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

The electrical plant and system of distribution and the water plant and system of distribution sewage disposal system of the city shall be managed, operated and regulated as specified herein; provided, each of the foregoing named plants and systems shall preserve their separate identity, but the same may be managed and operated as hereinafter provided.

(Code 1972, 22-1)

Such plants and systems of distribution shall be under the general supervision of the city manager who shall be responsible to the governing body for the efficient management of such plants and systems. He or she shall employ such personnel as are necessary for the efficient operation of the plants and systems as may be required from time to time. It shall be his or her duty to purchase and obtain such materials and supplies as shall be needed for the proper maintenance and operation of the plants and systems. He or she shall have supervision of the reading of the meters each month and shall cause such meters to be read and the readings thereof reported to the city clerk. It shall be his or her duty to prepare and make monthly statistical reports to the governing body of the amount of electricity supplied, the water pumped, the sewage disposal operations, and the total revenues and expenditures of the plants and systems, and he or she may as the occasion therefor arises make his or her recommendations to the board pertaining to the needs of the plants and systems.

(Code 1972, 22-2)

The employees of the water and electric plants and sewage disposal system of the city shall consist of a chief engineer, operator mechanics, apprentice operator mechanics, and a foreman of the utility distribution systems, linemen, apprentice linemen and utility servicemen and such other laborers and employees as shall be needed for proper operation of the utility systems.

(Code 1972, 22-3)

(a)   The city clerk shall maintain a light fund, a water fund, a sewer fund and an electric customer's deposit fund and water customer's deposit fund and he or she shall keep an accurate record of all electric current sales, water sales, fees, penalties, rebates, deposits, service and connection charges, sewer fees, penalties, rebates, service and connection charges, state retailer's sales tax and all other financial transaction with each customer except as may be required to be kept by other officers or employees. All such accounts carried upon his or her records shall be in the name of the consumer using the electric, water or sewer service or in the 15-1 name of the person made responsible for the payment of any such account by virtue of any other section of this chapter. He or she shall examine in detail all bills, accounts and claims against the city by reason of the operation of any of its utility plants or services, and if he or she finds the same correct he or she shall sign his or her name in approval thereof, but if found incorrect he or she shall refuse to approve or allow the same.

(b)   The city clerk shall keep an accurate record of the electric and water meter readings of the amount of current and water consumed and the total charges, including sewer, against and the amount paid on each customer's account. He or she shall compute all customers' bills from the meter readings supplied by him or her by the city manager. He or she shall prepare bills against all customers for the current month from the readings in the meter books as reported to him or her and keeping the stub thereof for his or her records, he or she shall render a bill of the charge due by mail to each customer. Upon payment by the customer of the bill rendered, he or she shall, if the customer presents his or her bill, therefor stamp the same paid together with date, and he or she shall in case of any payment stamp his or her stub to show such payment and preserve the same in his or her office.

(Code 1972, 22-4)

All of the rates, rules and regulations established by ordinance for the government and management of the electrical, water and sewer plants and systems of the city and each addition, modification and amendment thereto established thereby shall be and become binding upon and shall form part of the contract with each consumer who makes application as herein provided for the supplying and use of the city electrical, sewerage and water services, and when any premises are furnished with and are connected to the electrical lines, sewer lines or water pipe lines, every customer and user thereof shall be considered as having and shall be taken and construed to have expressed his or her consent to be bound by such rates, rules and regulations.

(Code 1972, 22-5)

Applications for electric or water services or for the disconnection thereof or transfer from one ~location to another, shall be made to the office of the city clerk on forms furnished by the city, which forms shall have the approval of the city manager. All such applications shall contain such information as may be required to indicate the services desired by the applicant. The application and its acceptance by the city shall constitute a contract between the applicant and the city for the installation of the service connections required, and, an utility easement for purposes of maintenance, repair, replacement, ingress and egress of 20' (10' on each side of the service drop or lateral) on to private property from the city's distribution system to the service point. No application for electricity or water service shall be accepted for the purchase of electricity or water for less than one month at the same location except as provided in section 15-107 and the next one month's minimum charges shall be paid under the rates covering such service or services except where temporary services may be contracted for. Except for the first service connection and the final disconnection and shutoff or transfer from one location to another in the city, a service charge of $50.00 and materials for each electrical and water service connection or shutoff may be required to be paid by the consumer.

