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

The Water, Electric and Gas Department shall consist of the governing body, the city administrator, the utility superintendent and other employees of the city devoting all or part of their time to the conduct of the department. The governing body shall control and operate the department through the passage of such ordinances, rules, and regulations as may be necessary for the safe, economical and efficient management of the water, electric and gas utilities.

(Ord. 709; Ord. 842; Code 2012)

There shall be appointed a utility superintendent, reporting to the city administrator, who shall manage the production facilities of the water, electric and gas utilities and their respective distribution systems, maintaining them in good condition, supervise all extensions and alterations and advise the administrator relative to the needs of said utilities. All departmental employees shall be under the supervision of the superintendent. He shall perform all such other duties as the governing body may prescribe.

(Ord. 709; Ord. 842; Code 2012)

The City Clerk shall make out and be responsible for the collection of all water, electric and gas bills and keep proper records of each customer's sales tax, deposits to insure prompt payment of bills, connection charges, penalties, rebates and all other financial transactions with each customer. He shall keep a regular set of books showing in detail accounts of collections, appropriations, and expenditures and approved claims entitled for payment. He shall perform such other duties in connection with the water, electric and gas utilities as the governing body may prescribe.

(Ord. 709; Ord. 842; Code 2012)

Before any connection is made to either water, electric or gas distribution systems, an application for service must be made by applicant or his authorized representative at the Moundridge City Office.

(Ord. 709; Ord. 842; Code 2012)

When a customer makes application for service he may be required to deposit $100.00 with the City Clerk as security for the payment of bills for services furnished each customer. Such advance deposit may be applied by the department to the payment of any accrued bills due on the discontinuance of service. Prevailing interest will be credited annually to each deposit held by the City.

(Ord. 709; Ord. 842; Code 2012)

Each property shall have a separate and distinct service connection. Exception may be granted by the superintendent where properties are located on the same lot, or adjoining lots, but each customer shall have a separate branch circuit meter and approved disconnection device.

(Ord. 709; Ord. 842; Code 2012)

The department shall designate the location of all meters. The department will furnish and install all material required for water and gas services up to and including the meters. The department will furnish the meter socket, and wire and hook-up to the connection point from the main line, and the customer will provide the meter loop and an acceptable connection point for electrical service. The electrical wiring and plumbing must be approved by the utility department inspector prior to establishing these services.

(Ord. 709; Ord. 842; Code 2012)

The department, with due consideration to the wishes of the customer, shall designate the location of all meters. All water connections will be furnished by the city from the main to the property line. Electric wire will be provided by the city from the main line to an approved connection pOint. The meter loop and connection point will be provided by the customer with the exception of the meter socket, which will be provided by the city. All gas connections will be furnished by the city from main to meter which will be installed at the property line, or other location approved by the utility superintendent. Gas meters located other than on the property line will be done at the property owners expense.

(Ord. 709; Ord. 842; Code 2012)

All meters shall be tested at intervals in accordance with best practice and at such other times as may be deemed necessary, and the employees of the department are authorized at reasonable hours to enter upon the premises of all customers for the purpose of reading, testing, repairing, replacing and inspecting them. If any meter be found to vary in excess of 2% from 100% accuracy, the reading of the meter shall be corrected according to the percentage of inaccuracy found, but no correction shall extend beyond a period of one month. When a meter has ceased registering an estimate shall be made based on the average of the three previous months or other determining information. A customer may have a meter tested upon making a deposit of $25.00. If the meter registers within 2% of 100% accuracy, the deposit shall be forfeited, but if the meter registers in excess of 102% accuracy, the deposit shall be refunded. Defective meters shall be replaced immediately.

