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CITY CODE OF ORDINANCES – REVISIONS TO CHAPTER 30- UTILITIES City Commission/City Manager Workshop June 16, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "CITY CODE OF ORDINANCES – REVISIONS TO CHAPTER 30- UTILITIES City Commission/City Manager Workshop June 16, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 CITY CODE OF ORDINANCES – REVISIONS TO CHAPTER 30- UTILITIES City Commission/City Manager Workshop June 16, 2014

2 Educate the City Commission on the existing Code and provide detailed information on the proposed changes section by section. Gain input from the City Commission on the concepts and changes recommended based on best practices. Once finalized, a draft ordinance will be presented for City Commission consideration during the first regular City Commission meeting in August. OBJECTIVES OF DICUSSION 2

3 Certain elements of Chapter 30 of the City of Hallandale Beach Code of Ordinances have not been revised or updated since Therefore, outdated language and processes, such as additional charges in Sanitary Improvement District No. IV, and reference to Interim Package Sewage Treatment Plants, are still in place. The City Commission directed staff to review and revise as needed, Chapter 30, Utilities, of the City Code, as it pertains to the refund of water deposits, during the FY13 Budget Workshop. At the time, the City Commission was interested in implementing best practices regarding refund of water deposits. Utility billing and operation processes are outdated and in need to be revised in accordance with best practices. WHY REVISE THE CODE 3

4 While assessing the utility billing operations, staff found the following: Utility billing practices were not in accordance with City Code: the culture has been to be more lenient with customers than what is governed by best practices. As a result, there are uncollectible utility accounts going as far back as 1990 in the amount of $300,000; The City is two years behind in liening properties with unpaid utility bills; There were difficulties with storm water billing, which have since been resolved; The deposit paid for utility bills does not cover the utility charges and/or administrative costs of delinquent disconnection, meter removal, and reconnection when customers - non-owners - leave the premises without paying their standing bill; and, The City’s utility bill, which at the time of staff research consisted of a “postcard” format, was changed to a “letter” format, thereby providing a more comprehensible bill. ASSESSING UTILITY BILLING OPERATIONS 4

5 RECOMMENDATIONS – UTILITY BILLING PRACTICES Assemble the list of uncollectible debt pursuant to State Statute, that is, debt older than 2010, and present to the City Commission for “write off” and removal from the City’s pending liability; Staff is also proposing to forward the collectible debt to an outside collections agency; presently, this has not been done for utility accounts at least in the past five years; 5

6 TABLE 1- COMPARISON OF UTILITY BEST PRACTICES 6

7 PROPOSED CHAPTER 30 TABLE 2, PAGES 1-9 Article I. In General Sec General Provisions; Sec Definitions: These sections were added/modified respectively to centralize the general information throughout the code and unify the whole Chapter. Additions: Increase from fifteen (15) days to pay the bill to twenty (20) days. Requirement of notification of billing address changes. Offering duplicate bills sent to occupant of property. Clarified pay methods to reestablish service after a disconnection. Offer payment plans when customer agrees to have automatic bank draft of agreed upon payments. Clarifies debt collection process and computation of time. 7

8 PROPOSED CHAPTER 30 TABLE 2, PAGES Article II. Utility Billing Sec Applications: Identifies owner responsibility, existing and new/expanded properties, and change in ownership processes to clarify owner/tenant responsibilities and application guidelines. Sec Deposit required for City services: Added stipulations that if you are delinquent more than two (2) times within a twelve (12) month period the City reserves the right to increase the security deposit. However, if the customer has had a good pay history for the past twenty-four (24) months, the customer may request to have the deposit refunded to the utility account. 8

9 PROPOSED CHAPTER 30 TABLE 2, PAGES Article II. Utility Billing Sec Service rates schedule: Added a process for requesting a unit change for water and sewer base fees. Breakdown of each utility service (water, sewer, stormwater, and solid waste) charges as it pertains to residential and non-residential properties. Sec Penalties for tampering, illegal connections, and limitation of use: Added limitation of use to clarify the limitations of re-metering water usage. Increase tampering fee for second or more occurrences. Sec Delinquent accounts: disconnection/reconnection charges, and meter removal: Restructured section for more clarity and fluidity. Added locking of meter after 30 days disconnection in order to reduce the amount of tampering occurrences. Sec Unpaid utility charges constitute a lien on property: Defines Florida Statute within code to illustrate the City’s compliance with state law. Identifies owners responsibility for all utility services provided to the property. 9

10 PROPOSED CHAPTER 30 TABLE 2, PAGES Article IV. Sewer Services Division 1. Generally. Sec Septic tanks prohibited: Removed verbiage throughout the article pertaining to septic tanks, as the City no longer allows septic tanks to be installed. Sec Additional charge in Sanitary Improvement District No. IV: Removed entirely due to outdated policy. Division 2. Interim Package Sewage Treatment Plants. Sec thru Sec : Removed entirely as these treatment plants do not exist within the City, nor is there an expectation to be a need for them in the future. 10

11 QUESTIONS?


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