Article 8. Electrical Department

§3-801   Falls City Code   §3-817

Article 8. Electrical Department

§3-801    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; CONTRACTS AND TERMS. The Municipality through its Municipal Electrical System, shall furnish electric current for light and power purposes to persons whose premises abut on any supply wire of the distribution system and may furnish electric current 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 electric service, hereinafter named in this Article, shall be considered a part of every application hereafter made for electric service and shall be considered a part of the contract between every consumer now served by the Municipal Electrical System. Without further formality, the making of application on the part of any applicant or the use or consumption of electric energy by present customers and the furnishing of electric 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 or disconnect the electric service from the building or place of such violation and no further connection of electric service for such building or place shall again be made save or except by order of the Superintendent or his agent.  (Ref.  17-901, 19-2701 RS Neb.)

§3-802    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; OWNERSHIP.  The Municipality owns and operates the Municipal Electrical System through the Utilities Superintendent.  The Governing Body, for the purpose of defraying the cost of the care, management, and maintenance of the Municipal Electrical 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 Light Fund and shall remain in the custody of the Municipal Treasurer. The Utilities Superintendent shall have the direct management and control of the Municipal Electrical 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 Electrical System subject to the supervision and review of the Governing Body. The Governing Body shall by resolution 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.  17-901 through 17-904, 17-906, 17-909, 19-1401 RS Neb.)

§3-803    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; CONSUMER'S APPLICATION. Every person or persons desiring electrical service must make application therefor to the Utilities Superintendent. Any applicant may be required to make a service deposit in such amount as deemed necessary subject to review of the Governing Body.  Electricity 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 electrical service without special permission from the Governing Body. Nothing herein shall be construed to obligate the Municipality to supply electrical service to nonresidents.  (Ref.  17-901, 19-2701 RS Neb.)

§3-804    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; LICENSED ELECTRICIAN. Under no circumstances shall connections be made between the wires of the electrical distribution system of this Municipality and the meter of the consumer except by a employee of the Municipality. The consumer may have wiring done by any competent licensed electrician from the meter to the points of distribution.  All wiring, equipment, and apparatus shall be installed according to the electrical code duly adopted by 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; provided, that such rules, regulations, and specifications have been reviewed and approved by the Governing Body.  (Ref.  17-902, 19-1404 RS Neb.)    

§3-805    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; INSTALLATION EXPENSE. The expense of the overhead system, the meter and meter socket shall be paid by the Municipality. The expense of installation and wiring from the meter to points of distribution, meter loop and service to entrance shall be the responsibility of the consumer.  In the event that the customer is a nonresident, the Municipality shall furnish the transformer pole and overhead service to yard pole, but not the cost of the pole or wiring to points of distribution which shall be at the customer's expense. The service entrance conductors shall be installed in rigid metallic conduit from the weather head to the service disconnect unless otherwise authorized by the Electric Inspector. Customers of the Municipal Electrical System, may at their discretion, have the wires installed underground and in that case, the consumer shall compensate the Municipality for any additional costs of installation that may accrue as a result of such option. At the discretion of the Municipality a fused switch or a breaker may be installed ahead of the underground service, not to be larger than the amp capacity of the smallest ungrounded wire. The location of the meter shall be at the discretion of the Municipality.  If the instrument metering is to be installed and a meter cabinet is required, cost of the meter cabinet will be paid by the customer. Underground primary service at the Municipality's option may be made available whereby the Municipality's primary cable will extend into a Municipal transformer or transformers at a consumers location.  Such underground primary service cable shall be installed, owned and maintained by the Municipality on consumer property; provided prior easement for the cable route has been granted the Municipality by the consumer. The consumer shall pay the Municipality its estimated excess cost in providing the underground service in lieu of standard overhead service. Maintenance and replacement expense shall be apportioned in the same manner. (Ref. 17-902, 19-1404 RS Neb.) (Amended ord. 94-126)(Ord. #2012-104)

§3-806    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; ELECTRICAL BILLS. Electrical 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 Electrical System to promptly present payment monthly at the Office of the Utilities Superintendent to pay their bills. The Utilities Superintendent shall charge and collect from each customer for the amount of electricity used since the last examination, together with any other charges, properly itemized, due the Electrical System. Nonresidents shall be charged a uniformly higher rate than residents.  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 Utilities 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 electrical current during the time such meter is out of order or repair at the average monthly consumption shown by the meter when in order for the six (6) months previous to such disrepair. If there is no such basis from which to compute the bill, the Utilities Superintendent shall set the amount of the bill which shall be both fair to the customer and the Municipality. In theevent that electrical service is shut off for the nonpayment of any electrical bill, there shall be assessed an additional fee set by resolution of the Governing Body to compensate the Municipality for the required hook-up necessary to again provide electrical service to the delinquent customer.  (Ref.  17-902, 19-1404 RS Neb.)

