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City of Melrose, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
The City Engineer or his/her agent shall at all reasonable hours have free access to premises supplied with water to examine the condition of the pipes and fixtures and quantity of water used and to shut off the water for nonpayment or any violation of the rules set out in this article.
State law reference — Authority of municipalities to make regulations relative to pipes through which water is supplied, MGL c. 40, § 21, cl. (7).
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
Except as otherwise provided by the rules and regulations of the Planning Board governing the subdivision of land, water service pipes will be laid from the main to the line of the street without charge and from the line of the street to the building at the expense of the applicant, provided that the whole or part of the work from the street line to the building may be done by the property owner or his/her agent, subject to the approval of the City Engineer, if the property owner so elects.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
No water service pipe or meter larger than 3/4 of an inch will be laid or allowed, except upon special consent of the City Engineer and upon the payment of the additional cost to the City. All pipe laid on the abuttor's premises between the street line and the meter or cellar wall shall be of such material as may be approved by the City Engineer.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
No two buildings shall be supplied with water through the same service pipe, and, so far as possible, each tenement or apartment shall be supplied through a separate service pipe. Any person putting in his/her own service pipe from the street line to the building must lay it at least 5 1/2 feet deep and must provide a stop and waste cock, properly located, inside the building and take such other precautions as may be deemed necessary by the City Engineer. He/she must keep the service pipe, stop and waste cock and all fixtures connected therewith on his/her premises in good repair and protected from frost, and he/she will be held liable for all damage which may result from a failure to do so.
Any person desiring more than one water service pipe for any one tenant from the main to his/her premises will be required to pay the whole cost of such additional pipe.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
A. 
Applications for the original laying of pipes in public and private ways for the conveyance and distribution of water shall be made, in writing, to the City Engineer in such form as he/she shall prescribe. Before laying any such pipe, the City Engineer shall prepare an estimate of the cost thereof and of the assessments to be paid by the owners of the land which will receive benefit therefrom, computed in the manner provided in this section, and shall grant a hearing to each such owner. Notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be given, in writing, not less than seven days prior to the date thereof, and each such owner shall be furnished with a statement of the estimated betterment to be assessed against his/her property.
B. 
Acting under authority of MGL c. 40, § 42G, the City Engineer shall assess 1/2 of the actual cost of originally laying pipes in public and private ways upon the estates benefited thereby. For the purpose of apportioning the cost among the estates so benefited, 1/3 of such 1/2 of the cost shall be assessed upon the total frontage of the land so benefited on the street or way in which such pipe is laid, and each such estate shall be assessed its proportional part thereof. Two-thirds of such 1/2 of the cost shall be assessed upon the total area of the land so benefited within a depth of 100 feet from the street or way in which such pipe is laid, and each such estate shall be assessed its proportional part thereof.
C. 
In the case of an estate which receives a direct benefit from the laying of such a pipe but which does not abut the street or way in which such pipe is laid and is not wholly located within 100 feet from such street or way, so much of the area of such estate as may be deemed by the City Engineer to be just and reasonable shall be included in the total area, as aforesaid, and assessed its proportion of the cost in the same manner as land within 100 feet of such street or way.
D. 
Each corner lot abutting upon a street or way in which such a pipe is laid and which receives direct benefit therefrom shall be assessed in accordance with the provisions of this section, including the whole frontage of the lot on the street in which such pipe is first laid. When such a pipe is laid on the other street or way on which such lot abuts, so much of the area of such lot as has been previously assessed and so much of the frontage of such lot on the other street or way as may be deemed by the City Engineer to be just and equitable shall be exempt from assessment.
E. 
Whenever the City Engineer determines that a pipe for the conveyance and distribution of water shall be originally laid in any public or private way, he/she shall take all such steps as may be required to ensure that effect will be given to all pertinent provisions of MGL c. 40, § 42I.
F. 
This section shall not apply to the laying of water pipes for which provision is otherwise made by the rules and regulations of the Planning Board governing the subdivision of land.
No water main shall be laid in any private property, other than a private way, unless the owner thereof gives a release to the City for that purpose, and such owner, when required, shall file a bond for the payment annually of 6% of the cost to the City of such main and connections until such time as the revenue from such main shall be sufficient to pay the interest on the cost of construction.
[Amended 1-21-1992 by Ord. No. 91-264A]
A. 
No person except the City Engineer or those authorized by him/her shall at any time turn or let on water to any house or building or in any way interfere with any gate, fire hydrant or standpipe.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
B. 
