Authors: Senator Joseph Zakas, Senator John Broden
Co-authors: Senator Jean Breaux
Sponsors: Representative Wes Culver
Co-Sponsors: Representative Timothy Neese, Representative Eric Allan Koch, Representative Woody Burton
Advisors: Senator Ed Charbonneau, Senator Jean Breaux
Provides that for purposes of the statutes governing municipal sewage works, the municipal legislative body may include in an ordinance adopted under the statutes one or more of the following provisions with respect to tenant-occupied property: (1) That sewer fees for the property are payable by the tenant. (2) That sewer fees for the property are payable by the tenant if the property owner or the tenant satisfies certain requirements or conditions that the municipal legislative body includes in the ordinance. (3) That sewer fees for the property do not constitute a lien against the property, subject to certain requirements or conditions set forth in the ordinance. Makes conforming amendments to provisions setting forth the manner in which municipal sewer liens attach and are enforced. Specifies that the authority to adopt these provisions concerning tenant-occupied property does not prohibit a municipality from including in an ordinance adopted under the statutes any other provision that the municipality considers appropriate. Specifies that the authority to adopt these provisions concerning tenant-occupied property does not apply to a conservancy district that provides sewage service. For purposes of the statutes governing municipal storm water works and municipal sewage works, amends provisions requiring notice of fee delinquencies to the owner of tenant-occupied property to provide that the notice of the delinquency must be sent to the owner: (1) regardless of whether the owner has provided an address to which the notice must be sent; and (2) at the last address of the owner as indicated in the records of the county auditor, or to another address specified by the owner in a written notice. Provides that the notice may be sent by first class mail or by certified mail (or another service equivalent to certified mail). (Current law requires that the notice be sent by certified mail or another equivalent service for delinquent sewer fees and does not specify the method of mailing a notice for delinquent storm water fees.) Provides that, in a situation in which a municipal utility is providing services to properties located outside the municipality under contracts that provide for the property owners to make payments in lieu of annexation, if the contracts expire, the municipal utility may not terminate services to the properties and, as a condition of continuing to receive services, the owners of the properties must continue paying the rate for the services provided for in the expired contracts, for two years or until: (1) the municipal utility and the owners of the properties enter into new contracts; (2) the area in which the properties are located is annexed into the municipality; or (3) the matter is submitted to arbitration. Specifies that, in an arbitration proceeding, the award made by the arbitrator must establish reasonable and just terms of a new contract between the municipal utility and the owners of the properties, considering all relevant factors, and that if either party fails or refuses to enter into a new contract according to the terms of the arbitration award, the other party may commence legal action to enforce the award.