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Section 735.29 | General powers and duties.


The board of trustees of public affairs appointed under section 735.28 of the Revised Code shall manage, conduct, and control the waterworks, electric light plants, artificial or natural gas plants, or other similar public utilities, furnish supplies of water, electricity, or gas, collect all water, electric, and gas rents or charges, and appoint necessary officers, employees, and agents.

The board may make such bylaws and rules as it determines to be necessary for the safe, economical, and efficient management and protection of such works, plants, and public utilities. These bylaws and rules, when not repugnant to municipal ordinances or to the constitution or laws of this state, shall have the same validity as ordinances.

For the purpose of paying the expenses of conducting and managing such waterworks, plants, and public utilities or of making necessary additions thereto and extensions and repairs thereon, the board may assess a water rent or charge, or a light, power, gas, or utility rent, of sufficient amount, and in such manner as it determines to be most equitable, upon all tenements and premises supplied therewith. When such rents, except water rents and charges, are not paid when due, the board may certify them to the county auditor to be placed on the duplicate and collected as other village taxes, or it may collect them by actions at law in the name of the village. When water rents or charges are not paid when due, the board 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 board 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 placed for immediate distribution to the village, in the appropriate distinct fund established for water rents and charges.

(B) Collect them by actions at law in the name of the village from an owner, tenant, or other person who is liable to pay the rents or charges.

The board shall have the same powers and perform the same duties as are provided in sections 743.01, 743.05 to 743.07, 743.10, 743.11, 743.18, 743.24, and 735.05 to 735.09 of the Revised Code, and all powers and duties relating to waterworks in any of such sections shall extend to and include electric light, power, and gas plants, and such other similar public utilities, and such board shall have such other duties as are prescribed by law or ordinance not inconsistent herewith.

Each board 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 board 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 board 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 board 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 board shall accept any partial payment of unpaid water rents or charges, in the amount of ten dollars or more.

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