(Ord. 709; Ord. 842; Code 2012)

Any person, who, without the consent of the department shall make a connection of any wire or device to any electric service or transmission line used to carry electricity, or shall deface, puncture, remove, reverse or alter any electrical meter or the connections thereto, for the purpose of securing unmeasured electricity unlawfully, or shall prevent any such electric meters from properly measuring or registering electric current which has not been measured, or shall cause, procure, permit, aid or abet any person to do any of the aforesaid acts, shall upon conviction be fined not to exceed one thousand dollars. The existence of any of the aforesaid connections to meters, alterations, or use of unmeasured electricity shall be prima facia evidence of intent to violate and of the violation of this ordinance by the person or persons using or receiving the direct benefits from the use of the electricity passing through such connections or meters, or being used unmeasured as aforesaid. Any person who, without the consent of the department, shall attempt to acquire water or natural gas by circumventing the meter, or altering the measurement by any means, shall upon conviction be fined not to exceed one thousand dollars. The existence of any circumvented lines or altered meter connections shall be prima facia evidence of intent to violate and of the violation of this ordinance by the person or persons using or receiving the direct benefits from the use of the water or gas acquired as a result of said alterations.

(Ord. 709; Ord. 842; Code 2012)

No person shall injure or destroy or attempt to injure or destroy any public sewer system, water meters, hydrant, fountain, electric light pole or wire, telephone pole, gas system or meters or any of the appurtenances to the municipal utility system, without authority to do so.

(Ord. 709; Ord. 842; Code 2012)

Customers shall be responsible for any accidental or willful injury to water, electric and gas meters, their appurtenant connection, tile and cover, whether by their own acts or those of others not in the employ of the department and shall protect the meter from freezing, and in the event of accidental or willful injury from any of the causes previously mentioned, the customer shall promptly notify the department which shall make the repairs and charge the same to the customer. Backflow prevention devises or relief valves shall be installed upon any water service as determined by the superintendent. No person shall cause or allow a meter to be obstructed so that it difficult or impossible to read.

(Ord. 709; Ord. 842; Code 2012)

(a)   For purposes of this section, “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.

(b)   DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS. Unless otherwise provided, water, electric, sewer, solid waste (refuse) or other utility service shall be terminated for nonpayment of service fees or charges in accordance with subsections (c) and (d).

(c)   NOTICE; HEARING.

(1)   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.

(2)   The notice shall state:

(A)  The amount due, plus delinquency charge;

(B)  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;

(C)  Notice that the customer has the right to a hearing before the designated hearing officer;

(D)  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.

(3)   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)   SAME; FINDING. Following the hearing, if the hearing officer shall find that service should not be terminated, then notice of such finding shall be 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.

(Ord. 709; Code 2012)

(a)   Damages caused to any City utility system by a private contractor who has complied with the requirements of Kansas One Call shall be responsible for the costs incurred to repair said damages, including time and materials.

(b)   Damages caused to any City utility system by a private contractor who has not complied with the requirements of Kansas One Call shall be responsible for the costs incurred to repair said damages, including time and materials. In addition, said contractor shall be assessed a fine of $250 for the first offense and $500 for each subsequent offense.

(c)   The covering with dirt, asphalt, cement, or other materials, or otherwise making inaccessible, including but not limited to, gas valves, water valves, water meters, manholes, or other exposed parts of the utility system shall be fined $50 for each individual occurrence (i.e. if three valves are placed within a foot of one another but are all covered, the fine will be $150). For repeated offenses fines may be doubled.

(Ord. 835; Code 2012)

Charges for relocation or updating of utility service connections required due to remodeling or additions to existing structures or new structures serviced by existing connections shall be the responsibility of the person, firm, or corporation requiring such changes. In addition, in the event that the electrical connecting point to a residence or business does not meet code and/or is deemed unsafe by the Utility Superintendent or his representative it shall be the responsibility of the person, firm, or corporation to provide a legal connecting point and loop, and the city shall provide electrical wire and hook-up to said point. The city shall also provide an adequate meter socket for said connection. This policy shall not conflict with other sections of this ordinance dealing with initial service installations. In the event any work is performed by the city, cost may be assessed on a time plus materials basis.

(Ord. 841; Code 2012)