CHAPTER XV. UTILITIESCHAPTER XV. UTILITIES\ARTICLE 3. GAS

All applications for gas service shall be made in writing on a contract blank furnished by the city, stating fully and truly the purposes for which the services are required.

(Ord. 11, Sec. 2)

All gas service lines shall be constructed and maintained by the city from the gas main to the property line, or as agreed between the customer and the city.

(Ord. 11, Sec. 3)

(a)   All meters shall be installed outside the foundation of the building to be served, provided, in all exceptional cases, such meter settings shall be so arranged as to permit access to them by the meter reader during ordinary business hours. Meter settings and loops should be constructed in accordance with the standards established by the city.

(b)   Rates for gas consumed shall be according to the metered quantities and shall be paid for at the monthly schedule as set out by the city.

(c)   All meters shall remain the property of the city and may be removed from the property of the consumer at any time for the purpose of testing and repairing same or upon discontinuance of service. Meter deposits cannot be sold nor transferred by one customer to another except by consent of the city clerk and then only after payment in full is made for gas consumed to date of such transfer.

(Ord. 11, Secs. 4:5,7; Code 1998)

Consumers shall be held responsible and liable to the city for any damages done to meters on their premises from any cause other than ordinary wear. The city shall keep all meters in repair and proper working condition without cost to the consumer; except as provided in the preceding sentence, in which case the city shall collect from the consumer the cost of repairing or replacing such meters. No consumer shall repair, remove or break any meter or break any seal on a meter, nor tamper with or interfere with the operation of any meter.

(Ord. 11, Sec. 6)

Any customer who becomes dissatisfied with the operation of the meter supplying his or her service or doubts the accuracy, may demand that it be tested; provided, such customer shall first deposit with the city clerk a fee of $5 to defray the cost of the test. If, upon test, the meter is determined to be more than three percent fast, the deposit shall be returned to the consumer; but if the meter shall be determined to be accurate or within three percent fast or slow the deposit shall be retained by the city. No rebate shall be made to the customer on account of over registration of gas delivery, nor shall any charge be made on account of under registration of any meter so tested. In the event that the meter is determined to be accurate, the remainder of the cost of the test will be charged to the customer.

(Ord. 11, Sec. 8; Code 1998)

If a meter stops, or for any reason fails to register gas delivery, or upon failure to read any meter, the superintendent may estimate the monthly bill on the basis of the average monthly quantity consumed during the preceding four months.

(Ord. 11, Sec. 9)

Consumers shall at their expense keep pipes and fixtures on their property, beyond the city’s meter connection, in good repair and free from leaks. No claim for damage shall be made against the city on account of the breaking or leaking of any valves or service pipe nor will any allowance be made on account of any leakage or waste of gas after passing through the meter.

(Ord. 11, Sec. 10)

No person shall extend pipes from one property or street number to another one.

(Ord. 11, Sec. 11)

Employees of the city shall at any reasonable hour have free access for the purpose of making inspections or repairs or for reading meters.

(Ord. 11, Sec. 12)

The city reserves the right to shut off gas at any time for the purpose of making repairs or for any other reason and no claim for damages shall be made against the city on account of any such interruption of service.

(Ord. 11, Sec. 13)

Consumers shall give notice to the city clerk at least two days in advance of consumer requested discontinuance of municipal gas service.

(Ord. 11, Sec. 14)

No person shall remove, obstruct, alter or injure any pipe, connection, valve, box or meter, or in any way injure or damage any building, machinery, fixture or appurtenance of the municipal gas system of the city or carry off or injure any pipe, tools, fixtures, supplies or apparatus or other property appertaining thereto.

(Ord. 12, Sec. 15)

It shall be the duty of any person installing, altering or extending any gas piping, fixtures or appliances, in any building in the city to notify the gas inspector when such work is ready for inspection.

(Ord. 11, Sec. 16)

(a)   Each and every system of gas piping within buildings, together with the appliances whether new, altered, or extended, shall be inspected by the gas inspector or his or her duly authorized agent. If such work shall be found to comply with the provisions of this article, it shall be marked as approved, with the date of such approval, and gas may thereafter be used in the building without new inspection; provided, when meters are set in tile city shall make a meter test of the pipes in the building and, if pipes are determined to be in a leaking condition, the meter shall not be set and the gas shall be left turned off.

