[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerville: Art. I, 2-6-78 as Ord. No. 827; Art. II, 6-6-88 by Ord. No. 1045. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 2-6-78 by Ord. No. 827]
It is the intention of the Borough to establish a sewer utility and to establish a sanitary sewer service charge which shall produce revenue sufficient to pay all treatment charges, payable to the Somerset Raritan Valley Sewerage Authority, and costs of administration. Accordingly, the service charges herein prescribed are subject to adjustment by the Mayor and Borough Council from time to time in the manner provided by law.
There shall be established in the Borough of Somerville a dedicated Sewer Utility Fund for the collection and disbursement of the sewer service charge. Said fund shall be kept separate and apart from the local municipal budget.
[Amended 12-18-95 by Ord. No. 2009; 6-17-96 by Ord. No. 2017]
The owner of every dwelling, house, tenement, building, factory or lot within the Borough shall be liable to the Borough of Somerville for the payment of a sewer service charge for the use of the sanitary sewers in the Borough by the owner or by the occupier or occupiers of every dwelling, house, tenement, building, factory or lot, together with interest and penalties as hereinafter fixed by this chapter. It is the intention of the Borough that all owners, specifically including, by way of illustration and not by way of limitation, schools, governmental entities and tax exempt institutions and organizations, be liable for sewer service charges herein established.
The Borough of Somerville and the Public Schools of the Borough of Somerville shall be exempt from a sewer service charge for their facilities.
[Amended 6-5-78 by Ord. No. 844; 6-20-78 by Ord. No. 847; 3-13-79 by Ord. No. 859; 6-5-89 by Ord. No. 1063]
The amount of sewer service charge to be paid by the owner of every dwelling, house, tenement, building, factory or lot within the Borough for the use of sanitary sewers shall be determined by the amount of water consumed in the dwelling, house, tenement, building, factory or lot, which amount shall be determined by the most current meter reading taken by the private water company. The sewer use fee which is charged by the Borough for each particular use (residential or all other uses) shall be an amount determined by the amount of water consumed and at the rates set forth in this article.
The following sewer charges shall be paid quarterly by the owner of real property for the use of sanitary sewers in accordance with the following classification of sewer uses and applicable rates:
[Amended 3-21-94 by Ord. No. 1166; 7-5-94 by Ord. No. 1175; 7-18-94 by Ord. No. 1177; 1-17-06 by Ord. No. 2209; 1-22-08 by Ord. No. 2252; 1-19-10 by Ord. No. 2318; 1-13-14 by Ord. No. 2426; 12-15-14 by Ord. No. 2459; 2-2-2015 by Ord. No. 2461; 1-21-2020 by Ord. No. 2602]
Residential uses shall include any single-family, two-, three-, four-, five- and six-family dwellings, condominiums and townhouse units.
Other sewer uses as defined by this article shall mean any uses other than residential uses, including but not limited to commercial uses, professional uses, industrial uses, governmental uses and institutional uses.
[Amended 7-18-94 by Ord. No. 1177]
All water consumption readings shall be those obtained by the Borough from the water company furnishing water to the respective house, dwelling, tenement, building, factory or lot. The most current reading of the water meter as set forth in the records of the water company shall constitute the measure of the sewerage flow shown from the dwelling, house, tenement, building, factory or lot for the use of which the charge is payable unless the owner or user establishes otherwise is provided hereinafter.
All accounts which are exclusively used for sprinkler system fire protection, also termed "private fire accounts," shall be exempt from all fees imposed hereunder, anything to the contrary herein notwithstanding.
Residential users and all other sewerage users shall receive no reduction for zero (0) consumption, but shall be subject to the minimum charges established herein.
[Amended 3-21-94 by Ord. No. 1166]
[Added 10-5-98 by Ord. No. 2067; amended 9-18-2000 by Ord. No. 2094; 10-1-01 by Ord. No. 2116; 10-7-02 by Ord. No. 2131; 10-25-03 by Ord. No. 2145; 10-4-04 by Ord. No. 2175]
The quarterly minimum sewer service charge or fifty dollars ($50), whichever is less, is hereby eliminated for the fourth quarter of 2004 for each sewer user account. The tax collector shall be responsible for adjusting the sewer service charges and collecting revenues as provided by Chapter 141 as amended by this .
