[Adopted by Ord. No. 92-13]
The ordinance codified in this chapter shall be known and cited as the "uniform utility regulatory ordinance" of the City of Evanston, Wyoming.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given in this section. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future tense, words in the plural number include the singular number and the words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
- The City of Evanston, Wyoming.
- CHIEF EXECUTIVE
- The mayor of the City.
- CITY COUNCIL
- The council or governing body of the City.
- The several organizational units of the executive branch of the City through which its services and programs are performed.
- The designated head of the department specified in this chapter or an authorized agent.
- PRIVATE REFUSE COLLECTOR
- Any person, firm, corporation or association, itself or through an agent, employee or partner, who engages in the business or occupation or solicits patronage therefor, actively or passively, or performs or attempts to perform the business or occupation of loading, collecting, hauling, dumping and/or disposal of refuse and garbage to any authorized landfill or disposal site. This term shall not include the City.
- PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD
- A board comprised of seven Evanston citizens who shall be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the City council.
- UTILITY SERVICES
- City water, wastewater, sewer, stormwater, refuse collection and solid waste disposal services provided to a user, owner or agent.
- Any person, company, property or service unit owner, partnership, corporation, firm, business establishment, residence, government agency, charitable organization, or other entity that uses furnished utility services by the City.
- SERVICE UNIT
- A building, premises, facility or location, any portion or subdivision thereof, to which utility services are individually provided.
- UTILITY ACCOUNT
- An accounting and service record established for the purpose of recording all charges, payments and other transactions arising from the use or sale of utility services.
- CLOSING AGENT
- Any title company, bank financial institution, realtor, or any other person legally acting as agent in a sale or exchange of property.
It shall be the responsibility of the chief executive to manage and oversee the application of this chapter and the administration of the responsibilities and activities prescribed.
No user shall be authorized any utility service without having first established a utility account with the City. It shall be further unlawful for users to receive or take utility service in the absence of the required utility account.
The City shall not open any utility account nor shall the director of public works initiate any utility services unless authorized to do so by the user in person or through written notification.
Users receiving utility services shall be billed by the City treasurer in accordance with the rate schedule established by the annual budget resolution. All fees or charges provided under this chapter shall be due on the date of billing.
Any billing for utility services remaining unpaid after the last working day of each month from the date of the billing shall be considered delinquent and subject to a penalty for late payment. The late payment penalty shall be computed on the rate specified in the annual budget resolution.
All unpaid delinquent utility service charges shall constitute a lien against the service unit to which utility services are delivered. The City treasurer is authorized to collect payment of outstanding liens through civil action against the owner or by foreclosure of the lien and sale of the premises. Any action taken in collection of a lien shall be by the City attorney in a court of competent jurisdiction after approval by the City council.
The City is authorized to bill utility accounts on a monthly cycle based on monthly readings or on quarterly readings as furnished by the director of public works.
All utility charges, fees and billings shall be assessed against the owner of the service unit any other agreement between the owner and occupants notwithstanding.
Utility services shall not be provided by the City to any user unless the appropriate tap fees and other charges for access to City utility service lines have been paid in full in the amount specified in the annual budget resolution. Tap fees shall not be transferable from one utility account to another.
All utility services shall be metered and each utility service unit shall have individual meters, taps, service lines, valving and related components. When a multi-unit utility service unit is supplied by a single tap or connection each subunit shall have a separate meter, valving and related components as prescribed by the City engineer.
Utility services and connections made solely for the purpose of fire protection shall not be assessed a tap fee. The governing body may, in its sole discretion, waive tap fees for a limited period of time for a class of users to promote a governmental purpose by the enactment of a resolution describing the governmental purpose and setting forth the period of time in which the tap fee would be waived for the designated class of users.
Any user wishing to voluntarily discontinue delivery of a utility service permanently or temporarily shall notify the City treasurer in writing or in person at least five days in advance of the date of requested discontinuance. Upon receipt of a request for discontinuance, the City shall terminate service.
Applications for tap connections shall be made to the City upon forms specified by the City at least forty-eight hours in advance. The application for authorization to tap or connect to a utility service shall contain the legal description, working plans and expected cost of the connection, the length, size and other dimensions of the project together with other information required by the City engineer. The application shall contain a statement holding the City harmless against any liability resulting from the installation of the taps or connections and waiving all claims for damages against the City. All fees and charges must accompany the application.
