Le-Ax Water District Utility Billing Procedures
The Le-Ax Water District mails water bills to its customers on the last working day of each month. Bills are due by the 15th day of each month. If bills are not paid by the 15th, there is a 12.5 percent penalty added to the account. Payments are recorded by Le-Ax as dated by Hocking Valley Bank. To avoid late charges, payments must be dated by Hocking Valley Bank on or before the 15th of each month. For your convenience, Le-Ax now offers an Automated Bill Payment Plan. Water payments can be automatically deducted from your checking or savings account. Call our office at 594-0123 for further details.
The following month's bill will include the past due bill and any penalty, which are listed as "arrears". If the customer has made a payment, but did not include late charges as part of the payment, then the balance is carried over as "arrears".
Any bill showing an "arrears" balance, and not paid by the due date is subject to disconnection. The customer will be mailed a delinquency notice, stating intention by the District to terminate service at that address seven days from date on notice. This notice will be mailed with first class postage prepaid to assure delivery. There is a $5.00 delinquency notice charge. Hang tags for unpaid delinquent accounts will be delivered to the residence prior to the due date and the account will be assessed a $20 fee. Once the service call for termination purposes is made, there will be a $45.00/$75.00 service charge levied against the account. Once the service is terminated, the service remains off, until the bill and the reconnect fee are paid. The service person may not accept payments. In order to obtain reconnection on the same day that the bill is paid, payment must be made by 2:00 PM. After hours, weekend and holiday reconnection fee is $150.
Notice procedures for Termination or Alteration of Service
- Customer Rights Policy
- Water Service Termination
- Alteration of Service
- Notice Procedures
Nothing contained in this policy shall prohibit Le-Ax Water District from terminating water service to one or more customers because of an emergency, repairs, theft of water or tampering with a meter.
Notice Service Requirements
Written notice of proposed termination or alteration must be mailed by the District at least seven (7) days prior to the date proposed for termination or alteration. Notice will be mailed with first class postage prepaid to assure delivery within that time. Notices shall be dated and a record of any notice sent shall be retained by the District in the business file relating to the service address referred to in the notice.
Notice Information Requirements
Notices shall clearly and conspicuously advise any recipient of the following information. A. Prior to termination or alteration of services, the customer has the right to an informal hearing or conference before the Hearing Officer (normally the General Manager) of the District at which time he/she may contest the reasons for the proposed termination or alteration. To schedule such a hearing or conference, the customer or his/her representative must contact the District Office within 72 hours of receipt of this notice either:
- In writing to the Hearing Officer c/o Le-Ax Water District, 6000 Industrial Drive Athens OH 45701, stating the reason for objection to the termination or alteration; or
- In person at the Le-Ax Office, 6000 Industrial Drive Athens, Ohio 45701.
Hearings cannot be scheduled over the telephone
The hearing or conference, when properly requested, will be held before the Hearing Officer on the 4th Monday of the month in which the customer has requested a hearing. The hearing will be at the District Office, 6000 Industrial Drive, Athens. Ohio 45701. Hearings will commence at 10:00 a.m.
If a hearing is requested, the customer is advised of the following:
- The customer has the right to appear at the hearing with or without legal representation. The hearing will be conducted informally without requiring adherence to the rules of evidence;
- The customer has the right to present evidence and make oral argument to the Hearing Officer;
- The customer has the right to a new meter reading if the reading is in dispute;
- The customer has the right to confront and cross examine witnesses at the hearing;
- The customer has the right to examine, at least three (3) days prior to the scheduled hearing, a list of all witnesses that will testify on behalf of the District and all documents, records, and similar material related to the dispute.
The customer should bring with him/her to the hearing all information that is of importance to his/her account.
All of the foregoing rights are afforded to the customer only if the customer makes a timely request for a hearing or conference before the Hearing Officer. III. Termination to Non-Customer Service Address
In the event any service address affected by termination or alteration of service is not the billing address, notice of termination or alteration of service must be mailed to each service address so affected, in addition to delivery to the billing address. In such circumstances, notices will be mailed with first class postage prepaid to assure delivery. If service is terminated, or if termination is proposed, due to non-payment of service charges and the customer is a tenant at the service address, the tenant shall have the right to avoid termination, or obtain reconnection, by paying the account in full.
No termination or alteration of service shall occur except after compliance with the provisions of these rules.
Voluntary Termination of Service
Termination Request Requirements
Requests for voluntary termination of service shall be made at the District Office; shall be made in writing; shall be approved by the customer contractually obligated to pay charges incurred at the service address; and shall also be approved in writing by the tenant or joint tenants if the service address is not the billing address for that account.
Termination at Non-Customer Address
If the District's records reveal that the service address differs from the billing address for that account, no voluntary termination or alteration will be processed until: (1) a termination request form is signed pursuant to Section I, or (2) a termination or alteration notice has been mailed with first class postage to assure delivery to the service address, five (5) days prior to the termination.
Relevant Sections of the Ohio Revised Code
There are two sections of the Ohio Revised Code which deal with utility theft (O.R.C. Section 4933.19, "Theft of Utility Service") and tampering (O.R.C. Section 4933.22, "Tampering with Hydrant, Pipe or Meter"). The penalty prescribed in the Criminal Code for Violation of 4933.19 is a first-degree misdemeanor if the value of the theft is less than $300, and a fourth-degree felony if the value of the theft is greater than $300. In either event, the Code mandates restitution for the utility used. Violation of 4933.22 is a misdemeanor in the fourth degree. Violation of either section may result in imprisonment.
The above constitutes annual notice as required by law.