NEW- Water / Sewer Billing Policy!

RESOLUTION 228-2017

WATER / SEWER SERVICE BILLING POLICY

The New Meadows City Council desires to have a standard for billing, collection and adjustment practices for Utility Billing of the Water and Sewer Services offered by the city’s systems and resolves the following:

1.Applications

  1. FEDERAL RED FLAG RULES: The city is required to follow the Federal Red Flag Rules Policy for identification of utility account holders.  This policy requires the city to investigate potential situations in which fraud is suspected, detected, reported, and / or noticed.  This includes usage of the city’s utility system that is deemed to be abnormal.  Sufficient Identification to identify the utility customer is required to open any utility account not held by the property owner.  New property owners are also required to supply sufficient identification of themselves as the property owner, either through a recorded document or notification by a title company doing business within Adams County.
  2. OWNER / TENANT AGREEMENTS-APPLICATIONS: An Owner / Tenant Agreement is required for all accounts.  The agreement allows an owner of a property to indicate his or her desire to have the billing sent to a Tenant or 3rd Party.  This agreement DOES NOT relinquish the owner’s responsibility for the water and / or sewer charges levied against the account / property, instead it only allows an option for a tenant or 3rd Party to receive the billing notices.
  3. TENANT APPLICATIONS: A non-property owner must complete a Tenant Application at time of account set-up.  This application allows for the city to gather information on the Tenant or 3rd Party for billing purposes.

 

2.Billing

  1. BILLING: Billing occurs as close to the 1st day of each month as possible for all monthly customers.  If the 1st falls on a weekend or a holiday, billing may occur within one business day, either before or after the weekend or holiday.
  2. E-BILLING: The city offers FREE E-Billing to customers who provide a valid email address.  E-Bills are generated during billing and save the city money in postage, printing and handling.  All account holders are encouraged to help benefit the system by signing up for E-Billing.
  3. CONTINUOUS BILLING: The City of New Meadows requires a consistent revenue source to maintain and operate the Water and Sewer Systems.  Those properties with connections in the ground that have been billed monthly, will continue to receive a monthly bill based on their usage and fee schedule. 
  4. EMPLOYEE & ELECTED OFFICIAL RATES: Employees, elected and appointed officials do not receive a discount or special privilege.  Their bills follow the same billing processes and rates as other customers connected to the system.
  5. WATER / SEWER CONNECTIONS:  All properties within New Meadows are required to have a water and sewer connection.  Connection charges for a new connection are assessed on submission of a building permit application and considered ‘active’ upon occupancy of the property.  See – Water & Sewer Ordinances and Building Code Requirements.
  6. ANNUAL WILL SERVES: Properties that historically have been approved to have water and / or sewer connections are called “Will Serve Properties”.  These properties are charged an annual assessment fee.  This fee is calculated by the Administrative and Capitalization Fees.  These fees include depreciation, debt and fees to help offset some of the capitalization costs associated with maintaining the systems.  The Administrative Fee may be reduced if the Annual Will Serve Assessment is paid in one lump sum at the first billing cycle.  Will Serve fees are charged in the fiscal period of each year. 

3.Budget Pay

WHAT IS BUDGET PAY? Budget Pay is a payment plan that helps users budget for utility costs by relieving the highs and lows in the monthly utility bills.  With Budget Pay, estimated water/sewer charges are spread out evenly over 13 months.  The Budget Pay amount is based on the average monthly billing and rounded up to the nearest $5 increment.

HOW DOES BUDGET PAY WORK? It is necessary to enroll in Budget Pay.  Once an account is on Budget Pay, the next bill will note Budget Pay enrollment.  The meter will still be read as normal and bills will show the actual utility charges, but the user will be asked to pay the Budget Pay amount.  Because this is a budgeting tool, not a discount to rates, the account is still billed for water used, sewer charges and other monthly fees.

WHO CAN GO ON BUDGET PAY? Budget Pay is available to all customers who do not have an overdue balance.  When establishing Budget Pay it is necessary that a customer have at least twelve months of continuous service at the location.  This will ensure the budget amount is calculated accurately based on customer usage.  If a user anticipates any major changes in lifestyle such as number of people living in the home, changes in water or sewer system appliances, or possibly changes in the irrigation system of the property, it may be best to wait to enroll in Budget Pay.  These changes can drastically change the water usage for the property.