(b)   If upon inspection, the work does not comply with the terms of this article, the party making the installation or doing the work shall be and is hereby required to make such changes as in opinion of the gas inspector are necessary to have the work comply with the terms of this article.

(Ord. 11, Secs. 17:18)

Before any system of gas piping is put into service, it shall be carefully tested to assure that it is gas tight. To test for tightness the piping may be filled with the city gas, air or inert gas but not with any other gas or liquid. The test shall consist of introducing air at a pressure of 1½ times the operating pressure or 50#, whichever is greater, for 60 minutes.

(Ord. 11, Sec. 19; Code 1998)

The installation, repair and restoration of gas piping, fittings, appliances and connections shall be done and performed in full compliance with the following rules:

(a)   Ordinary Dwellings.

(1)   No gas service pipe installed hereafter from the curb or property line to building shall be less than 1 inch inside diameter and must enter all buildings above the ground level.

(2)   Minimum pipe size for service to any or all appliances shall be not less than 3/4 inch inside diameter.

(b)   All Other Premises.

(1)   Appliance vent pipes shall not be smaller than the size indicated by the vent collar on the appliance to be vented; shall be straight; as short as possible; and be pitched upward toward the chimney or flue at least 1/4 inch to each foot of horizontal length. The vent pipe should be of material which resists corrosion and should enter the chimney or flue 12 inches above the bottom to avoid stoppage by falling plaster or debris. Vent pipes located in unexcavated spaces beneath floors must be of tile or transite. All joints in the tile vent pipe must be cemented so as to be airtight and capable of preventing separation of the adjoining parts.

(2)   No cast iron fittings or galvanized fittings shall be used on any gas piping system in buildings.

(3)   All fittings and connections must be of standard make and size. All pipe and pipe threads shall comply with the American Standard for Pipe Threads (A.S.A. B2.1-1945) American Standard Taper Pipe Threads. Pipe must be free from obstruction. Joint compounds (pipe dope) shall be applied sparingly and only to the male threads of the joint and shall be resistant to the action of L-P gas-air mixtures.

(4)   Unions shall be ground joint and shall not be used in concealed construction or places which are not plainly visible.

(5)   Reducing fittings only shall be used to reduce pipe size. Reducing bushings shall not be used.

(6)   In no case shall valves which need replacing from time to time be placed under floors or in any inaccessible place.

(7)   All inside pipes shall be securely fastened to the bottom or joists or other secure places with iron straps or pipe hooks.

(8)   No cement or any substance shall be used to conceal or cover any leaks or flaws in pipes, fittings, or connections, but new pipes, fittings shall be used to replace those in which holes, flaws, or defects may be found.

(9)   Exact space for the meter and union shall be left in piping.

(10) No extensions, connections or fittings consisting in whole or in part of rubber or flexible tubing shall be permitted except when the gas is used for pressing irons, mangles, blow torches, or laboratory burners. (And there shall be located on the fixed piping, at the point of connection with the flexible tubing, a valve which will serve as a shut off for such portable appliance.) Copper or aluminum gas connections having a maximum length of 36 inches may be used between fixed piping and non-portable appliances such as refrigerators, ranges and radiant heaters located in fireplaces.

(11) A master valve shall be installed on all furnace risers, and shall be at least four inches above the floor. This valve shall be of a standard gas valve.

(12) No solid dampers shall be installed in flue pipes of gas burning equipment. All dampers shall have a hole or holes with diameters not less than 1/4 of the pipe diameter.

(13) When gas appliances are disconnected, all openings in house lines shall be plugged or capped tightly so as to prevent the escape of gas, and this shall be done under the supervision of the gas inspector.

(14) All furnaces, water heaters, and space heaters shall be equipped with 100 percent safety shutoff control. All of the above appliances shall be vented.

