11.02.020 Application for Utility Service
11.02.030 Security Deposits
11.02.040 Charges and Rates
11.02.050 Person Responsible for Payment
11.02.060 Payment of Bills
11.02.070 Bills not Transferable
11.02.080 Deferred Payment Agreements
11.02.090 Charges Become a Lien
11.02.100 Billing Adjustments
11.02.110 Customer Dispute
11.02.120 Limitations on Termination of Utility Service
11.02.130 Violations of Rules and Standards
11.02.140 Termination Procedures
11.02.150 Reinstatement of Utility Service
11.02.160 Service Pipe Connection to the Water Main
11.02.170 Reading Usage
11.02.180 Estimating usage
11.02.200 Failure to Supply
11.02.210 Contract Binding
11.02.220 Premises Unfit
- 'Chief Financial Manager'. The Chief Financial Manager of Rochelle Municipal Utilities.
- 'City'. The City of Rochelle , Illinois .
- 'Consumer or Customer'. The person who is responsible for the payment of utility bills.
- 'General Manager'. The General Manager of Rochelle Municipal Utilities.
- 'Owner'. The actual owner of the premises to be supplied with utility service.
- 'Rochelle Municipal Utilities (RMU)'. The publicly owned utilities of the City of Rochelle .
- Any Consumer desiring utility service shall make application at the RMU Business Office, 333 Lincoln Highway , Rochelle , Illinois, using forms furnished by RMU. For all properties having more than one tenant and only one meter, the meter shall be in the owner's name. The owner shall be responsible for payment of the utility bills and any damages to said meter. A transfer of service from one premise to another within the area served by RMU is not viewed as a discontinuance of service by RMU, the character of service remains the same, and the application should be for transfer of service.
- A fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) shall be paid each time electric service is applied for and a meter is installed and connected.
- A fee of forty dollars ($40.00) shall be paid each time the water is turned on from the City's supply to any premises.
- If after a review of its own past service records, RMU finds that an applicant for utility service has failed to pay for past due utility service for the same class of service furnished to the applicant at the same or at another address or if the applicant for service is unable to establish satisfactory credit references, RMU may refuse to provide service unless the applicant, at the sole option of RMU, either pays any past due bill and/or provides a deposit, pursuant to Section 11.02.030, or enters into a deferred payment agreement pursuant to Sections 11.02.070 and 11.02.080.
- RMU may request a security deposit from a new applicant for service if the applicant is unable so establish satisfactory credit references. Also, RMU may request a security deposit from a present residential or present non-residential customer that receives utility service from RMU if the customer, (1) during any twelve month period pays late two times, or (2) the Customer's wires, pipes, meters or other service equipment have been tampered with and the Customer enjoyed the benefit of the tampering.
- RMU may request a deposit from applicants for service if the applicant for service has failed so pay for past due utility service for the same class of service furnished to him/her at the same or at another address.
- A security deposit shall not be in excess of 1/3 of the amount of the estimated annual charges for that class of service and shall be paid to RMU prior to receiving service.
- Security deposits plus interest shall be automatically refunded after being held for twelve months if (1) the service has not been interrupted for nonpayment or so long as the Customer has not paid late four times, or (2) so long as the Customer's wires, pipes meters or other service equipment have not been tampered with during the time the deposit was held which resulted in the Customer enjoying the bencfts of the tampering.
- Deposits plus interest need not be refunded until the Customer pays any past due bills for utility service.
- Interest shall be paid on all deposits held by RMU. The rate of interest to be paid shall be determined in December of each year and will be the same as the rate existing for one year United States treasury bills at that point in time. The interest rate will be rounded to the nearest one-half (1/2) of one percent and shall be paid on all deposits held during all or part of the subsequent year.
- At the end of every year of service, if the deposit plus interest is not refunded to the Customer, RMU shall automatically refund the accrued interest on the deposit to the Customer by crediting the Customer's account and so stating this credit clearly on the Customer's next regular bill.
- Deposits plus interest shall be refunded within 30 days upon the discontinuance of service less any unpaid bills.
