Allegany County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted and amended as indicated in text (Ch. 56 of the 1984 Code).]
GENERAL REFERENCES
LaVale Zoning District — See Ch. 131.
Special taxing areas — See Ch. 166.
Water Commission — See Ch. 178.

§ 127-1 Creation of Commission; membership; terms; officers and other personnel; compensation.

§ 127-2 Secretary-Treasurer.

§ 127-3 Payment of premiums; annual audit; public disclosure of finances.

§ 127-4 Commission to be body corporate.

§ 127-5 Acquisition of property.

§ 127-6 Sanitary district boundaries established.

§ 127-7 Issuance of bonds.

§ 127-8 Annual tax levy.

§ 127-9 Prompt compliance with tax levying and collection procedures required.

§ 127-10 Bids and contracts.

§ 127-11 Benefit assessments.

§ 127-12 Uniformity of front-foot assessments; exception; reduction.

§ 127-13 Connection of nonabutting properties to water or sewer system.

§ 127-14 Time limit for payment of benefit charge; default.

§ 127-15 Benefit assessments to act as lien; maintenance of records; collection of unpaid charges.

§ 127-16 Water service pipe or sewer connection provided to abutting properties; payment of connection charge required prior to connection.

§ 127-17 Connection to water and/or sewer system.

§ 127-18 Permit required for plumbing work.

§ 127-19 Right of entry.

§ 127-20 Compliance required with conservation of water orders; violation.

§ 127-21 Permit required for private or semipublic water supply or sewerage systems.

§ 127-22 Fire hydrants.

§ 127-23 Connection charges; disposition.

§ 127-24 LaVale Sanitary District Account; basis for determination of amount necessary to be raised by tax levy.

§ 127-25 Determination of water rates.

§ 127-26 Water bills; nonpayment.

§ 127-27 Sewer rates.

§ 127-28 Contracts with other municipalities or counties.

§ 127-29 Acquisition of other water, sewerage or drainage systems.

§ 127-30 Construction and operation of systems by persons other than Commission.

§ 127-31 Extension of systems; excavations.

§ 127-32 Right of entry upon private premises.

§ 127-33 Obstructions to systems.

§ 127-34 Construction or excavation by public service companies.

§ 127-35 Violations and penalties.

§ 127-36 Exemptions from benefit assessment.

§ 127-37 Promulgation of rules and regulations.

§ 127-38 Borrowing power; repayment.

§ 127-39 Open space programs.

§ 127-40 Expenditure of funds for streetlighting.

§ 127-1 Creation of Commission; membership; terms; officers and other personnel; compensation.

[1955 Code, sec. 298; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13,[1] sec. 380A; 1972, ch. 36; amended 7-14-2011 by Bill No. 3-11, effective 9-1-2011; 9-15-2011 by Bill No. 4-11, effective 10-30-2011]
For the purposes of carrying out the provisions of this chapter, the Sanitary District created hereafter shall be under the jurisdiction of a Commission of five persons.
A. 
Four persons shall be appointed by the Board of Commissioners of Allegany County, Maryland and shall reside in Allegany County within the limits of Election District 29, be resident taxpayers of said County, and qualified voters thereof.
B. 
One Commissioner shall be an engineer in the employ of the Allegany County Department of Public Works, knowledgeable in the field of public water and sewer and designated by the Board of County Commissioners to serve at its pleasure. Said Commissioner shall be a full voting member of the Commission; however, said Commissioner shall serve without any additional compensation other than reimbursement for expenses incurred while serving on behalf of the Sanitary Commission.
C. 
Term of office. The Commissioners appointed to serve in accordance with Subsection A shall serve for terms of six years. Those Commissioners serving as of October 1, 2011, shall serve until the end of the terms for which they were appointed, and any person appointed to fill their position shall serve for a period of six years from that date. The additional Commissioner shall serve for a period of six years counting from October 1, 2011. All Commissioners shall serve until his or her successor is appointed.
D. 
Officers. The Commission shall elect one of its members as Chairman and one of its members as Secretary-Treasurer.
E. 
Additional officers and personnel. The Commission shall appoint, discharge at pleasure and shall fix the compensation of its Director, Chief Engineer, and such engineering, legal, clerical and other personnel as from time to time the Commission may deem necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
F. 
Salary of Commissioners. The four appointed Commissioners shall receive an annual salary as set by the Sanitary Commission which shall not exceed $3,000 per annum. Commissioners may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses which they may incur as a result of serving as a Commissioner.
[1]
Editor's Note: Chapter 13 of 1947, Sp. Sess., was approved by the voters at a referendum on January 28, 1948.

§ 127-2 Secretary-Treasurer.

