Q: I am writing an ordinance to state that all utilities will increase by fifty cents per year and wondered if I can do it all in one ordinance or if I need one for each utility? Any language for the ordinance would also be greatly appreciated.
The Town of Medicine Bow recodified all our ordinances about 4 years ago. In the recodification we added an ordinance to raise utility rates by resolution to make it easier, and we can use the same resolution to raise multiple rates.
Why an ordinance? Do you have current code that allows for rate increases? The Town of Dubois Title 9 allows for council to determine rates then a resolution is passed for any changes. (Dubois Resolution and Excerpt from Title 9 links are below)
Evanston - We just included the rates in our budget resolution.
Mountain View - We have an ordinance for our rates but we have a fee schedule that is a resolution that we modify when we do our budget every year.
In Upton we do the raises on one resolution and just line out the particulars with a, b, c, etc. I have attached our one from June. (see below)
Laramie - This is a set of ordinances from a couple of years ago. Last year’s ordinances – let’s just say I took shortcuts in titling them so they’re not easy to find. (see below)
The City of Lander used to do our utility increases through ordinance, however we changed our methodology to increase them by resolution. This eliminated having so many ordinances and made it easier for change. We copied how Sheridan does it. I am attaching our latest resolution for our utilities. (see below)
Buffalo - In our ordinances Section One is always the same as what is currently in the code book. Section Two is where we change the rule. I have always been told that an ordinance could only cover one topic. Recently, our City Attorney has adopted the way Gillette does their ordinance and they combine several things and just include it is the caption of the ordinance. I guess they claim they are only addressing one topic (even though it includes several, in my opinion). I think you could get away with doing one ordinance with the caption of changing utility rates. Just make sure you have 3 readings on your ordinance. (see below)
Douglas - We did one resolution & addressed each utility in it; attached is the last change we did. Our ordinance states we can change by resolution but the wording could probably work for either. (see below)
The way the City of Sundance handles rate increases is with a resolution verses an Ordinance. It is my understanding that on Ordinance is a law and is much harder to adjust or change in the future.