(Ord. 11, Sec. 20)

Standards specified hereunder shall be effective on and after August 1, 1978 for all new service provided for residential dwellings and commercial buildings for which the foundations have not been completed on August 1, 1978. Before connection or attachment of service to a new residential dwelling or new commercial building, the utility shall require a certificate from the owner that the structure meets the standards set forth herein. Further, the owner will attach supporting statements from the architect an contractor. If either or both such persons were employed in the design and construction of the new residential dwelling or construction or commercial building. Compliance with such certification is required for permanent service.

(a)   A new residential dwelling must be equipped with storm windows and storm doors or other satisfactory window and door thermal treatment. Total heat loss, based on the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals, of a new residential dwelling shall not exceed 35 BTU’s per square foot per hour of floor area of heated finished living space at a design temperature differential of 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a maximum of 1½ air changes per hour.

(b)   New commercial buildings must be constructed so heat transmission loss of heated areas, based on the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals, does not exceed 35 BTU’s per square foot per hour of floor area based on a design temperature differential of 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Ord. 78)

As used in this article, the following definitions shall apply:

(a)   Customer - The utility service account holder of record.

(b)   Person -- Natural persons and all corporations, partnership, associations and all other types and kinds of organizations and entities, without limitation, be obtained before service is made available.

(c)   Utility Service -- The gas service.

(d)   The Utility -- Auburn Municipal Gas Systems.

(Ord. 131, Sec. 1)

The utility may require credit information on each customer before utility service is made available. The utility shall charge a $5 fee to the customer for obtaining the credit information. The utility may at the time of application for service or at any time thereafter on five days written notice, require a deposit to guarantee payment of bills for utility service rendered if:

(a)   The utility establishes that the customer has an unsatisfactory credit rating, or has an insufficient prior credit history upon which a credit rating may be based.

(b)   The customer has outstanding, with the utility, an undisputed and unpaid service account which accrued within the last five years.

(c)   The customer has, in an unauthorized manner, interfered with, or diverted or used, the service of the utility within the last five years.

(d)   The customer fails to pay an undisputed bill before the delinquency date for three consecutive billing periods.

(Ord. 131, Sec. 2)

No deposit shall be required by the utility service because of customer’s race, sex, creed, national origin, marital status, age, number of dependents, source of income or geographical area of residence.

(Ord. 131, Secs. 3)

The amount of the cash deposit or surety bond required shall not exceed the amount of a projected average two months’ bill(s) for residential customers. For other customers, such deposit shall not exceed the amount of the projected largest two months’ bill(s). For purposes of establishing deposits and projecting monthly bills, the utility shall consider the length of time the customer can reasonably be expected to take service, past consumption patterns, end use of the service, and consumption patterns of similar customers.

The amount of the cash deposit or surety bond may be adjusted if the character or volume of the customer’s service should change. The utility shall permit payment of any required residential deposition equal installments over a period of at least four months.

(Ord. 131, Sec. 4)

(a)   A utility shall maintain a record of all deposits received from customers, showing the name of each customer, the address of the premises for which the deposit is maintained, the date and amount of deposit, and the date and amount of interest paid.

(b)   Whenever a security deposit is accepted, the utility will issue to the customer a non-assignable receipt containing the following minimum information:

(1)   Names of customer;

(2)   Place of deposit;

(3)   Date of deposit;

(4)   Amount of deposit;

(5)   Utility name and address, signature and title of the utility employee receiving deposit;

(6)   Current annual interest rate earned on deposit;

(7)   Statement of the terms and conditions governing the use, retention and return of deposits, to include a statement that deposits taken from residential customers who make non delinquent payments of undisputed bills for utility service for a period of 12 consecutive months shall be either credited with interest to their utility bills, or if requested, refunded.

However, in lieu of a receipt, the utility may indicate on the monthly customer billing the amount of any security deposit retained by the utility, provided that the information required by subsections (6) and (7) above is otherwise individually given writing to the customer. In all cases a receipt shall be given upon customer request.

(Ord. 131, Sec. 6)

Upon termination of service, if the deposit is not to be transferred, the utility will refund the deposit to the customer less any unpaid customers who make nondelinquent payments of undisputed bills for utility service for a period of 12 consecutive months all to be refunded or credited to the customer’s bills. When refunded or credited, the deposit shall include accrued simple interest at a rate not less than that provided by K.S.A. 12-822 and amendments.

