For the purposes of this Article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings indicated:
Billing Period means the service period identified on the utility bill. Each account shall be billed monthly in arrears of the service period. A developed property that receives a City of Ottawa water or sewer utility service shall be billed monthly in arrears of the service.
City Attorney and his or her designee provides legal counsel for the Governing Body, City Manager and City staff.
City Manager means the City Manager for the City of Ottawa, Kansas or his or her designee.
Customer means anyone receiving and being billed for water/sewer utility services from the City.
Developed Property means real property that has been altered from its natural state by the addition of any improvements such as buildings, structures or other impervious area.
Dwelling Unit means a singular unit or apartment providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons including provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.
Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) means a unit of measure that is equal to the average impervious area per dwelling unit located on residential property within the City limits.
Equivalent Residential Unit Rate (ERU Rate) means the amount charged for each ERU in calculating the Stormwater Utility Fee.
Exempt Property means public rights of way, public streets, public alleys, residential and non-residential driveways, and public sidewalks.
Fee or Stormwater Utility Fee means the charge established under this Article to be billed to customers/owners to fund the costs of Stormwater Management Program and of operating, maintaining and improving the Stormwater System in the City.
Governing Body means the Mayor and elected Commissioners as set out in Chapter 2 of the Code of the City of Ottawa, KS.
Impervious Area means the number of square feet of hard surfaced areas which either prevent or delay the entry of water into soil mantle as it entered under natural conditions as Undeveloped Property and/or causes water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow from that present under natural conditions as Undeveloped Property including, but not limited to, roofs, sidewalks, patios, most conventionally surfaced streets, pavement, driveways, parking lots, athletic courts and any other oiled, graveled, or compacted surface.
Non-Residential Property means any property that is designated by the Utility Billing System in a billing category other than residential.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) means the national program for issuing, modifying, revoking and reissuing, terminating, monitoring and enforcing permits, and imposing and enforcing pretreatment requirements under Sections 307, 402, 318 and 405of the federal Clean Water Act.
Property Owner means the property owner of record as listed in the County Assessment Roll. A property owner includes any individual, corporation, firm, partnership or group of individuals acting as a unit, and any trustee, receiver or personal representative.
Residential Property means any property designated by the Utility Billing System as residential.
a) Master Water Meter Residential means developed property which contains both a master water meter pursuant to Chapter 14 of the City Code; and 2) residential property.
b) Multiple Water Meter Residential means developed property that contains both 1) multiple water meters pursuant to Chapter14 of the City Code; and 2) residential property.
Stormwater or Stormwater Runoff means runoff, surface flow, and drainage resulting from precipitation (which may include surface water, snowmelt, and and/or ground water).
Stormwater Management Fund or Fund means the enterprise Fund created by this Article to operate, maintain and improve the City’s Stormwater System and for such other purposes as stated in this Article.
Stormwater Management Program means the planning, design, construction, regulation and enforcement, improvement, repair, maintenance, control measures, public education, citizen participation and operation of facilities and programs relating to water, flood plains, flood control, grading erosion, tree conservation and sediment control.
Stormwater System means the system or network of storm and surface water management facilities including but not limited to inlets, conduits, manholes, channels, ditches, drainage easements, retention and detention basin, infiltration facilities and other components as well as all natural waterways located within the corporate City limits and/or the City’s area of zoning authority.
Stormwater Utility means the utility created by this Article for the purpose of implementing and funding the Stormwater Management Program.
Stormwater Utility Fee see Fee
Undeveloped Property means real property that has not been altered from its natural state by dredging, filling, removal of trees and vegetation, creation of impervious surfaces or other activities that have disturbed or altered the topography or soils on the property.
Utility Billing System means the system utilized by the City of Ottawa to create a periodic utility bill and any or all upgrades or modifications to that system.
Vacant Improved Property means unoccupied developed property that contains impervious area.
A. The City maintains a system of storm and surface water management facilities including, but not limited to, inlets, conduits, manholes, channels, ditches, drainage easements, retention and detention basins, infiltration facilities and other components as well as natural waterways. The stormwater system needs regular maintenance and improvements.
B. All developed property in the City either uses or benefits from the maintenance of the stormwater system. The extent of use of the stormwater system by each property is dependent on factors that influence runoff and overland flow, including land use and the amount of impervious surface on the property.
C. The costs of improving, maintaining, operating and monitoring the stormwater system should be allocated, to the extent practicable, to all developed properties based on the impact of runoff from the impervious areas of the property on the stormwater management system.
