01-041-O

ORDINANCE NO. __________

AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING NONPROVISION OF WATER OR GAS SERVICES TO PROPERTY CONDEMNED FOR HABITATION OR NOT HAVING A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY, AMENDING SECTION 48-183 OF THE DULUTH CITY CODE, 1959, AS AMENDED.

BY COUNCILOR ECKENBERG:

The city of Duluth does ordain:

        Section 1.     That Section 48-183 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:

Sec. 48-183.  Same--grounds for disapproval.

        Any application for installation of meters may be disapproved for premises:
        (a)     Whose applicant is in arrears to the department for lawful charges for gas or water supply, street services, or other commodities, supplies or services;
        (b)     For which premises any regulations as to house piping, house service, street service or inspection remain uncomplied with;
        (c)     or When charges for water or gas consumed on such premises remain unpaid;
        (d)     For which an enforceable order condemning said premises for habitation is in effect and the city building official has not approved the application because of requirements for repair or safety; or
        (e)     For which no valid certificate of occupancy is in effect and the city building official has not approved the application because of requirements for repair or safety.

        Section 2.     This ordinance shall take effect 30 days from and after its passage and publication.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  The purpose of this ordinance is to specifically authorize the water and gas utility to refuse to provide new water or gas services or both to premises which have been condemned for occupancy or for which the certificate of occupancy has been revoked until the problems leading to the condemnation or revocation have been corrected.

When premises have been condemned for habitation or the certificate of occupancy for them has been revoked, it is illegal for persons to live in those premises until the problems have been corrected and either the order for condemnation has been lifted or the certificate of occupancy has been re-issued. Unfortunately, it is all too common that people, for their own reasons, choose to ignore these orders, even though they may well be endangering themselves or other, and occupy such premises. Minnesota Power will routinely refuse to supply electric service to such premises, but the City Code presently does not contain specific authority for the water and gas utility to refuse to supply water or gas to them. The fact that water and gas is provided to the premises facilitates their illegal occupancy and discourages the making of necessary repairs and corrections.

This ordinance would allow the department to refuse to supply water or gas until the problems were fixed and the order was lifted or the certificate of occupancy was issued.

This ordinance would authorize the utility to refuse to supply water and gas to property under an order condemning it for habitation or for which a certificate of occupancy has been revoked until the problems were corrected.

The ordinance would allow the building official to allow the furnishing of services if it is necessary to allow repair or for safety reasons.