Section 27-21 Discontinuance of service.
Prior to the adoption of Ord. 16851 on 04/02/2001, Section 27-21 read as follows.
(a) No person, except authorized employees of the city, shall
disconnect any meter, connect to
any meter, or disturb the service lines of any utility without written authorized permission. In the
event the city shall discover evidence of tampering with any electric meter, lead in wire from the
meter, any water meter, or lines used for water or sewage distribution, or other such line of the
utility having the probable effect of rendering actual meter readings inaccurate, or to receive the
service of the utility without proper payments, the city shall have the right to discontinue utility
service to the customer and remove its property from the customer's premises. In addition, the
water and light director may cause service to be discontinued due to:
(1) Violation of electric codes (per
recommendation of public works, inspection division);
(2) Violation of health ordinance
(per recommendation of health department);
(3) Request of fire department due
to fires or fire danger;
(4) Request from public works because
of unsafe condition of structure or dwelling;
provided, however, that the city may determine to continue service or to reconnect
compliance with city codes and/or payment by the customer whose demand, use or bill was
affected by such tampering, of the following, or any combination thereof, fees or charges at the
city's election as determined by the city:
(1) The amount of any city revenue
loss attributable to such tampering, with such amount
loss determined by an estimate made by the water and light director or his/her designee;
(2) Cash deposit as determined by
the director of finance or his/her designee; provided,
however, that requests for such deposits shall be made only in the event that the customer does
not currently have on file with the city a cash deposit in an appropriate amount; and
(3) The actual expenses incurred by
the city in replacing and/or repairing the meter, service
lines or wires, the making of any connection, and any bookkeeping and clerical expenses
incurred in the preparation of the required billing.
Prior to any service disconnection for nonpayment, the city
shall give five (5) working days'
written notice of such intent by mail to the customer at his billing address. Such notice shall give
a telephone number and address at which such discontinuance may be contested. The finance
director is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to establish an administrative
procedure to handle such contests.
(b) The city may discontinue service to customer for any,
but not limited to, of the following:
(1) Nonpayment of a delinquent account.
(2) Failure to post required security
(3) Failure to comply with the terms
and conditions of a settlement agreement relating to a
current or prior utility account.
(4) Refusal to grant access at reasonable
times to equipment installed upon the premises of
the customer for the purpose of inspection, meter reading, maintenance or replacement:
a. If access
is not provided within fifteen (15) days of initial notice, a second notice will
be delivered at the customer's address, of intent to discontinue service unless reasonable access is
provided within three (3) business days from the date of the second notice.
the expiration of three (3) business days, the account shall be discontinued
and legal proceedings undertaken to recover the city's equipment.
(c) If a customer fails to inform the department of his intent
to terminate utility services, or
fails to respond to a delinquent notice, services may be discontinued and that customer's service
deposits utilized as payment of any delinquent accounts. The finance director shall establish a
standard procedure for distribution of deposits to delinquent accounts, which procedure shall be
approved by the city manager. Any portion of the service deposits remaining after all amounts
owed for any service have been deducted shall be transferred to the water and light fund. Any
person claiming such money, after transfer, may make proof of claim to the council and the
transferred amount shall be paid him, without interest, provided such claim has not been barred
by limitation under the laws.
(d) The city may discontinue service between the hours of
8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on the date
specified on the discontinuance notice, or within a reasonable time thereafter. Service shall not
be discontinued on a day when the offices of the department are not available to the public for
the purpose of reconnecting discontinued service. Service shall not be discontinued pursuant to
nonpayment of a delinquent account within five (5) working days after an account becomes
delinquent. Notice of discontinuance must be served five (5) working days prior to
discontinuance. Service of notice is complete upon mailing. The department shall maintain an
accurate record of the date of mailing.
(e) A notice of discontinuance shall contain the following:
(1) Name and address of the customer.
(2) Clear and concise statement of
the reason for the proposed discontinuance, and cost of
(3) Date on, or after which service
shall be discontinued unless action is taken by the
(4) Terms under which discontinuance
may be avoided by the customer.
(5) The telephone number, during working
hours and after hours, where inquiry/complaint
may be made.
(f) Immediately preceding the discontinuance of service,
the employee of the city designated to
perform such function shall make a reasonable effort to contact and identify himself to the
customer or responsible person then upon the premises stating action taken, reason for action,
and phone numbers where inquiries may be made.
(g) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section,
the city shall postpone the
discontinuance of utility service to a residential customer for a time not in excess of twenty-one
(21) days if the discontinuance will aggravate an existent medical emergency of the customer, a
member of his/her family or other permanent resident of the premises where service is rendered.
(h) Services to residences will not be disconnected when
the temperature is thirty-two (32)
degrees Fahrenheit or less or when the temperature exceeds ninety (90) degrees Fahrenheit;
effort will be made to determine the health status of the person(s) residing on the premises before
proceeding with disconnection.
(i) If the department is advised, prior to the date of discontinuance
that any portion of bill is in
dispute, the department shall record the date, place and time the complaint was made, and enter
into the resolution process with the customer.
(1) The complaint may be initiated
in person, by phone, or in writing.
(2) The department, in attempting
to resolve the dispute in a mutually satisfactory manner,
may employ those methods set forth by the finance director in the customer complaints process.
(j) Failure of the customer to enter into negotiation with
the department to resolve a dispute or
enter into a settlement agreement shall constitute a waiver of the customer's right to continuance
of service and the city may then proceed to discontinue service as provided.
(k) When a complaint is made, the customer shall make payment
of the nondisputed amount; if
customer fails to make payment of the nondisputed amount within three (3) working days from
the date of registering the complaint, the customer shall waive his right to continuance of service
and discontinuance of service may proceed.
(l) Upon the customer's request, the city shall restore service
promptly if the cause for
discontinuance of service has been eliminated, applicable restoration charges paid and, if
required, satisfactory credit arrangements have been made. At all times every effort shall be
made to restore services upon the day restoration is requested, and in any event restoration shall
be made no later than the day following the request.
(Code 1964, § 15.860, Ord. No. 13243, § 1, 2-3-92)