- A transfer of service from one premise to another within the area served by RMU is not viewed as a discontinuance of service by RMU, the character of service remains the same.
- When a deposit plus interest is applied to the liquidation of unpaid bills, RMU shall provide the Customer with a statement showing the amount of the unpaid bill(s) liquidated by the deposit plus interest and the balance remaining due either to the Customer or to RMU.
Charges for utility service shall be by rates established by the Rochelle City Council. In the event RMU incurs additional expense in the collection of a delinquent account, the Customer or Owner shall be responsible for reimbursing RMU for all additional costs incurred in collection, including legal fees. Applicable rate schedules are available at the City Clerk's Office, or the RMU Business Office.
The Owner and the Consumer of the utility service shall be jointly and severally liable to pay for the service to such premises, and the service is furnished to the premises by the City only upon the condition that the Owner and the Consumer of the service are jointly and severally liable thereof to the City.
- All bills for utility service shall be paid or mailed to the RMU Business Office, 333 Lincoln Highway , P0 Box 456,
Rochelle, IL 61068.
- All Customer's bills are due within twenty-one (21) calendar days after the billing date and the late payment charge is applicable thereafter.
- Bills issued by RMU for utility service are payable without the addition of late payment charges if payment is received by RMU on or before the due dates shown on the bills. If any amount due is not received by RMU by the due date, a late payment charge will be added to the amount due in accordance with the following provisions:
- The late payment charge payable in any month shall be an amount equal so one and one-half percent (1.5%)times the (a) current bill, or any part thereof, that remains unpaid after the due date, and (b) any unpaid amounts due from prior billing periods, including previously assessed late payment charges.
- When the due date falls on Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday, such due date will be automatically extended so include the first full business day following.
- RMU will for residential customers, waive the assessment of a late payment charge for one billing period in each fiscal year. RMU will, however, reassess the late payment charge if the amount on which such charge was waived remains unpaid thirty (30) calendar days following the due date of such amount. No waiver of late payment charges shall be granted to non-residential customers.
- If payment of a bill is made by mail, the post office cancellation date shown by the sending post office will determine the date of payment of the bill. If the cancellation date is beyond the due date as noted above, the late payment charge, where applicable, will be added to the Customer's next bill An objection to assessment of a late payment charge must be filed by the Customer prior to the due date of the bill which reflects the late payment charge.
- Where objection to any bill is filed by the Customer prior to its due date, and an investigation by RMU is required, RMU will defer the late payment charge pending the results of such investigation.
- RMU will not continue to assess a late payment charge on any final bill.
- If the bill, together with any applicable delayed payment charge, is not paid within such period, service may be discontinued and terminated. Any customer whose electric service has been terminated for nonpayment may have the service restored by paying all arrears, paying a security deposit, and a reconnection fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) during those times the Business Office is open or fifty dollars ($50.00) if the Business Office is closed. The reconnection fee may be increased to cover actual costs incurred when three-phase electricity is involved for General Service and Large General Service customers and when disconnection must be made at the transformer. Any customer whose water service has been terminated for nonpayment may have the service restored by paying all arrears and a reconnection fee of forty dollars ($40.00) during those times the Business Office is open or sixty dollars ($60.00) if the Business Office is closed.
- If a Customer pays for any service rendered by RMU with a check which is subsequently returned to RMU by the Customer's bank of deposit because sufficient funds are not on deposit in the account upon which the check was drawn, or because the check was drawn on a nonexistent or closed account, a charge of twenty dollars ($20.00) shall be made to such Customer for each such check. RMU may require cash payment ( U.S. currency, postal money order or certified check) following issuance of a Final Notice Prior to Disconnection for a past due bill if the Customer previously rendered payment for any portion of the service included in the past due bill with an invalid check.
- When utility bills are not paid within six (6) calendar days after the due date, RMU shall issue a disconnect notice by (1) mail, or (2) by making a reasonable effort to personally contact a responsible adult on the premises, or (3) by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person in whose name utility service is registered.
