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CHAPTER 80: ABANDONED VEHICLES
80.01 DEFINITIONS. For use in this chapter the following terms are defined:
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 321.89)
- “Abandoned vehicle” means any of the following:
- A vehicle that has been left unattended on public property for more than twenty-four (24) hours and lacks current registration plates or two or more wheels or other parts which renders the vehicle totally inoperable.
- A vehicle that has remained illegally on public property for more than 24 hours.
- A vehicle that has been unlawfully parked or placed on private property without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property for more than 24 hours.
- A vehicle that has been legally impounded by order of a police authority and has not been reclaimed for a period of ten (10) days. However, a police authority may declare the vehicle abandoned within the ten-day period by commencing the notification process.
- Any vehicle parked on the highway determined by a police authority to create a hazard to other vehicle traffic.
- A vehicle that has been impounded pursuant to Section 321J.4B of the Code of Iowa by order of the court and whose owner has not paid the impoundment fees after notification by the person or agency responsible for carrying out the impoundment order.
- “Demolisher” means a person licensed under Chapter 321H of the Code of Iowa whose business it is to convert a vehicle to junk, processed scrap or scrap metal, or otherwise to wreck, or dismantle vehicles.
- “Garage keeper” means any operator of a parking place or establishment, motor vehicle storage facility, or establishment for the servicing, repair, or maintenance of motor vehicles.
- “Police authority” means the Iowa state patrol or any law enforcement agency of a county or city.
80.02 AUTHORITY TO TAKE POSSESSION OF ABANDONED VEHICLES. A police authority, upon the authority’s own initiative or upon the request of any other authority having the duties of control of highways or traffic, shall take into custody an abandoned vehicle on public property and may take into custody any abandoned vehicle on private property. The police authority may employ its own personnel, equipment, and facilities or hire a private entity, equipment, and facilities for the purpose of removing, preserving, storing, or disposing of abandoned vehicles. A property owner or other person in control of private property may employ a private entity that is a garage keeper to dispose of an abandoned vehicle, and the private entity may take into custody the abandoned vehicle without a police authority’s initiative. If a police authority employs a private entity to dispose of abandoned vehicles, the police authority shall provide the private entity with the names and addresses of the registered owners, all lienholders of record, and any other known claimant to the vehicle or the personal property found in the vehicle. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321.89)
80.03 NOTICE BY MAIL. The police authority or private entity that takes into custody an abandoned vehicle shall notify, within twenty (20) days, by certified mail, the last known registered owner of the vehicle, all lienholders of record, and any other known claimant to the vehicle or to personal property found in the vehicle, addressed to the parties’ last known addresses of record, that the abandoned vehicle has been taken into custody. Notice shall be deemed given when mailed. The notice shall describe the year, make, model and vehicle identification number of the vehicle, describe the personal property found in the vehicle, set forth the location of the facility where the vehicle is being held, and inform the persons receiving the notice of their right to reclaim the vehicle and personal property within ten (10) days after the effective date of the notice upon payment of all towing, preservation, and storage charges resulting from placing the vehicle in custody and upon payment of the costs of the notice. The notice shall also state that the failure of the owner, lienholders or claimants to exercise their right to reclaim the vehicle or personal property within the time provided shall be deemed a waiver by the owner, lienholders and claimants of all right, title, claim and interest in the vehicle or personal property and that failure to reclaim the vehicle or personal property is deemed consent to the sale of the vehicle at a public auction or disposal of the vehicle to a demolisher and to disposal of the personal property by sale or destruction. If the abandoned vehicle was taken into custody by a private entity without a police authority’s initiative, the notice shall state that the private entity may claim a garage keeper’s lien as described in Section 321.90 of the Code of Iowa, and may proceed to sell or dispose of the vehicle. If the abandoned vehicle was taken into custody by a police authority or by a private entity hired by a police authority, the notice shall state that any person claiming rightful possession of the vehicle or personal property who disputes the planned disposition of the vehicle or property by the police authority or private entity or of the assessment of fees and charges provided by this section may ask for an evidentiary hearing before the police authority to contest those matters. If the persons receiving notice do not ask for a hearing or exercise their right to reclaim the vehicle or personal property within the ten-day reclaiming period, the owner, lienholders or claimants shall no longer have any right, title, claim, or interest in or to the vehicle or the personal property. A court in any case in law or equity shall not recognize any right, title, claim, or interest of the owner, lienholders or claimants after the expiration of the ten-day reclaiming period. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321.89[3a])
