CHAPTER 6-10 WATER UTILITIES
6-10-1 TITLE AND DATE
This ordinance shall be titled; the Water Utilities Chapter of the Colville Law and Order Code. This Chapter shall become effective immediately upon adoption by resolution by the Colville Tribal Business Council.
The purpose of this Chapter is to define the policies, establish an organization and identify the necessary rules and regulations for: (1) the operation, maintenance and management of the various public water utilities located on the Colville Reservation; and (2) management for the provision of essential community water services within the Colville Reservation.
It shall be the policy of the Colville Confederated Tribes to operate, maintain and manage the public ater utilities on the Colville Reservation so that the community residents are provided with a high level of water services designed to minimize exposure to adverse conditions which could negatively impact the physical and environmental health of any individual or the community. It shall also be the policy of the Colville Confederated Tribes that the operation, maintenance and management of the public water utilities shall be carried out through an efficient program and in a financially responsible, cost effective, and self-sufficient manner.
The authority to establish a Tribal Utility Organization and to levy appropriate user fees to all residents and organizations operating on the Colville Reservation is provided in Articles V and Sections 1a and 1e of the Colville Confederated Tribal Constitution.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the meaning of terms used in this Chapter shall be set forth in this Subchapter.
"Appurtenances" are the real and personal property owned by the Utility or the Tribe located on, near or under the roadways and streets, such as fire hydrants, valves, water meters, meter boxes, etc.
"Customer" means a person, business agency or other organization that uses, is entitled to use, or is obligated to pay for the use of or provision of services from the Utility Department.
6-10-33 CUSTOMER LINES
"Customer Lines" are the potable water lines located immediately adjacent to, inside of, or under a customer's residence or other building or property, which are either connected to utility service lines or are maintained by the customer separately from utility service lines.
6-10-34 DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM LINES
"Distribution System Lines" are those potable water lines maintained by the Utility Department by which water utility services are provided to customers.
"Meter" is a device, owned by the Utility Department, for measuring the amount of water provided to a particular customer.
"Manager" shall mean an individual appointed by the Utility Authority and hired by Public Works & Utilities Department to oversee and manage the operation of the Utility Department.
"Operator" shall mean an individual appointed by the Utility Authority, the manager and hired by Public Works & Utilities to provide direct day to day preventive maintenance and operational service for the public water utilities.
"Off-reservation" is any area located outside the exterior boundaries of the Colville Reservation
"Regulation" is a rule of law or procedure duly adopted by the Utility Authority for purposes of implementing the requirements of this Chapter.
6-10-40 TRIBAL COMMUNITY
"Tribal Community," for the purposes of this Chapter, shall include but not necessarily be limited to enrolled Colville Confederated Tribal members.
"Contractor" shall mean any individual, firm or organization who contracts to provide services or utility repairs, design, inspection, reconstruction or operation.
6-10-42 UTILITY SERVICES
"Utility Services" are those basic services necessary for supporting residential and commercial development, including, but not limited to water appurtenances.
6-10-43 UTILITY AUTHORITY
"Utility Authority" is the agency responsible for, and authorized to manage, the Utility Department of the Colville Confederated Tribes, as established by this Chapter.
6-10-44 UTILITY DEPARTMENT
"Utility Department" is a governmental department of the Colville Confederated Tribes authorized to operate the utility services provided by the Tribe.
"Department" shall mean the Utility Department of the Colville Confederated Tribes.
"Vendor" is any individual firm, contractor or organization who supplies parts, equipment, supplies and/or services to the Utility Department.
6-10-47 SHALL, MAY
"Shall" is mandatory, "May" is permissive .
6-10-48 PUBLIC UTILITIES
"Public Utilities" shall mean all utilities owned, operated, or managed by the Colville Confederated Tribes or its designated authority on and for the Colville Reservation.
UTILITY DEPARTMENT AND UTILITY AUTHORITY
6-10-80 ESTABLISHMENT OF UTILITY DEPARTMENT
There is hereby established the Colville Confederated Tribal Utility Department having the responsibility for operating on and maintaining the tribal public water utilities and providing essential community water services directly or by contract.
6-10-81 UTILITY AUTHORITY
There is hereby established the Colville Confederated Tribal Utility Authority to serve as the advisory, administrative and management authority for the Colville Confederated Tribal Utility Department.