(Ord. 131, Sec. 7)

In lieu of the security deposit, the utility may accept the written guarantee of a responsible party as surety for a customer service account. The utility shall not hold the guarantor liable for sums in excess of the maximum amount of the required cash deposit or for attorney or collection fees.

The guarantor shall to be released upon nondelinquent payment by a residential customer of all undisputed proper charges for utility service for a period of 12 consecutive months or upon termination of service and payment of utility bills.

(Ord. 131, Sec. 8)

(a)   The city may discontinue or refuse utility service to any customer without notice or hearing, for any of the following reasons:

(1)   When the customer so requests.

(2)   When it is determined by an employee of the city utility department, fire department or police department that the continuance of the utility service constitutes a dangerous condition presenting a likely immediate threat to health or safety of persons or to property on or near the customer’s premises.

(b)   The city may discontinue or refuse utility service to any customer, following compliance with the notice and hearing requirements of section 15-326 for any of the following reasons:

(1)   Nonpayment of utility bills and charges as provided in section 15-326.

(2)   When the customer misrepresents his or her identity or otherwise intentionally provides false information for the purpose of obtaining utility service from the city.

(c)   The city may discontinue or refuse utility service to any customer, following notice to the customer, for any of the reasons set out in this subsection. The customer shall have a right to a hearing within a reasonable time, not to exceed 10 days, following termination or refusal of service. If after such hearing the hearing officer finds in favor of the customer the hearing officer may order connection or reconnection of the service at no cost to the customer.

(1)   When the customer refuses to grant employees of the city’s utility department access to equipment installed upon the premises of the customer for the purpose of inspection, meter reading, maintenance or replacement.

(2)   When the customer violates any rule, regulation or ordinance of the city pertaining to utility service, which violation adversely affects the safety of the customer or other person, or the integrity of the city’s utility services’ delivery system.

(3)   When the customer attempts, causes or permits unauthorized interference diversion, theft, tampering, damage or use of utility service or the city’s utility service delivery system situated or delivered on or about the customer’s premises.

(Ord. 113, Sec. 2)

(a)   An account delinquency and service discontinuance notice shall be issued in writing on the 21st day of the month following the billing date with respect to any delinquent and unpaid utility service bill. Notice shall be sent by U.S. mail, first class, to the customer (and a copy also sent by U.S. mail, first class, to the last known address of the customer as shown on the records of the city. Written notice may also be provided by personal service upon the customer by an employee of the city utility department or by any city law enforcement officer or by such city employee posting the written notice upon a door of a building upon the property serviced.

(b)   The notice of account delinquency and service discontinuance shall provide the following information:

(1)   Name of customer and address where service be being provided.

(2)   Account number.

(3)   Amount past due plus delinquency charges.

(4)   Notice that utility service shall be terminated upon failure to pay the delinquent billing plus delinquency charges within 10 days of the date of the mailing of the notice.

(5)   Notice that the customer has the right to appear and be heard at a hearing on the hearing date set by the city.

(c)   The notice of account delinquency and service discontinuance shall be substantially in the following form:

Notice of Account Delinquency and Service Discontinuance.

To: ______

       Your gas bill in the amount of $____ which was due _____, 20__, remains unpaid and now delinquent. The delinquency charge to be added to your bill is $_____. You are hereby notified that the city intends to terminate your service on ____________ at __:00 (a.m.) (p.m.), unless you pay the amounts due as above stated or unless good cause be shown why such service should not be terminated. You are further notified that you are to appear in the Auburn City Office on the _____ day of _______, 20__, at __:00 (a.m.) (p.m.), then and there to show good cause as to why your service should not be terminated for nonpayment of charges. Should you fail to attend the hearing or fail to request at least 24 hours prior to the above hearing date that the hearing be rescheduled, then you are notified that immediately following the hearing date such service shall be discontinued.

Dated ________, 20__, City of Auburn, Kansas.

