Village of Westville, IL
Vermilion County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 6-27-2006 by Ord. No. 1365; 6-27-2006 by Ord. No. 1366; 6-27-2006 by Ord. No. 1367; 6-27-2006 by Ord. No. 1368]
A. 
Customer accepts service. The rates, rules and regulations contained in this chapter shall constitute and be considered a part of the contract with every person, company or corporation that is supplied with water and sewer services from the waterworks and sewer system; and every person, company or corporation, hereinafter called a "customer," that accepts and uses Village water and sewer services shall be held to have consented to be bound thereby.
B. 
Not liable for interrupted service. The Department shall endeavor at all times to provide a regular and uninterrupted supply of service; however, in case the supply of service shall be interrupted or irregular or defective or fail from causes beyond its control or through ordinary negligence of employees, servants or agents, the Department shall not be liable therefor. (See also Chapter 209, Gas System.)
C. 
Using services without paying. Any person using utility services from the Village without paying therefor, or who shall be found guilty of breaking the seal of any meter or appurtenances, or bypassing any meter, shall be guilty of violating this chapter, and, upon conviction, shall be fined a sum as provided in § 93-1 of the Village Code.
D. 
Destroying property. Any person found guilty of defacing, tampering with, injuring or destroying, or in any manner limiting the use or availability of any meter or any property of the waterworks system and sewer system, or erecting signs on the property of the Department without permission, shall, upon conviction of such act, be fined as provided in § 93-1 of the Village Code.
E. 
Service obtained by fraud. All contracts for water and sewer services shall be made in the name of the head of the household, firm or corporation using the established spelling of that person's or firm's name. Attempts to obtain service by the use of other names, different spellings or by substituting other persons or firms shall be considered a subterfuge and service shall be denied. If service has been discontinued because of nonpayment of bills or any unpaid obligation and service has again been obtained through subterfuge, misrepresentation or fraud, that service shall be promptly disconnected and the whole or such part of the advanced payment as may be necessary to satisfy the unpaid obligation shall be retained by the Village and credited to the appropriate account.
F. 
Failure to receive bill. Failure to receive a bill shall not excuse a customer from his obligation to pay within the time specified. Should the Department be unable to bill a customer for services used during any month, the following billing shall include the charges for services used during the unbilled month.
G. 
Request to discontinue service. Services shall have been deemed to have been supplied to any property connected to the water and sewer systems during a month unless the customer notifies the Village prior to the first day of the new billing month in which the services are to be discontinued.
H. 
Billing; utility shut-off; hearing.
(1) 
If a bill is not paid on the 20th day of the month, then a penalty equal to 5% of the current bill shall be added thereto on the 21st day of the month.
(2) 
A delinquent or "Final Notice" is mailed on the 22nd day of the month to any customer who is 30 days past due.
(3) 
The customers are given five days from the date of the "Final Notice" or they will be shut off. (This date does not include days the office is not opened.)
(4) 
If the office does not hear from the customer in the time allowed, then a "Red Tag" is issued. The "Red Tag" gives the customer an additional three working days to pay. The "Red Tag" is hand delivered to the customer's address by Westville gas and water personnel.
(5) 
If the office still does not hear from the customer, a work order to have the customer's service(s) shut off is written up.
(6) 
If the consumer who has been notified for nonpayment of utility bills is not the owner of record, then the Village shall notify the owner of the property by first-class mail.
(7) 
Once utility services have been disconnected, the same shall not be again connected or used until all delinquent accounts and bills of service are paid in full, including a fee for each connection of such utility services as set from time to time by the Board of Trustees by resolution, plus expenses incurred in the reconnecting of the utility services.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
(8) 
All past-due Village accounts for gas and water furnished by the Village which have been deemed delinquent by the Utilities Office shall be paid by the person responsible by cash, money order, or certified checks. The Utilities Office shall no longer accept any personal checks on any past-due utility accounts.
I. 