6-10-82 UTILITY AUTHORITY - OPERATING ORGANIZATION
The Utility Authority shall operate as a subordinate unit of Tribal government independent in its daily operation, but responsible to the Tribal Business Council for its actions. The methods of appointment, terms of office, and operating procedures of the Utility Authority shall be set forth in this Chapter and in regulations adopted by the Utility Authority.
6-10-83 UTILITY AUTHORITY - POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Utility Authority shall manage the public utilities of the Tribe, and obtain and disburse funds as required for operation, maintenance and expansion of the tribal public utilities.
To fulfill these responsibilities, the Authority shall have the power to:
(1) Levy and collect reasonable fees for utility services, including but not limited to monthly service charges, connection fees, penalties, construction permits, and other assessments deemed necessary by the Utility Authority and approved by the Tribal Business Council.
(la) Adjust or delay rates or charges for low income or elderly households for health or humanitarian reasons.
(2) Provide oversight in the hiring of appropriate management and maintenance personnel, with Public Works & Utilities Department fulfilling the interview, screening, hiring and compensation process as set forth in the Colville Confederated Tribal Business Council management policy.
(3) Adopt appropriate regulations to implement the requirements of this Chapter.
(4) Authorize disbursement of funds for operation, maintenance and repair of utility services by utilizing existing Tribal property and procurement policies.
(5) Contract with vendors and contractors to assure that safe and reliable water services are available to and utilized by the residents of the Colville Reservation.
(6) Maintain a level of active involvement with vendors, contractors, and federal agencies to assure that adequate water services are available and provided to the residents of the Colville Reservation.
(7) Authorize the Central Accounting Department to invest reserve account funds. Authorization to expend funds with annual budget preparation and upon approval Utility Department.
(8) To implement necessary measures to meet monitoring requirements set on the utilities as mandated by federal agencies for Tribal compliance.
(9) Impose sanctions on customers in accordance with Section 6-10-303 of this Chapter.
6-10-84 UTILITY AUTHORITY - MEMBERSHIP
The Utility Authority shall be composed of eight (8) persons appointed by the Tribal Business Council. One person shall be selected from the Tribal Council, one person shall be the Community Services Administrator and six (6) persons selected from the general tribal community whom are users on the community water systems. The community representatives shall be selected as follows: one (1) user each from the communities of Omak (HUD), Albert Orr (HUD), Malott (HUD), Twin Lakes (HUD), Disautel, and Keller.
Members of the Utility Authority shall be known as Utility Commissioners.
6-10-85 TERM OF OFFICE
Except for the initial Authority membership, all Commissioners will serve two-year terms, except for the representative of the Administrative Director position whom shall serve a term according to the duration as an officer of that title.
Initial Commissioners of the Authority shall serve terms as follows:
|Tribal Council||(Position 1)- 2 years|
|Community Services Administrator||(Position 2)- Duration of Position|
|Keller Community||(Position 3)- 1 year|
|Omak (HUD) Community||(Position 4)- 2 year|
|Albert Orr (HUD) Community||(Position 5)- 1 year|
|Malott (HUD) Community||(Position 6)- 2 year|
|Disautel Community||(Position 7)- 1 year|
|Twin Lakes (HUD) Community||(Position 8)- 2 year|
Terms shall expire upon the swearing in of newly appointed Commissioners. In the event that the Community Services Administrator Commissioner or Council Representative Commissioner loses or resigns his/her position, his/her appointment to the Utility Authority shall expire immediately, and the Tribal Council shall fill the vacancy with the appointment of a new Administrative Director or new Council memeber at the next regular meeting of the Tribal Council.
6-10-86 UTILITY AUTHORITY - METHOD OF APPOINTMENT
The Tribal Council shall appoint a council person and the person serving as the Community Services Administrator on the Utility Authority. For the Commissioner position to be filled by tribal community members, the Council shall advertise for fifteen (15) days in the tribal newsletter or by other public notice, soliciting interested persons for nomination. For all Commissioner positions, the Council shall choose persons capable and willing to perform the duties of the Authority. After receiving nominations, the Council shall appoint Commissioners by a majority vote.
6-10-87 UTILITY AUTHORITY VACANCIES
If a Commissioner resigns, moves from the local area, dies, or is found guilty of a felony or major crime in any court of law, the Tribal Council shall declare the Commissioner position vacant. If any Commissioner misses two consecutive Utility Authority meetings without a valid excuse, the Tribal Council shall declare the position vacant. All vacancies shall be filled within one month in accordance with this Section.