It shall be unlawful for any user or person without prior approval or supervision by the City engineer to excavate, tap, connect, repair, install or otherwise obstruct or disturb any utility service lines.
In the event a user does not tap into or connect with a utility service line within a six-month period after the payment or acquisition of a tap fee and upon written application for a refund, the director of public works may authorize a refund not to exceed seventy-five percent of the fee paid.
Any user who fails, refuses or neglects to pay delinquent utility charges, fees or penalties within sixty days of the due date shall have the utility service terminated by the director of public works upon notification from the City treasurer that the utility account is delinquent. The delinquency shall be subject to collection by the City in an action brought by the City attorney in a court of competent jurisdiction.
The director of public works, upon notification that a utility account is delinquent, shall terminate service to the service unit within twenty-four hours of such notification.
If situations where two or more users are supplied from the same service, a delinquency of payment by any single user shall lead to a termination of service for all.
When an account becomes delinquent and subject to termination for nonpayment or other causes, the City treasurer shall notify the user by first-class mail at said user's last known address, of the City's intent to terminate utility service at least ten days prior to the date of such termination.
The City will continue to provide utility services after the date for termination if, during the ten-day period specified in Section 23-15, the user makes payment of the delinquent charges in accordance with the policy set by the governing body in its annual budget resolution.
A user with a delinquent utility account at one certain unit shall not be allowed to open another utility account unless the delinquency of another account is first satisfied by payment in full.
The director of public works is authorized to terminate, disconnect or interrupt a utility service for:
Failure to conform to any applicable federal, state or local laws or regulations related to utility services;
Wilful damage or molestation of a utility service line or component;
Theft or diversion of a utility service or component;
Vacancy or abandonment of a utility service unit;
Failure of a user to install a meter or other required devices or meet prescribed specifications of installation;
Failure to allow access to a service unit during reasonable hours;
Failure to correct damage, leaks or other malfunctions for which the user is responsible;
Repairs, testing, construction or maintenance;
Obstructions of any type which prevent or make it impracticable to obtain meter readings or undertake repairs and maintenance;
Any other reasons prescribed by this chapter.
It shall be unlawful for any user or unauthorized person to turn on a utility service when the service has been terminated.
Prior to initiation of restoration of any utility service terminated for delinquency or terminated at the request of the user, the user shall be subject to and shall have paid the restoration or service fees and required deposit in the amount specified in the annual budget resolution.
When a utility service is terminated by the City for reasons stemming from nonpayment or delinquencies, the fees established by the annual budget resolution for restoring service as well as all delinquent charges shall be assessed to and paid in full by the respective user prior to restoration of service by the City.
For purposes of this chapter, each service unit shall be defined as being in the status of "on" or "off". If the curb box valving is set so that utility services are not being delivered, the service shall be considered in an "off" status and no fees or charges shall be assessed to the service unit of user, except for penalty charges for late payments. If the curb box valving is set so that utility services are being delivered, the service shall be considered in an "on" status and a rate based upon usage or upon flat fee together with the basic capital replacement fee shall be assessed to the service unit. It shall be the responsibility of the director of public works to advise the City treasurer as to the "on" or "off" status of each service unit. If any service is in an "on" position any portion of a month, it will be considered on for the entire month for purposes of billing the capital replacement fee.
Each single-family residential, commercial and industrial service unit shall be assessed a fixed capital replacement fee under the conditions set forth in Section 23-20 and at such a rate as specified in the annual budget resolution of the City. Multifamily residential dwellings, hotels, motels, and mobile homes (including mobile home parks and courts) service units shall be assessed a fixed capital replacement fee as specified in the annual budget resolution of the City.
Users receiving utility services which are unmetered shall be billed by the City treasurer on a flat-rate basis as specified by the annual budget resolution in the same manner as all other users.
Deposits shall serve as a guarantee for proper and timely payment of utility account by users and may be applied against any outstanding balance owed to the City at the time the account is closed. For the purpose of encouraging prompt and routine payment by users of utility services, the City treasurer shall require a deposit in the amount specified by the annual budget resolution when:
Establishing a new utility account or reopening a lapsed nondelinquent utility account;
A user's utility account has been delinquent in payment for utility services, and the user has failed to make payment as required by Section 23-15.1;
A utility account is restored or reactivated after a termination of utility services for reasons related to nonpayment or delinquencies;
Upon application by a user with an account registering twelve months in good standing the City treasurer may refund the account security deposit without interest, or may apply the deposit towards the current utility charges. A user with a record of twelve months of good standing account shall not be required to make an account deposit.
