Utility Rates & Billing

City To Increase Utility, Parking Rates

In order to cover current operating costs and adequately fund future improvements, the City Council has adopted increases in utility and parking rates for 2015. More...

Utility bills are sent out on the third working day of the month and are due in 20 days. If the bill becomes delinquent a 10% penalty of the current water, sewer, refuse, and storm sewer charge is applied to the account.

Payments received in the mail that are postmarked before the due date or received in the night deposit by 8 am the day after the due date will not be charged a penalty.

Starting or Cancelling Services for a Property

Purchasing Property

If you are purchasing a property, please contact the Utility Billing office before the date that you close on the property.  You will need to request a water meter reading for the date you close on the property.  We will need to know the name that you would like to appear on the account and the address where the bills should be sent.

We will also be able to let you know if the former owner has called to stop their service, and if there are any outstanding utility bill amounts owing on the property.   If the former owner does not pay their final utility bill, it remains with the property and utility account.  The new owner is responsible for all amounts owing on the account.

Rental Property

If the property is or will be a rental property, the account must remain in the owner’s name, and the bills mailed to the owner’s address.  All utility accounts remain in the owners’ name only, and cannot be placed in a renters’ name.  Owners are responsible for receiving and paying the monthly bills. The owner is liable to the City for all bills accruing through the use of utility services whether used by the owner, renter/lessee, or other occupant.

About certification of delinquent utility charges to be collected with property taxes

Delinquent utility service charges left unpaid by current or former customers along with associated administrative fees, plus interest, may become a lien on the property served and be certified to Hennepin County to be collected with next year’s property taxes.

Notices are mailed on or before July first each year for accounts with delinquent balances owing on charges billed through May 31st of the current year.  If the delinquent balances are not cleared, the amounts are sent to the Assessing Department for certification to the property taxes.  A list of delinquent accounts is published in the Sun Sailor in mid-November.

For more information: link to questions regarding owners name on account and lien certification.

Selling Property

If you are selling a property, please contact the Utility Billing office before the closing date.   You will need to request a final water meter reading for the property.  After the final water meter reading is taken, a final billing will be issued.  We will also need to know the address where the final bill is to be sent. 

Payment Options

Auto Pay logoAutomatic Payment

Automatic payment from your checking or savings account or by debit or credit card is available. Download the authorization form to fill out, mail, and return to the City.

Credit Card Payment

Visa, MasterCard or Discover are accepted. You may call 952-935-8474, stop into City Hall, or mail your utility payment stub with your credit card information. You will need to have your address, utility bill account number, credit card number with the expiration date, and the amount you wish to pay.

After Hours Payment

An after hours utility payment drop box is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at City Hall. The drop box is located on the east side of City Hall next to visitor parking.

Fees on your utility bill (effective Jan 1, 2014)

Service Rate Description
Water $2.10/1000 gallons used These charges will vary with your water usage. A sewer "base" or "cap" is calculated each year during the winter period for residential accounts.

How is the residential sanitary sewer charge calculated?
Sanitary Sewer $4.10/1000 gallons used
Irrigation Meter $2.50/1,000 gallons used Rate charged for metered lawn irrigation. Implemented to comply with the state water conservation law.
Storm Sewer $5.00 Flat fee that each resident pays per month. The storm sewer charge is for maintenance, renovation, and additions to the existing storm sewer system. The storm sewer is for water runoff (rainstorms, winter thaw, etc).
Recycling $4.25 Flat fee that each resident pays per month.
Refuse
30 Gallon
60 Gallon
90 Gallon
 
$16.85
$20.85
$24.30
Flat fee that each resident pays for one container. This fee covers charges connected in the garbage collection process: container costs, vehicle costs, labor, insurance, and disposal of garbage at a designated facility, etc.
State Solid Waste Mgmt Fee Varies State charge of 9.75% calculated on the refuse portion of the bill. Also applies to bulk pickup charges. These fees are remitted back to the State of Minnesota.
State Health Fee $6.36 Yearly charge for connection to public utility. This is a State mandated charge. All funds collected by the City are remitted to the State Department of Revenue.
Hennepin County Solid Waste Mgmt Fee Varies Hennepin County charge of 9% calculated on the Refuse portion of the bill. Also applies to bulk pickup charges. These fees are remitted back to Hennepin County.

Why are City utilities the responsibility of the property owner, when it is the tenant or occupant using the utilities?

State law recognizes that the primary parties to the utility supply transaction are the City, as supplier, and the property benefited by utility service availability.

Minn.Stat. 444.075, s.3(e), authorizes the City to charge the owner and to certify unpaid charges against the property served as a tax. Minn. Stat. 325E.025, s.2, distinguishes other types of utility services (such as electrical, gas, propane, and telephone) from water utilities, recognizing that water utilities provide a unique benefit to the property and are essential to human habitation. In fact, the law prohibits owners from renting out any premises without a connection to the water system. Gas, electric, propane and phone utilities provide a benefit primarily to the end user - accordingly, the landlord is not responsible for their payment and unpaid charges cannot be assessed against the property.
State law also recognizes that part of the charge for water utilities recovers the cost of the infrastructure and its maintenance. Minn. Stat. 444.075, s.3(a).

