“Metered” means the use of any method to ascertain the amount of service used or the use of a flat rate billing method.
If sub. (5)
applies, the municipal utility is complying with sub. (5) (am) 1.
, and a notice of arrears under sub. (3) (a)
is given or past-due charges are certified to the comptroller under s. 62.69 (2) (f)
, on the date the notice of arrears is given, or the past-due charges are certified under s. 62.69 (2) (f)
, the municipality has a lien upon the assets of each tenant of a rental dwelling unit who is responsible for arrears in the amount of the arrears, including any penalty assessed pursuant to the rules of the utility.
The department in charge of the utility shall provide a notice to each tenant against whom the municipality has a lien. The notice shall be in writing and shall state the amount of arrears including any penalty assessed pursuant to the rules of the utility, that the tenant is subject to a lien upon his or her assets for arrears for which he or she is responsible, that the lien will transfer to the owner of the rental dwelling unit if the owner pays the arrears, and that the lien will be enforceable upon the filing of the lien with the clerk of courts.
If par. (a)
applies, prior to December 17, the municipality shall file with the clerk of courts a list of tenants of rental dwelling units responsible for arrears and against whom the municipality continues to have a lien. No action to enforce a lien under par. (a)
may be maintained unless a notice of lien is filed under this paragraph.
If par. (a)
applies and the owner of the rental dwelling unit has paid the municipality the amount provided in the notice of arrears given under sub. (3) (a)
, or certified to the comptroller under s. 62.69 (2) (f)
, or the amount placed as tax against the real estate under sub. (3) (b)
or s. 62.69 (2) (f)
, the lien under par. (a)
transfers to the owner of the rental dwelling unit and the municipality no longer has a lien against the tenant.
An owner of a rental dwelling unit who has a lien under par. (d)
may file a notice of lien with the clerk of court of the county in which the rental dwelling unit is located not more than 6 months after the date the lien arose under par. (a)
. The clerk of courts shall file and enter the notice of lien in the judgment and lien docket. No action to enforce a lien under par. (d)
may be maintained unless a notice of lien is filed under this paragraph.
Within 7 days after a lien established and filed under this subsection is satisfied, the lienholder shall file with the clerk of courts a notice of lien satisfaction.
A municipal utility may use the procedures under sub. (3)
to collect arrearages for electric service only if one of the following applies:
The municipality has enacted an ordinance that authorizes the use of the procedures under sub. (3)
for the collection of arrearages for electric service provided by the municipal utility.
In 1996, the municipality collected arrearages for electric service provided by the municipal utility using the procedures under s. 66.60 (16)
, 1993 stats.
This subsection applies only if all of the following conditions are met:
Water or electric utility service is provided to a rental dwelling unit.
The water or electric utility service is provided by a town sanitary district created under subch. IX of ch. 60
that has sewerage connections serving more than 700 service addresses, by a public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district under subch. IV of ch. 33
that has sewerage connections serving more than 700 service addresses or by a municipal public utility.
The owner of the rental dwelling unit notifies the utility in writing of the name and address of the owner.
The owner of the rental dwelling unit notifies the utility in writing of the name and address of the tenant who is responsible for payment of the utility charges.
If requested by the utility, the owner of the rental dwelling unit provides the utility with a copy of the rental or lease agreement in which the tenant assumes responsibility for the payment of the utility charges.
A municipal public utility shall send bills for water or electric service to a customer who is a tenant in the tenant's own name.
If a customer who is a tenant vacates his or her rental dwelling unit, and the owner of the rental dwelling unit provides the municipal public utility, no later than 21 days after the date on which the tenant vacates the rental dwelling unit, with a written notice that contains a forwarding address for the tenant and the date that the tenant vacated the rental dwelling unit, the utility shall continue to send past-due notices to the customer at his or her forwarding address until the past-due charges are paid or until notice has been provided under sub. (3) (a)
or the past-due charges have been certified to the comptroller under s. 62.69 (2) (f)
A municipal public utility may use sub. (3)
or, if s. 62.69
applies, s. 62.69 (2) (f)
, to collect arrearages incurred after the owner of a rental dwelling unit has provided the utility with written notice under par. (a)
if the municipal public utility is complying with par. (am) 1.
and serves notice of the past-due charges on the owner of the rental dwelling unit within 14 days of the date on which the tenant's charges became past due. The municipal public utility shall serve notice in the manner provided in s. 801.14 (2)
No earlier than 14 days after receiving a notice under par. (b)
of a tenant's past-due charges for electric service, the owner of a rental dwelling unit may request that the municipal public utility terminate electric service to the rental dwelling unit. Except as provided under rules of the public service commission relating to disconnection of service and subject to the procedural requirements under those rules, unless all past-due charges are paid, the municipal utility shall terminate electric service to the rental dwelling unit upon receipt of a request under this paragraph. This paragraph does not apply if a municipal public utility does not use the procedures under sub. (3)
to collect the past-due charges.
