[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Seward as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted as Ch. 10, Art. 11, of the 1976 Code]
[Amended 12-15-1987 by Ord. No. 33-87]
The provisions of the State Natural Gas Regulation Act (Neb. RS 66-1801 et seq.) and any amendments made thereto, except as otherwise provided for in this article, are hereby adopted by this reference thereto and made a part of this article as fully as if set forth at length herein, except as otherwise provided in this article.
[Amended 10-20-1987 by Ord. No. 26-87]
In the event the franchisee desires to change its rates for natural gas service within the City other than to reflect an adjustment for the cost of purchased gas, the franchisee will present to the City copies of present and proposed rate schedules and information supporting the proposed rates to be charged for natural gas service within the City. The rate schedule and information submitted with the rate schedules shall be referred to as the "rate filing." Any such rate filing shall be deemed filed upon receipt of the same and the filing fee by the City Clerk. A filing fee as set from time to time by the City Council shall be paid to the City with the rate filing. Such fee shall be considered as an operating cost of the franchisee and shall not be separately itemized on any customer bill.
The governing body of the City shall have the right to select and engage rate consultants, accountants, auditors, attorneys, engineers and other experts as deemed necessary or desirable to advise and represent the governing body in evaluating any proposed rate change. The franchisee shall reimburse the City within 90 days of the presentation of a bill by the City for the reasonable costs of those services only to the extent that said costs exceed the filing fee for the rate filing.
If the proposed rates sought by the franchisee in its rate filing have not been passed on final reading by the City Council within 90 days after it was filed, or as such time may be extended by agreement between the franchisee and City in order to supply additional information if requested by the City, the proposed rates shall be put into effect as interim rates and shall be collected subject to refund pursuant to Neb. RS 66-1838, as the same may be amended from time to time. Such interim rates shall remain in effect pending final determination by the City, which determination shall be made within one year or, in the event of litigation, final rate determination by the courts.
The rates proposed to be charged for non-contract firm natural gas service within the City shall be based upon the utility's cost of providing service to the City or the representative costs in that part of the utility's service area which includes the City. The period for which the cost of service is to be recognized is to be a projected twelve-month period commencing not later than the proposed effective date of the increase. The cost of service shall be determined in a manner consistent with regulated public utility practices and shall include 1) appropriate costs as defined and set forth in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Natural Gas Companies FERC Accounts, and 2) a reasonable return on the utility's rate base.
In determining a reasonable return, a rate (percentage) shall be employed that is representative of the cost of debt, preferred stock, and common equity capital. The rate base shall consist of the applicable net investment in utility plant (as defined in the FERC Accounts), allowance for working capital, and such other items as may reasonably be included; less such investment as may, unless otherwise prevented by law, be attributed to other than investor capital.
The franchisee's appropriate costs and items of rate base shall include allocated or apportioned expenses and rate base items, when such allocations or apportionments are reasonably representative of assigned common costs and arise from the manner in which the franchisee's operations are conducted or from an avoidance of excessive and costly financial recordkeeping.
Rate filings, not including changes reflecting the cost of gas, shall be limited to a maximum of one in any twelve-calendar-month period.
Editor's Note: Original §§ 10-1105, Information to be provided; 10-1106, Notice of Application; 10-1107, Providing of General Information, and 10-1108, Validity of Franchise, of the 1976 Code, which immediately followed this section, were repealed 12-15-1987 by Ord. No. 33-87.
Any person who violates the prohibitions or provisions of this article shall be deemed guilty of a violation. The penalty for such violation shall be an amount not to exceed $500 for any one offense, recoverable with costs, and in default of said payment the offender shall stand committed to the County Jail until such fine and costs are paid. Each period of 24 hours during or on which a violation occurs or continues shall be deemed a separate offense.