80.04 NOTIFICATION IN NEWSPAPER. If it is impossible to determine with reasonable certainty the identity and addresses of the last registered owner and all lienholders, notice by one publication in one newspaper of general circulation in the area where the vehicle was abandoned shall be sufficient to meet all requirements of notice under Section 80.03. The published notice may contain multiple listings of abandoned vehicles and personal property but shall be published within the same time requirements and contain the same information as prescribed for mailed notice in Section 80.03. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321.89[3b])
80.05 FEES FOR IMPOUNDMENT. The owner, lienholder or claimant shall pay twenty dollars ($20.00) if claimed within three (3) days of impounding, plus towing charges if stored by the City, or towing and storage fees, if stored in a public garage, whereupon said vehicle shall be released. The amount of towing charges, and the rate of storage charges by privately owned garages, shall be established by such facility. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321.89[3a])
80.06 DISPOSAL OF ABANDONED VEHICLES. If an abandoned vehicle has not been reclaimed as provided herein, the police authority or private entity shall make a determination as to whether or not the motor vehicle should be sold for use upon the highways, and shall dispose of the motor vehicle in accordance with State law. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321.89)
80.07 DISPOSAL OF TOTALLY INOPERABLE VEHICLES. The City or any person upon whose property or in whose possession is found any abandoned motor vehicle, or any person being the owner of a motor vehicle whose title certificate is faulty, lost or destroyed, may dispose of such motor vehicle to a demolisher for junk, without a title and without notification procedures, if such motor vehicle lacks an engine or two (2) or more wheels or other structural part which renders the vehicle totally inoperable. The police authority shall give the applicant a certificate of authority. The applicant shall then apply to the County Treasurer for a junking certificate and shall surrender the certificate of authority in lieu of the certificate of title. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321.90[2e])
80.08 PROCEEDS FROM SALES. Proceeds from the sale of any abandoned vehicle shall be applied to the expense of auction, cost of towing, preserving, storing and notification required, in accordance with State law. Any balance shall be held for the owner of the motor vehicle or entitled lienholder for ninety (90) days, and then shall be deposited in the State Road Use Tax Fund. Where the sale of any vehicle fails to realize the amount necessary to meet costs the police authority shall apply for reimbursement from the Department of Transportation. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321.89)
80.09 DUTIES OF DEMOLISHER. Any demolisher who purchases or otherwise acquires an abandoned motor vehicle for junk shall junk, scrap, wreck, dismantle or otherwise demolish such motor vehicle. A demolisher shall not junk, scrap, wreck, dismantle or demolish a vehicle until the demolisher has obtained the junking certificate issued for the vehicle. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321.90[3a])
CHAPTER 90: WATER SERVICE SYSTEM
90.01 DEFINITIONS. The following terms are defined for use in the chapters in this Code of Ordinances pertaining to the Water Service System:
- “Combined service account” means a customer service account for the provision of two or more utility services.
- “Customer” means, in addition to any person receiving water service from the City, the owner of the property served, and as between such parties the duties, responsibilities, liabilities and obligations hereinafter imposed shall be joint and several.
- “Superintendent” means the Superintendent of the City water system or any duly authorized assistant, agent or representative.
- “Water main” means a water supply pipe provided for public or community use.
- “Water service pipe” means the pipe from the water main to the building served.
- “Water system” or “water works” means all public facilities for securing, collecting, storing, pumping, treating and distributing water.
90.02 SUPERINTENDENT’S DUTIES. The Superintendent shall supervise the installation of water service pipes and their connection to the water main and enforce all regulations pertaining to water services in the City in accordance with this chapter. This chapter shall apply to all new water service pipeline installations and all replacements of existing water service pipes. The Superintendent shall make such rules, not in conflict with the provisions of this chapter, as may be needed for the detailed operation of the water system, subject to the approval of the Council. In the event of an emergency the Superintendent may make temporary rules for the protection of the system until due consideration by the Council may be had. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13)
90.03 MANDATORY CONNECTIONS. All buildings and structures within the City limits intended or used for human habitation, occupancy or use shall be connected to the public water system. Permanent or temporary physical connections between the City’s water system, wells, or other water sources are prohibited.
90.04 ABANDONED CONNECTIONS. When an existing water service is abandoned or a service is renewed with a new tap in the main, all abandoned connections with the mains shall be turned off at the corporation stop and made absolutely watertight.
90.05 PERMIT. Before a connection with the public water system may be made, a written permit must be obtained from the City. The application for the permit shall include a legal description of the property, the name of the property owner, the name and address of the person who will perform the work, and the general uses of the water. If the proposed work meets all the requirements of this chapter and if all fees required under this chapter have been paid, the permit shall be issued. Work under any permit must be completed within sixty (60) days after the permit is issued, except that when such time period is inequitable or unfair due to conditions beyond the control of the person making the application, an extension of time within which to complete the work may be granted. The permit may be revoked at any time for any violation of these chapters.
