Chapter 92—Water Rates

92.01 Service Charges
92.02 Rates For Service
92.03 Rates Outside the City
92.04 Billing for Water Service
92.05 Service Discontinued
92.06 Lien for Nonpayment
92.07 Lien Exemption
92.08 Lien Notice
92.09 Customer Utility Deposits
92.10 Temporary Vacancy
92.11 Property Owner’s Responsibility

92.01 SERVICE CHARGES.

Each customer shall pay for water service provided by the City based upon use of water as determined by meters provided for in Chapter 91. Each location, building, premises or connection shall be considered a separate and distinct customer whether owned or controlled by the same person or not.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.84)

92.02 RATES FOR SERVICE.

Water service shall be furnished at the following monthly rates within the City:
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.84)

  1. Metered Service.
    1. First 100 cubic feet used per month @ $10.25 (minimum bill).
    2. All over 100 cubic feet used per month @ $2.58 per 100 cubic feet.
  2. Unmetered Service. $13.36 per month plus $2.58 per month per person residing on the premises.
92.03 RATES OUTSIDE THE CITY.

Water service shall be provided to any customer located outside the corporate limits of the City which the City has agreed to serve at the same rates provided in Section 92.02. No such customer, however, will be served unless the customer shall have signed a service contract agreeing to be bound by the ordinances, rules and regulations applying to water service established by the Council.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.4 & 384.84)

92.04 BILLING FOR WATER SERVICE.

Water service shall be billed as part of a combined service account, payable in accordance with the following:
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.84)

  1. Bills Issued. The Clerk shall prepare and issue bills for combined service accounts on or before the third (3rd) day of each month.
  2. Bills Payable. Bills for combined service accounts shall be due and payable at the office of the Clerk by the twentieth (20th) day of the month.
  3. Late Payment Penalty. Bills not paid when due shall be considered delinquent. A late payment penalty of five percent (5%) of the total balance due shall be added to each delinquent bill.
  4. Dishonored Checks. If a customer’s check is dishonored (returned unpaid) by the bank upon which it was drawn, the customer shall receive a notice informing the customer that this check has been dishonored by the bank and that a service charge is assessed for handling in a stated amount equal to the maximum allowed by State law. In the event more than two checks of a customer are dishonored by the bank upon which they were drawn within a one-year period, the Clerk shall demand that future payments for services rendered must be paid by cash, post office money order, bank draft or certified check for one year from the date of the second dishonored check.
92.05 SERVICE DISCONTINUED.

Water service to delinquent customers shall be discontinued in accordance with the following:
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.84)

  1. Notice. The Water Billing Clerk shall notify each delinquent customer that service will be discontinued if payment of the combined service account, including late payment charges, is not received by the date specified in the notice of delinquency. Such notice shall be sent by ordinary mail to the customer in whose name the delinquent charges were incurred and shall inform the customer of the nature of the delinquency and afford the customer the opportunity for a hearing prior to the discontinuance.
  2. Notice to Landlords. If the customer is a tenant, and if the owner or landlord of the property or premises has made a written request for notice, the notice of delinquency shall also be given to the owner or landlord.
  3. Hearing. If a hearing is requested by noon of the day preceding the shut off, the Clerk shall conduct an informal hearing and shall make a determination as to whether the disconnection is justified. The customer has the right to appeal the Clerk’s decision to the Council, and if the Council finds that disconnection is justified, then such disconnection shall be made, unless payment has been received.
  4. Fees. A turn-off fee of twenty dollars ($20.00) and a turn-on fee of twenty dollars ($20.00) shall be charged before service is restored to a delinquent customer. No fee shall be charged for the usual or customary trips in the regular changes in occupancies of property.
92.06 LIEN FOR NONPAYMENT.