- The notice to disconnect service shall contain (a) Name, address, and account number of the Customer; (b) date of the notice; (c) the total amount required in order to bring the account current; (d) the date of the disconnect. Service shall not be discontinued until at least five (5) calendar days after issue of the disconnect notice.
- RMU Customer Relations employees are authorized to act on behalf of RMU in resolving complaints; they shall consider complainant's allegations and explain Customer accounts and RMU's contentions in connection with disputes.
A bill for non-residential service shall not be transferred to a bill for residential service, and vice versa, nor shall the bill for one form of utility service (ie., gas) be transferred so a bill for another form of utility service (e.g., electric).
- Customers who are indebted to RMU for past due utility service shall have the opportunity to make arrangements to retire the debt by periodic payments referred to hereinafter as a deferred payment agreement unless the Customer has failed to make payment under such a plan during the past twelve (12) months.
- The terms and conditions of a reasonable deferred payment agreement and RMU's decision whether or not to offer an applicant for service a deferred payment agreement shall be determined by RMU after consideration of the following factors, based upon information available from current RMU records or provided by the Customer or applicant.
- Size of the past due account.
- Customer or applicant's ability to pay.
- Customer or applicant's payment history.
- Reason for the outstanding indebtedness.
- Any other relevant factors relating to the Customer's circumstances or applicant's service.
- An applicant shall pay a minimum of one-quarter (1/4) of the amount past due and owing at the time of entering into the deferred payment agreement. RMU shall allow an additional three (3) months for payment to be made under a deferred payment agreement. Late payments charges may be assessed against the amount owing which is the subject of a deferred payment agreement. Exceptions to the above may be made on a case by case basis as determined by RMU.
- A deferred payment agreement shall be in writing, with a copy provided so the applicant or Customer, and shall conform to the following requirements:
- Applicant shall be required to pay all future bills for utility service by the due date.
- Applicant shall retire his/her debt according to terms of the deferred payment agreement.
- Customers requesting the deferred payment program must come to the RMU Business Office, 333 Lincoln Highway, and make application.
- If an applicant defaults upon any payment due under the deferred payment agreement, RMU shall have the right to discontinue service without further notice.
- If the Customer defaults on a deferred payment agreement but has not been notified of service disconnect by RMU, RMU shall permit such Customer to be reinstated on the deferred payment agreement if the Customer pays in full the amount which should have been paid up to that date pursuant to the original payment agreement (including any amounts for current usage which have become past due.) If Customer has been notified of default, all arrears and security deposit must be paid or the service is subject to disconnect.
- If the Customer's economic or financial circumstances change during the effective period of a deferred payment agreement, and the Customer defaults on a deferred payment agreement but has not yet had service discontinued by RMU, RMU shall renegotiate the terms and conditions of the deferred payment agreement, taking into consideration the changed economic and financial circumstances substantiated by the Customer. RMU shall not be obliged to renegotiate any deferred payment agreement more than one time or so extend the payment period beyond the maximum of three (3) months available at the time RMU and the Customer entered into the original deferred payment agreement.
- Charges for service shall be a lien upon the premises as provided by statute. Whenever a bill for such service remains unpaid for thirty (30) days RMU may file with the Recorder of Ogle County, a statement of lien claims. This statement shall contain the legal description of the premises served, the amount of the unpaid bill, and a notice that the City claims a lien for this amount as well as for all charges for subsequent service to the period covered by the bill.
- If the Customer whose bill is unpaid is not the Owner of the premises, and RMU has notice of this, then a notice shall be mailed to the Owner of the premises if the address is known to RMU, whenever such bills remain unpaid for a period of thirty (30) days.
- The failure of RMU to mail such notice, or the failure of the Owner to receive such notice, shall not affect the right to foreclose the lien for unpaid bills as mentioned in the following paragraph.
- Property subject to lien for unpaid charges may be sold for nonpayment of same, and the proceeds of such sale be applied to pay the charges, after deducting costs. Such foreclosure shall be by bill in equity in the name of RMU, in any court having jurisdiction.