90.06 FEE FOR PERMIT. Before any permit is issued the applicant shall pay either: (i) for a one-inch line, five hundred dollars ($500.00) to the Clerk to cover the cost of issuing the permit, tapping the main, and installation of the water service line from the main to and including the curb valve, and for the cost of the three-quarter-inch meter; or (ii) for any taps over one-inch, the actual current material costs, including the meter costs and related installation costs. The person may choose to purchase and install any tap over three-quarter-inch subject to the approval of the Superintendent and the inspection of the installation by the Superintendent before the excavation hole is covered. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.84)
90.07 COMPLIANCE WITH PLUMBING CODE. The installation of any water service pipe and any connection with the water system shall comply with all pertinent and applicable provisions, whether regulatory, procedural or enforcement provisions of the State Plumbing Code.
90.08 PLUMBER REQUIRED. All installations of water service pipes and connections to the water system shall be made by a State-licensed plumber.
90.09 EXCAVATIONS. All trench work, excavation, and backfilling required in making a connection shall be performed in accordance with the State Plumbing Code and the provisions of Chapter 135 of this Code of Ordinances.
90.10 TAPPING MAINS. All taps into water mains shall be made by or under the direct supervision of the Superintendent and in accord with the following:
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13)
- Independent Services. No more than one housing unit or one unit of a building or premises shall be supplied from one tap unless special written permission is obtained from the Superintendent and unless provision is made so that each unit of a house, building, or premises may be shut off independently of the other.
- Sizes and Location of Taps. All mains six (6) inches or less in diameter shall receive no larger than a one (1) inch tap. All mains of over six inches in diameter shall receive no larger than a one and a half (1½) inch tap. Where a larger connection than a one and a half (1½) inch tap is desired, two or more small taps or saddles shall be used, as the Superintendent shall order. All taps in the mains shall be made in the top half of the pipe, at least eighteen (18) inches apart. No main shall be tapped nearer than two (2) feet of the joint in the main.
- Corporation Stop. A brass corporation stop, of the pattern and weight approved by the Superintendent, shall be inserted in every tap in the main. The corporation stop in the main shall be of the same size as the service pipe.
- Location Record. An accurate and dimensional sketch showing the exact location of the tap shall be filed with the Superintendent in such form as the Superintendent shall require.
90.11 INSTALLATION OF WATER SERVICE PIPE. Water service pipes from the main to the curb valve shall be Type K copper. The use of any other pipe material for the service line shall first be approved by the Superintendent. Pipe must be laid sufficiently waving, and to such depth, as to prevent rupture from settlement or freezing.
90.12 RESPONSIBILITY FOR WATER SERVICE PIPE. All costs and expenses incident to the installation, connection and maintenance of the water service pipe from the curb valve to the meter setting shall be borne by the owner. The owner shall indemnify the City from any loss or damage that may directly or indirectly be occasioned by the installation or maintenance of said water service pipe.
90.13 FAILURE TO MAINTAIN. When any portion of the water service pipe which is the responsibility of the property owner becomes defective or creates a nuisance and the owner fails to correct such nuisance the City may do so and assess the costs thereof to the property. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3a & h])
90.14 CURB VALVE. There shall be installed within the public right-of-way a main shut-off valve on the water service pipe of a pattern approved by the Superintendent. The shut-off valve shall be constructed to be visible and even with the pavement or ground.
90.15 INTERIOR VALVE. At the customer’s expense there shall be installed a shut-off valve on both sides of the water meter and a waste cock on every service pipe inside the building as close to the entrance of the pipe within the building as possible and so located that the water can be shut off conveniently and the pipes drained. Where one service pipe supplies more than one customer within the building, there shall be separate valves for each such customer so that service may be shut off for one without interfering with service to the others.
90.16 INSPECTION AND APPROVAL. All water service pipes and their connections to the water system must be inspected and approved in writing by the Superintendent before they are covered, and the Superintendent shall keep a record of such approvals. If the Superintendent refuses to approve the work, the plumber or property owner must proceed immediately to correct the work. Every person who uses or intends to use the municipal water system shall permit the Superintendent to enter the premises to inspect or make necessary alterations or repairs at all reasonable hours and on proof of authority.