Charges.
(1) 
Water turned off at curb: $25.
(2) 
Water turned on at curb: $25.
(3) 
Meter tests: $25.
(4) 
Special meter reading trip charge: $25.
(5) 
Final meter reading: $25.
(6) 
Repair of frozen meters: $25 plus parts.
(7) 
Fire flow tests (hydrant): $100.
In cases of abnormal use of water or when necessary to shut off the street mains, consumers will ordinarily be given notice, but failure to give such notice shall not constitute a claim for any damage which may be occasioned.
A. 
No person except the proper officers of the Water Division will be allowed to set, take off or repair meters.
[Amended 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 2018-4]
B. 
All water meters will be furnished, placed and maintained by the City. Any damage to any meter done or caused by the carelessness or neglect of the owner or occupant will be charged to his/her next bill, and, if not paid as provided for in § 228-3, the water will be shut off and not again turned on until such charge and all others are paid.
C. 
Effective October 1, 2017, a manual read fee of $50 per quarter shall be charged to any account that cannot be remotely read by the City of Melrose.
[Added 6-19-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-148]
[Amended 5-15-1978 by Ord. No. 19837; 6-5-1978 by Ord. No. 19917; 7-17-1978 by Ord. No. 19837A; 9-6-1989 by Ord. No. 90-2; 10-15-1990 by Ord. No. 90-278; 9-9-1991 by Ord. No. 92-22; 1-6-1992 by Ord. No. 92-137; 1-21-1992 by Ord. No. 92-166; 6-6-1994 by Ord. No. 94-221; 7-18-1994 by Ord. No. 94-221A; 6-17-1996 by Ord. No. 96-335; 6-27-2001 by Ord. No. 01-323; 6-26-2002 by Ord. No. 02-358; 12-16-2002 by Ord. No. 02-060A; 6-26-2003 by Ord. No. 03-290; 6-21-2004 by Ord. No. 04-268; 6-30-2005 by Ord. No. 05-248; 6-26-2006 by Ord. No. 06-248; 7-17-2006 by Ord. No. 06-248A; 7-16-2007 by Ord. No. 07-179; 5-19-2008 by Ord. No. 08-225; 10-20-2008 by Ord. No. 08-269; 6-15-2009 by Ord. No. 09-202; 5-17-2010 by Ord. No. 10-160; 6-20-2011 by Ord. No. 11-170; 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158; 6-18-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-189; 8-20-2012 by Ord. No. 2013-4; 3-4-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-118; 6-27-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-204; 5-19-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-117; 6-15-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-143; 6-16-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-163; 5-15-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-136; 6-19-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-146]
A. 
Except as provided by § 228-16, all bills for water furnished by the City shall be rendered at intervals of three months (quarterly) at rates established by the Mayor and City Council from time to time.
(1) 
Tiered water rates per 100 cubic feet, effective fiscal year 2019:
[Amended6-18-2018 by Order No. 2018-178]
(a) 
Quarterly consumption:
Cubic Feet
Rate Per 100 Cubic Feet
1 to 2,000
$6.44
Over 2,000
$8.75
(b) 
Quarterly meter base fee:
Meter Size
(inches)
Fee
Up to 1
$16.60
1 1/2
$64.72
2
$100.81
3
$185.02
4
$305.32
6
$606.07
Manual read fee (for accounts that have not changed primary meter)
$50/quarter
Second meter fee – meter replaced
$16.60
Second meter fee – meter not replaced
$50.00
(c) 
Monthly consumption:
Cubic Feet
Consumption Rate
1 to 2,000
$6.44
Over 2,000
$8.75
(d) 
Monthly meter base fee:
Meter Size
(inches)
Fee
Up to 1
$5.54
1 1/2
$21.58
2
$33.61
3
$61.68
4
$101.78
6
$202.03
Manual read fee (for accounts that have not changed primary meter)
N/A
Second meter fee – meter replaced
$5.54
Second meter fee – meter not replaced
$16.67
(2) 
The water rate shall be applied to all properties in the City of Melrose classified under Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) Property Classification Code of April 1987 Code/Codes 1, 101 through 103, 104 and 105 and all land or structures exclusively in municipal use by the City of Melrose.
B. 