The owner of the premises served and any lessee or tenant thereof shall be jointly and severally liable for water service charges to the premises. Water service charges remaining unpaid and delinquent shall constitute a lien upon the premises served and shall be certified by the Clerk to the County Treasurer for collection in the same manner as property taxes.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.84)

92.07 LIEN EXEMPTION.

The lien for nonpayment shall not apply to a residential rental property where water service is separately metered and the rates or charges for the water service are paid directly to the City by the tenant, if the landlord gives written notice to the City that the property is residential rental property and that the tenant is liable for the rates or charges. The City may require a deposit not exceeding the usual cost of ninety (90) days of water service be paid to the City. The landlord’s written notice shall contain the name of the tenant responsible for charges, the address of the rental property and the date of occupancy. A change in tenant shall require a new written notice to be given to the City within thirty (30) business days of the change in tenant. When the tenant moves from the rental property, the City shall refund the deposit if the water service charges are paid in full. A change in the ownership of the residential rental property shall require written notice of such change to be given to the City within ten (10) business days of the completion of the change of ownership. The lien exemption does not apply to delinquent charges for repairs to a water service.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.84)

92.08 LIEN NOTICE.

A lien for delinquent water service charges shall not be certified to the County Treasurer unless prior written notice of intent to certify a lien is given to the customer in whose name the delinquent charges were incurred. If the customer is a tenant and if the owner or landlord of the property or premises has made a written request for notice, the notice shall also be given to the owner or landlord. The notice shall be sent to the appropriate persons by ordinary mail not less than thirty (30) days prior to certification of the lien to the County Treasurer.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.84)

92.09 CUSTOMER UTILITY DEPOSITS.
  1. Deposit Required. There shall be required from every customer a minimum deposit of one hundred dollars ($100.00). The deposit is intended to guarantee the payment of bills for service. An occurrence or recurrence of bad payment record shall be the cause for requiring a new or larger deposit for the continuation of service. Deposits will be required from all residential and commercial customers making an application for service.
  2. Refunding Deposit. Customers having established twelve (12) months of consecutive billing shall be eligible for a reimbursement of their deposit if during the 12-month period the customer has not been sent a delinquency notice. The deposit will be refunded or credited to the customer’s account without interest. However, if the customer has been sent a delinquency notice during the 12-month period, the Clerk’s office will hold the deposit for another 12 months from the date of the delinquency, and the above procedure will again be used. If the deposit has been refunded and the customer’s service is terminated for nonpayment, the deposit will again be required.
  3. Applying Deposit to Bill. If the customer fails to pay any amount due for services as a result of moving out of the premises, the Clerk may draw on the deposit for the amount of arrears. Any remainder shall be returned to the last-known address of the customer or to the customer in person. Where the customer pays all amounts due at the time of moving out of the City, the full amount of the deposit shall be paid to the customer in person or by mail. Where the customer fails to pay after a turnoff, the Clerk may draw on the deposit for the amount of arrears, and the balance of the deposit held to apply on the succeeding deposit required at the same or other premises, and water shall not be turned on until the deposit is sufficient.
  4. Insufficient Deposit. If a deposit is not adequate to pay all arrears at time of customer’s moving from the premises, the balance shall be rebilled and the bill sent to the last-known address of the customer. Where such rebilling is not paid within thirty (30) days after the mailing of the rebilling, the Clerk shall turn the billing over to the Collection Agency for collection. Where the customer applies for services at a new premises, the past due amount shall be paid and an adequate deposit made before water may be turned on.
92.10 TEMPORARY VACANCY.

A property owner may request water service be temporarily discontinued and shut off at the curb valve when the property is expected to be vacant for an extended period of time. There shall be a five dollar ($5.00) fee collected for shutting the water off at the curb valve and a five dollar ($5.00) fee for restoring service. During a period when service is temporarily discontinued as provided herein there shall be no minimum service charge. The City will not drain pipes or pull meters for temporary vacancies.

92.11 PROPERTY OWNER’S RESPONSIBILITY.

Property owners are required to notify City Hall of all “Change in Use” of their rental units. This must be done to ensure the rates are properly computed, especially in rental units where there is not a separate water meter for the rental unit. In the event the property owner fails to notify City Hall of the “Change in Use” of the rental unit and the change is discovered by the City, all charges will be retroactively enforced and billed to the property owner.