Within ten days after appointment of the initial Commissioners, there shall be an organizational meeting of the Utility Authority to elect a Chairman, Vice Chairman and a Secretary-Treasurer from among the Utility Authority Commissioners. The Officers shall be elected annually thereafter, immediately following the appointment of the new Commissioners by the Tribal Council. The Commissioners, if finding it duly necessary, have the authority to relieve an officer of his/her position by a majority vote of the Utility Authority.
6-10-89 DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Officers of the Utility Authority shall assume the following duties:
1. Chairman - Shall preside at all meetings; call and arrange all meetings; be responsible for all general management of the Utility Authority's affairs; and perform all duties incidental to the office.
2. Vice-Chairman - Shall perform all of the Chairman's duties in the absence of the Chairman; and shall assist the Chairman as required in handling the Utility Authority's affairs.
3. Secretary-Treasurer - Shall keep or caused to be kept a complete and accurate record of all meetings and shall maintain all correspondence, notices and records of the Utility Authority. Shall not be directly responsible for maintaining records of the Utility Department, but shall oversee the manager to insure that they are performed. Shall report the Department's financial status at each regularly scheduled Utility Authority meeting and shall present to the Commissioners for their action all requests for funds to meet the Department's financial obligations. Shall prepare an annual financial statement for submission to the Tribal Council for the general membership meeting. Further, the Treasurer shall coordinate with the Program Accountant and request reports concerning all investments for the Utility Authority in accordance with appropriate sections of this Chapter.
The Utility Authority shall meet when business demands and requires attention, but in no case less than once per quarter. Regular and special meetings shall be called by the Chairman. Any three (3) Commissioners may request the Chairman, in writing, to schedule a special meeting of the Utility Authority. If the Chairman fails to schedule a meeting within five days after receipt of a written request, any three (3) Commissioners may call such a meeting.
Meetings shall be held in public places, and the Utility Authority shall provide at least 5 days public notice of special Authority meetings. Emergency meetings may be convened with less than five days notice, in cases of emergency where loss of life, limb or property is threatened, where the continued operation of fiscal capability of the Tribal water utilities may be in jeopardy. All meetings shall be open to members of the tribal community and to users of the Tribal water utilities.
6-10-91 OUORUM AND VOTING
A minimum of one (1) officer and three (3) Commissioners is required to establish a quorum and conduct Utility Authority business. Any action taken by the Utility Authority must be approved by a majority vote of those Commissioners present at a Utility Authority meeting. Each Commissioner of the Utility Authority, except the Chairman, shall be entitled to vote on each matter coming properly before the Utility Authority. The Chairman shall vote only in the event of a tie.
6-10-92 MEETING AGENDA
Regular meetings of the Utility Authority shall be conducted according to the following agenda outline:
1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call
3. Reading of Minutes of Previous Meeting
4. Report of Treasurer
5. Report by Manager and/or Operator
6. Unfinished Business
7. New Business
8. Miscellaneous Business
By-laws for Utility Authority meetings shall be developed by the Commissioners.
Commissioners of the Utility Authority shall serve without monetary compensation, except as determined by the Tribal Council. The Council shall establish prevailing government rates for mileage, per diem, or other costs, consistent with tribal policy, and shall direct the Business Manager to approve such expenditures; provided that funds are available within the Utility Department budget approved by the Utility Authority and ratified by the Tribal Business Council.
6-10-94 PUBLIC HEARINGS
The Utility Authority shall convene public hearings to discuss changes in utility rates assessed to users of tribal public utilities. All users of tribal public utilities shall be posted at appropriate places within the community and/or in the tribal newspaper.
MANAGEMENT AND FINANCES
6-10-120 MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL
The Utility Authority shall manage the business and operating affairs of the Utility Department. The Utility Authority may facilitate the hiring and contracting of personnel for the care and maintenance of the tribal water utilities, provided that hiring shall be in accordance with tribal personnel policies and the interview, screening and appointment be approved by Public Works & Utilities. The Utility Authority shall establish compensation rates consistent with the Public Works and Utility Department approved budget. The Utility Authority may delegate only those management duties that are not specifically designated as duties to be performed exclusively by the Utility Department.
The Public Works Department and Utility Authority shall establish an annual budget enumerating the necessary costs of the Utility Departments operation, maintenance, administration, personnel, liability and other insurance, equipment replacement, and a reserve for major repairs and capital expenditures. The budget shall be prepared by the Utility Manager, reviewed by the Utility Authority and submitted through the Public Works & Utilities Department to the Community Services Administrator.