[1955 Code, sec. 299; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380B; amended 9-15-2011 by Bill No. 4-11, effective 10-30-2011]
The Secretary-Treasurer elected by the Commission shall be the overseer of the collection of all charges and assessments made by the Commission and shall see to the receipt and account of all monies which shall be due and payable to said Commission from any source whatsoever. All monies deposited shall be protected by a depository bond or by such other securities as may be approved by said Commission. The Secretary-Treasurer shall give bond to the State of Maryland to the amount of $10,000 worth of good and sufficient surety to be approved by said Commissioners with the condition "that if the above bounden, ______________________, shall well and faithfully execute his office, shall account to said Commission for all monies which may be received for account of the Commission, or be answerable for by law, then said obligation shall be void; otherwise to remain in full force and effect." The bond, when approved, shall be recorded in the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Allegany County.

§ 127-3 Payment of premiums; annual audit; public disclosure of finances.

[1955 Code, sec. 300; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380C]
The Commission is hereby empowered to pay the premiums on all bonds. All checks issued by said Commission shall be countersigned by the Chairman. The Commission shall annually have its accounts audited by a certified public accountant, to be selected by said County Commissioners of Allegany County and paid by said Sanitary Commission, and shall publish a full, true and itemized account, under oath, of its receipts and disbursements in a newspaper published in said County.

§ 127-4 Commission to be body corporate.

[1955 Code, sec. 301; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380D]
The members of said Commission shall be a body corporate by the name of the LaVale Sanitary Commission, referred to elsewhere in this chapter as the "Commission," with the right to use a common seal, to sue and be sued and to do any and all other corporate acts for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter.

§ 127-5 Acquisition of property.

[1955 Code, sec. 302; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380E]
Whenever it shall be deemed necessary by said Commission to take or acquire any land, structure or buildings or any streambed, waterway, water rights or watershed, either in fee or as an easement, within Allegany County, except property belonging to the State of Maryland or any political subdivision thereof and those properties of existing regularly incorporated municipalities, for the construction, extension or maintenance of any water main, sewer or appurtenance thereof or any sewage treatment plant, reservoir, water treatment plant, storage tank or pumping station or for the execution by the Commission of any other power or function vested in it by this chapter, said Commission may purchase the same from the owners or, failing to agree with the owner or owners thereof, may condemn the same by proceedings in the Circuit Court for the County in which said land, structure or buildings, streambed, waterway, water rights or watershed is located as are provided for condemnation of land by public service corporations in the Public General Laws of Maryland now or hereafter in effect, and said Commission may likewise condemn the interest of any tenant, lessee or other person having any right or interest in said land, structures or buildings, streambed, waterway, water rights or watershed.

§ 127-6 Sanitary district boundaries established.

[1955 Code, sec. 303; 1947, Sp. Sess, ch. 13, sec. 380F; 1961, ch. 801, sec. 303]
The sanitary district shall consist of all the following part of Allegany County, Maryland, known as "LaVale," and more particularly described as follows (it being furthermore the intent of this chapter to create as a sanitary district a part of the present physical boundaries of Election District No. 29 of Allegany County, Maryland): Beginning on the top of Wills Mountain 9/10 mile northeast of the two-mile post of the National Road on the fourth line of District No. 5 and at the end of the first line of District No. 20 and running thence with the lines of District No. 20 due west one mile crossing the Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge over Wills Creek above the paper mill to the Western Maryland Railroad; then up said Western Maryland Railroad about five miles to line of the crest of Piney Mountain due south of Barrellville, it being the easterly line of Mount Savage, District No. 13; then southerly four miles following the crest of said mountain and with District Nos. 13 and 24 to the National Road at the junction of the road leading to the tunnel in the Eckhart Branch of the Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad about 3/4 mile west of the six-mile post; then with said road to the tunnel southwesterly 1 1/3 miles to the top of Dan's Mountain, marked 2,621 on the topographical map of the Maryland Geological Survey, and running thence along the top of said Dan's Mountain southwesterly 1 1/10 miles to the head of Warrior's Run and to the northwest comer of District No. 7, Rawlings; then down said Run with part of the northerly line of said last-mentioned district southeasterly about three miles to a point in line with the crest of Wills Mountain; then with the crest of Wills Mountain northeasterly 63/4 miles to the place of beginning, excepting, however, from the above-described property all that portion of same which was included in the physical boundaries of the Cresaptown Special Taxing Area or District by the provisions of Chapter 169 of the Acts of 1949.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 166, Art. IX, Cresaptown Special Taxing District.

§ 127-7 Issuance of bonds.