D. Management of the stormwater system to protect the public health, safety and welfare requires adequate revenues and it is in the interest of the public to finance stormwater management adequately with a user fee system that is reasonable and equitable so that each user of the system pays to the extent to which the user contributes to the need for it. The City is responsible for the provision of a planned and orderly system for managing and mitigating the effects of development on stormwater and appropriate balancing between development and preservation of the natural environment. To accomplish these ends, the City desires to create a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) and Stormwater Utility.
E. The Stormwater Management Program will also initiate innovative and proactive approaches to stormwater management within the City to address problems in areas of the City that currently are prone to flooding, protect against replication of these types of problems in newly developing areas of the City, and assist in meeting the mandates of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) as created by the Federal Clean Water Act and associated state and federal laws and their supporting regulations.
F. The Stormwater Utility Fee imposed by this Article is neither a tax nor a special assessment, but a charge (in the nature of tolls, fees or rents) for services rendered or available.
Pursuant to this Article, Chapter 14, the City’s general home rule authority, its nuisance abatement authority, its police powers and all other authority, the governing body does hereby establish both a Stormwater Management Program and a Stormwater Utility and hereby declares its intention to operate the same.
Under the Stormwater Utility, the City Manager or his/her designee shall have the power to undertake the following activities to administer the Stormwater Management Program:
A. To advise the governing body on matters relating to the Stormwater Management Program and to make recommendations to the governing body concerning the adoption of ordinances, resolutions, policies and regulations in furtherance of the objectives of the Stormwater Management Program.
B. The acquisition by gift, purchase or eminent domain of real property, easements thereon and/or interests therein necessary to construct, operate and maintain stormwater management facilities.
C. To undertake the engineering and design, debt service and related financing expenses, construction costs for new facilities and enlargement or improvement of existing facilities, operation and maintenance of the stormwater system.
D. Regulate, establish standards, review and inspect land use or property owner activities when such activities have the potential to affect the quantity, timing, velocity, erosive forces, quality, environmental value or other characteristics of stormwater which would flow into the stormwater management system or in any way affect the implementation of the Stormwater Management Program.
E. Monitoring, sampling and inspection of stormwater management facilities.
F. Water quality monitoring and water quality programs.
G. Retrofitting developed areas for pollution control.
H. Inspection and enforcement activities.
I. Analyze the cost of services and benefits provided by the Stormwater Utility and the structure of fees, service charges, credits and other revenues on a regular basis and make recommendations to the governing body regarding the same.
J. To undertake expenditures as required to implement these activities, including costs of capital improvements, operations, maintenance and other costs as may be required.
K. Other activities, which are reasonably required.
For purposes of determining the Stormwater Utility Fee, all properties in the City are classified into one of the following classes:
A. Residential property.
1. Residential Fee. The Commission has determined that a flat Stormwater Utility Fee shall be charged against all residential properties classified as a dwelling unit. The Commission reserves the right to amend or adjust this Stormwater Utility Fee or to establish a formula for calculating the Stormwater Utility Fee at any time.
2. The Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) is hereby established for purposes of calculating the Stormwater Utility User Fee. The ERU is hereby established to be 2,600square feet of Impervious Area.
3. The initial ERU rate to be used for calculating the Stormwater Utility Fee per ERU shall be established by resolution, with recommended revisions set by resolution of the governing body. The Stormwater Utility User Fee for residential property shall be the ERU rate multiplied by the number of individual dwelling units existing on the property.
a. Multiple Water Meter Residential: the charge for each water customer shall be the ERU multiplier times the ERU rate.
b. Master Water Meter Residential: the charge for the single water customer shall be the ERU rate multiplied by one (1).
B. Non-residential Property.
1. For non-residential property, the charge shall be the ERU rate times the square footage of all impervious area of the property divided by 2,600 square feet. Non-residential properties with shared impervious area shall be charged on a proportionate amount as determined by the City Manager.
2. Properties less than 2,600 square feet shall be defined as 1 ERU and assessed a minimum stormwater utility fee.
C. Undeveloped Property.
1. There shall be no fee for undeveloped property.
A monthly service charge is imposed upon all developed property, not including exempt property as defined in 13-601, in the City to fund Stormwater Management Programs. The amount of the fee will be established by resolution and shall be implemented as stated in the resolution.
