Article 12 Gas System

Article 12.  Municipal Gas System

§3-1201   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; CONTRACTS AND TERMS.  The Municipality through its Municipal Gas System, shall furnish natural gas for heating, cooling and manufacturing purposes to persons whose premises abut on any main of the distribution system and may furnish natural gas to such other persons within or without its corporate limits, as and when, according to law, the Governing Body may see fit to do so.  The rules, regulations and rates for gas service, hereinafter named, in this Article, shall be considered a part of every application hereafter made for gas service and shall be considered a part of the contract between every consumer now served by the Municipal Gas System.  Without further formality, the making of application on the part of any applicant or the use or consumption of natural gas by present customers and the furnishing of gas service to said applicant or customer shall constitute a contract between applicant or customer and the Municipality, to which both parties are bound.  If customer should violate any of the provisions of said contract or any reasonable rules and regulations that the Governing Body may hereafter adopt, the Utilities Superintendent, or his agent, shall cut off to disconnect the gas service from the building or place of such violation and no further connection of gas service for such building or place shall again be made save or except by order of the Superintendent or his agent.  (Ref.  19-1404 RS Neb.)

§3-1202   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; OWNERSHIP.  The Municipality owns the Municipal Gas System and operates the Municipal Gas System through the Utilities Superintendent.  The Governing Body, for the purpose of defraying the cost of the care, management, and maintenance of the Municipal Gas System may each year levy a tax not exceeding the maximum limit prescribed by State law, on the actual valuation of all real estate and personal property within the corporate limits that is subject to taxation.  The revenue from the said tax shall be known as the Gas Fund and shall remain in the custody of the Municipal Treasurer.  The Utilities Superintendent shall have the direct management and control of the Municipal Gas System and shall faithfully carry out the duties of his office.  He shall have the authority to adopt rules and regulations for the safe and efficient management of the Gas System subject to the supervision and review of the Governing Body.  The Governing Body shall by ordinance set the rates to be charged for services rendered and shall file the same in the office of the Municipal Clerk for public inspection at any reasonable time.  (Ref.  19-1401 RS Neb.)   

§3-1203   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; CONSUMER'S APPLICATION.  Every person or persons desiring gas service must make application therefore to the Utilities Superintendent.  Any applicant may be required to make a service deposit in such amount as deemed necessary subject to the review of the Governing Body.  Gas may not be supplied to any house or building except upon the written order of the Utilities Superintendent.  The System shall not supply to any person outside the corporate limits gas service without special permission from the Governing Body.  Nothing herein shall be construed to obligate the Municipality to supply gas service to nonresidents.  (Ref.  19-1404 RS Neb.)

§3-1204   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; LICENSED PLUMBER.  It shall be unlawful for any plumber or pipefitter to do any work upon any of the pipes or appurtenances Of the Gas Distribution System, or to make any connection with or extension of the supply pipes of any consumer taking gas from the said system until such plumber or pipefitter shall have first procured a license of permit from the Municipality.

All installation shall be done under the supervision and strictly in accordance with the rules, regulations, and specifications for such installation prescribed by the Utilities Superintendent.  The said Licensed Plumber shall be at all times subject to the inspection and approval of the Utilities Superintendent and it shall be further unlawful to cover or conceal willfully any defective or unsatisfactory gas piping work.

§3-1205   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; INSTALLATION EXPENSE.  The expense of providing gas service from the main to the point of delivery shall be paid by the consumer.  In addition to the said expense of procuring the services of a licensed plumber and paying all the expenses of furnishing and installing the necessary pipe, trenching, and other labor to bring gas service from the main to the place of disbursement, the consumer shall also pay a tap fee which shall compensate the Municipality for the expense of installing the meter and tapping the main.  The Municipality shall own all such meters.  Approval of the Utilities Superintendent shall be obtained as to location and installation of meters.  Persons desiring service on property not adjacent to a main shall pay the entire additional cost of pipe and labor required in providing service.