6-10-122 USER FEE SCHEDULE
The annual budget shall be used to determine a fee schedule to be assessed to the users of the tribal water utilities. The budget and fee schedule shall be approved by the Utility Authority and ratified by the Tribal Council. The fee schedule shall be a separate document titled "User Fee Schedule", and to include water rates with additions to the rates for future service upon attachment.
6-10-123 FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year for the Utility Department shall be the same as the fiscal year of the Tribal Council.
The depository of the Utility Department shall be a separate commercial account or accounts in any bank selected by the Tribal Central Accounting. Said account shall be in the name "Colville Confederated Tribal Utility Authority."
Funds on deposit in excess of 30 days working capital may be invested in insured deposits at a commercial bank, savings and loan association or investment company offering the highest interest rate, provided that investment deposits shall have immediate liquidity. Investment deposits shall be made by the Accounting Department. Withdrawals of investments require the approval of the Utility Authority Treasurer. Withdrawals from accounts shall be managed by Central Accounting Personnel and signed by the Tribal Signatory Authority with monthly reports to the Utility Authority.
6-10-126 DISBURSEMENTS AND RECEIPTS
The Utility Authority shall determine the distribution of funds required for the operation, maintenance and management of the tribal water utilities. Disbursements will be made by check upon presentation of invoices or vouchers. Disbursements shall be made by the Central Accounting Department. The checks written shall be signed by a signatory authority of the Department/Administration or designated Tribal signor. Cash receipts will be deposited intact, as to amount, in the depository promptly. Receipts will be issued for all cash received and copies filed and retained for accounting.
6-10-127 RECORDS AND ACCOUNTS
Suitable financial records shall be maintained for all expenditures, receipts from payments for services, investments and returns on investments, and any other financial matters necessary for operation of the Utility Department. The separate accounting records for the Department shall be maintained in an appropriate business like manner. The records of accounts shall be made available to the Tribal Council upon request.
6-10-128 EXCLUSIVE USE OF FUNDS
The funds accrued by the Utility Authority and kept on deposit are for the exclusive use of the Utility Department for the necessary operation, maintenance, and management of the tribal water utilities. Utility Authority funds shall not be transferred or loaned to the Tribal General Fund or any other accounts of the Tribe or other Tribal department, except to pay for services provided to the Utility Authority, Utility Department of Public Works & Utilities Department by other Tribal Departments as authorized by the Utility Manager and through the Tribal Procurement process that may be reviewed by the Utility Authority.
6-10-129 AUDIT AND REPORTS
The accounts of the Utility Authority will be audited annually at the close of the fiscal year at the expense of the Utility Department. Annual and periodic reports will be submitted by the Utility Authority to the Tribal Council.
Fire and other insurance on property owned or used by the Utility Department or on property in which the Utility Department has an insurable interest shall be in amounts and type of coverage specified by the Utility Authority. Insurance may be part of the Tribal insurance policies, with the expenses thereof pro-rated to the Department if so directed by the Tribal Council.
6-10-131 REGULATIONS AND POLICY
The Utility Authority shall have the authority to adopt appropriate regulations and policy as needed to implement the provisions contained in this Chapter. Any proposed regulation or policy shall be submitted to the Tribal Council for review at least two weeks prior to its proposed effective date; provided, however, that emergency regulations may be adopted, and shall take effect immediately, without prior Council review. Emergency regulations shall be transmitted to the Tribal Council within 48 hours after adoption. Any regulation may be rescinded or approved by the Tribal Council at its discretion.
6-10-132 REGULATION; POLICY SUSPENSION ALTERATION
No regulation duly adopted by the Utility Authority may be suspended or altered by any person without prior written authorization of the Utility Authority.
The Utility Authority shall recommend amendments to this Chapter that it believes necessary to promote the efficient, cost effective and self-sufficient operation of the Utility Department, and shall present such amendments to the Tribal Council for approval.
Any customer or any applicant for utility services, who is aggrieved by any action of the Utility Department or the Utility Authority may file a grievance with the Utility Authority. The Utility Authority shall abide by the regulation set forth in this Chapter and shall handle such grievances in a manner which provides for due process of law.
All decisions by the Utility Authority on matters that have been submitted for grievance under the Utiltity Department's grievance procedures shall be considered final. Final decisions of the Utility Authority may be appealed to Tribal court by an aggrieved party only on the basis that the Department's grievance procedures were not followed, or that due process was denied.
