AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTERS 7 AND 19 OF THE REVISED ORDINANCES OF 2017 OF THE CITY OF NORTHWOOD REGARDING MUNICIPAL UTILITIES

 BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NORTHWOOD, NORTH DAKOTA:

AMENDMENT.  Ordinance Chapters 7 and 19 of the Revised Ordinances of 2017 of the City of Northwood, North Dakota is hereby amended and reenacted to read as follows

7.0223       Rates and Charges – Liability for

The owner or owners of all real property in the City for service line repairs shall be responsible for the payment of any and all such charges regardless of who the occupant or tenant may be.  Owners of premises where water or sewer service is supplied shall notify the water or sewer department or the City Auditor in case any tenant moves from said premises, prior to such moving. The Landlord/Owner shall be responsible for 50% of outstanding service charges for furnished water or sewer service on accounts established in the tenant’s name after applying the  utility deposit. On request of the owner or owners, the City Auditor will bill or cause to be billed the occupant or tenant for such charges, but if such charges are not paid when due by the occupant or tenant, the owner or owners shall only be responsible for 50% of such charges and only 50%  shall be assessed to the property served.  It shall be the duty of the City Auditor to certify to the county auditor such unpaid water or service charges that are unpaid in the same manner and at the same time as other assessments are certified, and they shall be assessed and collected in the same manner.

7.0204      Application for Water Service and Service Connection Charge

Any party desiring water and sewer service from said utility for premises not heretofore connected with the system, and not subject to the provisions of Section 7.0205, shall apply for a connection on a form provided by the City.  Such application shall state an exact description of the premises to be served, and the uses, both general and special, to which the water is to be put, the nature of sewage to be discharged, and the estimated amount of water to be used for a quarter-annual period.  Such application shall be filed with the City Auditor, and the applicant shall thereupon pay to the City Auditor, as a connection charge, the sum of $350.00 for a residential building, commercial building or multiple dwelling. Such meter connection fees will be credited to the final billing of the customer for such services supplied to the customer.

19.0101 Meter Connection Fees

All new customers of the City’s Municipal Light and Power Plant for electrical utility services, shall pay a  general utility connection fee as established in 7.0204 prior to or at the time the service connections to furnish such electrical utility services is made, or in the case of existing service connection for utilized for new customers, such meter connection fee shall be payable prior to or at the time such service is first furnished.

19.0104 Meter Reading

All meters shall be read monthly and duplicate statements shall be made out and filed in the office of the City Auditor and mailed to the premises charged, during each month, and all statements shall be due and payable on the date of such billing.  A penalty of five percent (5 %) shall be added to each statement if not paid within 15 days from billing date.  At the time of said penalty, the City of Northwood shall send notice to the customer of said utilities and to the owner/landlord, where applicable, of the property to which utility services are provided, that a delinquency has occurred.  Any consumer of municipal utilities whose bill(s) remains unpaid at 9:00am on the last working day of the month shall have all municipal services under said billing(s) discontinued or disconnected.  Any customer who has been disconnected or discontinued under these provisions, shall not have the service reconnected or recommenced until all amounts due, for services rendered prior to and including the date of disconnect, plus applicable penalties, and the reconnection charge of ($100.00) one hundred dollars for utility services.  The reconnection charge of $100 will be waived when the disconnected property is reopened in the name of the Landlord.

19.0107 Landlord Tenant Responsibility

 If the utility customer is a tenant, the property owner/landlord will be sent a copy of the tenant’s Notice of Delinquency, at the time said Notice is sent to the customer, with notification of the date services will be disconnected.  If the tenant fails to make the specified payment as of the disconnect date, and the owner wishes to have service restored to the property, a new account will be created in the said owner/landlord’s name The Landlord/Owner shall be responsible for 50% of outstanding service charges for on accounts established in the tenant’s name after applying the utility deposit..  The remaining 50% of the amount due shall be collected from the tenant. In the event the owner/landlord becomes delinquent on the account, all policies apply and disconnection and other methods for collecting such bills will be used. If the owner/landlord requests disconnection, a signed disconnect request form must be filed with the Utility Clerk.

Owners of premises where utilities are supplied shall notify the Utility Clerk in the event any tenant moves from said premises, prior to such moving. In the event said tenant moves from said premises to other premises in the City of Northwood and is connected to utilities, said tenant shall be liable for the utilities used at the former location up to the time of moving and the amount shall be transferred to the new account and the City shall take such measures to enforce the collection of such bill, as provided for in the case of non-payment of other utility bills. All such charges having been properly billed to the owner or tenant of any premises served and not paid may be recovered in the manner provided herein.  This ordinance shall not prevent the City from collecting such bills through collections or in a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction against either the owner or the tenant or both of them.

19.0108 Unpaid Charges

All water, sewage, garbage, electric and all other work and services provided for by ordinance and being necessary for the general welfare, public health, fire protection or public safety, shall constitute liens upon the respective lots, tracts and premises receiving such service; and all such charges which have been properly billed to the owner of the premises served and which are more than thirty (30) days past due on September 30 of each year, shall be certified by the City Auditor to the County Auditor as other municipal taxes are assessed, and the City Auditor in so certifying such charges, shall specify the amount thereof, the description of the premises served and the name of the owner thereof; and the amount so certified shall be extended by the County Auditor on the tax-rolls against such premises and collected by the County Treasurer and paid to the City Auditor in the same manner as other County and Municipal taxes are assessed, certified, collected and returned.  In no instance shall a landlord/owner be responsible for more than 50% of the utility charges incurred in an account belonging to the landlord’s tenant.

This deposit amount shall also include all new customers of the City’s Municipal Light and Power Plant for electrical utilities.

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after the date of its final passage.