A municipal public utility may demonstrate compliance with the notice requirements of par. (b)
by providing evidence of having sent the notice by U.S. mail or, if the person receiving the notice has consented to receive notice in an electronic format, by providing evidence of having sent the notice in an electronic format.
If this subsection applies and a municipal public utility elects to collect arrearages under sub. (3)
or s. 62.69 (2) (f)
, the municipal public utility shall provide all notices under sub. (3)
or s. 62.69 (2) (f)
to the tenant and to the owner of the property or a person designated by the owner.
A municipal utility may require a prospective customer to submit an application for water or electric service.
A municipal public utility shall disclose to the owner of a rental dwelling unit, upon the owner's request, whether a new or prospective tenant has outstanding past-due charges for utility service to that municipal public utility in that tenant's name at a different address.
A municipal utility is not required to offer a customer who is a tenant at a rental dwelling unit a deferred payment agreement. Notwithstanding. ss. 196.03
, and 196.60
, a determination by a municipal utility to offer or not offer a deferred payment agreement does not require approval, and is not subject to disapproval, by the public service commission.
A municipal utility may adopt application, deposit, disconnection, or collection rules and practices that distinguish between customers based upon whether the customer owns or leases the property that is receiving utility service where the possibility exists for any unpaid bills of a tenant to become a lien on the property that is receiving utility service.
Municipalities owning electric companies may pass ordinances allowing unpaid charges for furnished electricity to be placed on tax bills of the receiving property. 73 Atty. Gen 128.
Under the facts of the case, a municipal utility's claim for unpaid utility charges was subject to the automatic stay in bankruptcy court. Reedsburg Utility Co v. Grede Foundries, Inc. 651 F.3d 786
Municipal public utility revenues. 66.0811(1)(1)
A city, village or town owning a public utility is entitled to the same rate of return as permitted for privately owned utilities.
The income of a municipal public utility shall first be used to make payments to meet operation, maintenance, depreciation, interest, and debt service fund requirements, local and school tax equivalents, additions and improvements, and other necessary disbursements or indebtedness. Beginning with taxes levied in 1995, payable in 1996, payments for local and school tax equivalents shall at least be equal to the payment made on the property for taxes levied in 1994, payable in 1995, unless a lower payment is authorized by the governing body of the municipality. Income in excess of these requirements may be used to purchase and hold interest bearing bonds, issued for the acquisition of the utility; bonds issued by the United States or any municipal corporation of this state; insurance upon the life of an officer or manager of the utility; or may be paid into the general fund.
A city, town or village may use funds derived from its water plant to meet operation, maintenance, depreciation, interest and debt service funds; new construction or equipment or other indebtedness for sewerage construction work other than that which is chargeable against abutting property; or the funds may be placed into the general fund to be used for general city purposes or in a special fund to be used for special municipal purposes.
History: 1999 a. 150
See also ch. PSC 109
, Wis. adm. code.
Provision of utility service outside of municipality by municipal public utility. 66.0813(1)(1)
A town, town sanitary district, village or city owning water, light or power plant or equipment may serve persons or places outside its corporate limits, including adjoining municipalities not owning or operating a similar utility, and may interconnect with another municipality, whether contiguous or not, and for these purposes may use equipment owned by the other municipality.
Plant or equipment, except water plant or equipment or interconnection property in any municipality interconnected, situated in another municipality is taxable in the other municipality under s. 76.28
Notwithstanding s. 196.58 (5)
, a city, village or town may by ordinance fix the limits of utility service in unincorporated areas. The ordinance shall delineate the area within which service will be provided and the municipal utility has no obligation to serve beyond the delineated area. The delineated area may be enlarged by a subsequent ordinance. No ordinance under this paragraph is effective to limit any obligation to serve that existed at the time that the ordinance was adopted.
Notwithstanding s. 196.58 (5)
, a municipality that operates a utility that provides water service may enter into an agreement with a city or village to provide water service to all or a part of that city or village. The agreement shall delineate the area within which service will be provided and the municipal water utility shall have no obligation to serve beyond the area so delineated. The agreement is not effective to limit any obligation to serve which may have existed at the time the agreement was entered into.