Does the City have authority to make me responsible for utilities used by the tenant?

Ultimately, if City utility bills remain unpaid, state law allows the City to assess the charges, penalties and interest against the real property served by the utility. This is consistent with the concept that it is the property that receives the benefit of the utility service, not simply the user. Minn. Stat. 444.075, s. 3(e) states: The governing body may make the charges a charge against the owner, lessee, occupant or all of them and may provide and covenant for certifying unpaid charges to the county auditor with taxes against the property served...

Minn. Stat. 116A.22 provides: Charges established for connections to and the use and availability of service from any water or sewer or combined system, if not paid when due, shall, together with any penalties established for nonpayment, become a lien upon the property connected or for which service was made available. written notice shall be mailed to the owner of any property as to which such charges are then due and unpaid, stating the amount of the charges and any penalty thereon and that unless paid the same will be certified...and assessed as a tax...upon the property for collection with and as a part of other taxes.

What difficulties has the City encountered in billing the property's tenant?

Almost all of the problems experienced by City utility billing staff with tenant billed accounts revolve around the fact that the City is not a party to the lease and has no knowledge about its specific terms.

  • The City does not have the ability to identify and track the tenant. The landlord controls the rental relationship, not the City, and can manage the risk inherent in the rental of the property by being selective when choosing a tenant and establishing the lease terms and manner in which rent is collected. Often, the City is not told of a change in tenancy until the new tenant receives the utility bill months later.
  • The landlord controls the lease to which the city is not a party. The landlord can fashion the lease to fit the creditworthiness of the tenant. Landlords have the authority to require a security deposit for the last month's utility charges and to make non-payment of utilities breach of the lease and grounds for eviction. Lease agreements differ in their apportionment of the responsibility for municipal utility payment, particularly at the point where a tenant moves out.
  • Tenant billing involves city staff in disputes over usage. Tenant occupancies do not coincide with City utility billing periods, hence a great deal of staff time is currently devoted to apportioned billing between outgoing and new tenants. This is an additional service, outside our normal billing cycle for which the City has yet to charge a fee.
  • Tenant billing complicates the city's ability to assess. Tenant billing is inconsistent with the City's ultimate collection tool -- assessment against the property. It creates an unnecessary legal issue as to proper notice of the delinquency and opportunity to pay prior to the start of the assessment process.  

Why can’t the landlord have the tenant’s water shut off?

    MN State Statute  504B.221 Unlawful Termination of Utilities.
    (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, if a landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control, interrupts or causes the interruption of electricity, heat, gas, or water services to the tenant, the tenant may recover from the landlord treble damages or $500, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney's fees. It is a defense to any action brought under this section that the interruption was the result of the deliberate or negligent act or omission of a tenant or anyone acting under the direction or control of the tenant. The tenant may recover only actual damages under this section if:

  • (1) the tenant has not given the landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control, notice of the interruption; or
  • (2) the landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control, after receiving notice of the interruption from the tenant and within a reasonable period of time after the interruption, taking into account the nature of the service interrupted and the effect of the interrupted service on the health, welfare, and safety of the tenants, has reinstated or made a good faith effort to reinstate the service or has taken other remedial action; or
  • (3) the interruption was for the purpose of repairing or correcting faulty or defective equipment or protecting the health and safety of the occupants of the premises involved and the service was reinstated or a good faith effort was made to reinstate the service or other remedial action was taken by the landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control within a reasonable period of time, taking into account the nature of the defect, the nature of the service interrupted, and the effect of the interrupted service on the health, welfare, and safety of the tenants.
  • (b) The remedies provided in this section are in addition to and shall not limit other rights or remedies available to landlords and tenants. Any provision, whether oral or written, of any lease or other agreement, whereby any provision of this section is waived by a tenant, is contrary to public policy and void. The provisions of this section also apply to occupants and owners of residential real property which is the subject of a mortgage foreclosure or contract for deed cancellation and as to which the period for redemption or reinstatement of the contract has expired.

    History:
    1999 c 199 art 1 s 25

Contacts

  • Senior Account Clerk–Utility Billing

    952-548-6332

Save Water

Temporary stop of refuse services

If your house will be vacant for 30 days or more, you can temporarily stop refuse services. You must contact the City to let us know the date you will be leaving and the garbage container must be stored in a secure area, such as your garage. Upon returning, you must contact the city to request that the garbage services be reinstated.

Utility Services

To have the water turned on or shut off at the curb, contact the Utility Services Division at the Public Works main office number 952-939-1382.