Lien notice.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
(1) 
Whenever a bill for utility services remains unpaid for 45 days after it has been rendered, the Gas and Water Clerk shall file with the County Recorder of Deeds a statement of lien claim. This statement shall contain the legal description of the premises served, the amount of the unpaid bill, and a notice that the Village claims a lien for this amount as well as for all charges for utility services served subsequent to the period covered by the bill. The Village Gas and Water Clerk will notify by first class mail, to the last known address, intent to file on the property for unpaid gas or water bills.
(2) 
If the consumer of utility services whose bill is unpaid is not the owner of the premises, and the Gas and Water Clerk has notice of this, then notice shall be mailed to the owner of the premises, if his address is known to the Gas and Water Clerk, whenever such bill remains unpaid for a period of 45 days after it has been rendered.
(3) 
The failure of the Gas and Water Clerk to record such lien or to mail such notice, or the failure of the owner to receive such notice, shall not affect the right to foreclose the lien for unpaid utility bills as mentioned herein.
J. 
Foreclosure of lien.
(1) 
Property subject to a lien for unpaid utility charges may be sold for nonpayment of the same, and the proceeds of such sale shall be applied to pay the charges, after deducting costs, as is the case in the foreclosure of statutory liens. Such foreclosure shall be by bill-in-equity in the name of the Village.
(2) 
The Village Attorney is hereby authorized to institute such proceedings in the name of the Village in any court having jurisdiction over such matters, against any property for which the bill for utility services has remained unpaid 60 days after it has been rendered.
K. 
Under the provisions of Subsection I, when invoked by the Village, a customer shall, in addition to all of the utility charges and penalties provided for in the Village Code, be required to pay the reasonable attorneys fees and filing fees incurred by the Village as a result of preparing and filing such lien, with such fee to be set from time to time by ordinance of the Village Board, with such fee now determined and actual cost which will compensate the Village for attorney fees and expenses of filing a lien notice. Upon payment of the utility services specified in said lien notice, and the fees herein assessed, the Village shall submit to the customer a release of lien, and it will be the customer's obligation to record the same and pay for the recording fees on the same.
The owner of any lot, parcel of land or premises receiving utility services, the occupant of such premises and the user of the services shall be jointly and severally liable for the payment of the services to such lot, parcel of land, or premises, and all services are rendered to the premises by the Village only on the condition that such owner, occupant and user shall be jointly and severally liable therefor to the Village.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
Whenever any meter, by reason of its being out of repair, or from any cause, fails to properly register the utilities passing through the same, the consumer shall be charged the average charge of the previous three months' usage. If no record of the previous three months exists, then it shall be the duty of the Gas and Water Clerk to estimate the amount of utilities consumed during the time the meter fails to operate, and the consumer shall be charged with such estimated amount. Bills may be estimated whenever it is impossible to read the meters during inclement weather.
No free utility service shall be furnished to any person, public or private, and all rates and charges shall be nondiscriminatory, provided that the Mayor and Village Board reserve the right to impose special rates and charges in cases where particular circumstances render the regular rates inadequate or unjust.
A. 
Residential.
(1) 
When any application is made for utility services in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, all applicants for which the service is requested shall deposit with the application the following amounts:
Inside Village
Outside Village
Water:
$25
$25
Gas:
$100
$100
(2) 
Where the amount of the deposit provided above is not sufficient to adequately protect the utility departments, a greater amount than stated above may be required, based on the consumer's estimated bill for a customary billing period. In the event the consumer's deposit has to be utilized to cover the fees and charges for water and/or gas system service more than one time during a calendar year, then the Village Board may establish a larger deposit.
B. 
Security for payment; no interest. The deposits made under the provisions of this chapter shall be held by the Village as security for the payment of utility services used by the applicant upon the premises to which his application pertains, and may be so applied when any default is made in the payment in the utilities bill in accordance with this chapter. The deposit shall earn no interest.