[1955 Code, sec. 304; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380G; 1961, ch. 801, sec. 304; 1972, ch. 37; 2003, ch. 247]
For the purpose of providing funds for the design, construction, establishment, purchase or condemnation of water supply, sewerage and drainage systems in the sanitary district, the Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County is authorized and empowered to issue bonds from time to time upon the full faith and credit of Allegany County in such amounts as it may deem to be necessary for the Commission to carry on its work, but at no time shall the total issue of bonds for all purposes under this chapter exceed the sum of 8% of the total value of real property other than operating real property of a public utility and 20% of the total value of personal property and operating real property of a public utility assessed for County taxation purposes within said sanitary district. Said bonds shall be serial bonds issued upon the serial maturing plan and in such denominations as shall be determined by said County Commissioners. The bonds may be redeemable before maturity at the option of said County Commissioners at such price and under such terms and conditions as may be fixed by said County Commissioners prior to the issuance of said bonds and shall mature in not more than 30 years after date of issue and shall be forever exempt from state, city and County taxation. They shall be issued under the signature and Seal of said County Commissioners. At any time prior to the issuance of any such bonds, the County Commissioners are hereby authorized to furnish to the Commission a sum not exceeding $5,000, which shall be repaid out of the first available moneys derived from the sale of the first bonds issued. If in any year the proceeds of the district taxes and assessments authorized by this chapter for the payment of debt service on the bonds herein authorized are insufficient for such purpose, then the County Commissioners of Allegany County shall make up the deficiency by the levying on all property in the County subject to unlimited County taxation of ad valorem taxes in rate and amount sufficient for this purpose.

§ 127-8 Annual tax levy.

[1955 Code, sec. 305; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380H]
A. 
For the purpose of retiring the bonds authorized to be issued by this chapter and of paying the interest thereon, the Commission shall cause to be levied against all assessable property within said sanitary district for which said bonds have been issued by the County Commissioners of Allegany County annually so long as any of said bonds are outstanding and not paid a tax sufficient to provide such sum as the Commission may deem sufficient and necessary, but not exceeding the sum of $0.40 on every $100 of assessable real property other than operating real property of a public utility and not exceeding $1 on every $100 of assessable personal property and operating real property of a public utility within said district, in conjunction with any amounts as the Commission may estimate that it will be able to collect out of the benefit assessments therefor levied by it but not yet paid and any further funds then available for the purpose to meet the interest on said bonds as it becomes due and to pay the principal thereof as the bonds mature.
[2003, ch. 247]
B. 
The tax shall be determined, levied, collected and paid over in the following manner:
(1) 
At least 60 days before the tax levying period of each year, the County Commissioners shall certify to the LaVale Sanitary Commission the whole valuation of the assessable property within the sanitary district.
(2) 
The Commission shall then determine in the manner above prescribed the amount which it deems necessary to be raised during the ensuing year for the payment of interest and principal of all serial bonds maturing in said year.
(3) 
After deducting all amounts in hand or in contemplation applicable to payments of interest and principal on said bonds as hereinbefore and hereinafter in the chapter provided, it shall determine the number of cents per $100 within the aforesaid limitation necessary to raise said amount for such sanitary district and shall certify the same to the Board of County Commissioners.
(4) 
The County Commissioners, in their next annual levy, shall levy said tax on all real property and all other property assessed for County tax purposes within the sanitary district, which tax shall be levied and collected and have the same priority rights, bear the same interest and penalties and in every respect be treated the same as County taxes.
(5) 
The tax so levied for the ensuing year shall be collected by the tax collecting authorities, and every 60 days they shall remit the whole amount of the tax so collected to the Commission.
(6) 
From the money so received, together with the amount in hand to the credit of said bond fund, the Commission shall first pay all interest and principal in said bonds as it becomes due and shall then deposit the residue of said moneys in some bank or banks in said County to the joint credit of the County Commissioners and the Commission.
(7) 
The Commission is authorized to pay the interest on any bonds it may issue out of the proceeds of the sale of said bonds, but not more than one year's interest may be so paid.

§ 127-9 Prompt compliance with tax levying and collection procedures required.

[1955 Code, sec. 306; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380-1]
In order that the prompt payment of interest and the proper provision for the payment of the principal of said bonds shall be assured, the prompt and proper performance of the respective acts and duties heretofore defined is specifically enjoined, and any failure upon the part of any person, persons, body corporate or agent to perform the necessary acts and duties hereafter set forth, to pay over said funds as required or to use said funds or any part thereof for any other purpose than for the payment of the principal and interest on said bonds is hereby declared a misdemeanor and punishable as other misdemeanors are punishable by § 127-35 of this chapter.

§ 127-10 Bids and contracts.

[1955 Code, sec. 307; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380J]
Whenever the plans and specifications for water supply, sewerage or drainage systems for the sanitary district shall have been completed and the Commission shall have decided, after opportunity for a hearing has been given, to proceed with the construction thereof, it shall advertise, by notice in one newspaper published in Allegany County and such newspapers and technical press as it may deem proper, for bids for the construction of said system or systems, in part or as a whole, as, in its judgment, may appear advisable. The contract shall be let to the lowest responsible bidder, or the Commission may reject any and all bids, and if, in its discretion, the prices quoted are unreasonable or unbalanced, it may readvertise the work or any part of it or may do any part or all of the work by day labor, provided that at any time the Commission may, in its discretion, expend by day labor for construction work an amount not exceeding $1,000 without advertising or receiving bids. All such contracts shall be protected by such bonds, penalties and conditions as the Commission may require, all of which shall be enforced in any court having jurisdiction.

