Rates Schedules, Fees, Dispute Resolution
1. Rate Schedules
Rate schedules for water and water service are fixed by the Board of Directors. The rate schedule is subject to change by action of the Board, with the approval of the United States Department of Agriculture if the District has unpaid obligations, which are held or insured by the United States of America. If a provision of the policies conflicts with the provision of the rate schedule, the provision of the rate schedule shall prevail. If the total amount of revenue and income derived from the collection of the water rates is insufficient to meet the payment of the costs of operation, maintenance, depreciation, necessary extensions, and enlargements, and payment of the principal and interest on any general and special obligation bonds and the authorizing resolutions, the Board shall increase the water rates for the first month thereafter in an amount sufficient to meet these costs and obligations.
The time and date (“due date”) by which a water user’s bill must be paid in full is 4:30 p.m. on the 15th day of the month the bill is issued, unless the 15th falls on the weekend or on a holiday in which case the due date is 4:30 p.m. on the immediately preceding weekday. Bills not paid by their due date are delinquent, and shall be subject to a ten percent (10%) late charge.
Landowners will be required to provide deeds to their property in order to obtain service. Social Security number shall be required for each landowner.
Each water user, meaning the landowner, shall be responsible for his or hers indebtedness to the District.
3. Disconnect Day
The District may proceed to disconnect a water user’s water service for nonpayment of a delinquent bill on or after 8 a.m. on the 21st day of the month the bill becomes delinquent, and this policy constitutes notice to such water user of such pending disconnection. Water service after disconnection for nonpayment of a delinquent bill will be restored only upon the District’s receipt of payment in full of the delinquent bill, late charge, and a $75.00 reconnect fee. The District is not responsible for or liable for any damage resulting to the water user, to any property of the water user, or to the owner of the property occupied by the water user from such disconnection.
If water service to a water user at a property has been discontinued for nonpayment of a delinquent bill, or if at the request of the water user the water user’s agreement has been terminated and water service discontinued, then water service to the water user at that property shall be restored only upon the District’s receipt of payment in full of: (i) all outstanding bills (if any, including applicable service fees and late charges) to the water user for water service at any property, then due or delinquent, (ii) a $75.00 reconnect fee, and (iii) provided no account deposit is then being held for water service to that property, a $100.00 account deposit.
Any person presenting a check that does not clear for any reason, re: insufficient funds, closed account, stop payment and etc., shall be charged a service fee of $20.00 and amount of the check. Payment for the returned check must be paid with-in 24 hours of the office receiving notification from the bank. If payment is not received the customer will be disconnected and $75.00 trip charge will be assessed plus the $20.00 service fee and the amount of the check.
Payment must be paid in full and cannot be paid with a check. If the District receives three returned checks on the customers account the District will no longer accept checks from said customer.
In the event that a user does not pay any debt he/she may owe to the District for any reason other than hardship, he/she may be taken to Small Claims Courts and garnishment of wages may be instituted, or a Lien may be put on the property.
Hardship cases shall be discussed and acted upon by the Manager on an individual basis. Agreement shall be made which is in the interests of both the water user and the District.
It is option of the employee on call whether to reconnect a meter and restore service after 4:40 p.m. during work days to a water user whose water service has been disconnected for nonpayment of a delinquent bill. Such a water user’s meter will not be reconnected/water service will not be restored on the weekends or Holidays. District employees may not collect any payments in the field and payments necessary to restore water service to a water user whose water service has been disconnected for nonpayment as described above must be made by via one of the payment options described in paragraph 28, below. Customers will need to call 1-877-221-6626 for debit, credit and tele checks, or go to the thomashillpwsd.com web site. Payments using cash check or money orders will be accepted at the office or auto withdrawal from checking account. (07272020)
4. Discontinuance of Water Service
Upon a water user’s advance written request to the District, the Manager may permit water service to the water user’s property to be discontinued temporarily and without terminating the water user’s agreement with the District, provided (i) the water user has advised the District in writing of the temporary period during which the property will be vacant and no water will be used, and (ii) at the time of the written request, the water user has paid in full all outstanding bills for water service (including any applicable late charges) and (iii) the water user agrees to continue to pay the minimum monthly charge (an “approved temporary vacancy”). Nonetheless, the water user will be charged a $75.00 reconnect fee for restoration of the water user’s water service if the water user used another source of water supply at the property during the approved temporary vacancy.
The Board of Directors reserves the right to disconnect and discontinue service for any good and sufficient reason deemed necessary for the health and well being of the water supply and the required management of the district. The Board also reserves the right to disconnect and discontinue water service to any water user for those reasons specifically set forth throughout the policies, rules and regulations of the District, including but not limited to those reasons set forth in Policy the policies. Except as may otherwise specifically be provided in the District’s policies, rules and regulations, the District will not discontinue the service of any water user for a violation of any policy, rule or regulation of the District without giving the water user at least two days’ advance written notice, unless the safety and sanitation of the water supply is at risk and then no notice needs to be given and disconnection can occur immediately. Where two days’ advance written notice of disconnection on account of a violation of a policy, rule or regulation is to be provided, notice of disconnection shall be mailed to the water user at the address as shown upon the District’s records, or personally delivered to the water user or a member of the household, and shall advise the water user of the violation.
6. Accounts in Arrears
Prior to disconnection of a water user’s water service for nonpayment of a delinquent bill, a water user for whom payment of the bill in full would present a significant hardship may request to enter into a payment plan with the District, for the water user’s payment in full, in installments of all outstanding bills (including applicable service fees and late charges) to the water user for water service at any property that are then due or delinquent. The Manager, in the Manager’s discretion, may decline to enter into any hardship payment plan with the water user or may agree on behalf of the District to enter into such a hardship payment plan and specify the terms thereof. In the exercise of such discretion, the Manager may consider evidence such as illness or injury experienced by the water user, the water user’s prior payment history, and compliance or noncompliance with other District policies and procedures.
7. Liens filed on Unpaid Accounts
Current state statutes (RSMo 247) allow the district to file, with the County Recorder of Deeds office in the appropriate county in which the delinquent user resides or in which the property is located, a property lien. The Board of the Thomas Hill Water Supply District #1 of Randolph County recognized this legislative authorization at its 7/23/91 meeting. This allows the district to retain its claim without formal court action.
8. Application of Account Deposit/Notice, Filing and Release of Lien
If at a water user’s request, the water user’s agreement is terminated and water service is discontinued, then after the final meter reading, the District shall render a final bill for water service and all other outstanding fees and charges, which shall reflect that the account deposit held on the water user’s account (if any) has been applied toward the final bill.
If a water user’s service is disconnected for nonpayment of a delinquent bill, and the bill has not been paid in full within two weeks after its due date, the bill shall be considered a final bill, the District may terminate the water user’s agreement and apply the account deposit held on the water user’s account (if any) to the delinquent bill and any other applicable outstanding fees and charges.
If application of a water user’s account deposit to the water user’s final bill results in a credit balance, the District shall promptly refund the credit balance to the water user. If a balance remains on a water user’s final bill after application of the account deposit (if any) and such balance is not paid in full by the water user by the final bill due date (as defined in Policy III-9, paragraph 26), then the District issue to the water user a notice in the form of the Delinquent Notice in A1-8 in the Appendix to the District Policies, and if the remaining outstanding balance on the final bill remains unpaid after the date stated in said notice, then the District may proceed to file a lien against the property to which the water service was provided, in the form of the Lien for Water Services in A1-8 in the Appendix to the District Policies. If and when the lien is satisfied, the District shall file a release in the form of the Release of Lien in A1-8 of the District Policies.