(Code 1972, 22-16)

(a)   Applications for temporary electric or water services shall be made to the office of the city clerk, upon such forms as may be required by the city manager, by contractors or others having no established place of business when electricity or water maybe required for use in the construction of a building or operating electrical equipment or similar purposes as may be required. The city manager is authorized to make temporary service connections to be installed and may cause the necessary connections to be installed and may meter the water and electricity to be supplied by any such connection; provided, the charges required to be paid shall be $100.00 for each installation and $25.00 for each disconnection and the consumer shall pay the regular rates for electricity and water on the basis of fractional months as hereinafter provided.

(b)   When any customer shall receive water or electric services for temporary purposes for a period of less than one month or shall order his or her service discontinued after receiving the same for a period less than one month, he or she shall be charged and billed on the basis of one month. The service charge shall be determined on the basis of one month service of water or electricity at the applicable rate class shown by the meter reading at the time service is discontinued.

(c)   Additional costs may apply, to temporary electric services that exceed 100 amp 120/240 volt single phase, temporary services requiring secondary and/or primary line extensions, and temporary services in undeveloped areas. Said electric services shall be reviewed for costs and design by city staff on a case by case basis.

(d)   Temporary electric service installations shall be permitted for a period not to exceed 180 days. If the construction period extends beyond 180 days the applicant must request an extension, and advise the city of an estimated time of completion. At any time after the 180 day period, if the city determinates that no progress is being made the city may disconnect and remove the temporary service.

(Ord. 2347, Sec. 1; Code 2014; Code 1972, 22-17)

(a)   Every customer shall pay to the City at the time of giving an order for connection to the municipal water system the sum of $15 for each such connection, and $15 at the time of giving an order for connection the municipal electrical system.

(b)   Upon initiating water or electrical service or transferring such service, each customer shall pay a security deposit of a minimum of $250.00 or the average of the August, September and October utility bills for the property that service is being established for, whichever is more, unless such customer has established a satisfactory record with the City of Sterling through past dealing or unless such customer can provide the City with proof of satisfactory payment history from a prior water, electric or gas utility. For the purpose of this section, satisfactory payment record shall mean a minimum of 12 months complete and timely utility payment history. Also, if a current utility customer has their service disconnected because of unsatisfactory payment history, such customer must pay the applicable deposit before the City will consider reestablishing utility service.

(c)   The City shall pay to the customer making a utility deposit, interest at the rate determined by law, which interest shall be credited once per year to the customer's outstanding account. If the customer terminates utility service prior to the end of one year following the establishment of service, the City shall credit the customer's outstanding account with the final billing.

(d)   A separate account of each utility deposit shall be made showing the date on which such deposit is received, the name of the depositor and the amount thereof.

(Ord. 2225; Ord. 2226; Ord. 2382)

Every customer shall pay to the city clerk at the time of giving an order for transfer of service in the municipal water system or at the time of giving an order for transfer of service in the municipal electrical system, the sum of $5.00 for each such transfer. Any past-due balances must be paid on current service before a transfer to a new service is made.

(Ord. 2225, Sec. 2; Ord. 2226, Sec. 2)

(a)   All utility bills to consumers for electricity, water and sewer shall be due and payable on the first day of each month at the office of the city clerk. A penalty of 10% of the amount due will be added to the bill if such bill is not paid by the 10th day of the month; provided, if the office of the city clerk shall not be open on the 10th day by reason of section 15-110(e), payment may be made without penalty on the next succeeding business day.