- In all cases where the charges or rates established by the City and/or RMU become delinquent, and it becomes necessary to file a statement thereof in the office of the Recorder of Deeds, there shall be added as part of such delinquent charge the Recorder's fee for the filing of said statement and the costs verifying the legal description of the property on which such lien is attached. RMU is hereby directed and authorized to include said additions in the RMU sworn statements showing such delinquency.
Billing adjustments to a customer's account due to meter error or other circumstances are as follows:
- If an adjustment for an underbilling is required on a customer's account, the maximum length of time to go back for the underbilling adjustment will be twelve (12) months.
- If an adjustment for an overbilling is required on a customer's account, the maximum length of time to go back for the overbilling adjustment will be thirty-six (36) months.
- RMU will either adjust based on actual usage, if available or on estimated usage for the period involved, up to the maximum adjustment period.
- The customer may dispute the adjustment under the section Customer Disputes.
- The customer may not dispute for amounts attributable to periods in excess of the maximum thirty- six (36) months above.
- At any time before the date of termination of utility service either for nonpayment of the amount shown on the utility bill, or for a violation of RMU's rules, standards, terms and conditions, or for a notice of rejection, a Customer may dispute the basis of the rejection or termination. The Customer shall not be entitled to dispute the basis of termination or rejection if the basis was the subject of a previous dispute under this Paragraph.
- The procedure for Customer disputes shall be as follows:
- Before the date of termination, the Customer shall notify the RMU Business Office, orally or in writing that the Customer disputes all or part of the amounts shown on the utility bill, the notice of rejection or notice of termination, or any other reason for termination, stating as completely as possible the basis for the dispute.
- If the Chief Financial Manager determines that the present dispute is untimely or that the customer previously disputed the basis, the Chief Financial Manager shall mail to the Customer a notice stating that the present dispute is untimely or invalid. A dispute is untimely if filed after utility service has been terminated. RMU shall then proceed as if the Customer had not notified the RMU Business Office of the present dispute.
- If the Chief Financial Manager determines that the present dispute is not untimely or invalid under the provisions of these Terms and Conditions, the Chief Financial Manager, within three (3) days after receipt of the Customer's notice, shall arrange an informal meeting between the Customer and the Chief Financial Manager.
- Based on RMU's records, the Customer's allegations and all other relevant materials available to the Chief Financial Manager, the Chief Financial Manager shall attempt to resolve the dispute in a manner satisfactory to both RMU and the Customer.
- Within five (5) days of completion of the meeting the Chief Financial Manager shall mail to the Customer a copy of his decision resolving the dispute.
- If the decision is unsatisfactory to the Customer, the Customer, within five (5) days of his receipt of the Chief Financial Manager's decision, may file, in writing with the Chief Financial Manager a request for a formal hearing before the General Manager.
- The formal hearing before the General Manager shall be held within ten (10) days of the Chief Financial Manager's receipt of the Customer's written request.
- At the hearing, the Chief Financial Manager and the Customer shall be entitled to present all evidence that is, in the General Manager's view, relevant and material to the dispute, and to examine and cross-examine witnesses. A tape recorded (or at the option of RMU, a stenographic) record of the hearing shall be maintained.
- Based on the record established at the hearing, the General Manager, within five (5) days of the completion of the hearing, shall issue his written decision formally resolving the dispute. This decision shall be final and binding on RMU and on the Customer.
- Utilization of this dispute procedure shall not relieve a Customer of his/her obligation to timely and completely pay all other undisputed utility charges, and the undisputed portions of the amounts which are subject to the present dispute; and to otherwise comply with these rules and standards. Notwithstanding Paragraph D, failure to timely and completely pay all such undisputed amounts or to comply with these rules and standards, shall subject the Customer to termination of utility service in accordance with the provisions of this Section.