DOES THE BUDGET PAY AMOUNT EVER CHANGE? Budget Pay amounts are recalculated in March and September of each year.  The revised Budget Pay amount will be based on the average of the most recent 13 monthly billings while also considering any debit or credit balance on the account.  These changes ensure the user pays the average of what is owed throughout the year and prevents a large account balance or credit from accruing.  Changes to a Budget Pay plan may occur in six months if the calculated budget amount is $50 below or above the current budget amount.

WHEN DOES THE BUDGET PAY AMOUNT CHANGE? Changes in water usage would be the most common reason a customer’s Budget Pay amount changes.  If more water is used than estimated, the budget pay amount may increase.  Increased usage can be due to several factors, including adding appliances, over-irrigating, or more people living in the home using water.  However, if less water is used than estimated, the Budget Pay amount may decrease.  Water conservation is important and there are several resources available to help educate on water conservation.  Additionally, an annual water reading report can be generated by City Staff on request.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS?  Regular, on time, monthly payments are essential to continue on the Budget Pay plan and to avoid late payment charges or disconnection of service.  If monthly bills are not paid on time, late payment charges will be applied and the account will be removed from the plan.  The account balance must be paid in full to re-start the program.  Budget Pay payments are due in full by the 10th of each month.  Missing two consecutive monthly Budget Pay plan payments will discontinue the plan and a disconnect will occur on or near the 25th of that month if not paid.  Only two attempts at Budget Pay will be allowed in any 12 consecutive months.  A valid email address is suggested for all Budget Pay plan account holders.  Printed cards can be generated to send to customers, however, sending billing through email saves the city a lot of money each year in postage. 

HOW CAN BUDGET PAY BE CANCELLED?  When Budget Pay is cancelled, the user must pay the full account balance or set up a payment arrangement (see Catch-Up Plan).  The amount due will be printed on the next bill received after the plan is cancelled. If there is a credit account balance, the credit will be applied to future bills or refunded upon account closure.  It is required the customer submit in writing the date at which they desire to have the budget pay cancelled.

HOW IS BUDGET PAY AFFECTED WHEN THERE IS A RATE INCREASE?  A rate change may impact the Budget Pay amount over time.  This change will be seen the next time Budget Plan is re-calculated.

WHAT HAPPENS WITH BUDGET PAY WHEN THE USER MOVES OR CHANGES THE ACCOUNT?  Transferring service discontinues the Budget Pay plan, and the full account balance becomes due on the next bill.  Any credit balance can be applied to future bills, refunded or transferred to the new account.

ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL FEES?  It is important to look at the monthly e-statement or billing card.  An account could be charged a late fee if there is a balance.  These late fees will be removed from the account during the six-month review of the account in March and September if all terms of the Budget Pay have been followed. 

 

TIPS AND TRICKS: Many customers can set up auto-pay through their financial institution’s bill-pay software.  The financial institution mails the city a check for the budget pay amount.

SEE AN EXAMPLE OF HOW BUDGET PAY WORKS: EXHIBIT A

 

4.Catch-Up Payments

Occasionally customers become delinquent due to circumstances that are out of their control.  The city will work with these customers on a case by case basis.  Some of the possible reasons why the city might take action: death in the family, extreme sudden health problems with someone in the family, unforeseen unemployment, water leak or some other disaster.  The city may offer a catch-up plan to allow the customer to keep the water turned on.  This plan does not stop monthly billing, but offers a payment solution that balances the customer’s financial obligation for services delivered and the city’s requirement to be fiscally responsible.  Customers who cannot pay their entire balance and have experienced a circumstance out of their control, within 45 days after the payment is due may be eligible to enter an approved payment plan.  Similar to Budget Pay listed above, calculations will be made to ‘catch-up’ the balance within three months.  If the customer cannot make the required Catch-up amount within those three months the account will be turned off unless another agreeable arrangement can be made.  These actions will be taken to the City Council for review and approval.  A hardship letter will be required for all “catch-up” plans signed by the customer explaining the hardship and what remedies have been taken if applicable.  This letter and payment plan agreement will be shared with the property owner if the customer is a tenant and the property owner must agree in writing to the Catch-up plan.   Late fees will still apply to the account.  The account in its entirety may be deferred to the Adams County Treasurer (see – Tax Assessments) for collection in the same manner as property taxes if the catch-up plan is not followed.  Catch-up plans will only be offered once which can be approved by the Mayor or the Clerk.  A second time will require notification to the Mayor, City Council, and property owner for the possibility of termination of the account and disconnection of water to the meter at the discretion of the City Council.  SEE EXHIBIT B – CATCH UP PLAN EXAMPLE WITH BUDGET PAY.