Deposits shall be returned to the last known address of the user, after deduction of any outstanding payments due the City, within forty-five days after the utility account is closed. Any deposit not claimed by the user within one year after the utility account is closed shall become the property of the City.
In instances where a meter is malfunctioning or does not correctly measure consumption or when an authorized person designated by the director of public works is unable to obtain a correct reading the City treasurer shall compute charges as follows:
Residential users shall be billed an amount based on the average City-wide residential consumption as calculated from the most recent three months' readings;
Nonresidential users shall be billed an amount based on the user's average consumption for the most recent three months' readings;
In all other cases the user shall be billed an amount based upon an estimate computed from average consumption for a like service unit.
In the event a user discovers or has evidence of a prospective error or has questions related to the fees or charges assessed to a utility account, it shall be the responsibility of the user to advise the City as soon as possible.
In those instances where the error or adjustment is not greater than five hundred dollars, the City treasurer is authorized to make adjustments or corrections to any utility account rendered in error or which is otherwise incorrect, or the City treasurer may refer the matter to the public service board for resolution.
Adjustments in an amount greater than five hundred dollars but not more than one thousand five hundred dollars may be authorized by the chief executive, or the chief executive may refer the matter to the public service board for resolution.
Adjustments in an amount greater than one thousand five hundred dollars may be granted by the public service board. No adjustment by the chief executive or public service board shall be made unless the user has provided fifteen days' advance notice of error to the City treasurer or advised the director of public works by proper notice of malfunctioning service.
Upon request, the governing body of the City shall have the authority to review, confirm, reverse or modify any decision of the public service board.
Upon receipt of notice of intended foreclosure of a utility service unit and a delinquency exists, the City treasurer shall advise the director of public works to terminate service immediately and make such arrangements with the City attorney to collect any delinquent or past due amounts.
Any user sixty-five years of age or greater who owns or dwells in a residential service unit and makes payment of utility account charges and fees is entitled to a monthly credit of twenty-five percent of the gross monthly utility service charge.
Each user shall first make application in person for credit on forms prescribed by the City treasurer no later than June 30th of each year. In making application the user shall present proof of age and attest that the credit is applicable only to the user's principal place of residence.
The credit shall not be granted to any user for commercial or business purposes and only one credit for each eligible user shall be allowed.
As a condition to a closing settlement with respect to the sale or exchange of real property by the user receiving utility services, the closing agent shall inquire of the City treasurer if any outstanding balances or delinquencies exist with regard to the utility account and accordingly provide for payment of the due amounts as part of the closing settlement.
Where service is a multi-unit residential or a multi-unit commercial service unit, each service subunit shall be represented by a meter and on/off valving and each subunit shall be considered for billing purposes as a separate utility account, whether billed collectively or to each subunit separately and shall be billed at the subunit rate in the amount specified by the annual budget resolution.
No person other than an authorized City employee, agent or contractor operating with the approval of the City engineer or under the supervision of the director of public works shall make any connection or terminate service to any service unit.
In cases where service is to be temporarily interrupted to allow for repairs, replacement, testing, cleaning or adjustment, users served shall be given at least a two-day advance notification. If the service interruption stems from an emergency or unanticipated disruption, users shall be given as much advance notice as possible by the director of public works.
All tap connections shall be made by or performed under the supervision of and inspected by the director of public works.
The City shall not provide utility services or allow any service connections unless the meter, curb boxes, connections, lines, valving and all components conform to the Uniform Plumbing Code or standards established by the City engineer. Meter, curb boxes, valving, connections and other accessors shall be accessible to and located as specified by the City engineer and shall remain the property of the City.
All materials utilized in the construction, maintenance and repair of utility service lines shall meet the specifications established by the City engineer and they shall be constructed as required by the Uniform Plumbing Code. All meters shall be furnished and installed by or under the supervision of the director of public works.
The City engineer shall specify those connections to the utility service which will be required to install an approved backflow or back siphonage prevention device.
Utility lines shall be protected against damage and freezing during construction or repair and planking maintained over the trench excavation and crosswalks or sidewalks provided that proper warning lights and protective barriers shall be installed as specified by the City engineer.
Upon completion of construction or repair of any utility service lines requiring excavation, the excavation shall be backfilled and compacted as specified by the City engineer.
It shall be the responsibility of the user to notify the director of public works of any damage or malfunctioning of a meter, valving or other components supporting utility services to a service unit.