[Amended 3-13-79 by Ord. No. 859; 4-7-80 by Ord. No. 884; 4-6-81 by Ord. No. 905; 7-26-83 by Ord. No. 954; 7-31-84 by Ord. No. 967; 7-21-86 by Ord. No. 1012; 4-6-87 by Ord. No. 1021; 3-7-88 by Ord. No. 1039]
The following sewer service charges shall be paid quarterly on February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1 of each year by the owner of real property for the use of sanitary sewers connected with any dwelling, house, tenement, building, factory or lot in the Borough:
$0.0273 [twenty-seven and three hundred thousands (27.300) mills] for each cubic foot of sewerage discharged.
Quarterly minimum charge: twenty-nine dollars and fifty cents ($29.50).
For unmetered residential dwellings, houses or tenements: sixty-nine dollars and fifty cents ($69.50) per quarter per residential unit.
The sewer services charges as established by Chapter 141 of the Code of the Borough of Somerville are hereby amended to provide for a fifteen (15%) percent increase which shall only be in effect the fourth quarter of 1993 and the first quarter of 1994. The tax collector shall be responsible for amending the sewer service charges and collecting revenues as provided by this chapter.
[Added 10-4-93 by Ord. No. 1155; amended 3-21-94 by Ord. No. 1166]
The sewer service charge and all other costs and expenses, interest and penalties shall be and remain a lien upon the dwelling, house, tenement, building, factory or lot until fully paid and satisfied.
If prompt payment shall not be made when due and shall remain in arrears, the Tax Collector shall file a statement showing the arrears in the payment for the sewer service charge which shall be a lien upon the real estate served by the sanitary sewer to the same extent as taxes are a lien upon real estate in the Borough and shall be collected and enforced by the Tax Collector in the same manner as liens for taxes.
In the event that any sewer service charge for sanitary sewer service outside of the Borough shall not be paid as and when due, the unpaid balance thereof and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs may be recovered by the Borough against the owner in a civil action.
[Amended 4-7-80 by Ord. No. 884; 4-6-81 by Ord. No. 905]
Charges for sewer service shall draw interest at the rate of eight percent (8%) per annum up to one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) and eighteen percent (18%) on any amount in excess of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500), computed from the time the charges become due.
Editor's Note: Section 2 of Ord. No. 1039, adopted 3-7-88, reaffirmed this section in its entirety.
The Tax Collector shall be responsible for preparation of bills for sewer service charges and collecting revenues hereunder provided. The Mayor and Council reserves the right to enter into contracts to obtain water consumption data and to assist the Tax Collector in the preparation and mailing of bills. Bills shall be rendered at or about the same time as water bills are rendered by private water companies providing water to the owner or user and shall include charges for the same period of time, subject, however, to the provisions of § 141-2 hereof. Estimated bills are hereby authorized where actual water use figures are not available.
All bills for sewer service charges shall be mailed via the United States Postal Service to the person or persons listed on the records of the water company furnishing water to the respective units unless the owner makes written application to the Tax Collector not later than forty-five (45) days before any bill is sent, requesting that the statement be sent to the owner for payment directly by him.
C. The Tax Collector shall calculate sewer service use charges by utilizing the water usage months of January, February, March, October, November and December to determine the average monthly sewer service usage. Utilizing the average monthly sewer service usage form utilizing the six (6) months listed, said average sewer service usage shall be used as the sewer service usage.
[Added 10-20-14 by Ord. No. 2455]
D. The Tax Collector shall be responsible for reconciling and adjusting bills for qualified events such as leak identification adjustments, new property owner adjustment and reconciling upon documentation from water company.
[Added 10-20-14 by Ord. No. 2455]
E. Users with an intake of 130,000 cubic feet of water may install a meter, at its own expense, with proper permits at the direction of the Borough to measure use of the wastewater entering the sanitary system.
[Added 10-20-14 by Ord. No. 2455]
Well users may install an approved meter, at their own expense, with proper permits at the direction of the Borough to measure their water usage in order to have sewer service charges calculated. Upon an approved meter being installed, the property owner or its designee shall be responsible for providing the reading to the Borough of Somerville. The Borough of Somerville shall maintain the right to inspect the meter and the meter readings at any time it deems necessary for the verification of such readings. Such billings of service charges shall be in accordance with § 141-7A.
[Added 9-3-2019 by Ord. No. 2581]
[Amended 6-5-89 by Ord. No. 1063; 10-20-14 by Ord. No. 2455; 9-3-2019 by Ord. No. 2581]
Any property owner shall have a right to appeal to the Mayor and Council any decision or action taken pursuant to this chapter, only after the property owner has appealed to the Tax Collector and Administrator and provided that the appeal is made in writing within 15 days of the decision of Tax Collector and Administrator.
All appeals shall be in writing within the prescribed time to the Tax Collector. The hearing shall be held within 45 days of the filing of an appeal. The decision shall be made in writing within 45 days of the hearing.