 

5.Charges

  1. CHARGE LINES:  Rates and Fees are set by the City Council from time to time by Resolution, and if required, by public hearing.  The following definitions or policies define the Charge Lines printed on the billing cards or e-statements:
  • The ‘H2O Gallons’ charge line is used to offset variable costs related to the amount of drinking water produced, such as: Regular Maintenance, Wellhead Pump & Booster Station Electrical Costs, Safe Drinking Water Testing, Lead & Copper Reporting, Debt Service and other operational costs.
  • The ‘Water Administrative Fee’ charge line is used to offset administrative costs related to producing the bills, such as postage, telephone, technology maintenance etc.
  • The ‘Water Capitalization Fee’ charge line is used to offset portions of Water Capital Improvement costs and some Depreciation.
  • The ‘Sewer Flat Rate’ charge line is used to offset the total cost to operate the Sewer System, including Treatment & Disinfection, Plant Electrical Costs, Effluent & Residuals Testing, Governmental Reporting, Debt Service and other operational costs.
  • The ‘Sewer Administrative Fee’ charge line is used to offset administrative costs related to producing the bills, administrative costs such as postage, telephone, technology maintenance, etc.
  • The ‘Sewer Capitalization Fee’ charge line is used to offset portions of Sewer Capital Improvement costs including some Depreciation.
  • The ‘Water Idle Fee’ charge line is used for customers who have a connection, but are not having water delivered to their property.  This fee is to allow these property owners to participate in the operational costs of the Water System.
  • The ‘Sewer Idle Fee’ charge line is used for customers who have a connection, but are not using sewer services on their property.  This fee is to allow these property owners to participate in the operational costs of the Sewer System.
    • Idle, Administrative and Capitalization Fees are charged to any property owner who has a connection but there is not a serviceable structure on the property or the structure is deemed unlivable.  Often empty lots are charged these fees if there was a historic connection to the property.
  • The ‘Water / Sewer Penalty Fee’ charge line is used to charge each account in which a balance due remains after the 25th of the month.  The Penalty Fee is charged on or about the 26th day of each month and can be waived on a case by case basis.
  • The ‘Service Call / Miscellaneous’ charge line is used when a Service Call Fee is charged.  A Service Call Fee is charged when: a request is made to turn on or turn off service; a new account is set-up; a meter is turned on or off for non-payment; certain re-reading of meters by hand at the customer’s request; and Special Assessment Charges / Fees that are charged.
  • The ‘Bad Check Charge’ is a charge for payments returned as uncollectible.
  • The ‘Overpayment’ is a charge line used when a customer has a credit balance. (This does not include Deposits which do not show up on the bill.)
  1. BULK CHARGES: From time to time the city sells ‘Bulk Water’ to customers that have their own bulk tank.  The tank must be inspected by City Staff for a Back-Flow Preventer.  The charge for the water is computed at the current bulk rate.  It is required that the bulk tank be filled only at approved sites by the Certified Water Operator of the city.

6.Customer Responsibilities

  1. BACK-FLOW VALVES: Back-Flow Valves / Preventers are required for all sprinkler systems, whether for irrigation or fire suppression.  Back-Flow Valves are required to be annually inspected by a certified Back-Flow Valve / Preventer Inspector.  Inspection reports must be filed with the city annually.  Failure to do so may result in disconnection of services to the property.
  2. PARKING: Customers should not park vehicles or place items over the water meter.  This may inhibit reading of the meters effectively.
  3. BILLING: Customers are encouraged to report any suspected discrepancies on receipt of the utility bill.  Any discrepancy found will be investigated following appropriate procedure.  The city wishes to make corrections whenever there is an error that is reported.  However, time is of the essence, as after a period of 12 months’, adjustments cannot be made to correct any billing issue.
  4. CUSTOMER USE: Customers should only deposit into the sewer system human waste and grey water from bathing, dishwashing or laundry.  The use of garbage disposals and high phosphate detergents is discouraged and may harm the city sewer system.  Removing a sewer cap to allow storm runoff into the sewer system is not permitted and could be considered illegal.