6-10-135 NON-WAIVER OF SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY
The Utility Authority is an agency of the Colville Confederated Tribes, and thereby retains all rights of sovereign immunity of the Tribe. By providing services and entering into service agreements, the Authority shall not waive the sovereign immunity of the Colville Confederated Tribes or any of its officers, agents, attorneys or employees, or any one else acting at the direction of and on behalf of the Colville Confederated Tribes.
WATER UTILITY SERVICES - OPERATION
6-10-170 SERVICES PROVIDED
The services provided by the Utility Department shall include public water only. Additional services may be provided upon approval by the Utility Authority and ratification by the Tribal Council.
6-10-171 WATER SERVICE
The Utility Authority is responsible to provide safe, adequate water for a fee to those houses connected to the mainlines of the community water system. Responsibility for maintenance will include water sources, storage tanks, controls, mainlines, valves, hydrants, and service lines to the curb stops only. The service line from the curb stop to the house and interior house plumbing are the responsibility of the customer. The individual household water meters are owned by the Utility Authority and it is the responsibility of the Department to maintain the meters.
6-10-172 FUTURE SERVICES
At some future date the Utility Authority may assume responsibility to provide sewer, solid waste, electrical, gas, telephone, cable TV or other utility services .
6-10-173 MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
The Utility Manager shall develop and follow a regular schedule of maintenance service for each water system and components thereof. A record shall be kept of all routine maintenance and needed repairs performed.
The Utility Authority shall facilitate the Public Works and Utility Department to hire, evaluate and discipline or fire if necessary the personnel required to manage, operate and maintain the public utilities. The specific personnel policies of the Tribe shall be followed. Job descriptions for all employees will be developed and followed.
The Utility Manager may make or approve purchases for amounts up to $300. Above this amount, the Utility Manager must give approval and disburse funds according to appropriate section of this Chapter. An accurate account and receipts of all expenditures will be kept. In the event of an emergency requiring purchases over the amount of $300, the Utility Manager shall be able to make necessary purchases subject to later review. A11 procurement shall be consistant with tribal purchasing policies.
All utilities equipment shall be maintained according to the established maintenance schedule and quickly repaired when necessary so that disruptions in service are minimized.
Utility tools and equipment are not for personal use. Equipment shall not be loaned to other Tribal DePartments. A record of tools and the individual to whom they were assigned shall be maintained.
Individuals will be held responsible for the security of tools and supplies that are assigned to them.
An accurate inventory of tools, equipment, and supplies will be kept up to date.
A reserve supply of repair parts and regularly used supplies will be maintained by the Department.
A listing shall be kept of local suppliers of repairs parts, replacement equipment and expendable supplies.
6-10-178 PUBLIC RELATIONS
Any person filing a complaint or seeking information shall be given assistance in a courteous manner. Complaints may be presented verbally or in writing to any Department Staff member for resolution and action. Complaints that cannot be resolved within ten days should be referred to the Utility Authority in writing. The Utility Authority will resolve such complaints at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Authority. The Chairman may call a special meeting of the commissioners to resolve complaints as deemed necessary.
6-10-179 EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION
An emergency notification plan will be developed by the Utility Authority and reviewed annually for notifying residents and visitors of:
A. Discontinued service for more than eight (8) hours.
B. Substandard conditions in water quality. This includes bacteriological, chemical or physical quality deficiencies.
C. Any other water related conditions which may adversely affect the health of the community residents or visitors.
6-10-180 STAFF TRAINING
All employees that are newly assigned to operate the water systems shall receive instruction from an experienced operator before the new employee assumes responsibility for operations.
The Utility Authority will assure that operators maintain current knowledge of water system operation techniques.
A training plan for the operators shall be developed which will provide for upgrading of knowledge and skills in water system operations, maintenance and management. The Department Manager shall be required to possess a current Washington State certification as Water Distribution Manager.
6-10-181 LIMITS OF RESPONSIBILITY
The Department shall not be responsible for, nor shall it maintain or repair, any private or domestic water system except by specific agreement establishing fair rates of compensation to the Utility Department, and that is approved and signed by the Utility Authority and owner of such facilities. The Utiliy Department shall not be liable for any loss or damage beyond its control resulting from any defect in, or damage to a customer's water lines or fixtures, driveways or parking lots, hydrants or lighting.