§ 127-11 Benefit assessments.

[1955 Code, sec. 308; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380K; 1963, ch. 825, sec. 4]
A. 
Connection charge; annual assessment. For the purpose of paying the interest and principal of the bonds issued as in this chapter provided for the water supply, sewerage or drainage systems to be constructed, purchased or established under this chapter, the Commission is hereby empowered to establish a proper and reasonable charge for connection with said water supply, sewerage and drainage system so to be constructed, purchased or established as aforesaid and to fix an annual assessment on all properties, improved or unimproved, bounding upon a street, road, lane, alley or right-of-way in which a water main, sewer or drain has been built.
B. 
Determination of annual assessment; classification of properties. The annual assessment shall be made upon the front-foot basis, and the first payment shall be collected during the year in which the construction is completed on the water supply, sewerage or drainage systems or in which the systems are purchased or acquired. The Commission, for the purpose of assessing benefits, shall divide all properties bounding upon a street, road, lane, alley or right-of-way in which a water pipe or sanitary sewer is to be laid into four classes as follows: agricultural, small acreage, industrial or business, and subdivision property. The Commission may subdivide each of said classes in such manner as it may deem to be in the public interest.
C. 
Levy of charges. Whenever any water supply or sewerage project in said sanitary district shall have been completed by June 30 in any one year, regardless of when said construction was commenced, then said Commission shall fix and levy a benefit charge as of the first day of July in which the project was completed upon all property in said sanitary district abutting upon said water main or sewer in accordance with the classification or subdivision thereof and shall, in writing, notify all owners of said properties into which class and subdivision their respective properties fall and the charge determined upon, naming also in said notice a time and place when and at which time said owner will be heard. Such notice may be mailed to the last known address of the owner or served in person upon any adult occupying the premises or, in case of a vacant or unimproved property, posted upon the premises.
D. 
Change in classification; assessment restrictions. The classification of and the benefit assessed against any property as made by the Commission shall be final, subject only to revision at said hearing. The Commission may change the classification of property from time to time as said properties change in the uses to which they are put. Said benefits shall be levied for both water supply and sewerage construction and shall be based for each class of property upon the number of front feet abutting upon the street, lane, road, alley or right-of-way in which the water pipe or sewer is placed; provided, however, that in the case of any irregularly shaped lot abutting upon a road, street, lane, alley or right-of-way in which there is or is being constructed a water main or sewer at any point, said lot shall be assessed for such frontage as the Commission may determine to be reasonable and fair, and provided, further, that no lot in a subdivision property shall be assessed on more than one side, unless said lot abuts upon two parallel streets; that corner lots may be averaged and assessed upon such frontage as the Commission may deem reasonable and fair; and that all lots in this class shall be assessed even though a water main or sewer may not extend along the full length of any boundary, and provided, further, that no land so classified as agricultural by this Commission shall be assessed a front-foot benefit when said agricultural land has constructed through it or in front of it a sewer or water main until such time as the water or sewer connection is made, and when so made and for every connection, such land shall become liable to a front-foot assessment for such reasonable frontage not exceeding 300 feet as may be determined by said Commission and shall be immediately assessed at the rate of assessment determined by said Commission for agricultural land.

§ 127-12 Uniformity of front-foot assessments; exception; reduction.

[1955 Code, sec. 309; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380L]
Front-foot benefit charges for water supply and sewerage construction shall be as nearly uniform as is reasonably practical for each class or subclass of property throughout the district for any one year, and no benefit charge, once levied, shall be increased; provided, however, that whenever the Commission acquires an existing system other than a municipal system, the construction of which has been added, in whole or in part, to the purchase price of land or lots abutting upon said system and which contribution the Commission has determined to be a factor in the cost to the Commission of such system, the Commission may, in its discretion, levy a front-foot assessment less than the uniform front-foot assessment levied in the remainder of the sanitary district in which said system is located. The amount of the charge per front foot for each class of property for both water mains and sewers may be reduced from time to time by the Commission in its discretion if costs and conditions are deemed by it to justify such reduction. Said benefit charge shall be paid annually by all properties located as above specified for a period of years coextensive with the period of maturity of the bonds out of the proceeds of which such construction was done.

§ 127-13 Connection of nonabutting properties to water or sewer system.

[1955 Code, sec. 310; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380M]
The Commission shall at any time permit a connection with a water main or sewer by the property owner whose property does not abut on said water main or sewer and who has not previously thereto paid a benefit charge for the construction of said water main or sewer, provided that said Commission shall classify said property and determine a front-foot charge to be paid by said property owner as though his or her property abutted upon said water main or sewer, and in the event of such connection being made, said property owner and said property as to all charges, rates and benefits shall stand in every respect in the same position as if said property abutted upon a water main or sewer.

§ 127-14 Time limit for payment of benefit charge; default.