 

7.Credit Worthiness & Deposits

  1. CREDIT WORTHINESS:  There are six ‘Credit Worthiness Scores’ the city uses for future deposits or for written requests from others requesting credit information:

Good – Paid within terms

Fair – Paid occasionally late (less than 10% of the time account was active)

Bad – Paid while in collections (rarely used)

Poor – Paid late outside of a collection company (city received funds but had hired a collection company) (rarely used)

Poor – Previous Write-Offs / Deferrals

Extremely Poor – Unpaid in Collections or has an Unpaid Deferral amount certified to the Adams County Treasurer

  1. DEPOSITS:
  1. A ‘Deposit’ is required for each non-property owner residential account.  The deposit is applied to the account after 12 months of an account never being delinquent.  The deposit is held in a non-interest bearing account.  The deposit may also be applied to any delinquent account at the time of ‘turn off’ due to non-payment.  A new deposit will be required for any account that has been ‘turned off’ for non-payment.
  2. A ‘Deposit’ can be waived if a non-property residential customer has a Credit Worthiness with the city of a ‘Good’ rating.  Deposits are not charged for commercial accounts, nor are they charged for residential accounts held by the property owner; unless an account is or has been terminated for non-payment.
  3. A ‘Deposit’ is processed through the Cash Receipting System of the city with a hand-written receipt and computer generated receipt.  A duplicate receipt, either by photo copy or carbon copy is attached to the Customer Application.  The Batch Number and Receipt Number are notated with the amount in the Utility Billing Software so that it can be tracked accordingly.
  1. Return of credits / deposits are issued only after the meter has been read and the current customer has vacated the property.  This reading is marked as the final reading in the system and all payments and final charges have been applied.  A check will be issued to the customer and sent within 30 days.  Deposits can also be returned if the customer requests this in writing and has not been late in the previous 12 months.  If the customer has an account, the deposit will be applied to their account as a credit. If no account is held then a check will be issued within 30 days.

 

8.Best Payment & Payment Application Practices

  1. PAYMENTS:  Only payments submitted in the following ways can be accepted:
  • Cash payments at the payment window, followed by a minimum of a written receipt issued, countersigned by the customer and the city employee taking the payment.  Customers should NOT deposit cash in the drop box in front of City Hall or mail cash payments.
  • Check payments at the payment window, or deposited in the drop box in front of City Hall or mailed to the city.
  • Credit / Debit Card Payments at the payment window, or over the telephone.  A 3% fee is charged through the city’s third party vendor – ACCESS IDAHO.
  • Automatic Clearing House (ACH) is available for certain payers through a direct deposit process.  These vendors are typically governmental entities.
  1. ADJUSTMENTS: From time to time, in the manner of doing good business, adjustments of penalty charges may be reduced or eliminated for good faith reasons.    In rare instances, when a billing error has occurred, a penalty adjustment can be made.  All adjustments are at the discretion of the staff and the reason is noted when an adjustment is made.  (Written requests for adjustments of penalties is suggested, but not required at this time.)
  2. CUSTOMER PAYMENT AGREEMENTS: From time to time, a customer payment agreement is necessary to allow a customer additional time to pay a utility bill to avoid termination of services.  These agreements are in writing and valid only for three months.  The agreement must be strictly adhered to; any deviation will result in immediate termination of services without further notice.  The goal of the customer payment agreement is to outline a payment schedule that is beneficial to the city and the customer.  The agreement is signed by the customer, property owner and countersigned by either the City Clerk / Treasurer (or agent) or the Mayor of the City of New Meadows.  Good faith efforts will be used in determining a payment plan.  (See Catch-Up Plan)
  3. CITY CHARGES: It is the policy of the city to charge its varying funds for water consumption and sewer charges.  The Water and Sewer Utilities are two separate Enterprise Funds that are supported by the tax dollars received by the City of New Meadows.
  4. PENALTY CHARGES: A penalty charge is assessed on all accounts with greater than a zero balance on or shortly after the 26th day of each month, but not later than the following billing cycle.  Penalties are charged to offset administrative fees and promote prompt payment.
  1. RETURNED CHECKS PROCESSING: Checks and payment items that are returned as uncollectible will be processed in the following manner:
  • The notice is date stamped and initialed.
  • The payment is cancelled in the billing / receipting system.
  • A charge fee is assessed against the account.
    • The account is flagged as collecting a non-sufficient instrument
  • If the payment was used to stop a turn off, the account may be subject for immediate turn off.
  • The endorser of the check is notified by telephone if possible and in writing by First Class Mail:
    • The utility service is being turned off (if appropriate)
    • The utility account has been charged a ‘Bad Check Fee’
    • The endorser is given not more than 10 days to reclaim the check with cash or certified cashier’s check.
    • If the check is not reclaimed the matter is referred to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office for prosecution.
  1. TRANSFERS:  Customer accounts with a balance who move within the system, can request their balances be transferred to their new account.  Transferring balances will be approved or denied on a case by case basis based on the customer’s credit worthiness within the city’s system and must be in writing by the property owner who is receiving the balance transfer.