- D. Until the date of the General Manager's decision, RMU shall not terminate the disputed utility service of the Customer and shall not issue a notice of termination to Customer solely based upon the matters in dispute. If it is determined that the Customer must pay some or all of the disputed amounts, or must take some action to comply with these rules, standards, terms and conditions, the Chief Financial Manager shall promptly mail to, or personally serve upon the Customer a notice of termination, which shall contain the following:
- Amount to be paid or the violation to be corrected,
- Date of the notice of termination,
- Date of termination, which shall be at least five (5) calendar days after date of notice of termination, and
- Notice either that unless RMU receives complete payment in the amount shown prior to the date of termination, or that the violation has been corrected, the applicable utility service shall be terminated under this Section.
- RMU shall not discontinue service at the meter subsequent to 2:00 p.m. unless prepared to reconnect the same day at the standard reconnection charge, if any. No disconnection of service will be made on a holiday or weekend day unless prepared to reconnect on the holiday or weekend day.
- Termination of utility service to all residential users, including all tenants of apartment buildings, for nonpayment of bills shall not be done:
- On any day when the National Weather Service forecast for the following twenty-four (24) hours covering the area of RMU in which the residence is located includes a forecast that temperatures will be thirty-two (32) degrees Fahrenheit or below;
- On any day preceding a holiday or a weekend when such a forecast indicated that the temperature will be thirty-two (32) degrees Fahrenheit or below during the holiday or weekend.
- RMU shall not discontinue electric service if such action will aggravate an existing serious illness of any person who is a permanent resident of the premise where service is rendered if the Customer complies with the following requirements regarding such illness.
- The illness must be certified to RMU by a registered physician. The certification shall be in writing and shall include the name of the ill person, a statement that he/she is a resident of the premise in question, the name, business address and telephone number of the certifying party, the nature of the illness and the period of time during which termination will aggravate the illness.
- Initial certification by the certifying party may be by telephone if written certification is forwarded to the RMU within five (5) days.
- Initial certification shall prohibit discontinuance of service for thirty (30) days. Certification may be renewed by the Customer for an additional thirty days by providing another certificate to RMU. Failure to renew the certificate shall entitle RMU to initiate discontinuance procedures.
- The Customer must enter into an agreement for the retirement of the unpaid balance of the account within the first thirty (30) days and keep the current account paid during the period that the unpaid balance is to be retired. Notice of discontinuance of service must be sent to residential customers.
- In the event service is terminated within fourteen (14) days prior to certification of illness, by or for a qualifying resident, service shall be restored to that residence if a proper certification is thereafter made in accordance with the foregoing provisions.
- Nothing in this Section shall be construed to prevent discontinuance of service for reasons of safety, health, or cooperation with civil authorities.
- By the payment due date shown on a utility bill has not received complete payment of the amounts shown on the bill, or;
- The violation of these rules and standards has not been corrected, then RMU shall mail to, or personally serve upon the Customer a notice of termination at least six (6) calendar days after payment due date or the date of the violation was to be corrected.
- When violation of the rules and procedures occurs, RMU in its sole discretion may implement termination procedures for the utility involved. The notice of termination shall contain the following:
- The amount to be paid or the violation to be corrected;
- The date of the notice of termination;
- The date of termination, which shall be at least five (5) calendar days from dale of notice of termination;
- Notice that unless RMU receives complete payment of the amount shown or that the violation has been corrected prior to the date of termination, the utility service shall be terminated; and
- Notice that in lieu of paying the entire amount shown, a Customer, prior to the date of termination, may notify RMU that Customer disputes the correctness of all or part of the amount shown if all or part of the amount shown was not the subject of a previous dispute under Section 11.02.110, or that Customer disputes that Customer is in violation of these rules, standards, terms and conditions. The basis of the dispute shall not have been the subject of a previous dispute under these rules and standards,
- If, prior to the date of termination,
- RMU has not received complete payment of the amount shown on the notice of termination;
- Customer has not notified RMU that Customer disputes the correctness of all or part of the amount shown on the notice of termination;
- Customer has not notified RMU that Customer disputes violation of these rules, standards, terms and conditions; or
- Customer has not corrected the violation shown on the notice of violation;
- Then RMU shall terminate the applicable utility service provided to Customer on the date of termination.