[1955 Code, sec. 311; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380N]
Said benefit charge shall be payable at the office of the Commission immediately upon being levied and shall be overdue and in default after 60 days from that day, at which time the Commission may proceed to enforce payment thereof, and said benefit charge and any judgment or decree obtained as a result of default in payment thereof shall bear interest at the rate of 1/2 of 1% per month from and after the time said benefit assessment or other charges are in default.

§ 127-15 Benefit assessments to act as lien; maintenance of records; collection of unpaid charges.

[1955 Code, sec. 312; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380-O; amended 1-15-1982 by Bill No. 14-81[1]]
The annual benefit assessments or other charges as above specified shall be a first lien upon the property against which they are assessed until paid, subject only to prior state and County taxes, and if any property shall be sold for state and/or County taxes, or both, by the Director of Finance of said County and if after sale there shall be a surplus after all costs and expenses incident to such sale shall have been paid, then said Commission, upon proper petition to the Circuit Court for said County, shall be allowed any balance from said surplus and shall be a preferred lienor to the extent of its lien. For the purpose of giving notice to the general public as to existing liens and charges against any property within the sanitary district abutting upon any water or sewer main, said Commission shall keep a public record of all names of owners of property, locations of said property, lot numbers when of record and the amount of such benefit charges, water service charges or such other charges that may become liens from time to time. Said records shall be kept in the County seat of government and among the mechanic lien records of Allegany County, and the Clerk of the Circuit Court for said County shall furnish such space as may be necessary to keep and preserve such records, which, when published in said public records, shall be legal notice of all existing liens within such sanitary district. If any liens, benefit assessments or other charges remain unpaid for 60 days after becoming due, they may be collected by an action of assumpsit or by a bill in equity to enforce such liens, and any judgment or decree obtained, where the defendants have been served by someone or subpoena or in any other manner provided by law, shall have the force and effect of a judgment in personam, and the Commission may sue or file a bill in equity to enforce said liens against the owner of record at the time said levy was made or the owner of record at the time said suit is filed or any owner of record between said dates, and publication thereon shall be notice to all persons having any interest in said property.
[1]
Editor's Note: This bill further provided that it may take effect 3-31-1983, but was subsequently amended 9-17-1982 by Bill No. 7-82 to take effect 9-30-1982.

§ 127-16 Water service pipe or sewer connection provided to abutting properties; payment of connection charge required prior to connection.

[1955 Code, sec. 313; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380P]
The Commission shall provide for each and every property abutting upon a street or right-of-way in which under this chapter a water main or sewer is laid a water service pipe or sewer connection, which shall be extended as required from the water main or sewer to the property line of the abutting lot, said service pipe or connection with sewer shall be constructed by and at the sole expense of the Commission, but subject to a reasonable charge for said connection as provided in § 127-12 of this chapter, which charge shall be paid by all property owners at the office of the Commission before the actual connection with any pipe or private property is made.

§ 127-17 Connection to water and/or sewer system.

[1955 Code, sec. 314; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380Q]
When any water main or sewer is declared by said Commission complete and ready for the delivery of water or the reception of sewerage, every abutting property owner, after due notice, shall make a connection of all spigots or hydrants, toilets and waste drains with said water main or sewer within the time prescribed by the Commission. Where the aforesaid fixtures do not exist or are of a nature which, in the judgment of the Commission, is improper or inadequate, satisfactory equipment shall be installed by the owner on the premises consisting of at least one water closet and one sink or washbasin, both of which shall be properly connected with the sewer of said LaVale Sanitary Commission. All cesspools, sink drains and privies located on properties connected to sewers provided by the Commission shall be abandoned, closed and left in a sanitary condition so that no odor or nuisance shall arise therefrom. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall be a misdemeanor punishable under § 127-35 of this chapter.

§ 127-18 Permit required for plumbing work.

[1955 Code, sec. 315; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380R]
Before any plumbing, waterworks or sewer construction is done in any building or upon any private property within said sanitary district, the person, firm or corporation doing the same shall first obtain a permit from the Commission and pay therefor such reasonable sum as the Commission may prescribe. Such work shall be done under and pursuant to such rules, regulations and requirements as the Commission may, from time to time, formulate and subject to such inspection as it may deem necessary. No connection of any kind shall be made with any water main or sewer constructed or maintained by the Commission without a permit and under such conditions as the Commission may authorize.

§ 127-19 Right of entry.

[1955 Code, sec. 316; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380S]
In order to prevent waste of water, the Commission or its agents or employees shall have the right of entry at reasonable hours to all buildings or premises connected with the water supply or sewerage systems under its jurisdiction and may, upon presenting proper credentials from the Commission, order and require such changes in all plumbing, waterworks or water or sewer connection as it may deem necessary to eliminate leakage, loss of water or unnecessary or improper use of sewers.

§ 127-20 Compliance required with conservation of water orders; violation.