 

9.Notices

  1. OWNER / 3rd PARTY NOTICES: Late / Disconnect / Billing Notices will only be sent to Owners or 3rd Parties via email.  E-Billing Notices can be sent to multiple email addresses at the request of the Owner of the property.

 

10.Readings

  1. READINGS: As much as possible, a new reading will be electronically read each month around the 22nd day.  The readings are then uploaded as soon as possible into the Utility Billing Software.  (PLEASE NOTE: THE METERS ARE INTELLIGENT AND PRODUCE MUCH INFORMATION BUT ARE ONLY AS INTELLIGENT AS THE SOFTWARE THE CITY UTILIZES)
  2. LEAKS: As soon as the data from the readings are entered into the system, a leak report is generated.  (PLEASE NOTE: A 24-HOUR PERIOD IS SEGMENTED INTO 96 15-MINUTE SEGEMENTS) From this leak report three leak categories are identified:
    • NO LEAK – which indicates normal usage.
    • INTERMITTENT LEAK – which indicates usage is occurring a majority of the time (more than 50% of any 24-hour period, but less than the full 24-hour period).
    • CONTINUOUS LEAK – which indicates usage is occurring 100% of the time in any 24-hour period.

NOTE: Not all leaks show up within the city’s system.This is due to the possibility when the customer has found a leak and either immediately repaired the leak or requested the city to turn the meter off.

11.Leak Notification

  1. LEAK NOTIFICATION: When the system determines a leak may be present, a letter is sent to the customer and the property owner (if applicable) indicating;
    • reading date;
    • address of the property;
    • type of leak suspected;
    • possible number of days the leak is or has occurred;
    • an estimate of the bill;
    • 12-month reading report. 

It is the customer’s responsibility to repair the leak as soon as possible.  Continuous leak letters are always sent unless the customer/property owner has requested the city not notify them, either because of knowledge of their system or an earlier repair.  Intermittent leak letters are sent on a case by case basis to the customer/property owner after staff reviews the customer usage history and determines if;

  • the customer/property owner has previously been notified,
  • the leak is explainable by a known irrigation system or other mechanical system,
  • a leak had been repaired within the reading time and the city has been notified,
  • or the leak was very minor in nature. 

 

All major usage with a suspected leak will receive a notice and possibly a telephone call.A copy of the written leak notice is retained as part of the customer / property file and attached to the account when possible.The leak notices will follow the regular retention policy of the city.

 

12.Service Calls

  1. SERVICE CALLS: Customers may request to have their meter checked by City Staff.  A Service call charge may be applied to the account for turning on or turning off a service at the customer’s request or re-reading the meter during normal business hours (9am – 3pm).  Service call enhanced charges will be applied to the account for any call for service after hours, on weekends or on holidays.  This is to help the city recoup labor costs during these times.  When a significant leak is detected by either the city or the property owner, the charge may be waived.  Waiving the fee is at the discretion of the employee performing the work and is related to the time required to carry out the service request. (i.e. snow removal from meter).  Routine service calls should be scheduled at least twenty-four hours in advance.  Up to a two-hour response time for emergency service calls or after hour service calls should be expected, although city staff work hard to reduce that time.  Any delinquent account will be charged a Service Call Fee for turning on or off the service.
  2. METER LOCK OFFS: In rare circumstances, the meter may be padlocked for a specific reason as ordered by city staff.  Usually in this instance, it is due to tampering with the Water System.  Tampering with the Water System is a Federal Crime punishable by imprisonment and fine.