6-10-182 RIGHT OF ENTRY - INSPECTION
The Utility Department, or its authorized representative, is hereby authorized to make limited, reasonable inspection, at reasonable times, of any grounds, building or residence served by the Utility Department to the extent necessary to insure that customer utility fixtures, lines, and equipment are not being operated in a manner that would likely disrupt or interfere with utility services. Except in cases of emergency where life, limb, or property are threatened, or in cases of immediate water shortages, the Utility Department shall give the customer at least 24 hours notice prior to requesting permission to enter and inspect. If permission to enter and inspect is denied or impeded in any way, the Utility Department shall obtain a court order authorizing such entry and inspection. Where the permission to enter and inspect is unreasonably withheld, the Utility Department may assess court costs and related expenses and add them to the affected customer's bill.
6-10-183 DISRUPTION OF SERVICE
The Utility Department may shut off water service, or disrupt traffic on the public rightof-way to perform repairs, provided that advance notice has been given to affected customers. Provided, however, that in cases of emergencies where loss of life, limb or property is threatened, or in cases of immediate water shortage, service may be disrupted without advance notice. The Utility Department shall not be responsible for consequent damage as a result of lack of water sewerage durinq authorized disruptions of service.
The Department shall not be liable for any associated damages or delay caused by the breaking or leaking of any pipe, valve, fixture or other contrivance as a result of the lack of water to or from any mains, services, hydrants, lines or reservoirs during authorized disruptions of service.
No connection, re-connection with, disconnections from, or other private use of any Utility Department water system, or appurtenance shall be made without written permission of the Utility Authority. No construction of any private water system is authorized without written permission from the Utility Authority. The Utility Authority may require such plans from the permit applicant as it determines are necessary to decide whether or not a permit should be issued. The Utility Authority may also require and establish a fee for construction permits. All temporary users (water trucks, drillers, etc) shall obtain a permit from the Utility Authority and are subject to inspection by the Utility Managaer/Authority.
6-10-185 WATER SHORTAGE - SERVICE PREFERENCE
In cases of a water shortage proclaimed by the Utility Authority, the Utility Department shall regulate the amount of water any customer may be allocated. The Utility Authority also may give preference to the customers and/or amounts of water to be allocated, provided the Utility Authority allocates water according to public necessity of convenience, and provides for fair allocations between customers. Any customer violating a legal allocation may have his water service discontinued. Service shall be resumed only upon payment of the approved re-connection fee and any penalties.
6-10-186 UNNECESSARY WASTE OF WATER
The Utility Authority reserves the right to terminate customer's service when the customer has repeatedly, and unduly wasted water. Such undue waste is evidenced by the fact that hydrants, taps, hoses and other fixtures are permitted to run continuously without specific prior approval of the Authority. Where such conditions have been observed, the Utility Authority having been notified of the condition, may terminate water to the premise if the condition is not corrected within 48 hours after receipt of the notice. Service shall be resumed only after correction of the condition causing a wastage of water and payment by the customer of the approved re-connection fee, penalties and any other accounts in arrears to the Utility Authority.
6-10-187 CONSERVATION OF RESOURCES
The Department shall conduct operation, maintenance and repair services in a manner that will maximize the conservation of natural, financial, and property resources. Customers of the Department shall be encouraged to conserve water resources. The Department may offer assistance and service to customers for water conservation and other material resources conservation and recovery as determined to be feasible by the Utility Authority.
6-10-188 NEW CUSTOMER SERVICES
Any building within the service area of the Utilities shall be eligible for services, provided all of the following conditions are met:
1. Facilities as determined by the Utility Department are adequate to meet the additional load.
2. New customer agrees to adhere to this Chapter.
3. Approval by the Utility Authority.
4. New Connections -Water Conservation New or existing homes or buildings which are not connected to the community water system at the time of adoption of this Chapter, shall not be allowed to connect to the community water system unless the said facility is equipped with the following water conservation devices; 2 gpm shower heads; 2-1/2 gpm kitchen faucets/aerators; 1 gpm urinals; 1.5 gpm lavatory faucets/aerators; 1.6 gpf ultra low flow toilets. All applicants for new service must be able to show proof, that the above conservation devices are or will be installed prior to connection to the community system.
