Prior to the adoption of Ord. 21250 on 03/05/2012, Section 27-19 read as follows.

    (a) The city shall render a bill once during each billing period to every customer in accordance with the applicable rate schedule.

    (b) The manner of furnishing the statement shall be as determined by the finance director, provided each customer is billed in a reasonable, predictable manner.

    (c) The city may divide the service area into sections, and/or the customers into various classes for the purpose of rendering statements. Such sections or classes may be changed from time to time to meet the operating requirements of the city. Such sections or classes are for the sole purpose of establishing a billing rotation and shall have no affect on the amount or rate of billing.

    (d) Each billing statement rendered by the city shall be computed on the actual usage during the billing period except as follows:

    (1)    The city reserves the right to render a bill based on estimated usage for any of, but not limited to, the following reasons:

        a.    When extreme weather conditions, emergencies, or work stoppages prevent actual meter readings.

        b.    When a customer fails to provide safe and reasonable access to the customer's premises for the purpose of reading the meter.

        c.    As provided for by the ordinance establishing the service.

        d.    Should the meter be damaged or tampered with in any manner which may render its readings inaccurate.

    (2)    Under no circumstances will the city render a bill based on an estimate as a customer's initial, or final bill of service.

    (3)    When issuing an estimated bill, the city shall:

        a.    Maintain accurate records of the reasons therefor and efforts made to secure an actual reading.

        b.    Clearly and conspicuously note on the bill that it is based on estimated usage.

        c.    Should the city underestimate a customer's actual usage, the customer will be given the opportunity, if requested, to make payment in installments.

    (e) All service bills shall be due and payable in full twenty (20) days from the date the bill was mailed, after which they shall be considered delinquent. If the last day for remittance falls upon a weekend or holiday, or any other day when the offices of the department, regularly used for the payment of customer bills, are not open to the general public, the final payment date shall be extended through to the close of the next business day. The date of payment for remittance through the mail shall be the date on which the department receives the remittance.

    (f) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the city shall assess late charges against all delinquent accounts.  If a customer’s bill is not paid in full by the date payment is due, the bill for the next billing period shall include a late charge equal to 1½% of the amount remaining unpaid on the due date of the preceding billing period.  Late charges shall not be assessed against the balance due on a delinquent account if the customer is current on the payments required by a settlement agreement for the account.

     (g) Every bill for utility service shall clearly state:

    (1)    Present and previous meter readings for water and electric service as well as "service date to" and "service date from" and number of service days.

    (2)    Fuel adjustment factor.

    (3)    Consumption of water and electric services during billing period.

    (4)    Billing date.

    (5)    Water and electric meter numbers.

    (6)    Any previous balance.

    (7)    Amount of gross receipts and sales tax.

    (8)    Date when bill will be considered delinquent.

    (9)    Amount due for utility charges.

    (10)    Current amount due and total bill.

    (11)    Tax and rate codes.

    (12)    The address and/or phone numbers where information may be obtained on utility bills.

    (h) The department may include charges for special services together with utility charges on the same bill if the charges for special services are designated clearly and separately from utility charges.

    (i) If partial payment is made, the department shall first credit all payments to the balance outstanding for utility service.

    (j) Whenever a customer shall order his services terminated or otherwise cease to be a customer, all amounts owed by the customer to the city shall immediately become due.

    (k) Bills for accounts to which services have been terminated or discontinued for a period of thirty (30) days shall be considered delinquent thirty (30) days after the final billing date.

Should the account remain outstanding for a period of sixty (60) days, the account will be submitted to a collection agency for collection. All such collection costs, as well as any costs pertaining to adjudication, will be borne by the debtor.

    (l)    If, through no fault of the residential customer, the city fails to initiate billing in a timely manner or under-bills the residential customer, the residential customer shall not be billed an additional amount for any utility services received more than six (6) months before the current billing cycle.

    (m)    Customers paying by credit card shall be assessed a service fee to be determined by the finance director.

(Code 1964, § 15.830; Ord. No. 16851, § 1, 4-2-01; Ord. No. 19550, § 2, 6-4-07)