An agreement by a city, village or town to furnish utility service outside its corporate limits to unincorporated property used for public, educational, industrial or eleemosynary purposes fixes the nature and geographical limits of that utility service unless altered by a change in the agreement, notwithstanding s. 196.58 (5)
. A change in use or ownership of property included under that agreement does not alter terms and limitations of that agreement.
An agreement under sub. (4)
under which a city or village agrees to furnish sewerage service to a prison, which is located in an area that has been incorporated since that agreement was made, may be amended to provide that the city or village will also furnish water service to the prison. An agreement amended under this subsection fixes the nature and geographical limits of the water and sewer service unless altered by a change in the agreement, notwithstanding s. 196.58 (5)
. A change in use or ownership of property included under an agreement amended under this subsection does not alter the terms and limitations of that agreement.
Notwithstanding subs. (3)
, a municipality in a county bordered by Lake Michigan and the state of Illinois may request the extension of water or sewer service from another municipality in that county that owns and operates a water or sewer utility if the request for service is for an area that, on the date of the request, does not receive water or sewer service from any public utility or municipality and the municipality requesting the service contains an area that, on the date of the request, receives water or sewer service from the water or sewer utility owned and operated by the other municipality. The municipality requesting the service extension may specify the point on the water or sewer utility's system from which service is to be extended to the area that is the subject of the request. The municipality that owns and operates the water or sewer utility shall approve or disapprove the request in writing within 45 days of the date on which the request was made. The municipality that owns and operates the water or sewer utility may disapprove the request only if the utility does not have sufficient capacity to serve the area that is the subject of the request or if the request would have a significant adverse effect on the utility. A municipality making a request under this paragraph may appeal to the public service commission any decision of the municipality that owns and operates the water or sewer utility to deny the service extension. The public service commission may include in its decision conditions on the extension of service to ensure that costs resulting from the extension are borne by the users causing the cost and that the connection point selected by the municipality requesting the service is reasonable. Either municipality may appeal the decision of the public service commission.
applies even if the municipality that owns and operates the water or sewer utility has, before July 14, 2015, enacted an ordinance or entered into an agreement specifying that the municipality is not obligated to provide utility service beyond an area covered by the ordinance or agreement.
A town, village or city owning a public utility, or the board of any municipal public utility appointed under s. 66.0805
, may enter into agreements with any other towns, villages or cities owning public utilities, or any other boards of municipal public utilities, for mutual aid in the event of an emergency or disaster in any of their respective service areas. The agreements may include provisions for the movement of employees and equipment in and between the service areas of the participating municipalities for the purpose of rendering aid and for the reimbursement of a municipality rendering aid by the municipality receiving the aid.
History: 1999 a. 150
; 2015 a. 55
See also ch. PSC 185
, Wis. adm. code.
Public utility franchises and service contracts. 66.0815(1)(a)(a)
A city, village or town may grant to any person the right to construct and operate a public utility in the city, village or town, subject to reasonable rules and regulations prescribed by ordinance.
The board or council may submit the ordinance when passed and published to a referendum.
An ordinance under sub. (1)
may not take effect until 60 days after passage and publication unless sooner approved by a referendum. Within the 60-day period electors equal in number to 20 percent of those voting at the last regular municipal election may file a petition requesting a referendum. The petition shall be in writing and filed with the clerk and as provided in s. 8.37
. The petition shall conform to the requirements of s. 8.40
. Each signer shall state his or her residence and signatures shall be verified by the affidavit of an elector. The referendum shall be held at the next regular municipal election, or at a special election within 90 days of the filing of the petition. The ordinance may not take effect unless approved by a majority of the votes cast. This paragraph does not apply to extensions by a utility previously franchised by the village, city, or town.
If a city or village at the time of its incorporation included within its corporate limits territory in which a public utility, before the incorporation, had been lawfully engaged in rendering public utility service, the public utility possesses a franchise to operate in the city or village to the same extent as if the franchise had been formally granted by ordinance adopted by the governing body of the city or village. This paragraph does not apply to any public utility organized under this chapter.
A city, village or town may contract for furnishing light, heat, water or motor bus or other systems of public transportation to the municipality or its inhabitants for a period of not more than 30 years or for an indeterminate period if the prices are subject to adjustment at intervals of not greater than 5 years. The public service commission has jurisdiction over the rates and service to any city, village or town where light, heat or water is furnished to the city, village or town under any contract or arrangement, to the same extent that the public service commission has jurisdiction where that service is furnished directly to the public.