All homes hereafter that are connected to the community water system are required to install a water meter. All meters for the measurement of utility services provided shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of the Utility Department in such locations as the Utility Department shall direct. All such meters shall be the property of the Utility and shall be maintained by it. All meters shall remain accessible to Utility Department personnel and no person shall obstruct or tamper with any meter. Such obstruction or tampering shall be a violation of this Chapter and subject the violator to actual damages and civil penalties under this Chapter. The assignee of the property on which the meter is located shall be responsible for all damage of tampering or turn off/on water valve with such meter.
6-10-220 CONDITIONS FOR SERVICE, PAYMENTS
As a condition for receiving utility services from the Utility Department, the customer shall comply with all provisions of this Chapter, and any regulations duly adopted by the Utility Authority as well as any other applicable codes or regulations, including being current in the payment of all fees, penalties, costs, damages, or other charges assessed by the Department. The customer shall keep a balanced account with the Utility Department for services rendered.
6-10-221 MAINTENANCE; REPAIRS; LIABILITY
The customer shall be responsible for maintaining and repairing water lines located on or in the customer's grounds, building or residence in compliance with the applicable regulations. The customer shall notify the Utility Department in advance of major maintenance or repairs planned for water lines. The customer shall permit the Utility Department to inspect the work for compliance with applicable regulations. The customer shall be liable for any damage to the Utility Department's lines, equipment or other property caused by the customer, his family, guests, invitees, tenants, agents, employees, contractors, licensees or permitees, or other persons under the customer's control or authority.
6-10-222 CUSTOMER TERMINATION OF SERVICE; ABANDONMENT
A customer planning to vacate any grounds, building or residence served by the Utility Department shall notify the Utility Department in writing one week prior to the date the customer plans to either vacate or terminate service, whichever is later. A customer who fails to give notice is responsible for all charges accrued up to one week after notice is received by the Utility Department, or up until service is terminated, whichever comes first.
6-10-223 WATER SHORTAGES
During water shortages declared by the Utility Authority, the customer shall limit his use of water according to allocations established by the Utility Authority.
The customer shall not unreasonably withhold permission for the Utility Department to enter and inspect the Utility Department's and customer's fixtures, line and equipment when necessary to insure that they are operating in a manner that would not likely disrupt or interfere with utility services. The customer shall be liable for any costs or related expenses caused by his unreasonable withholding of permission.
The customer shall obtain written permission from the Utility Authority prior to making any connection, re-connection, with, disconnection from, or other private use of any Utility Department water system or appurtenances. The customer shall obtain written permission from the Utility Authority prior to constructing any private water system. All fees assessed by the Utility Authority shall be paid by the customer prior to construction.
The customer shall not make a cross-connection with the Tribal public water supply. A crossconnection is defined as any physical connection between the Tribal public water system and another system, either water or waste. Any individual source must be totally disconnected from the household plumbing prior to connection to the Tribal water supply. "Disconnection" done solely by a valve shall not be allowed.
FEE SCHEDULE AND BILLING
6-10-260 FEE SCHEDULE ESTABLISHMENT
The schedule of fees for water utility services shall be set annually by the Utility Authority. The fee schedule shall be based on the estimated average annual costs for operation of all water utility services. The fee schedule shall include a basic rate for all services, payments of which shall be required of each customer regardless of whether, or the extent to which, the customer uses any of the services, and; other fees, charges, penalties and assessments which the Utility Authority is authorized to levy as provided under various sections of this Chapter. The fee schedule may be adjusted as needed to meet utility operating expenses. The fee schedule may include, user fees; meter fees; construction permit fees; late payment charges; and other assessments determined by the Utility Authority and approved by the Tribal Business Council.
6-10-261 PUBLIC HEARING
The Utility Authority shall hold a public hearing whenever a revised fee schedule is proposed for adoption. At least five days in advance of the hearing, the proposed fee schedule shall be sent to each customer and shall be posted in appropriate places. Following the public hearing the Utility Authority shall set a fee schedule, taking into consideration comments received at the hearing.
6-10-262 NOTICE TO CUSTOMERS
A copy of the fee schedule adopted by the Utility Authority shall be sent to each customer at least 30 days prior to the date the established fees take effect.
6-10-263 BILLING RESPONSIBILITY
The Utility Authority and/or Utility Department is responsible for billing customers for utility services. The billing service, however, may be contracted to the Tribe, Housing Authority, or other agency or firm at the discretion of the Utility Authority and Tribal Council.
