ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-333
An ordinance amending Chapters 15.12, 15.16, 15.32, 15.44 and 15.48 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws relative to work performed in the public right-of-way, private service line insurance, charges for disconnection of service, reconnection of service, returned checks, net and gross billing procedures and charitable discounts.
WHEREAS, it is in the public interest to clarify the responsibility of the Department of Water and Sewerage Services (“Department”) for restoration of private improvements located in public easements or rights-of-way and damaged during the course of the Department’s work; and,
WHEREAS, it is in the public interest to authorize the Department to seek private insurers to afford coverage to its customers for water and sewer line failures; and,
WHEREAS, the Tennessee Attorney General has opined that certain provisions of Chapter 15.32 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws, authorizing charitable discounts for water and sewerage service, are invalid; and,
WHEREAS, current processes employed and charges made by the Department do not permit the full recovery of all costs incurred with respect to disconnection of service, reconnection of service and returned checks; and,
WHEREAS, the amendments to Title 15 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws set forth herein will promote fairness in the allocation of costs incurred by the Department in the provision of necessary services and, therefore, are desirable.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1: There is enacted a new section 15.12.085 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws reading as follows:
15.12.085 Responsibility for work performed in public right-of-way or other easement.
In the event that the department undertakes work on a water line, sewer line, or other infrastructure owned by the Metropolitan Government and located within the public right-of-way or other public or utility easement, the department shall upon the completion of such work restore the approximate surface grade of any excavated area. The department shall not be responsible for the repair of any privately-owned material or infrastructure also located in the public right-of-way or other public or utility easement and damaged in the course of such work despite the exercise of reasonable care.
Section 2: Metropolitan Code of Laws § 15.16.200 is hereby amended by repealing in its entirety subsection (A) of that section and replacing it with the following:
15.16.200 Maintenance of service connection--Owner's and department's responsibility.
A. This section shall apply to meters (“domestic meters”) used solely for the purpose of measuring the flow of water intended for human consumption but not to meters used for irrigation, fire suppression, cooling towers, deduction or any other purpose. The department will own and maintain the portion of the water service line within the domestic meter box as well as the meter, meter box and any fittings within the meter box. The portion of the water service line from the public main to the domestic meter box shall be owned and maintained by the department where such meter is located within the public right-of-way but by the property owner if the meter is located outside the public right-of-way.
Domestic meters installed after the effective date of this ordinance shall be installed within the public right-of-way. Existing meters not currently located within the public right-of-way shall be relocated at the expense of the property owner to an area within the public right-of-way and approved by the department. Provided, however, that the director may in his discretion authorize the placement of a new domestic meter or the continued location of an existing meter outside the right-of-way if the property owner shall dedicate and record an access easement in favor of the department, without compensation, adequate to allow the department to maintain the water meter, meter box and any fittings inside the meter box.
Section 3: Metropolitan Code of Laws § 15.16.200 is hereby amended by adding a new subsection C reading as follows:
C. In accordance with the purchasing code and regulations, the director shall have discretion to solicit and, on behalf of the Metropolitan Government, enter into a contract with one or more qualified service providers to offer private service line insurance to customers of the department. Any such contract shall require that the costs of private service line insurance shall be borne by customers who elect to purchase the insurance and not by the department. No customer shall be required to purchase service line insurance as a condition to receiving water or sewer service.
Section 4: Sections 15.32.120, 15.32.130 and 15.32.140 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws are hereby repealed in their entirety.
Section 5: Section 15.44.040(B) of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby replaced in its entirety with the following:
An additional five percent of the total current net billing shall be added to the net billing, the total of which shall be the gross billing; provided, that the gross bill will be due if the net bill is not paid within twenty days of billing. The gross bill will be combined with any arrears to determine the total amount due.
Section 6: Section 15.48.210 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby replaced in its entirety with the following:
The net billing of all accounts, both quarterly and monthly, shall be paid within twenty days after the billing date. After twenty days have expired, the gross bill shall then be due and payable. No discount shall thereafter be given under this chapter except as allowed in the judgment of the director or his designee upon a showing of good cause for the delay in payment.
Section 7: Section 15.48.220(B) of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby replaced in its entirety with the following:
Any customer whose water service is disconnected for failing to pay for water or sewer service rendered by the department or failing to follow the requirements of this Chapter or the department’s rules and regulations must pay a reconnection charge in the amount of $50. No water service disconnected under this section shall be reconnected until the responsible customer has paid the full amount owed the department, including the reconnection charge.
Section 8: Section 15.48.230 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby replaced in its entirety with the following:
The water service of any customer who, despite proper notice, has failed to pay for water or sewer service when and as required under this Chapter or the department’s rules and regulations may be disconnected by the department. Such customer shall become liable to pay the reconnection charge specified in section 15.48.220(B) at the time when an employee of the department is dispatched for the purpose of disconnecting the customer’s service, regardless of whether the disconnection is accomplished.
Section 9: Section 15.48.260 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby replaced in its entirety with the following:
A handling charge of $30 shall be assessed against the maker or drawer of any check that is dishonored by the financial institution on which the check is drawn.
Section 10: Section 15.48.270 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby replaced in its entirety with the following:
The charge for reconnecting water service that has been disconnected at the request of the customer shall be $35 if service is reconnected on the same day as requested and $25 if reconnected on any subsequent day.
Section 11: Section 15.48.280 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is repealed in its entirety.
Section 12: This ordinance shall take effect from and after its final passage, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: Jason Potts, Lonnell Matthews
Amendment No. 1
Ordinance No. BL2013-333
I move to amend Ordinance No. BL2013-333 by amending Section 2 by deleting the second paragraph of subsection A. of Code Section 15.16.200 in its entirety and substituting with the following new paragraph:
“Domestic meters installed after the effective date of this ordinance shall be installed within the public right of way. Where there are existing domestic water meters located outside of the public right of way, as a condition of receiving service from the department, every customer shall be deemed to have authorized the presence and work of departmental employees and contractors on such customer’s property for repairing, replacing or maintaining any meter and any other purpose consistent with the duties assigned to the department under the Metropolitan Charter or Metropolitan Code. The property owner may also relocate the domestic meter at their expense to an area within or adjacent to the public right of way and approved by the department. Water service line from the right of way to the meter (if in a location other than the right of way) shall be the property and responsibility of the property owner. Provided, however, that the director may in his discretion authorize the placement of a new domestic meter outside of the public right of way if the property owner dedicates and records an access easement in favor of the department, without compensation, adequate to allow the department to maintain the water meter, meter box, and any fittings inside the meter box.”
Sponsored by: Jason Potts
|Introduced:||December 18, 2012|
|Passed First Reading:||December 18, 2012|
|Referred to:||Budget & Finance Committee
Public Works Committee
|Deferred:||January 8, 2013|
|Amended:||January 15, 2013|
|Passed Second Reading:||January 15, 2013|
|Passed Third Reading:||February 5, 2013|
|Approved:||February 12, 2013|
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