customer for new water service and after the customer has paid all applicable fees and charges and satisfied the applicable provisions of these rules and regulations, the City will connect or reconnect water service to the customer’s premises.

 

11.     FLAT SEWAGE CHARGE

 

The rate shall be based on the current Monthly/Bi-Monthly sewage factor in effect.  Sewage fixed charges are based on meter size.

 

Sewage Fixed Charge: Rate change 07-01-12

                   (Based on meter size)

 

          Residential

 

 

2009

2012

 

 

Meter Size

Bi-Monthly

Bi-Monthly

 

 

5/8”

12.00

14.00

 

 

3/4"

12.00

14.00

 

 

1”

12.00

14.00

 

 

1 1/2"

17.68

19.68

 

 

2”

20.80

22.80

 

 

2 1/2"

24.12

26.12

 

 

3”

26.64

28.64

 

 

4”

30.64

32.64

 

 

5”

36.24

38.24

 

 

6”

41.44

43.44

 

 

7”

46.64

48.64

 

 

8”

51.84

53.84

 

 

9”

57.04

59.04

 

 

10”

62.24

64.24

 

 

 

          Commercial

 

 

2009

2012

 

 

Meter Size

Monthly

Monthly

 

 

5/8”

6.00

7.00

 

 

3/4"

6.00

7.00

 

 

1”

6.00

7.00

 

 

1 1/2"

8.84

9.84

 

 

2”

10.40

11.40

 

 

2 1/2"

12.06

13.06

 

 

3”

13.32

14.32

 

 

4”

15.32

16.32

 

 

5”

18.12

19.12

 

 

6”

20.72

21.72

 

 

7”

23.32

24.32

 

 

8”

25.92

26.92

 

 

9”

28.52

29.52

 

 

10”

31.12

32.12

 

 

 

 

 

12.     INADEQUATE SERVICE

 

For residential accounts in service prior to January 1994, the City Council will consider installing individual pressure boosting systems if all of the following conditions apply:

 

          1)       The municipal distribution system cannot provide pressure at or above 30 PSI on a regular basis due to the relative elevation of the residence to the system.

 

          2)       There are periodic service interruptions due to inadequacy in the municipal distribution system.

 

          3)       The individual pressure booster system is the most cost effective short term alternative.

 

13.     MULTI-LINE SERVICE

 

All residential and commercial water supply lines shall service only one location with each line being metered.

 

It shall be in violation of City regulations to create a branch line off a private line, where, the connection has the potential to supply un-metered water to additional site(s).  Or where, the conditions fail to satisfy local building codes and are found to be in non-compliance.

 

Violation can result in the re-excavation and re-establishment of the water service line per City direction and at the owners’ expense and/or a fine being assessed.

 

Any costs associated with the violation must be paid prior to the re-establishment of city water service.

 

 


City Hall: 501 S Stephenson Ave. Iron Mountain, MI 49801
P: 906-774-8530 F: 906-774-3774 E:cityhall@cityofironmountain.com