6-10-264 MONTHLY STATEMENT
Each month the Department shall mail to all utility customers a statement detailing the following information:
1. The customer's name and account number;
2. The types and levels of service used in the current month;
3. The billed cost of the current month's service, plus an accounting of bills or charges past due, if any;
4. The date that payment is due; and
5. The location to mail or deliver payment.
6-10-265 DUE DATE
The monthly date on which payment will be due shal1 be established by Utility Authority regulation.
6-10-266 PAYMENTS PAST DUE
Payment not received within 10 days after the established due date are considered past due. The Department shall issue a notice of payment past due to the customer, detailing the payment owed and the consequences for failure to pay. The notice shall be sent no later than the date the next billing is sent out.
6-10-267 DELINOUENT ACCOUNT
If the payment past due is not paid within 10 days after the next regular monthly due date, the account shall be declared delinquent.
6-10-268 NOTICE OF DELINOUENT
The Utility Department shall immediately notify the customer in writing once his account has been declared delinquent, and list the sanctions that may be imposed without further notice.
6-10-269 ADVANCE DEPOSITS
The Utility Authority may require each new customer to pay an advance deposit equal in amount to the basic monthly rate fees for the first month of service, prior to receiving services. The deposits shall be retained by the Utility Authority no longer than one year. The deposits, with interest compounded at passbook rates, shall be credited to the individual customer's utility account balance at the end of the deposit period, providing that the customer's account is not delinquent and in arrears. Any remaining deposits funds will be returned to the customer.
ENFORCEMENT; PENALTIES; SANCTIONS
6-10-300 AUTHORITY AND ENFORCEMENT
The Utility Authority is hereby authorized by the Tribal Council to collect established fees for service and to impose sanctions and penalties for nonpayment. The Utility Authority shall enforce its regulations, fee collections and provisions of this Chapter by shutting off water and/or sewer service of any and all violators and delinquent bill-payers or imposing other penalties and sanctions as authorized.
6-10-301 ATTACHMENT OF CUSTOMERS PROPERTY
The Utility Authority shall not seek to attach customer's property, nor seek to have fines assessed by Tribal Court, except in limited cases of blatant or continued abuses or destruction of property.
6-10-302 PENALTY SCHEDULE
The Utility Authority shall develop and adopt a penalty schedule which outlines specific penalties, fines and assessments for violation and non-compliance with the provisions of this Chapter. The penalty schedule shall be reviewed for appropriateness annually by the Utility Authority.
6-10-303 SANCTIONS AUTHORIZED
The following sanctions may be imposed by the Utility Authority for failure of the customer to comply with any provisions of this Chapter or with any duly adopted regulation of the Utility Authority. The Utility Authority may delay or adjust sanctions for low income or elderly households for health or humanitarian reasons.
(1) Termination of service(s)
(2) Assessment of penalties based on a penalty schedule adopted by regulation of the Utility Authority;
(3) Assessment of late charges based on a schedule adopted by regulation of the Utility Authority;
(4) Assessment of damages resulting from the customer's non-compliance;
(5) Forfeiture of all or part of a deposit and any accumulated interest;
(6) Filing of a lien against the customer's property after the account is declared delinquent;
(7) Enforcing a lien by seeking judgement, and satisfaction from the customer's property from a court of competent jurisdiction;
(8) Filing suit for damages in a court of competent jurisdiction; and
(9) Referring violations that may involve criminal conduct to the Police or prosecution.
6-10-304 SANCTIONS GUIDELINES
The Utility Authority shall use the following guidelines-when considering the appropriate sanctions to be imposed in any given case:
(1) Whether the sanction is required by this Chapter or other applicable law, or whether imposition, is discretionary;
(2) The minimum sanction needed to effect compliance;
(3) The irreparable harm to operation of the Department, and to the Tribe, if the sanction is not imposed;
(5) The irreparable harm to other persons or property if the sanction is not imposed; and
(6) The effectiveness of similar sanctions in securing compliance in other cases.
6-10-330 VALIDITY, SEVERABILITY
The invalidity of any section, clause, sentence or-provision of this Chapter shall not affect the validity of any part of this Chapter which can be given effect without such invalid part or parts.
The Colville Confederated Tribal Business Council has the power to amend this Chapter at any time. The Tribal Council shall act upon proposed amendments to this Chapter, submitted for action by the Utility Authority, by approval or disapproval of such proposed amendments.
6-10-332 SUSPENSION OF CHAPTER
No employee, officer, contractor or agent of the Colville Confederated Tribes is authorized to suspend or alter any of the provisions of this Chapter without the formal approval of the Colville Confederated Tribal Business Council.