(b)   If payment of utility bill with penalty included is not paid by the 15th day of such month, a delinquency and termination notice shall be issued. The delinquency and termination notice shall provide the consumer with the following information:

(1)   Amount due on the unpaid balance;

(2)   Amount due by reason of the 10% penalty called for herein;

(3)   The consumer's right to a hearing before the city manager or his or her agent;

(4)   Notice that service shall be terminated five days after the mailing of such delinquency and termination if the bill remains unpaid, unless such consumer requests a hearing as set forth herein. A request for hearing must be made within the five day period, set forth in this provision, and must be filed with the city clerk.

(c)   The department is hereby authorized to disconnect and discontinue utility services for electricity, water and sewer for any consumer who fails to pay the utility charges as herein set forth.

(d)   Any utility disconnected or discontinued for nonpayment of delinquent utility bills shall be reconnected only upon payment of such delinquent bill, with interest thereon and the sum of $50.00 reconnect charge.

(e)   The city clerk's office shall be open for the payment of utility bills from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon and from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday except any day observed as a holiday by the city or as otherwise provided by the governing body.

(Ord. 2349, Sec. 1; Code 2014; Ord. 1979, Secs. 1:5)

Each consumer of water or electricity supplied by the city shall be responsible for all failures which occur in the water or electric service point, connections, installation or apparatus on the consumer's side of the water meter; provided, when any employee of the water and electric department shall answer a service call for any consumer and it appears that the failure in the service is not the responsibility of the city, a charge of $50.00 may be made for each such service call. The same shall be billed to the customer as a miscellaneous charge on the monthly statement and collected as a part of the bill.

(Code 1972, 22-21)

The city reserves the right for the purpose of reading electrical and water meters or the inspection of electrical and water installations, wires, fixtures, or lines that duly authorized employees of the city may legally enter upon private grounds or premises at a reasonable hour during the daytime or in cases of emergencies at any time to read all such meters or to make necessary inspections and examinations. All meters shall be read monthly and reported to the city clerk.

(Code 1972, 22-22)

It shall be unlawful for any person willfully and maliciously to injure or destroy any machinery, wires, poles, transformers, meters, pipes, hydrants, meter boxes, meter box covers or other fixtures or any other property of the city used for the production or distribution of electricity and water, or to carry away from the buildings or grounds of the city any property belonging to or used for the purpose of supplying electricity or water.

(Code 1972, 22-23)

(a)   Any person who, without the consent of a duly authorized officer of the city, shall make a connection of any wire, conduit or device to any electrical service or transmission line used to carry electricity or shall tap or make any connection to any water pipeline of the city for the purpose of securing unmeasured electricity or electrical current or water owned or used by the city; or shall prevent any electrical or water meter from properly measuring or registering electricity, electrical current or water; or shall knowingly take, receive, use or convert to his or her own use, or take use of another, any electricity, electrical current, or water, which has not been metered or measured; or shall knowingly cause, procure or permit electricity or electrical current to be taken from any electrical or transmission line, or water to be drawn or taken from any waterline of the city, without having made application therefor and having the same approved; or shall cause, procure, permit, aid or abet any person to do any of the aforesaid acts, shall be punished as provided in section 1-112.

(b)   Any person or person who, without the consent of a duly authorized officer or employee of the city, shall tamper with, remove or carry away any city owned water meters, manhole covers, water valve lids, water service meter covers or lid; or shall turn on or tamper with any city fire hydrant, water valve, or water connection located on city property, or on city streets, alleys, parkings or parks, or any person or persons who shall cause, procure, permit, aid or abet any person or persons to do any of the aforesaid acts, shall be punished as provided in section 1-112.

(Code 1972, 22-24)

(a)   Any consumer requesting City utility service who owes a delinquent utility account to the City, shall not be connected to utility service until the delinquent account is paid in full.

(b)   Any consumer requesting City utility service, wherein an occupant of such residence owes a delinquent utility account to the City, shall not be connected utility service until the delinquent account is paid in full.

(Ord. 2402)