 

13.Shut-Offs / Disconnects

  1. PROHIBITED SHUT-OFFS / DISCONNECTIONS: The city cannot and will not shut-off or disconnect a service to a tenant at the request of the property owner for the purpose of eviction.  This is considered illegal under Idaho Code and may be grounds for a Fair-Housing Violation.
  2. EMERGENCY SHUT-OFFS / DISCONNECTIONS: When a severe leak is detected in the system of a property, it is at the discretion of the City’s Certified Water or Sewer Operator to turn off or disconnect the property at the meter to protect the system(s), the property or other public infrastructure.  Efforts will be made to notify the property owner and suggest possible solutions to mitigate the problem.  Examples of Emergency Shut-Offs:
  • Water or Sewerage pouring out of a structure
  • Water or Sewerage saturating the ground where normally it is not
  • Water or Sewerage flowing out of the ground, near a water meter or water main line
  1. LATE NOTICES (REMINDERS): Late Notices are prepared on the Wednesday following the 10th of the month, but not later than the 15th.  Late Notices are sent to customers who are more than 30 days late, but not more than 45 days late; including those customers whose water has been disconnected or are receiving charges only for Administrative Fees, Debt, and Capital Improvements.  (E-Billing Notices can be sent to multiple email addresses at the request of the Owner of the property.) – See E-Billing
  2. LATE NOTICES (DISCONNECT): Disconnect Notices are prepared on the Wednesday following the 10th of the month, but not later than the 15th.  Disconnect Notices are sent to customers who are more than 45 days delinquent and have not entered into a Customer Payment Agreement or have not kept their Customer Payment Agreement payments current.  (E-Billing Notices can be sent to multiple email addresses at the request of the Owner of the property.) – See E-Billing
  3. IMMINENT SHUT OFF / DISCONNECT POSTINGS: A red flyer, printed in both English and Spanish, is posted at the property if the service will be terminated for non-payment.  This flyer is posted at least 24-hours prior to the meter being turned off. 

 

14.Special Notices & Reports

  1. END OF YEAR REPORTS: Property Owners may request an end of year calendar report for tax purposes.  The report may include charges, adjustments, payments, readings and other information, but shall not include Social Security Numbers or other private information.
  2. INFORMATION SHARING: To the extent allowed by law, the city shall comply with or without a subpoena with other agencies involved in investigating crimes against persons, property, including victimless crimes as may be determined.  Requests of this nature shall go through the City Clerk (or designee) and will be verified for legal aspects by the City Attorney.
  3. DISCLOSURES: Customer mailing information, payment history and payment types are protected from being disclosed to the public.  Public agencies however may inquire and receive information, including tenants, ownership, contact information, legal descriptions, zones, etc.  Accounts of Public Officials and Employees of the City of New Meadows are annually audited for discrepancies by the city’s auditor.
  1. TITLE COMPANY PAYOFF QUOTES:  The city wishes to work with all owners of properties as they attempt to list their properties or as new purchasers request information regarding the balances due.  It is preferred that a Title Company contact the City Clerk / Treasurer in writing; either by fax, email or USPS, to request information regarding any payoff quote.  The city will create a quote for the payoff amount closest to the requested ‘closing’ date of the property.  This includes persons wishing to refinance properties.  All potential purchasers and sellers of property are encouraged to contact the City Clerk or designee to determine the potential amounts owed.  THE CITY ENCOURAGES THE USE OF A LOCAL TITLE COMPANY FOR ALL PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS!  BALANCES OWED FOLLOW THE PROPERTY!
  2. FORECLOSURES & BANK OWNED PROPERTIES:  All properties on the system at the time of foreclosure will continue to be billed a monthly or annual rate depending on the previous owner’s billing status.  The city will attempt to notify the owner of record and continue to bill the owner of record until which time the owner of record has officially been changed at the Adams County Assessor’s Office.  All fees and charges apply.

 

15.Tax Assessments (Special)

DEFERMENTS / SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS: Accounts that carry a balance greater than three months beginning in May of any given year will be noticed for Special Assessment by First Class, Return Receipt Certified Mail.  Additionally, a First Class Mailing of said notice will be sent to Third Parties, Tenants and Owners of said property. 