§3-1206   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; GAS BILLS.  Gas bills shall be due and payable monthly at the office of the Utilities Superintendent.  Meters shall be read one (1) time each month.  It shall be the duty of customers of the Gas System to promptly present payment monthly at the Office of the Utilities Superintendent to pay their bills.  The Superintendent shall charge and collect from each customer for the amount of gas used since the least examination, together with any other charges, properly itemized, due the Gas System.  Bills shall be due on the first (1st) day of each month and shall be payable by the fifteenth (15th) day of each month.  Bills not paid on or before the fifteenth (15th) day of each month shall be deemed to be delinquent.  There shall be a five percent  (5%) penalty added onto any bill deemed to be delinquent as herein defined.  In the event that any bill is not paid when the same has been deemed to be delinquent, the Utilities Superintendent shall give a written notice as provided in section 3-1102.  The Superintendent shall faithfully account for and pay to the Municipal Treasurer all revenue collected by him, taking his receipt therefor.  Should a consumer's meter get out of repair or fail to register properly, the consumer shall be charged for gas during the time such meter is out of order or repair a sum equal to the current charge for the amount of gas used on the premises during the corresponding period of the preceding year.  If there is no such basis from which to compute the bill, the Superintendent shall set the amount of the bill which shall be both fair to the customer and the Municipality.  In the event that gas service is shut off for the nonpayment of any gas bill, there shall be assessed an additional fee set by ordinance of the Governing Body to compensate the Municipality for the required hook-up necessary to again provide gas service to the delinquent customer.  (Ref.  19-1404 RS Neb.)

§3-1207   MUNICIPAL GAS DEPARTMENT; FEES AND COLLECTIONS.  The Governing Body has the power and authority to fix the rates to be paid by the gas consumers for the use of gas from the Gas Department.  All such fees shall be on file for public inspection at the office of the Municipal Clerk.  No flat rates shall be quoted or allowed.  No gas shall be furnished to any customer at a rate other than that provided by ordinance of the Governing Body.  The Governing Body may, in its discretion, set a different uniform rate schedule for nonresidents if it deems it advisable.  (Ref.  19-1404 Neb.)

§3-1208   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; MINIMUM RATES.  All gas consumers shall be liable for the minimum rate provided by ordinance unless and until the consumer shall, by written order, direct the Utilities Superintendent to shut off the gas in which case he shall not be liable thereafter for gas service until the gas is turned on again.  (Ref.  19-1404 RS Neb.)

§3-1209   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; SINGLE PREMISE.  No consumer shall supply gas to other families or allow them to take gas from his premise, nor after gas is supplied into a building shall any person make or employ a plumber or other person to make a tap or connection with the pipe upon the premise for alteration, extension, or attachment without the written permission of the Utilities Superintendent.

§3-1210   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; SERVICE DEPOSIT FUND.  The service deposit required for gas service shall be promptly paid upon demand by all customer of the Gas System.  From the said deposit shall be deducted all delinquent gas charges.  The service deposit shall be collected by the Utilities Superintendent and immediately turned over to the Municipal Treasurer who shall keep the said fees in a trust fund for the customers of the Gas System.  Said fund shall be put out at interest separate and apart from other funds.  Interest arising therefrom shall be expended for the repair of equipment and property of the Municipal Gas System.

§3-1211   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; METER EXAMINATION.  No person except an authorized agent of the Municipality shall set meters or make connections of the Gas System of the Municipality.  The Municipality shall keep all meters in repair at the expense of the Municipality.  The owner or tenant of a premise where a meter is located shall provide ready and convenient access to the meter so that it may easily be examined and read by the authorized agent of the Municipality.  The Utilities Superintendent may have any meter tested to determine if it is registering the true amount of gas at any time at municipal expense.  Any consumer of gas from the Gas System may request to have his gas meter tested by the Municipality which test shall be conducted within twenty (20) days.  If the test of the meter discloses that it is registering two percent (2%) or more high, the expense of the test shall be borne by the Municipality, but if the test of the meter discloses that it is registering less than two (2%) percent high, the consumer shall be billed the reasonable expense of making such test.