[1955 Code, sec. 317; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380T]
The Commission shall exercise control of the water supply at all times, and in case of a shortage of water or if for any other reason the Commission, in the exercise of its discretion, should determine that the water supply should be conserved, the consumers, upon notice from said Commission, it agents or employees or upon notice published in one newspaper published in said County for one insertion, shall comply with any order passed by said Commission to conserve the water supply. Any violation of said order shall be a misdemeanor punishable under § 127-35 of this chapter, and in addition to the penalty prescribed, the Commission may turn off said water supply of any person violating said order at any time without further notice.

§ 127-21 Permit required for private or semipublic water supply or sewerage systems.

[1955 Code, sec. 318; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380U]
No private or semipublic water supply or sewerage installation intended for the use of two or more buildings or premises shall be constructed in said sanitary district without the person, firm or corporation doing the work having first obtained a permit from the Commission and paid a reasonable charge therefor, and such plant shall then be installed, maintained and operated under such rules and regulations as the Commission may require or devise.

§ 127-22 Fire hydrants.

[1955 Code, sec. 319; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380V]
The Commission shall have full and complete jurisdiction over all fire hydrants connected with its water system, and no person, firm or corporation shall operate, use or make connection with the same without the written authority of the Commission, except that no restrictions shall apply to any bona fide Fire Department in the discharge of its duties. No person, firm or corporation shall tamper with, deface, damage or obstruct any fire hydrant. Any violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be a misdemeanor punishable under § 127-35 of this chapter.

§ 127-23 Connection charges; disposition.

[1955 Code, sec. 320; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380W]
The Commission shall make such charge as it shall determine to be reasonable for every water and sewer connection as provided in this chapter, based upon the width of the street, road, alley or right-of-way in which the connection is made; provided, however, that the connection charge on either side of the street, road, alley or right-of-way shall be uniform. All of the revenue above actual cost derived from such charges shall be retained by the Commission as a fund for repairs, replacements or any extraordinary expense in the maintenance and operation of the water supply, sewerage or drainage systems under its control.

§ 127-24 LaVale Sanitary District Account; basis for determination of amount necessary to be raised by tax levy.

[1955 Code, sec. 321; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380X]
All sums collected by the Commission for benefits levied against the property for water supply, sewerage or drainage construction shall be set aside as a separate fund, to be known and designated as the "LaVale Sanitary District Account." The Commission, in order to determine the amount which it may deem necessary to be levied under § 127-8, shall deduct such amount as the Commission may estimate that it will be able to collect out of the benefits theretofore levied by it but not yet paid from the whole amount necessary to be raised in any one year for interest and principal and payments on outstanding bonds, and the balance then remaining to be raised shall be the amount to be certified to the County Commissioners of Allegany County for collection by taxation as provided by § 127-8.

§ 127-25 Determination of water rates.

[1955 Code, sec. 322; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380Y]
The rates for water service shall consist of a minimum which shall be based upon the size of the meter on the water connection leading to the property and of a charge for water used, which shall be based upon the amount of water passing through the meter during the period between the last two readings, said meter being required to be placed on each water connection by and at the sole expense of the Commission. If the Commission at any time shall not have meters available to install in all the properties in a given locality that are connected to the system, then a flat rate shall be charged on all properties in which meters have not yet been installed, which rate shall be uniform in said sanitary district and based upon the amount of water used.

§ 127-26 Water bills; nonpayment.

[1955 Code, sec. 323; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 380Z; amended 7-14-2011 by Bill No. 3-11, effective 9-1-2011; 9-15-2011 by Bill No. 4-11, effective 10-30-2011]
Bills for the amount of the charges as above specified shall be sent monthly, quarterly or semiannually as the Commission may determine to each property served and shall be thereupon payable at the office of the Commission; and if any bill remains unpaid after 30 days from the date of sending a penalty equal to 1/2 of 1% per month or for each fraction thereof calculated upon the amount of said bill shall be added thereto. If any bill shall remain unpaid for 60 days after being sent, the Commission shall, after written notice left upon the premises or mailed to the last known address of the owner, turn off the water for the property in question, and the water shall not be turned on again until said bill shall be paid in full, including any penalty assessed. If any bill shall remain unpaid for 60 days after being sent by the Commission, it shall be collectible from the owner of the property served in the same manner as other debts are collectible in the County, and said charges and all penalties shall be a first lien against said property.

§ 127-27 Sewer rates.

[1963, ch. 576; amended 7-14-2011 by Bill No. 3-11, effective 9-1-2011; 9-15-2011 by Bill No. 4-11, effective 10-30-2011]
The rates for sewage service shall consist of a minimum which shall be based upon the size of the water meter serving the property and of an additional charge based upon the amount of water used in excess of the established minimum as shown by the amount of water passing through the water meter during the period between the last two readings. Bills for the amount of the surcharges as above specified shall be sent monthly, quarterly or semiannually, as the Commission may determine, to each property served and shall thereupon be payable at the office of the Commission. If any account shall not be paid within 30 days from the date the bill is mailed out, a penalty equal to 1/2 of 1% per month or for each fraction thereof calculated upon the amount of said bill shall be added thereto. If any bill shall remain unpaid for 60 days after being sent by the Commission, it shall be collectible from the owner of the property served in the same manner as other debts and taxes are collectible in the County, and said charges and all penalties shall be a first lien against said property.

