For the purpose of paying the expenses of conducting and managing the waterworks of a municipal corporation, including operating expenses and the costs of permanent improvements, the director of public service or any other city official or body authorized by charter may assess and collect a water rent or charge of sufficient amount and in such manner as he or it determines to be most equitable from all tenements and premises supplied with water. When water rents or charges are not paid when due, the director or other official or body may do either or both of the following:
(A) Certify them, together with any penalties, to the county auditor. The county auditor shall place the certified amount on the real property tax list and duplicate against the property served by the connection if he also receives from the director or other official or body additional certification that the unpaid rents or charges have arisen pursuant to a service contract made directly with an owner who occupies the property served.
The amount placed on the tax list and duplicate shall be a lien on the property served from the date placed on the list and duplicate and shall be collected in the same manner as other taxes, except that, notwithstanding section 323.15 of the Revised Code, a county treasurer shall accept a payment in such amount when separately tendered as payment for the full amount of such unpaid water rents or charges and associated penalties. The lien shall be released immediately upon payment in full of the certified amount. Any amounts collected by the county treasurer under this division shall be immediately placed in the distinct fund established by section 743.06 of the Revised Code.
(B) Collect them by actions at law, in the name of the city from an owner, tenant, or other person who is liable to pay the rents or charges.
Each director or other official or body that assesses water rents or charges shall determine the actual amount of rents due based upon an actual reading of each customer's meter at least once in each three-month period, and at least quarterly the director or other official or body shall render a bill for the actual amount shown by the meter reading to be due, except estimated bills may be rendered if access to a customer's meter was unobtainable for a timely reading. Each director or other official or body that assesses water rents or charges shall establish procedures providing fair and reasonable opportunity for resolution of billing disputes.
When property to which water service is provided is about to be sold, any party to the sale or his agent may request the director or other official or body to read the meter at that property and to render within ten days following the date on which the request is made, a final bill for all outstanding rents and charges for water service. Such a request shall be made at least fourteen days prior to the transfer of the title of such property.
At any time prior to a certification under division (A) of this section, the director or other official or body shall accept any partial payment of unpaid water rents or charges, in the amount of ten dollars or more.
Effective Date: 09-24-1986