Unless a meter valving or other components are found to be malfunctioning, they shall be presumed correct and the quantity recorded conclusive and binding upon the user and the City.
Upon receipt of an inquiry-or complaint that a meter or other component of the utility service system is malfunctioning or the quantities recorded are incorrect, the director of public works shall take immediate steps to verify that a problem exists and determine if the responsibility rests with the City for repair or with the user. In the event the user is responsible, the director of public works shall advise the user of the needed repairs and the time limits in which they shall be made. When a calibration of the meter is deemed correct by the director of public works the user shall be assessed a service charge in the amount established by the annual budget resolution.
All users of utility services are prohibited from supplying utility services to others or allowing any other person to take water from the user without the prior authorization of the director of public works.
No user of utility services shall have a cross-connection between a private line carrying well water and a line carrying from a City utility service without the prior approval of the City engineer.
No user or any other person, unless authorized by the director of public works, shall use a key or wrench to a curb box, control valve, fire hydrant or any other device which is part of the City's utility system.
No user or any other person shall interface, damage, obstruct or in any way molest any utility service line or associated apparatus. Sec. 23-41. Right of access.
The director of public works, chief of police, fire chief, any authorized City employee, or bona fide volunteer under their supervision shall have the right to enter with full and free access, during reasonable hours, any service unit premises or facility receiving utility services, for the purpose of inspection, repair and compliance with applicable City ordinances.
When entering any utility service premises, the employee of the City shall present his or her official City identification card when requested by the occupant.
The users of utility services shall be responsible for the maintenance, repairs of service connections and devices from the curb box to the utility unit. Users of utility services, at their own expense, shall be responsible for maintenance and repair of all service piping, connectors, meters, valves and other associated components when the repairs and maintenance are the result of negligence or misuse by the owner or occupant. Users shall keep all utility service components in good repair and proper working order. Users shall likewise protect the utility service from obstructions, frost and freezing and other damage. Unless authorized by the City council, no claim shall be allowed against the City for damages or repairs of service lines, connectors, meters, valves and associated apparatus.
The City shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of service connections and devices to and including the curb box. In the case of a wastewater utility service the user shall be responsible for the maintenance and repairs from the service unit to the wastewater main line. The City shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of the wastewater main line.
Utility service units operating a steam boiler or other hot water heat systems requiring City utility services shall have a reserve tank approved by the director of public works containing an adequate supply of water to support the boiler system during a termination of utility services.
The City shall not be liable for any damage to a utility service unit or any user arising from backflows, failure of supply, interruption of service or any other incident beyond the reasonable control of the City.
The director of public works shall test the water utility supply at least monthly and submit samples to the state or other approved laboratory for bacteriology and other examinations and to maintain the water utility supply at acceptable levels of purity and potability.
It shall be unlawful for any user or other person to:
Pollute, poison, contaminate or add any substance, chemical or material to the City's utility service system or to any well reservoir or water supply source or otherwise obstruct, damage a utility service line;
Install fixtures, meters, connections or other devices unless such devices meet the standard specifications set by the City engineer and for which all fees and charges have been paid in advance;
Drill or tap a well for the production of water within the corporate boundaries of the City.
The City council may extend utility services to designated service areas beyond the corporate boundaries of the City. Before the City council authorizes any extension of utility services, it shall find one or more of the following:
That the extension of the utility service is economically feasible;
That the extension can be accomplished within twenty-four months;
That the extended service area is compatible to and conforms to the specifications of the City's utility service components;
That the extended service area can reasonably be expected to be annexed to the City;
That the extension would assist in the orderly growth and development of the City;
That the extension will promote the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the City;
That the extension would promote ecological, environmental and aesthetic considerations to the benefit of the City;
That the extension will not overload or in any way degrade the present level of utility services to users within the corporate limits of the City;
That the extension is otherwise in the best interests of the inhabitants of the City;
That the extended service area conforms to the comprehensive land plan.
Fees for the delivery or provision of any utility service to a designated service area beyond the corporate boundaries of the City shall be billed by the City treasurer in the amounts specified in the annual budget resolution.
The chief executive shall have the authority to declare a water shortage for the City, and shall be authorized to establish and enforce any water restrictions which are necessary to protect the public's health and welfare.
It shall be unlawful for any user or person to knowingly or intentionally irrigate during any period during which water is required by the City to prevent, suppress or combat a fire.