§ 127-28 Contracts with other municipalities or counties.

[1955 Code, sec. 324; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381]
The Commission shall have full power and authority to enter into any contract for the connection of its water supply, sewerage or drainage systems with those of any municipality or adjoining County for the purchase of water and for the disposal of sewerage and other drainage from said sanitary district and to enter into any other agreement concerning any other matter deemed by the Commission to be necessary, advisable or expedient for the proper construction, maintenance and operation of the water supply, sewerage or drainage systems under its control or those under the control of any municipality or County.

§ 127-29 Acquisition of other water, sewerage or drainage systems.

A. 
Acquisition by gift. The Commission is authorized and empowered to purchase or acquire by gift any existing water, sewerage or drainage systems in Allegany County or any other water, sewerage or drainage systems in said County which, in its judgment, are desirable or necessary for the purpose of providing adequate water or sewerage service, or both, for the residents of said district.
[1955 Code, sec. 325; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381A]
B. 
Acquisition by condemnation. In the event of failure to agree to the purchase price or conditions of purchase of said water or sewerage system, the Commission may acquire the same by condemnation in the same manner as it is authorized to acquire land by this chapter, subject to limitations herein stipulated in § 127-5, wherein no powers of condemnation are authorized against the property belonging to the state or any political subdivision thereof.
[1955 Code, sec. 326; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381B]
C. 
Acquisition of privately owned systems. Privately owned systems shall be taken under said condemnation by the Commission free and clear of all debts and liens, but said Commission shall make a party defendant of any person, firm or corporation having any recorded lien or encumbrance against the same, and the Circuit Court is hereby empowered and authorized to determine the respective amounts due the defendants, and from and after payment into court or to the proper parties, the Commission shall be authorized to take possession of, maintain and operate said system as a part of its general system, and from the date of such payment, all properties along the line of any water main or sewer of the system as acquired shall stand in the same relation, bear the same benefit assessment and be subject to the same regulations and penalties as though the system so acquired had been constructed and put into operation by the Commission under the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that no building or premises actually connected in an adequate manner with said acquired system at the time of its purchase shall be required to pay any connection charge.
[1955 Code, sec. 327; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381C]
D. 
Acquisition of municipal systems. Any municipality whose system is acquired by the Commission by purchase is hereby authorized to use the amount paid to it for said system for the purchase or redemption of any bonds or debt which may be outstanding against the same, or the Commission may, as a part of the purchase price of said system, assume the payment of any such outstanding bonds.
[1955 Code, sec. 328; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381D]

§ 127-30 Construction and operation of systems by persons other than Commission.

[1955 Code, sec. 329; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381F]
After January 28, 1948, whenever the property owners or residents of the LaVale Sanitary District shall desire a water supply, sewerage or drainage system or part thereof to be constructed in that locality and the Commission shall decide that it is inexpedient or impracticable at that time, owing to the remoteness from its general system or other causes, to build such system, such municipality or persons may build and operate said system at its own expense, but it shall be constructed under plans and specifications prepared by the Commission and under its supervision, and its maintenance and operation shall be under the general control of the Commission. No such system or part thereof or no water main, sewer, storm drain, water purification or sewage treatment plant or no connection with any of them shall be constructed or installed except as in this section provided, and any violation of this provision shall be a misdemeanor punishable under § 127-35 of this chapter. All construction and operating records, including cost records, shall be filed with the Commission, which shall be empowered at any time to take over said system or part thereof or said water main, sewer, stormwater drain, water or sewage treatment plant or connect on with any of them in the same manner as provided under § 127-29B for systems existing on January 28, 1948.

§ 127-31 Extension of systems; excavations.

[1955 Code, sec. 330; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381F]
A. 
Extensions authorized. The Commission shall be empowered to extend its water supply, sewerage or drainage systems into any area outside of said sanitary district contiguous thereto or in the vicinity thereof when the property owners of said area shall agree to the charges, assessments and conditions that may be imposed by the Commission as hereinbefore outlined.
B. 
Entry and excavation on roads. The Commission may enter upon and excavate any state or County street, road or alley for the purpose of installing, maintaining and operating the water supply, sewerage or drainage systems provided for under this chapter, and it may construct in any such street, road or alley a water main, sewer or drain or any appurtenance thereof on the receipt of a permit from the proper authority, for which no charge shall be made, provided that whenever any state or County highway is to be disturbed, the public authority having control thereof shall be duly notified and a permit obtained therefor, and provided further that said highway shall be repaired and left by the Commission in the same condition as or in a condition not interior to that existing before said highway was torn up and that all costs incident thereto shall be borne by the Commission.