There is hereby created a Water Rate Review Committee, to consist of the Director of Public Works, City Engineer, the Auditor, Treasurer-Collector and a member of the City Council appointed by the President of the City Council, and two citizens of Melrose appointed by the President of the City Council. The Committee shall meet at least quarterly to review the water rate charges established pursuant to this section, the costs of operating and maintaining the water system and any capital improvements to the system. The Committee shall hold at least one meeting per year after 7:00 p.m. It shall report its findings and any recommendations to the City Council in conjunction with submission of the annual operating budget.
[Amended 10-2-2017 by Ord. No. 2018-23]
State law reference — Law of commonwealth making water rates a lien on real estate, MGL c. 40, §§ 42A to 42F.
[Amended 6-17-1985 by Ord. No. 1047; 12-16-2002 by Ord. No. 02-060A]
A. 
The following rates shall be charged for water used for building purposes:
(1) 
The minimum charge for construction of new buildings shall be the same for the three months' minimum charges.
(2) 
For extraordinary additions or repairs, the rate shall be assessed by the City Engineer.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
B. 
The City Engineer shall have the right to require the applicant to pay by meter instead of the foregoing schedule for building purposes.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
C. 
The rates for water for building purposes, which are to be paid in advance, include the charge for turning on and shutting off water, and no allowance will be made if water is obtained from other premises.
A. 
Applications for the use of water for service pipes, for thawing frozen pipes or for any other work to be done or materials to be furnished in connection with the supplying of water to any premises shall be made in accordance with Chapter 202, Streets and Sidewalks, § 202-10.
B. 
In cases of extreme emergency, of which the City Engineer shall be the judge, such application shall not be required, nor shall the provisions of § 202-10 apply, provided that as soon as may be after the furnishing of such water or materials or the completion of such work, the City Engineer shall render a bill therefor, in an amount representing the actual cost to the City, to the owner of the premises. Such bill shall be payable on presentation, and the provisions of Chapter 56, Officers and Employees, § 56-26, relative to commitment, return, correction, abatement and shutting off of water for nonpayment of water bills, shall apply to each such bill.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
C. 
In no case shall water be turned on for specific purposes until all charges are paid or, for fractional parts of the year, until the proportional part of the minimum charge is paid up to the first day of January next following. Fractional parts of a month shall be considered a full month, and 1/4 of the minimum rate per annum shall be the least charge that shall be made.
[Amended 12-16-2002 by Ord. No. 02-060A; 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
In case of vacancy, abatements may be allowed and made at the rate of $0.20 per 100 cubic feet, provided that no abatement shall be allowed or made unless notice of vacancy is given, in writing, at the office of the City Engineer and the sum of $25 paid for shutting off the water, which sum shall include the expense of turning on again. No premises will be considered vacant unless such notice is given and water so shut off. No abatement or refund shall be made for water so shut off during the last three months of the year or for fractional parts of 100 cubic feet.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
No person except the City Engineer or those authorized by him/her and the officers of the Fire Department in case of fire shall open or otherwise interfere with any fire hydrant, tie or fasten a horse or any other animal to any fire hydrant or place any obstruction in the way of its free use by the firefighters.
[Added 4-3-1989 by Ord. No. 2324; amended 5-6-1996 by Ord. No. 96-237]
A. 
A twenty-percent discount on water bills shall be given upon application to the office of the City Engineer in accordance with the following procedure:
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
(1) 
The applicant must have passed age 65 in the calendar year prior to that in which he/she is making application for discount. In the case of joint home ownership, either spouse/owner must have passed age 65 in the prior year.
(2) 
The applicant must be the owner of record of the property for which discount is requested and his/her name must appear on the water bill for that property.
(3) 
The yearly consumption of water by the applicant shall not exceed 6,250 cubic feet.
[Amended 6-16-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-166]
(4) 
The discount shall only apply to owners of one-family or two-family homes who are able to demonstrate their primary residence in said single- or two-family home.
[Amended 6-16-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-166]
(5) 
Otherwise eligible condominum owners will be entitled to a discount which shall be equal to the average discount provided for in this section for the immediately preceding fiscal year.
[Added 6-16-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-166]
B. 
Applicants who have not reached 65 will also qualify for discount if:
(1) 
They are in conformity with the other provisions of this section.
(2) 
Their yearly gross income does not exceed $15,000 for a single person and $23,000 if filing jointly.
C. 
Administration of the discount program set forth in Subsections A and B above shall be in accordance with reasonable policies established by the Director of Public Works, or his/her designee, and shall be in strict compliance with this section.
[Added 6-16-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-166]