  • Notice of Special Assessment will include a Transactional Report generated from the billing software dated to the last time the account was at a Zero Balance. 
  • Notice of Special Assessment is sent to the billing address of the property owner listed on the Adams County Assessor’s Uniform Tax Assessment Roll mailing list at the time the Special Assessment is being processed.  Notices that are returned unclaimed or unable to forward will not require the city to send any further notice. 
  • A property owner, together with his or her agent or tenant, may enter into a payment agreement for payment of the delinquency, as approved by the City Clerk / Treasurer.  If the payment agreement is kept and followed, no further Special Assessment action will occur.
  • Balances on the accounts on the third to the last working day of July will be deferred to the Adams County Treasurer to be collected in the same manner as property taxes.  A Special Assessment Fee will be levied against the account and certified to the Adams County Treasurer in the same manner.  The fee will be charged under the ‘Miscellaneous’ line of said account. 
  • A letter to the Adams County Treasurer, with a Notarized Original Signature of the City Clerk will indicate the Name, Mailing Address, Physical Address, Utility Account Number, Lot and Block Number and Legal Description of the property as indicated by the Uniform Tax Assessment Roll of Adams County as provided by the Adams County Assessor at the time of Notice.  The amount owed including the charges for water and sewer fees including penalties and processing fees (Special Assessment Fees), is also included in the letter.
  • Once the amount is certified to the Adams County Treasurer, the amount is processed through the billing software as ‘deferred’.  Any payment specific to the property for the Special Assessment through Adams County is promptly processed through the City’s Utility Billing Software as a deferred account payment.  Deferred account payments are processed separately from monthly, routine utility payments. 
  • Deferred amounts are identified and reported to the city’s Auditor for review during the following year’s annual audit.  Deferments may be ‘written off’ after city staff and the auditor agree the amounts cannot be collected.

 

16.User Classifications

USER CLASSIFICATIONS: The city employs User Classifications to help in financial planning and rate setting.  The following classifications are employed:

  • Residential – meaning the main purpose is to supply water / sewer services for a residence.
  • Commercial – meaning the main purpose is to supply water / sewer services for a commercial or retail enterprise.
  • Industrial – meaning the main purpose is to supply water / sewer services for a manufacturing or industrial enterprise.
  • Irrigation – meaning the main purpose is to supply water for irrigation of parks or agricultural entities / needs.
  • Hydrant – meaning the main purpose is to supply water for fire suppression.

 

17.Disputes

  1. WATER METER REPLACEMENT / USAGE DISPUTES:  Customers that question the amount of usage charged on their account should request a re-read within 30 days of the billing.  In instances where the customer believes the meter is incorrectly reading the usage, the customer may request in writing the meter be inspected.  If during the inspection of the meter by a qualified inspector chosen by the city, the meter is found to be erroneous, the city shall make the appropriate adjustments to the customer account and if appropriate replace the meter at the city’s cost.  If the meter is found to be correct and the customer still disputes the inspector’s findings, the customer may purchase a new meter at the city’s cost plus time and materials for the replacement parts.  The amount will be added to the customer’s utility bill.
  2. BILLING DISPUTES: Customers are expected to review their bills on receipt for accuracy.  See - Customer Responsibilities.

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the City of New Meadows, that the processes outlined above are hereby adopted and in full force after its passage and approval as the Standardized Policy for Water and Sewer Utility Management.

 

DATED this 13th day of February, 2017

 

City of New Meadows, Adams County, Idaho

 

/s/ Tony Koberstein, Mayor

 ATTEST:

/s/ Jacob M Qualls, City Clerk / Treasurer

 

18.BUDGET PAY – EXHIBIT A

The customer below has a zero balance due

Period

 

Gallons

Cost (W/S Combined)

Current Balance Due

$0.00

16-Oct

 

7962

$132.97

16-Sep

 

19950

$252.85

16-Aug

 

19774

$251.09

16-Jul

 

14012

$193.47

16-Jun

 

7697

$130.32

16-May

 

1780

$71.15

16-Apr

 

1711

$70.46

16-Mar

 

1549

$68.84

16-Feb

 

1673

$70.08

16-Jan

 

961

$62.96

15-Dec

 