By: ___________

(d)   Any utility customers receiving a notice of account delinquency and service discontinuance shall have the right to a hearing prior to disconnection. At such hearing, the applicant customer, and the city, shall have the right to present such evidence as is pertinent to the issue, may be represented by counsel, and may examine and cross-examine witnesses, however, formal rules of evidence shall not be followed. The hearing shall be conducted by a hearing officer who shall be appointed by the mayor, with the consent of the governing body. In the event the hearing officer finds utility service should not be discontinued, and the hearing officer finds utility service should not be discontinued, and the hearing officer shall so order and advise the city thereof. In the event the hearing officer finds utility service should be discontinued, the hearing officer shall so order and advise the city thereof. Unless otherwise ordered by the hearing officer, utility service shall be discontinued on the date that the order of discontinuance is issued by the hearing officer. Extensions of the date of discontinuance may be granted to enable the customer to make arrangements for reasonable installment payments or for other good cause shown. The customers shall be given notice order of discontinuance in person, or by certified mail. In making a determination of whether discontinuance should be ordered, the hearing officer shall consider, but not be limited to the following factors: Whether discontinuance is dangerous to the health of any customer, the customer’s family or any other residents of the premises affected; the weather; unforeseen financial hardship of the customer; and the medical conditions, ages or disabilities of the customer, the customer’s family or other residents of the premises.

(Ord. 113, Sec. 4)

The city utility department is hereby authorized to discontinue and disconnect utility service to any customer pursuant to the procedure set out in this article. Customers shall remain responsible for furnishing the city with the correct address for billing purposes.

(Ord. 113, Sec. 5)

In the event any person shall neglect, fail or refuse to pay within 10 days following notice of discontinuance the utility billings and delinquency charges due the city, such billings and charges shall constitute a lien upon the real property served by the connection to the utility service, and shall be certified by the city clerk to the county clerk of Shawnee County, Kansas, to be placed on the tax roll for collection, subject to the same penalties and collected in like manner as other taxes are by law collectible within the jurisdiction of the city.

(Ord. 113, Sec. 6)

Where not restricted by Kansas Corporation Commission regulations, leased premises served by the utility furnished by the city are jointly liable for payment of the cost of such utility furnished by the city to such premises, whether such utility service is furnished upon the application and request of the owner or the lessee of the premises. The owner of any leased premises, or the owner’s agent if leasing is through an agent, shall be notified of the delinquency of the occupant of the leased premises in the same manner as notice is provided to customers pursuant to section 15-326 of this article and at the same time of notice to the lessee-customer.

(Ord. 113, Sec. 7)

(a)   Late Payment Charges. All bills delinquent after the 20th day of the month following the month of billing shall be subject to a two percent penalty.

(b)   Disconnection Charge. For any service which is disconnected following a delinquency, the customer shall be liable for a disconnection charge of $15.00, in addition to any other balance due.

(c)   Reconnection Charge. Prior to reconnecting a utility service disconnected following a delinquency, the customer shall pay to the city the entire balance due and owing to the city at the time of reconnection. The customer shall also pay a reconnection charge of $20.00.

(Ord. 113, Sec. 8; Ord. 216; Code 2016)

The mayor shall appoint three members, not less than one of which shall be a member of the city council, who shall constitute the municipal gas committee of the city and the committee shall, under the supervision of the governing body have the general management, control and supervision of the municipal gas distribution system of the city and shall direct the superintendent in all matters pertaining to the management, control and operation of the system and purchase of materials and supplies.

(Ord. 61, Sec. 1)

The mayor shall, with the consent of the city council, appoint a municipal gas superintendent who shall, under the direction of the municipal gas committee, have charge of the management of the municipal gas system and have charge over the people employed by the city to assist him or her in such management and in the maintenance and operation of the system. The superintendent shall receive a salary to be fixed by a municipal gas committee, subject to the approval of the city council.

(Ord. 61, Sec. 2)

Consumers will pay all charges for installation of services.

(Ord. 87, Sec. 1; Code 2016)

The city shall furnish nature gas, consumed or used within and outside the corporate limits of the city at the following rates: All sales shall be at the actual cost of gas to the city plus $2.35 per mcf. Customer charge is $8.50 per month.

(Ord. 125, Sec. 1; Ord. 216; Ord. 303; Code 2016)