Prior to the adoption of Ord. 18513 on 05/16/2005, Section 27-20 read as follows.


    (a) Each new customer shall be required to make a security deposit as a condition of service.

    (1)    Customers requesting services to a one-family dwelling or one-family unit of a larger residential building shall deposit the following amounts for receiving utility services:

         a.    Electrical service    $ 40.00   65.00

        b.    Water service         15.00   25.00

        c.    Sewer service         10.00   20.00

        d.    Refuse service         10.00   20.00

At the discretion of the finance director, the security deposit may be waived upon the customer establishing one (1) year (twelve consecutive months) good credit or furnishing a letter of good credit from the customer’s previous utility provider.  The finance director will maintain a written policy that defines good credit.

    (2)    When more than one of the above services is requested, the amount of the deposit shall be the total amount of the fees shown for the services requested. The finance director may also increase security deposits for residential accounts to minimize the city's risks where appropriate.

(b)    A residential landlord requesting services for a rental unit shall make a security deposit based on the number of rental units for which the landlord has utility security deposits with the city:

    First 25 units . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$10.00 per unit

    Units in excess of 25 . . . . . . . . . . $5.00 per unit

The maximum amount of security deposits a residential landlord shall be required to make, regardless of the number of rental units, is one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). At the discretion of the finance director, landlord security deposits may be waived upon the landlord having established a minimum of three (3) years continuous timely payments the customer may request the deposit be waived upon the customer establishing one (1) year (twelve consecutive months) good credit with the City of Columbia.  The finance director will maintain a written policy that defines good credit .

    (c) In order for customers to obtain service to a commercial establishment or for any use other than single-family residential use, they shall be required to meet one of the following provisions:

    (1)    Make a deposit based on twice the estimated amount of thirty (30) days' bill for those services requested for new accounts, and be adjusted to twice the actual average as necessary. The finance director may also increase security deposits for commercial accounts to minimize the city's risks where appropriate.

    (2)    Furnish equivalent bond or letter of credit.

At the discretion of the finance director, commercial security deposits may be waived upon the commercial customer having established a minimum of three (3) years' continuous timely payments.

    (d) Service deposits may be transferred or applied to a new residence or business location if a customer moves. Adjustment shall be made if the amount of deposit is inadequate or excessive.

    (e)     The department may require an additional security deposit as a condition of continued service if, in an unauthorized manner, the customer interferes with or diverts the service of the utility situated on or about or delivered to the customer's premises.  The department may require a signed application for service and additional security deposit from any customer giving false information to access City of Columbia utility services.

    (f) No additional security deposit shall be required by the department on the basis of the customer's age, sex, race, creed, national origin, marital status, number of dependents, source of income, or geographical area of residence.

    (g) Upon termination of service, the deposit shall be credited to the final bill and the balance, if any, shall be returned to the customer.

    (h)      Customer security deposits may be refunded upon the customer having established a minimum of three (3) years of continuous timely payments on his current account, or a prior or transferred account. At the discretion of the finance director, the security deposit may be waived upon the customer establishing one (1) year (twelve consecutive months) good credit or furnishing a letter of good credit from the customer’s previous utility provider.  The finance director will maintain a written policy that defines good credit. Should the deposit be credited to a customer's account and the customer's services discontinued subsequently due to nonpayment, the customer will be required to make the proper security deposits in addition to other charges and fees as a requisite for resumption of services.

    (i) The department shall maintain a record of all deposits received from customers, showing the name of each customer, the location of the premises occupied by the customer at the time the deposit was required and each successive location while the deposit is retained, and the date and amount of deposit.

     (j) Each customer posting a security deposit shall receive in writing at the time of tender of deposit receipts as evidence thereof, which, where applicable, contains the following minimum information:

    (1)    Name of customer.

    (2)    Place of payment.

    (3)    Date of payment.

    (4)    Amount of payment for fees and deposits.

In addition, each customer shall sign a service agreement which states the terms and conditions governing the retention, payment and return of deposits.

    (k) The department shall apply deposit standards uniformly as a condition of utility service to all customers.

(Code 1964, § 15.840; Ord. No. 9786, § 1, 4-18-83; Ord. No. 10010, § 1, 12-5-83; Ord. No. 13243, § 1, 2-3-92; Ord. No. 16851, § 1, 4-2-01)