Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - January 28, 2014
REVISED January 28, 2014 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #38

Adoption of Ordinance No. 14-09, Amending Utilities Administrative Language


Contact and/or Presenter Information

C. Mike Gore, Director, Utilities
Bev Chiotti, Fiscal Service Manager, Utilities

Action Requested
Adoption of Ordinance No. 14-09

Enabling/Regulating Authority
Section 125.01, Florida Statutes, Chapter 153 and 159, Florida Statutes, Chapter 63-1598, Laws of Florida, as amended, Chapter 2-31, Article IV, Manatee County Code of Ordinances as amended.

Background Discussion

The following sections of the ordinance include amended language as follows:

Sec. 2-31-251. Definitions (pages 3-9)

  • Backflow and cross connection related definitions have been removed as they are now included in the cross connection/backflow ordinance.
  • The definition of delinquent accounts has been changed to reflect an extension to 21 days past due, rather than 15 days past due.
  • Estimated usage has been defined.  This is used in the event that an accurate meter reading is not available.
  • The definition of meter tampering has been expanded to include potable, reclaimed, and wastewater.  In the past, only potable water was referenced.
  • Private lines have been defined as those beyond a master meter or service connection which are not owned or maintained by the County.
  • The definition of unauthorized usage has also been expanded to help prevention and recovery efforts for anyone stealing service from the Utility.

Sec. 2-31-253.  General requirements (pages 9-11)

  • Restrictions for new development of private utility lines and systems are included.  No new potable water or reclaimed water meters owned and maintained by the County shall be approved for private lines.  New private lines must be behind master meters.  No individual County wastewater connections or County lift stations may be established on private lines.
  • Language prohibiting cross connection and requiring backflow prevention devices has been moved to the Cross Connection ordinance and resolution.

Sec. 2-31-254.  Meters (pages 11-12)

  • The concept of meter accessibility has been expanded to include the need to access the meters for maintenance, rather than being limited to access for reading a meter only.
  • Customers using temporary use meters (used for construction) must submit the meter reading and the location of the meter monthly, rather than quarterly.  These meters are still billed quarterly, but monthly receipt of meter readings and locations is a safeguard for both the customer and the County.

Sec. 2-31-256.  Conditions for utility service (pages 13-15)

  • As requested by the BCC, the Ordinance now includes language authorizing the County Administrator to record the satisfaction of a lien on property when the principal and interest of a time payment have been paid.  Customers enter into time payments for connection and line fees and facility investment fees.  When fully paid, the lien satisfaction may be recorded without Board action.

Sec. 2-31-257.  Security deposits (pages 15-16)

  • The Ordinance language is adjusted to match actual procedures regarding security deposits.   The requirement for a landlord to establish a security deposit between tenants has been eliminated. 

Sec. 2-31-262.  Utility infrastructure fees and charges (page 16) 

  • Language has been expanded to include inspection services (in addition to testing, tapping lines, etc.).

Sec. 2-31-263.  Miscellaneous fees and charges (page 16)

  • Ordinance language has been adjusted to support changes in the Rate Resolution for miscellaneous fees and charges.
  • Three categories of fees are now established; those that apply to delinquent accounts, those that apply to non-delinquent accounts, and those that apply to all accounts.
  • The Ordinance recognizes that one field trip is included in connection fees for new services.  This is not a change in practice, just a formal written policy of this fact.  Customers do not pay a field trip charge for new service.

Sec. 2-31-264.  Monthly retail customer base charges and retail quantity rates (pages 16-18)

  • The requirements to discontinue a customer’s monthly base charge have been simplified to only one requirement (eliminating two others).
  • An exemption allowing County facilities to use reclaimed water at no charge has been eliminated.  Bond Counsel was consulted and found this exemption did not support the bond covenants prohibiting ‘free service’.  Reclaimed water is a low cost alternative for irrigation and the charge is not expected to be prohibitive.

Sec. 2-31-266.  Enforcement (pages 18-20)

  • Bills are now due and payable twenty one (21) days after billing date, extended from the previous fifteen (15) days.
  • Clarification of payment arrangement terms and security deposit calculation are provided.
  • Reference to cross connection/backflow prevention has been moved to the Cross Connection Ordinance.

Sec. 2-31-267.  Private systems (pages 20-21)

  • The County previously had the right to maintain private systems.  The language has been expanded to include inspection as well as maintenance, and restricted to extraordinary circumstance when it is determined to be necessary for the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare.  The cost of any such inspection, repair, and/or maintenance is the responsibility of the owner of the private system.

County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)

Explanation of Other
The County Attorney's Office provided the Ordinance amendment.

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Please file with the State and with Municipal Code.

Please return a copy to Beverly.chiotti@mymanatee.org

Thank you.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  Utility Rates. amendments. Ordinance 14-09. revised2.pdf
Attachment:  Notice of Public Hearing - Ordinance 14-09.pdf