ORDINANCE NO. ________

 

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA, AMENDING SECTION 22-262 PERTAINING TO DELINQUENCY CHARGE; AMENDING SECTION 22-263 PERTAINING TO NONPAYMENT OF UTILITY BILLS; PROVIDING FOR CONFLICTS; PROVIDING A SAVINGS CLAUSE; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA, that:

 

SECTION 1.

 

Section 22-262, of Chapter 22 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Leesburg, Florida, is hereby amended in its entirety to read as follows: 

 

Sec. 22-262.  Carrying charge for delinquent payment; arrangements for payments by public institutions.

There shall be added to and collected on each and every charge or bill for electricity, gas and water, internet access and pollution abatement furnished by the city, and not paid in accordance with the provisions of section 22-261, a carrying charge equal to five (5) percent of the total of such charge or bill, except as stated in this section which shall be paid and collected at the same time that the original bill is paid and collected, provided, that the city manager may by and with the approval of the city commission enter into special agreement or agreements with any public institution for the time of payment of any or all bills for electricity, gas and water, internet access and pollution abatement which may become due to the city by such institution, and by such agreement or agreements, may provide for such terms of payment and the relief of such penalties as may seem suitable for the financial condition of such public institutions, except customers who present promissory to pay or voucher from an approved vendor prior to delinquency, shall be exempt of penalties up to 30 days upon receipt of payment.

 

Section 22-263, of Chapter 22 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Leesburg, Florida, is hereby amended in its entirety to read as follows:

 

Sec. 22-263.  Nonpayment of bill, reinstating fee.

 

The following policies and procedures shall be followed with regard to nonpayment of utility bills:

 

(1) Approximately four (4) days after meter-reading the customer shall be mailed a bill giving him twenty (20) days to pay after which time a penalty attaches.

 

(2) Approximately twenty-five (25) days after meter-reading date, a disconnect notice shall be sent by interactive voice response system via telephone warning of disconnection as of a preset date. appearing on the notice. The present date may be within ten (10) days from notification sent date, depending on weekends and work schedule.

 

(3) On or immediately after the preset date, service is terminated and a notice is left at the premises advising the customer as to how service may be restored. Service shall not be reinstated until delinquent and reconnection charges are paid. Service may, however, be reinstated at the direction of the finance director in instances where payment is guaranteed by a social service agency.

 

(4) The disconnect notice shall contain a request to contact customer service if there are questions on the accuracy, validity or correctness of the bill. If customer service cannot resolve these questions, the customer shall be referred to the finance director and disconnect shall be suspended until the issues are clarified. Customer service shall notify the collections manager of the disputed bill in writing immediately. In the absence of the finance director the collections manager has the authority to suspend a disconnect in the event of a disputed bill.

 

(5) No disconnect shall result if the past due amount is a penalty amount and not a current bill unless the penalty is over a month old and is unchallenged.

 

(6) No disconnect shall result if the past due amount is less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) unless it is a recurring amount. The finance director may increase this amount to a maximum of fifty dollars ($50.00) where disconnect volume is excessive for manpower available or the billing period is characterized by unusually high bills due to rates or weather and where relief is apparent.

 

(7) The finance director may delay any disconnect to the subsequent Friday where extenuating circumstances, such as incidence of paydays, warrant such action and collection appears secure.

 

(8) A reconnect fee per utility is required in accordance with the utility service fee schedule. If reconnection is requested after 3:00 p.m., the charge may be greater if so indicated in the fee schedule.

 

SECTION 2.

 

All ordinances or parts of ordinances which are in conflict with this ordinance are hereby repealed, to the extent necessary to alleviate the conflict, but shall continue in effect insofar as they are not in conflict herewith, unless repeal of the conflicting portion destroys the overall intent and effect of any of the conflicting ordinances, in which case those ordinances so effected shall be hereby repealed in their entirety.

 

SECTION 3.   

 

If any portion of this ordinance is declared invalid or unenforceable, and to the extent it is possible to do so without destroying the overall intent and effect of this ordinance, the portion deemed invalid or unenforceable shall be severed herefrom and the remainder of this ordinance shall continue in full force and effect as if it were enacted without including the portion found to be invalid or unenforceable.

 

SECTION 4. 

 

This ordinance shall become effective May 1, 2011.

 

PASSED AND ADOPTED at the regular meeting of the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, held on the 25th day of April, 2011

 

 

THE CITY OF LEESBURG

 

 

By: ____________________________

      Mayor

 

ATTEST:

 

_______________________________

City Clerk

 

 

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