CHAPTER XV. UTILITIESCHAPTER XV. UTILITIES\ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

For purposes of this article utility services shall include water, sewer, solid waste (refuse) and other utility services provided by the city.

(Code 1998)

The city may discontinue or refuse a particular utility service to any customer, following notice to the customer, for any of the following reasons:

(a)   When the customer refuses to grant employees of the city’s utility department access to equipment installed upon the premises of the customer for the purpose of inspection, meter reading, maintenance or replacement.

(b)   When the customer violates any rules, regulation or ordinance of the city pertaining to utility services, which violation adversely affects the safety of the customer or other persons, or the integrity of the city’s utility services’ delivery system.

(c)   When the customer attempts, causes or permits unauthorized interference, diversion, theft, tampering, damage or use of utility services or the utility services’ delivery system situated or delivered on or about the customer’s premises.

(d)   When the customer misrepresents his or her identity or otherwise intentionally provides false information for the purpose of obtaining utility services from the city.

(Ord. 754, Sec. 2)

Utility billings shall be mailed on approximately the 1st day of each month for the previous month serviced. All billings for utility services shall be due and payable at the office of the city clerk on the 1st day of the month and must be paid in full by the 10th day of the month. Any utility bill that is not paid prior to 8:00 a.m. on the 20th day of the month shall be cause for termination of water service in accordance with sections 15‑104:105 until the bill and appropriate reconnection fees are paid in full to the city clerk.

(Ord. 754, Sec. 3; Ord. 958, Sec. 1)

(a)   If a utility bill has not been paid on or before the due date as provided in this chapter, a delinquency and termination notice shall be issued by the city clerk within five days after the delinquency occurs and mailed to the customer at his or her last known address. A copy also shall be mailed to the occupant of the premises if the occupant and the customer are not the same person.

(b)   The notice shall state:

(1)   The amount due, plus delinquency charge;

(2)   Notice that service will be terminated if the amount due is not paid within 10 days from the date of the notice unless the date on the notice to pay the charges due shall be on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, in which event such notice will give the consumer until the close of the next business day in which to pay the charges;

(3)   Notice that the customer has the right to a hearing before the designated hearing officer;

(4)   Notice that the request for a hearing must be in writing and filed with the city clerk no later than three days prior to the date for termination of service.

(c)   Upon receipt of a request for hearing, the city clerk shall advise the customer of the date, time and place of the hearing which shall be held within three working days following receipt of the request.

(Ord. 754, Secs. 2,4; Code 1998)

Following the hearing, if the hearing officer shall find that service should not be terminated, then notice of such finding shall be presented to the city clerk. If the officer finds that service should be terminated, an order shall be issued terminating service five days after the date of the order. The customer shall be notified either in person or by mailing a letter to his or her last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested. However, if the order is made at the hearing in the presence of the customer, then no further notice need be given. The hearing officer has a right, for good cause, to grant an extension, not to exceed 10 days, for the termination of such service.

(Code 1998)

(a)   At the time of making application for or utilizing utility service, the property owner or customer may be required to make a cash deposit in an amount determined by the city administrator to secure payment of accrued bills, future bills, or bills due on discontinuance of service. Receipt thereof shall be issued to each such depositor.

(b)   Any person desiring water utility service from the city to property not used as a residence may be required, as determined by the city administrator, to first deposit with the city clerk an amount equal to twice the projected average monthly water bill for a 12 month period as security for payment of water services. The city clerk shall determine the projected average utility bills based on past billings to the extent such billings are available and the contemplated use is comparable to the use of the property to which such billings apply. If the tenant and the city clerk are unable to determine an appropriate security deposit, the matter shall be referred to the city administrator for resolution.

(c)   Any deposits so made shall be kept by the city clerk in a separate account and deposited in a fund designated as the “meter deposit fund.” Interest shall be payable at the rate determined by the state corporation commission yearly and credited to the customer's account January 1st of each calendar year.

(d)   On the second interest payment date following deposits made pursuant to the above provisions, the city administrator may refund the deposit of any depositor who is owner of the premises wherein such utility service is being furnished and has not been delinquent in payment of any utility service charge during the past year. Interest due and accrued shall not draw interest.

(e)   Upon the discontinuance of any service at the request of the depositor, the deposit shall be refunded upon surrender of the original receipt therefor together with the accrued interest thereon less any amount due and owing the city for services furnished prior thereto or it may be credited towards the payment of the final bill rendered to the customer.

(f)    Any security deposit not refunded within three years after discontinuance of service shall be deposited in the utility fund of the city upon compliance with the provisions of K.S.A. 12-822 as amended.

(Ord. 707; Code 1998; Ord. 2347)

(a)   It is unlawful for any person to live in a structure within the city for more than 30 days that does not have electric, water, and sewer service.

(b)   When there exists a reasonable basis to believe someone has been living in a structure for more than 30 days without electric, water, or sewer service, the public officer is authorized to pursue said violation pursuant to the procedural, enforcement, abatement, and assessment provisions of the city Environmental Code, Article 2 of Chapter VIII of the De Soto City Code. The city is also authorized to pursue any and all remedies to cease violation of this section, including injunctive relief in the district court.

(c)   Nothing herein shall be interpreted as abrogating or limiting any other city regulations related to residing in a structure within the city.

(Ord. 2276, Sec. 1)