§ 127-32 Right of entry upon private premises.

[1955 Code, sec. 331; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381G]
Any employee or agent of the Commission shall have the right of entry at all reasonable hours upon any private premises and into any building in said sanitary district while in pursuit of his official duties upon first presenting proper credentials from the Commission, and any restraint or hindrance offered to such entry by any owner or tenant or agent of said owner or tenant or any other person shall be a misdemeanor punishable under § 127-35 of this chapter.

§ 127-33 Obstructions to systems.

[1955 Code, sec. 332; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381H]
All individuals, firms and corporations, except municipal corporations, having buildings, conduits, pipes, trucks, poles or other structures or obstructions in, on, over, under or through any public road, street or alley of said sanitary district, which shall block or impede the construction and establishment of the Commission's water supply, sewerage or drainage systems or other works, shall, upon reasonable notice from the Commission, promptly so shift, adjust, accommodate or remove such structures or obstructions as to fully meet the exigencies occasioning such action; provided, however, that the costs of such changes shall be borne and paid for by the Commission.

§ 127-34 Construction or excavation by public service companies.

[1955 Code, sec. 333; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381-I]
Every public service corporation, company or individual, before it or they shall begin any excavation or construction in any street, road, alley or public highway within said sanitary district, shall file with the Commission plans of such work and construction showing the location and depth in such street, road, alley or public highway of the proposed main, conduit, pole, pipe or other structure, and such construction or work shall not be begun until said plan shall have been approved by the Commission, nor shall any change be made in said approved plan or in the work or construction as shown upon said plans except on further approval of the Commission. Whenever any main, conduit, pipe, pole or other structure is put in without the filing of plans with the Commission and the approval thereof by it or when any change is made in the location of such main, conduit, pipe, pole or other structure as shown upon the plans approved by the Commission or any approved change therein, the Commission may, if and when such conduit, main, pipe or pole or other structure interferes with the construction or operation of its water or sewerage system or other works, remove such conduit, main, pipe, pole or other structures or change the location thereof at the cost and expense of the party so putting them in or their heirs, assigns or successors and without any liability upon the part of the Commission for damage that might be done to the same by reason of the Commission's operations in constructing or maintaining its systems or works. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall be a misdemeanor punishable under § 127-35 of this chapter.

§ 127-35 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Penalty provisions. Every act or omission designated as a misdemeanor in this chapter, unless otherwise provided, shall be punishable by the Circuit Court of the County within which such offense is committed, and the offender shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not exceeding $1,000 and/or six months in the County Detention Center, or both, in the discretion of the Circuit Court.
[1955 Code, sec. 334; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381J; amended 7-14-2011 by Bill No. 3-11, effective 9-1-2011]
B. 
Subsequent offenses. Where such act or omission is of a continuing nature and is persisted in, in violation of the provisions of this chapter or of any rule or regulation formulated thereunder, a conviction for one offense shall not be a bar to the conviction for a continuation of such offense subsequent to the first or any succeeding conviction.
[1955 Code, sec. 335; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381K]

§ 127-36 Exemptions from benefit assessment.

[1955 Code, sec. 336; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381L]
Any land owned by a church and constituting the premises occupied by such or its parsonage and used exclusively for public worship or for other religious or customary purposes of a church or parsonage and not for investment, gain or other secular purposes shall be exempt from the benefit assessments provided for by this chapter in respect of a frontage of not exceeding 150 feet. The Commission may, in its discretion, exercised in each individual case, grant or withhold a further exemption of the land so owned and used in respect of any frontage thereof in excess of 150 feet hereinbefore provided for.

§ 127-37 Promulgation of rules and regulations.

[1955 Code, sec. 337; 1947, Sp. Sess., ch. 13, sec. 381M]
The Commission shall be and it is hereby authorized to prescribe all needful rules and regulations for the administration and enforcement of this chapter.

§ 127-38 Borrowing power; repayment.

[1959, ch. 501]
The Commission shall have the continuing power to borrow a sum or sums of money not to exceed, in the aggregate, $50,000 at any one time and to execute promissory notes therefor, payable at some future definite time or payable by installments, and said Commission is hereby authorized and empowered to repay said loans out of the money lawfully coming into its possession and not specifically marked for a special fund or funds.

§ 127-39 Open space programs.

[1975, ch. 24, sec. 355A]
The Commission may participate in a program of open space and any similar or successor program, and it may apply for and administer funds received for these programs from appropriate governmental agencies, in order that these programs may be made available to the residents of the area served by and under the jurisdiction of the Commission.

§ 127-40 Expenditure of funds for streetlighting.

[Added 9-15-2011 by Bill No. 4-11, effective 10-30-2011]
The Commission is authorized to enter into agreements and expend funds from its accounts to provide streetlighting in those areas of District 29 which the Commission feels are beneficial to the citizens of LaVale.