- RMU receives payment of the entire amount shown on the notice of termination or the violation has been corrected prior to the dale of termination, such payment or correction shall be considered timely.
- RMU shall not terminate utility service for nonpayment of amounts less than fifty dollars ($50.00).
In the event of termination of utility service in accordance with the provisions of this Section, RMU shall reinstate utility service to Customer within one (1) full working day of RMU's receipt of either complete payment of the amount whose nonpayment prompted the termination or notice that the violation has been corrected.When RMU makes the service pipe connection to the water main, the charges shall be in accordance with the rate schedules for excess charges.
- RMU shall read meters and issue bills for service on a monthly basis; monthly shall mean a period of approximately thirty (30) days. If a Customer requests a reading between scheduled meter reading dates, a charge of ten dollars ($10.00) will be made to the Customer.
- When the meter fails to register, the charge for the utility used during the period of non-registration will be determined from an average corresponding period. When such an estimate is obviously unfair to either the Customer or RMU, an estimate will be agreed to by both parties. If both parties cannot agree, all the facts will be submitted to the General Manager for a decision which will be final.
- In the event that an interior water meter and its outside reading device (remote reader) do not have the same readings, then the inside meter reading shall be the official reading for purposes of determining water usage and appropriate costs for said water usage.
- RMU may render an estimated bill for any billing period in which:
- RMU has taken appropriate and reasonable measures to read the meter, including but not limited to, making an appointment with the Customer, scheduling readings for times other than normal business hours, and/or providing postal cards on which the Customer may record the reading and mail it to RMU; or
- The Customer has knowingly and willfully denied reasonable access to an RMU representative for the purpose of taking an actual reading of the meter; or
- The Customer has otherwise made an actual reading of the meter unnecessarily difficult or;
- Circumstances beyond the control of RMU make an actual reading of the meter extremely difficult.
- RMU shall be given entry upon request at such time as deemed necessary for the inspection or repair of the meter or outside reading devices. The Owner of the property or the parties which made application for the meter and reading device shall at all times be responsible for any damage done by freezing, hot water, fire or other breakage and shall be charged with cost of repairs thereof, plus the cost of installation. In the event the seal is missing or disturbed in any way, the party or parties shall be subject to the penalty of this Section. If found guilty, the party shall pay all fines and costs plus a ten dollar ($10.00) service charge.In the event the Customer desires to test the accuracy of the water or electric meter, RMU will test the meter for a fee of ten dollars ($10.00) for a residential dwelling. Charges for testing commercial and industrial meters shall be based on actual cost for labor and materials expended by RMU. Should the Customer desire the test be made, the RMU employee will, in the Customer's presence, seal the meter before the employee leaves the Customer's presence, and the seal will not be broken or the test made except in the presence of the Customer. If the meter test indicates that the meter is not accurate, the meter will be repaired or replaced, and in the case of a residential dwelling, the ten dollar ($10.00) fee will be returned to the Customer.RMU shall not be responsible in damages for any failure to supply electricity or water, or for interruption, or for reversal of the supply, if such failure, or interruption, or reversal is without willful default or negligence on its part, nor for interruptions, by underfrequency relays or otherwise, to preserve the integrity of RMU's system or interconnected system.
- The benefits and obligations of the contract for service shall inure to and be binding upon the successors and assigns of the original parties thereto, respectively, for the full term thereof; provided, that no assignment shall be made by the Customer without first obtaining RMU's written consent and provided, further, that the successor shall execute and deliver to RMU an agreement assuming and agreeing to be bound by the original contract.
- No agent has the authority to amend, modify, or alter the contract for service, or waive any of its conditions, or to bind RMU by making any promises or representations not contained therein.In case a fire or other casualty shall occur on the premises, rendering them unfit for the purposes of the Customer's business, the Customer's contract shall thereupon be suspended until such time as the premises shall have been reconstructed and reoccupied by the Customer for the purposes of his/her business. (Ord 95.2751 (7.25.94))