When a city, village or town has contracted for water, lighting service or motor bus or other systems of public transportation to the municipality the cost may be raised by tax levy. In making payment to the owner of the utility a sum equal to the amount due the city, village or town from the owner for taxes or special assessments may be deducted.
This subsection applies to every city, village and town regardless of any charter limitations on the tax levy for water or light.
If a privately owned motor bus or public transportation system in a city, village or town fails to provide service for a period in excess of 30 days, and the owner or stockholders of the privately owned motor bus or public transportation system have announced an intention to abandon service, the governing body of the affected municipality may without referendum furnish or contract for the furnishing of other motor bus or public transportation service to the municipality and its inhabitants and to the users of the defaulting prior service for a period of not more than one year. This paragraph does not authorize a municipality to hire, directly or indirectly, any strikebreaker or other person for the purpose of replacing employees of the motor bus or public transportation system engaged in a strike.
Sale or lease of municipal public utility plant.
A town, village or city may sell or lease any complete public utility plant owned by it in the following manner:
A preliminary agreement with the prospective purchaser or lessee shall be authorized by a resolution or ordinance containing a summary of the terms proposed, of the disposition to be made of the proceeds, and of the provisions to be made for the protection of holders of obligations against the plant or against the municipality on account of the plant. The resolution or ordinance shall be published at least one week before adoption, as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985
. The resolution or ordinance may be adopted only at a regular meeting and by a majority of all the members of the governing body.
The preliminary agreement shall fix the price of sale or lease, and provide that if the amount fixed by the department of transportation or public service commission is greater, the price shall be that fixed by the department or commission.
The municipality shall submit the preliminary agreement when executed to the department of transportation or public service commission, which shall determine whether the interests of the municipality and its residents will be best served by the sale or lease, and if it so determines, shall fix the price and other terms.
After the price and other terms are fixed under sub. (3)
, the proposal shall be submitted to the electors of the municipality. The notice of the referendum shall include a description of the plant and a summary of the preliminary agreement and of the price and terms as fixed by the department of transportation or public service commission. If a majority voting on the question votes for the sale or lease, the board or council may consummate the sale or lease, upon the terms and at a price not less than fixed by the department of transportation or public service commission, with the proposed purchaser or lessee or any other with whom better terms approved by the department of transportation or public service commission can be made.
Unless the sale or lease is consummated within one year of the referendum, or the time is extended by the department of transportation or public service commission, the proceedings are void.
If the municipality has revenue or mortgage bonds outstanding relating to the utility plant and which by their terms may not be redeemed concurrently with the sale or lease transaction, an escrow fund with a domestic bank as trustee may be established for the purpose of holding, administering and distributing that portion of the sales or lease proceeds necessary to cover the payment of the principal, any redemption premium and interest which will accrue on the principal through the earliest retirement date of the bonds. During the period of the escrow arrangement the funds may be invested in securities or other investments as described in s. 66.0603 (1m)
For the purpose of this section, the department of transportation has jurisdiction over transportation systems and the public service commission has jurisdiction over public utilities as defined in s. 196.01
Combining water and sewer utilities. 66.0819(1)(1)
A town, village, or city may construct, acquire, or lease, or extend and improve, a plant and equipment within or without its corporate limits for the furnishing of water to the municipality or to its inhabitants, and for the collection, treatment, and disposal of sewage, including the lateral, main and intercepting sewers, and all necessary equipment. The plant and equipment, whether the structures and equipment for the furnishing of water and for the disposal of sewage are combined or separate, may by ordinance be constituted a single public utility.
The provisions of this chapter and chs. 196
relating to a water system, including those provisions relating to the regulation of a water system by the public service commission, apply to a consolidated water and sewage disposal system as a single public utility. In prescribing rates, accounting and engineering practices, extension rules, service standards or other regulations for a consolidated water and sewage disposal system, the public service commission shall treat the water system and the sewage disposal system separately, unless the commission finds that the public interest requires otherwise.
A town, village or city which owns or acquires a water system and a plant or system for the treatment or disposal of sewage may by ordinance consolidate the systems into a single public utility. After the effective date of the ordinance the consolidated utility is subject to this section as though originally acquired as a single public utility.
History: 1981 c. 390
; 1995 a. 378
; 1999 a. 150
; Stats. 1999 s. 66.0819.
See also chs. PSC 184
, Wis. adm. code.
Sewerage and storm water systems. 66.0821(1)(b)
“Sewerage" is a comprehensive term, including all constructions for collection, transportation, pumping, treatment and final disposition of sewage or storm water and surface water.