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

(a)   Customer shall mean the utility service account holder of record.

(b)   Person shall mean natural persons and all corporations, partnerships, associations and all other types and kinds of organizations and entities, without limitations.

(c)   Utility Service shall mean water, sewer and solid waste (refuse) collection as provided by the city.

(Ord. 883; Code 2017)

(a)   All Utility Service bills shall be due and payable prior to midnight of the 15th day of the month. Should the due date fall on a Sunday or holiday observed by the city, the next following business day shall be allowed as a grace period. All bills unpaid after the due date shall be considered DELINQUENT and subject to a 10% penalty.

(b)   All charges for city utility services shall be made and billed monthly.

(Ord. 690; Ord. 883; Code 2017)

Accounts are considered to be delinquent in accordance with section 15-102. Unless otherwise specified, water, sewer and solid waste collection shall be terminated for nonpayment of service fees or charges.

(Ord. 883; Code 2017)

(a)   Account delinquency and service discontinuation notice shall be issued in writing on the 16th day of the month with respect to any delinquent and unpaid utility service bill. Notice shall be sent by US mail, to the customer (a copy also by mail to occupant if the occupant is not the customer) at last known address of the customer shown on the record of the city. Written notice may also be provided by personal service upon the customer by an employee of the city utility posting the written notice upon a door of a building upon the property serviced.

(b)   Notice of account delinquency and service discontinuance shall provide the following information:

(1)   Name of customer and address where service is being provided.

(2)   Account number.

(3)   Amount past due plus delinquency charges.

(4)   Notice that the utility service shall be terminated upon failure to pay the delinquent billing plus delinquency charges within ten (10) days of the date of the mailing of the notice.

(5)   Notice that the customer has a right to appear and be heard at a hearing. Requests to be made three (3) working days prior to the date of discontinuance.

(c)   Any utility customer receiving a notice of account delinquency and service discontinuance shall have the right to a hearing prior to disconnection. At such hearing, the applicant customer, and the city, shall have the right to present such evidence as is pertinent to the issue, may be represented by council, and may examine and cross-examine witnesses, however formal rules of evidence shall not be followed. The hearing shall be conducted by the utility superintendent or other such hearing officer as may be appointed by the mayor, with the consent of the governing body. In the event the hearing officer shall so order and advise the city hereof. In the event the hearing officer finds the utility service(s) should be discontinued, the hearing officer shall so order and advise the city thereof. Unless otherwise ordered by the hearing officer, utility service(s) shall be discontinued on the date that the order of discontinuance is issued by the hearing officer. Extensions of the date of discontinuance may be granted to enable the customer to make arrangements for reasonable installments of payments or for other good cause shown. The customer shall be given notice of order of discontinuance in person, or by certified mail. In making a determination of whether discontinuance should be ordered, the hearing officer shall consider but not be limited to, the following factors: Whether discontinuance is dangerous to the health of the customer, customer's family or any other residents of the premises affected; the weather; unforeseen financial hardship of the customer; and the medical conditions, ages or disabilities of the customer, the customer's family or other residents of the premises.

(d)   If the customer is still occupying the premises, after the utility service has been disconnected, the customer is still responsible for monthly payment of the remaining city utility services.

(Ord. 883; Code 2017)

In the event that utility service is disconnected for any reason, the customer thereof shall have the right to have the same reconnected only upon the payment of all rates, charges and penalties due thereon, and in addition a service charge of $50.00 for the reconnection. There will be no reconnections after hours.

(Ord. 690; Ord. 883; Code 2017)

(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 15-103:105 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; Code 2017)

(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 15-106, on real estate of the lessor.

(K.S.A. 12-808c; Code 2017)