§3-807    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; MINIMUM RATES. All electrical consumers shall be liable for the minimum rate provided by resolution unless and until the consumer shall, by written order, direct the Utilities Superintendent to shut off the electricity in which case he shall not be liable thereafter for electrical service until the electricity is turned on again.  (Ref.  17-902, 19-1404 RS Neb.)  

§3-808    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; SERVICE DEPOSIT FUND. The service deposit required for electrical service shall be promptly paid upon demand by all customers of the Electrical System. From the said deposit shall be deducted all delinquent electrical 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 Electrical System. Said fund shall be put out at interest separate and apart from other funds.  Interest arising therefrom shall be expended solely for the repair of equipment and property of the Municipal Electrical System.  (Ref.  19-1404 RS Neb.)

§3-809    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; METER EXAMINATION. No person except an authorized agent of the Municipality shall set meters or make connections of the Electrical 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 current at any time at expense. Any consumer of current from the Electrical System may request to have his electric 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 fast, 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 percent (2%) fast, the consumer shall be billed the reasonable expense of making such test.

§3-810    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; RESTRICTED USE. The Municipal Electrical System does not guarantee the delivery of electric current over the lines of the distribution system except when it has sufficient power, current, equipment, and machinery to do so. The Utilities Superintendent has the power and authority to disconnect or discontinue such service 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.  17-902, 19-1404 RS Neb.)

§3-811    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; ELECTRICAL SERVICE CONTRACTS.  Contracts for electrical 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 electrical service to be shut off from the said premise. If the consumer should fail to give such notice, he shall be charged for all  electricity used on the said premise until the Utilities Superintendent is otherwise advised of such circumstances. (Ref.  17-902, 19-1404 RS Neb.)   

§3-812    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; BUILDING MOVING. Should any house or building moving occur or be necessary and it becomes necessary in said work to remove or disturb any of the property or wires of the Municipal Electrical System, the same should not be done except upon written permission received from the Utilities Superintendent who shall then order paid in advance the actual cost of moving the said wires and such cost shall be paid by the applicant prior to the moving of the building or house. All expense of removing, changing, and replacing the said wires or apparatus of the Electrical System shall be paid out of the deposit made prior to moving and any surplus remaining after all expenses are paid shall be returned to the applicant; provided, that if in the course of moving the said building or house it becomes apparent that additional expense will be incurred, such additional deposit as deemed necessary may be demanded.  (Ref.  19-1404 RS Neb.)

§3-813    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; POSTING SIGNS. It shall be unlawful for any person to post, tack, or fasten to the poles, structures, fixtures, or equipment of the Municipal Electrical System any sign, poster, advertisement, or banner without written permission from the Utilities Superintendent. 

§3-814    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; TRIMMING TREES. Any person desiring to cut or remove trees or branches thereof in close proximity to the lines of the Municipal Electrical System shall, before doing the said work, give reasonable written notice to the Utilities Superintendent and shall follow all rules and regulations which he may prescribe for doing such work. It shall be unlawful for any person felling or removing such trees or branches to disrupt or damage the lines without first giving proper notice and receiving permission in writing to do so. Whenever it becomes necessary to protect the lines or property of the Electrical System, the Governing Body shall have the power to order cut and removed any overhanging branches, or limbs of trees so that the lines will be free and safe. 

§3-815    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; INSPECTIONS. The Utilities Superintendent or his duly authorized agents shall have free access at any reasonable time to each premise and building to or in which electricity is supplied; provided, that in the event of an emergency, such inspections may take place at any time.   

§3-816    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL 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 Electrical System.  (Ref.  28-512 RS Neb.)    

§3-817    MUNICIPAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; FRANCHISE FEE; CONTRACTING FOR AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM. The Municipal Electrical 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 a capital improvement/ infra-structure fund or such other designated fund as determined by the City Council from time to time.(Ord #2006-101; Ord #2009-103)