90.17 COMPLETION BY THE CITY. Should any excavation be left open or only partly refilled for twenty-four (24) hours after the water service pipe is installed and connected with the water system, or should the work be improperly done, the City shall have the right to finish or correct the work, and the Council shall assess the costs to the property owner or the plumber. If the plumber is assessed, the plumber must pay the costs before receiving another permit. If the property owner is assessed, such assessment may be collected with and in the same manner as general property taxes. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3a & h])
90.18 SHUTTING OFF WATER SUPPLY. The Superintendent may shut off the supply of water to any customer because of any violation of the regulations contained in these Water Service System chapters that is not being contested in good faith. The supply shall not be turned on again until all violations have been corrected and the Superintendent has ordered the water to be turned on.
90.19 OPERATION OF CURB VALVE AND HYDRANTS. It is unlawful for any person except the Superintendent to turn water on at the curb valve, and no person, unless specifically authorized by the City, shall open or attempt to draw water from any fire hydrant for any purpose whatsoever.
90.20 WATER SUPPLY AND PROTECTION FROM DAMAGES. Customers are not guaranteed a constant or unlimited supply of water from the public water system. The City may deny providing water service to any customer in which the system cannot sustain the requested service. In no event shall the City be held responsible for claims of damages by reason of the breaking of any water mains or service pipes, or by reason of any other interruption of water service. No person shall be entitled to damages or refunds of payment resulting from such a break or interruption.
CHAPTER 91: WATER METERS
91.01 PURPOSE. The purpose of this chapter is to encourage the conservation of water and facilitate the equitable distribution of charges for water service among customers.
91.02 WATER USE METERED. All water furnished customers shall be measured through meters furnished by the City to ensure compatibility with the City’s water metering system. Installation of said meters shall be at the customer’s expense. Multiple units, including residential, business, institutional or industrial units, may be measured through a single meter. Mobile home parks may be metered by a single meter. Alternatively, at the mobile home park owner’s request and at such owner’s expense, the City will furnish a meter for each individual mobile home or unit within the park and each individual metered unit within the park shall be responsible for the cost of its respective water usage. Installation of such meters shall be at the park owner’s expense. All customers furnished water shall maintain their meters in good working condition.
91.03 FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEMS – EXCEPTION. Fire sprinkler systems may be connected to water mains by direct connection without meters under the direct supervision of the Superintendent. No open connection can be incorporated in the system, and there shall be no valves except a main control valve at the entrance to the building which must be sealed open.
91.04 LOCATION OF METERS. All meters shall be so located that they are easily accessible to meter readers and repairmen and protected from freezing.
91.05 METER SETTING. The property owner shall provide all necessary piping and fittings for proper setting of the meter including a globe type valve on both discharge sides of the meter. All meters for a mobile home or unit shall have water shut-off valve. The meter shall be located in a manner free and clear from obstruction and not under the mobile home. A mobile home park owner shall grant the City an access easement to each meter located in the park. The City shall not be held liable for any damages in connection with accessing such meters. Upon receipt of notice by the Clerk that a meter is not in proper working condition, the customer shall have 30 days to repair the meter or a customer shall be assessed a $100.00 penalty. In the case of mobile home parks, park owners shall receive all notices regarding a meter in the park which is not in proper working condition and shall be assessed the said penalty for each such meter. (Ord. 471-17 – Jun. 18 Supp.)
91.06 METER COSTS. The full cost of any meter larger than that required for a single-family residence shall be paid to the City by the property owner or customer prior to the installation of any such meter by the City, or, at the sole option of the City, the property owner or customer may be required to purchase and install such meter in accordance with requirements established by the City.
91.07 METER REPAIRS. Whenever a water meter owned by the City is found to be out of order the Superintendent shall have it repaired. If it is found that damage to the meter has occurred due to the carelessness or negligence of the customer or property owner, or the meter is not owned by the City, then the property owner shall be liable for the cost of repairs.
91.08 RIGHT OF ENTRY. The Superintendent shall be permitted to enter the premises of any customer at any reasonable time to read, remove, or change a meter.
91.09 METER TEST. The Superintendent shall test the accuracy of any water meter upon request in writing by a customer. However, the Superintendent shall not be required to test a meter more than once in any six-month period. The written request shall be accompanied by a deposit, in an amount established by resolution of the Council, from the customer guaranteeing payment of any water used, if additional water than metered was provided. If a meter is reporting excess usage in error a margin of two percent (2%) or more, the cost of the test shall be paid by the City and the deposit shall be fully refunded to the customer. If the meter is accurate or reporting usage within two percent (2%) of actual usage, the deposit shall be forfeited to the City for reimbursement of the testing costs. Commercial customers will be charged the actual cost of contract meter testing if the test indicates meter accuracy within the limits of two percent (2%).
91.10 METER FAILURE. When a water meter fails to provide a reading or a reading cannot be obtained, the customer will be billed for the usage of that month at a rate equal to the average of the 12 preceding months’ usage for the property.