[Amended 3-14-2019 by L.L. No. 2-2019]
Capital costs shall be allocated to each parcel of real property based on the assessed valuation, front footage of property along which sewers are constructed, unit schedule or any combination of these methods. These costs shall be included in the real property taxes of all properties within the sewer district. The method of allocation will be determined by the Town Board at the time the capital expenditures are approved.
Operation and maintenance expenses will be allocated to each parcel of real property connected to the sewers based on either their number of units or metered water usage.
Unit assignment. Following the effective date of this chapter, and in each year thereafter, on or before the first day of January, the Department shall survey the district and assign to each structure within such district a unit number. Once established, each structure shall retain that unit designation until such time as the Town Board changes such designation or until such designation is changed by appropriate court order or other legal action.
Review of unit schedule assignment. Upon assignment of a unit, the Department shall make available in the Department office a listing by real property owner of such names that appear on the assessment roll of the Town, and of each parcel of real property with the unit designation. The Department shall publish, in a newspaper to be designated by the Town Board, the fact that such list is available and is open for review. Any person who wishes may review such list and may appeal the unit schedule assignment. An appeal of the unit schedule assignment may be made to the Town Board on a form to be provided by the Department for such purpose. The Town Board, upon hearing any appeal instituted under this section, shall not alter any unit schedule assignment until such time as the Town Board has been given an opportunity to have an on-site inspection made of the premises to determine estimated sewer usage.
Fractional unit schedule assignment. In making unit determinations, the Department may, in its discretion, assign a fraction of a unit to any structure which is determined to contain at least one unit, or assign a fraction of a unit to any structure which, in its determination, does not merit a unit charge.
"Vacant property," as used in this chapter, shall mean any unimproved or undeveloped real property in a district which is not used for agricultural purposes. All such vacant real property shall be charged for that portion of the sewer charge devoted to capital costs, and shall include no charge for operation and maintenance expenses.
"Vacant structures," as used in this chapter, shall be any structure or part structure which will be unoccupied or unused for a period of three months. Vacant structures shall not be assessed the full unit determination as set forth in this chapter if, prior to the time the structure becomes vacant, the owner or person having charge of the real property makes written application to the Department for a unit change. If the Department finds that in fact the structure will be vacant for a period of three months or more, it shall assign to that structure a prorated charge for operation and maintenances expenses and the full capital cost portion of the sewer charge, in the same manner as though said property were vacant property referred to in Subsection D above.
Destroyed or permanently vacated real property. In the event that a structure becomes destroyed or permanently vacated by the owner, and not used or otherwise occupied, the owner shall advise the Department, prior to the billing period, of such fact and request that sewer service to the real property be disconnected. Once disconnected, and inspected by the Department, the real property shall become liable only for the capital cost portion of the sewer charge, as set forth in Subsection D above. Reconnection of the real property shall be made only upon application to the Department for such reconnection and upon payment to the Department of the actual costs incurred in making such connection. Moneys received from such reconnection shall be paid to the district in which the real property is located.
All bills are payable in accordance with the rates and charges set forth in Article XIII. For new services installed at any time during the billing period, the charge will be prorated according to the number of days remaining to complete the billing period after the service has been made available.
Where metered usage is used to determine sewer bills, the quantity of water recorded by the meter shall be considered the amount of water passing through the meter, which amount shall be conclusive on both the applicant and the Department, except when the meter has been found to be registering inaccurately or has ceased to register. In such cases, if the meter is found to be reading fast, the customer will be billed the minimum charge for the period in question. If the meter is reading slowly, the actual reading will be used but will never be less than the minimum charge.
All bills are due and payable without penalty 30 days after the date thereof. All charges shall be a lien upon the real property upon which or in connection with which such sewer service is provided. If such charges are not paid within 30 days from the date due, service may be terminated and/or a penalty of 10%, per quarter, of the amount of the bill shall be added to the bill for late payment.
The Department shall annually file with the Town Board a statement showing the unpaid sewer charges and penalties payable, with a brief description of the applicant's real property.
Bills for sewer service or services performed by the Department shall be paid to the Department.
Sewer rates, penalties and charges shall be established by the Town Board on an annual basis.
No bill will be rendered for less than the minimum charge for each billing period. No payment will be accepted for less than the amount stated on the bill.
This article shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State, as provided by law.