Any owner or user may apply to the Mayor and Council to direct clean water into the storm sewer system. The application shall be accompanied by evidence of approval from the Somerville Board of Health.
The owner and user shall allow the Borough Engineer, his agents and those operating under his direction and control, reasonable access to all water and sewage meters for the purpose of inspection and reading.
This chapter shall not limit or restrict the right of the Borough to establish and enforce charges for industrial waste of unusual strength or character in addition to charges herein imposed or to require pretreatment of wastewater.
[Amended 6-5-89 by Ord. No. 1063]
If an owner or occupier of property which is used for other than residential uses obtains water from a private well or an unmetered water supply, then the user shall install a meter at the intake of water supply at its own cost, the type and location of which is to be approved by the Borough Engineer. If any such user fails to erect a meter or fails to repair a meter so that periodic quarterly readings can be taken by the Borough Engineer, then the user shall be billed an estimated amount equal to one-half (1/2) of the estimated usage based upon the last four (4) sewer bills which were based upon meter readings.
If, after twenty (20) days' notice, the owner or occupier fails to install a meter in accordance with this section, the user shall be subject to a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) per quarter in addition to the quarterly sewer charge described above. The amount of the penalty shall be determined by the local Magistrate. If an owner or occupier of property which is used for residential purposes obtains its water supply for a private well or an unmetered water supply, then the user shall, at the option of the Borough, install a meter at the intake of the water supply at its own cost, the type and location to be supplied by the Borough Engineer. Any residential user that does not have a meter will be billed the sum of ninety-six dollars ($96) per quarter of sewer use. If any such residential owner appeals the ninety-six dollars ($96) per quarter charge, that user must first install a water meter at its own cost, the type and location to be approved by the Borough Engineer. Any out of town residential user that does not have a meter will be billed the sum of one hundred twenty dollars ($120) per quarter of sewer use. If any such out of town residential owner appeals the one hundred twenty dollar ($120) charge, that user must first install a meter at its own cost, the type and location to be approved by the Borough Engineer.
[Amended 3-21-94 by Ord. No. 1166]
In the event that estimated or actual wastewater discharge or water consumption readings should prove to be inaccurate, the Borough reserves the right to recalculate prior annual service charges with the difference charged to or credited to the owner.
The Mayor and Council reserves the right, by resolution to:
No person shall, for the purpose of defrauding the Borough of the sewer service charges due to it pursuant to this chapter, tamper with or otherwise adjust water intake or sewage meters or any other meter. Any person who violates this section shall be liable to a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) and imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days, or both, for each separate violation hereof.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon adoption and publication as required by law. The sewer service charges required to be paid shall be imposed for sewer discharges after July 1, 1978.
[Adopted 6-6-88 by Ord. No. 1045; amended 2-16-2016 by Ord. No. 2490]
The fees standard below total $1,500 per unit for a new dwelling unit with new lateral and is composed of both a connection and a flow fee (as described below). The total fee for all other uses is based upon the total daily flow using NJDEP formulas.
For every direct or indirect connection to the sanitary sewerage system of the Borough or to any part thereof, the following capacity-rate trunk-connection charges are established at the following rates:
Residential user: $500 for each single-family dwelling or unit.
All other users: Minimum fee of $1,000 or $0.375 per gallon per day of total daily average flow as determined by the Borough on the basis of certain factors, including but not limited to the factors made available to the Borough, the results of its investigation and on studies of meter readings.
For every connection to a sanitary sewer main owned by the Borough, the following connection charges are established at the following rates:
Residential user: $1,000 for each single-family dwelling or unit.
All other users: $1,000 for the first 400 gallons of estimated annual daily average flow, plus $1,000 for each additional 400 gallons of estimated annual daily average flow or major fraction thereof as determined by the Borough on the basis of the factors specified in N.J.S.A. 40:14A-8, the data and information made available to this Borough, the results of Borough investigation and on meter reading studies.
The sanitary sewer main connection fee above specified shall be in addition to any annual sewer use charge, any capacity-rate trunk-connection charge, any Construction Code Official tie-in connection permit fee, any Borough street opening permit fee and any and all other such fees and special inspection fees that may be required under any other ordinance.
Every user subject to a sanitary sewer connection fee herein established shall be entitled to deduct therefrom the principal amount of any special assessment levied by the Borough of Somerville.
Any fees or charges which are collected pursuant to the terms of this shall be earmarked for use by and for the sewer utility fund.
This Article shall take effect immediately upon adoption and publication as required by law.