Thereafter, the monthly service charge shall be calculated annually on January 1 and monthly during the following 12-month period. This service charge shall be known as the Stormwater Utility Fee (“Fee”). The Fee shall be calculated to ensure adequate revenues to fund the costs of the Stormwater Management Program and to provide for the operation, maintenance and capital improvements of the stormwater system in the City.
The City Manager or his/her designee shall make an annual recommendation to the governing body as to the monthly charge necessary to fulfill the proposed purpose of the Stormwater Management Program. Any changes in the fee may then be established by resolution of the Governing Body.
The governing body finds that all real property in the City contributes to stormwater runoff and either uses or benefits from the maintenance of the stormwater system. Therefore, except as otherwise provided in Section 13-601, all developed property in the City, including property that is exempt from property tax shall be charged the appropriate Stormwater Utility Fee.
The Stormwater Utility Fee shall become part of the monthly water bill sent to utility customers, paid in accordance with Chapter 14, Article 2, Water Service. Any account that is inactive in the utility billing system shall not be charged the Stormwater Utility Fee until the account becomes active. In the event any person, shall fail to pay the user charges when due, water service shall be terminated as provided in section Chapter 14, Article 2 of Municipal Code of the City of Ottawa, Kansas.
In the event a developed or improved non-residential property is vacant, and does not have an active water account for more than 30 days, the Stormwater Utility fee assigned to the property in question may be billed directly to the property owner. If the direct billing is not paid after 60 days of being issued, the finance office will have authority to place a lien on the same commercial property for the amount(s) billed.
A customer/property owner may request an appeal or correction of the fee by submitting the request in writing to the Director of Finance (or his/her designee) within thirty (30) days after the issue date of the contested bill. Grounds for appeal or correction of the fee include:
A. Incorrect classification of the property for purposes of determining the fee; and
B. Errors in the identification of the property subject to the fee.
The Director of Finance shall make a determination within thirty (30) days after receipt of the customer/property owner’s completed written request for appeal or correction of the fee. The Director’s decision on a request for appeal or correction of the fee shall be final. A customer/property owner must comply with all rules and procedures adopted by the City when submitting a request for appeal or correction of the fee and must provide all information necessary for the Director to make a determination on a request for correction of the fee. The burden of proof shall be on the customer/property owner to demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, that the determination of the Director, from which the appeal is being taken, is erroneous. The Director shall notify the customer/property owner in writing of the decision. Failure to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be grounds for denial of the request. The filing of a notice of appeal shall not stay the imposition or duty to pay the fee. If the Director determines that the fee should not be paid or the amount is less than the amount appealed, the City shall issue a refund in the appropriate amount to the customer/property owner. All refunds shall be without interest.
The City Manager or his/her designee shall promulgate such reasonable rules and regulations as may from time to time be necessary to properly conduct and administer the operation of the stormwater management system. Violations of such rules and regulations will be punishable as provided in this Article. Fees for insufficient fund checks or other uncollectible instruments of payment may be established from time to time.
The City Manager or his/her designee shall have access to any premises within the City’s stormwater management program area, and shall have authority to direct compliance with the provisions of this Article and with the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to the authority set forth in this Article.
If the City Manager or his/her designee shall discover, upon any premises served by the stormwater management program, any violation of this Article, or of any rule or regulation promulgated there under, the City Manager or his/her designee shall order cessation of the prohibited practice or discontinue service to the premises or both, and s/he may request the City Attorney to prosecute the offending customer/property owner.
Each customer shall make payment of the amount shown on his/her statement to be due at the Office of the Department of Utilities in City Hall during regular hours on or before the due date or within fifteen (15) days thereafter; provided, that if the due date is the twenty-fifth (25th) day of a calendar month, payment may be on or before the tenth (10th) day of the calendar month following. If the amount due is not paid within said time, the account shall be classified as delinquent and shall therefore have a late payment fee consisting of the greater of ten dollars ($10.00) or ten percent (10%) of the billed amount.
After authorization by the City Manager, on any collection action filed by the City Attorney or any attorney acting on behalf of the City of Ottawa, for an unpaid and delinquent stormwater utility bill, the City hereby authorizes the said attorney to include as the costs of the action the reasonable collection costs, including but not limited to reasonable attorney fees necessary there under, as a lawful damage to be sought by the City Attorney in any collection.
The Governing Body may, by resolution, establish a system of credits for best management practices (BMPs) that assist in minimizing site-specific stormwater runoff and/or reducing site pollutants in stormwater runoff or any other similar BMP measure. This credit may reduce the Stormwater Utility Fee that is imposed in Section 13-605.