§3-1212   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; RESTRICTED USE.  The Municipal Gas System does not guarantee the delivery of natural gas over the mains of the distribution system except when it has sufficient gas, equipment and machinery to do so.  The Utilities Superintendent has the power and authority to disconnect or discontinue such services for any good and sufficient reason without liability.  The Municipality shall use due care and reasonable diligence to provide and supply uninterrupted service to consumers, but shall not be liable for damages resulting from interruption of service due to causes over which the Municipality has no control and the Municipality expressly reserves the right to discontinue or disconnect any consumer's service without preliminary notice.  (Ref.  19-1404 RS Neb.) 

§3-1213   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; GAS SERVICE CONTRACTS.  Contracts for gas service are not transferable.  Any person wishing to change from one location to another shall make a new application and sign a new contract.  If any consumer shall sell, dispose or remove from the premise where service is furnished in his name, or if the said premise is destroyed by fire or other casualty, he shall at once inform the Utilities Superintendent who shall cause the gas service to be shut off from the said premise.  If the consumer should fail to give such notice, he shall be charged for all gas used on the said premise until the Utilities Superintendent is otherwise advised of such circumstances.  (Ref.  19-1404 RS Neb.)

§3-1214   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; POSTING SIGNS.  It shall be unlawful for any person to post, tack, or fasten to the structures, fixtures or equipment of the Municipal Gas System any sign, poster advertisement or banner without written permission from the Utilities Superintendent.

§3-1215 MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; INSPECTION.  The Utilities Superintendent or his duly authorized agents, shall be permitted access, between the hours of seven o'clock (7:00) A.M.  and six o'clock (6:00) P.M.; provided that in the event of an emergency, such inspections may take place at any time; to all parts of each premise and building to, or in which, gas is delivered for the purpose of examining the pipes, flues, appliances, and other portions of the system to ascertain whether there is any disrepair or unsafe conditions.  It shall be the duty of every customer of the Gas System to answer all questions asked by the Superintendent or his agent relative to the use and consumption of gas.

§3-1216   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY.  It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully or carelessly break, injure, or deface any building, machinery, apparatus, fixture, attachment, or appurtenance of the Municipal Gas System.  No person may commit any act tending to obstruct or impair the intended use of any of the above mentioned property without the written permission of the Utilities Superintendent.

§3-1217   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; TERMS DEFINED.

Main.  The term "main" is hereby defined to be any pipe other than a supply or service pipe that is used for the purpose of carrying gas to, and dispersing the same in the Municipality.

Single Premise.  The term "single premise" is hereby defined to be no more than one (1) consumer procuring gas from a service or supply pipe.    

Point of Delivery.  When meter setting is located at the property line, the point of delivery shall be the meter outlet.  For all other meter settings, the point of delivery shall be the tap on the gas main. 

§3-1218   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE MANUAL AND EMERGENCY PLAN.  The Utilities Superintendent shall develop an Operation and Maintenance Manual and Emergency Plan which shall be submitted to and approved by the Board of Public Works and filed with the Nebraska State Fire Marshal's office.  The Utilities Superintendent shall make such modifications and additions to the plan as may be required from time to time and which shall be submitted to the Board of Public Works for review and approval and filing with the State Fire Marshal.  No change shall be implemented until such time as it receives the approval of the State Fire Marshal's office.

§3-1219   MUNICIPAL GAS SYSTEM; FRANCHISE FEE.  The Municipal Gas System shall pay to the general fund of the City of Falls City a franchise fee of seven percent (7%) of its gross receipts.  This franchise fee shall be determined and paid monthly for the prior monthly period.  Five percent (5%) of such funds shall go to general expenditures of the City of Falls City.  Two percent (2%) of such funds shall be designated for Economic Development, provided however, any funds not used for Economic Development in any given fiscal year shall be placed in capital improvement/infra-structure fund or such other designated fund as determined by the City Council from time to time. (Ord #2006-102; Ord #2009-104)

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