1666

$70.01

15-Nov

 

1970

$73.18

15-Oct

 

16319

$110.90

       

13 Mo Total

 

97024

$1,558.28

Divide by 13

13

7463

$119.00

       

Suggested Budget Payment would be $120.00

 

 

19.CATCH-UP PAYMENTS – EXHIBIT B

The customer below is in a Budget Pay and a Catch-up Payment Plan

Period

 

Gallons

Cost (W/S Combined)

Current Balance Due

$420.60

16-Oct

 

5827

$111.62

16-Sep

 

7793

$131.28

16-Aug

 

7067

$124.02

16-Jul

 

5766

$111.01

16-Jun

 

6097

$114.32

16-May

 

4901

$102.36

16-Apr

 

5626

$109.61

16-Mar

 

4779

$101.14

16-Feb

 

5264

$105.99

16-Jan

 

5373

$107.08

15-Dec

 

4950

$102.85

15-Nov

 

4861

$101.96

15-Oct

 

5150

$81.80

13 Mo Total

 

73454

$1,405.04

Divide by 13

13

5650

$108.00

AVERAGE (includes BD)

5650.307692

$130.40

Suggested Budget Payment would be $110.00

Suggested Catch Up Plan would be an additional $140.20 (Balance divided by 3)

Total Payment would be $250.20 for 3 months then $110 thereafter

 

 

Printable Utility Billing Policy
228-2017 Standardized Process for Utilit[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [227.4 KB]

Water & Wastewater Challenges - AWWA "Buried No Longer"

Public Services

Water & Sewer Services

SEE BELOW

________________________________________________________________________________

Electrical Services

Electrical services are provided by Idaho Power Company.  Please call Idaho Power 1-800-488-6151.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Solid Waste Services

Lakeshore Disposal provides trash hauling services to residents in the area.  Please call Lakeshore Disposal at 208-634-7176.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Transfer Site

Adams County operates a Solid Waste Transfer Site approximately 1 mile west of town on Highway 95.  The site is closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Holidays.  Contact Adams County Clerk's Office for pricing information at 208-253-6125.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Propane Services

Various propane companies deliver propane to New Meadows.

Regular Water & Sewer Customer Example    
Gallons Pumped (Water) 1000 gallons $10.00
Water Admin Fee   $2.50
Water Capital Improvement   $0.85
Sewer Flat Fee   $47.10
Sewer Admin Fee   $2.50
Sewer Capital Improvement   $0.41
Total Due Regular Customer Monthly   $63.36

Idle / Will Serve

Water & Sewer Customer Example

   
Water Idle Connection Fee   $6.50
Water Admin Fee   $2.50
Water Capital Improvement   $0.85
Sewer Idle Connection Fee   $7.30
Sewer Admin Fee   $2.50
Sewer Capital Improvement   $0.41
Total Due Idle / Will Serve Customer Monthly   $20.23
Annual Will Serve Customers      
Gallons Sold * -0- $.01 / gallon NO CHARGE
Water Will Serve 12 x $6.50 $78.00
Water Admin Fee 12 x $2.50 $30.00
Water Capital Improvement 12 x $0.85 $10.20
Sewer Flat Fee * -0- $47.10 NO CHARGE
Sewer Will Serve 12 x $7.30 $87.60
Sewer Admin Fee 12 x $2.50 $30.00
Sewer Capital Improvement 12 x $0.41 $4.92
Total Due Will Serve Customer Annual - per EDU     $240.72
Other Utitily Fees  

Residential Refundable Utility Deposit

(Non-Owner Occupy)

$150.00
Special Assessment Filing Fee $100.00
Returned Check Fee $25.00
Delinquency Charge ($3.50 - water / $3.50 - sewer) $7.00
Service Call - Business Hours $15.00
Service Call - After Hours $40.00
Bulk Water up to 2499 gallons $30.00
Bulk Water over 2500 gallons $60.00
Water Connection per EDU $2,900.00
Sewer Connection per EDU $5,670.00
Current Rates and Fees Resolution
Res 220-2015 FEES and RATES.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [103.6 KB]
Regular Monthly Customer Letter
Regular Customers Rate Change Letter.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [43.7 KB]
Annual Will Serve Customer Letter
Annual Assessment Rate Change Letter.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [42.2 KB]