Billing Information

Application for Service

Use our online application to apply for utilities and services within the City of St. James, Minnesota.

New Services

  • Residential non-property owner (renter) or contract for deed owner shall deposit the sum of $200.
  • Commercial non-property owner (renter) shall deposit the sum of 15% of the estimated annual usage cost.

Return of Advance Payment / Deposit

  • Upon termination of service and payment of final utility charges, the deposit will be returned to customer after council approval.
  • Upon the renter becoming the owner or when a business renter is in good standing with utility after five years.

 Section 1

Application for Service – Applications for utility services must be made at the utility office located at 124 Armstrong Boulevard South in St. James, Minnesota.

  1. The application shall contain the following information:
    1. Applicants Name
    2. Firm or Business Name
    3. Service Address
    4. Billing/Mailing Address
    5. Phone Number
    6. Credit Information
    7. Special Service Conditions (i.e. - customer or dependent in household on respirator or life support system)
    8. Present Employer

 Section 2

Advance Payments/Meter Deposits – Advance payments or meter deposits are required for all non-property owner utility users.

  1. New Services:
    1. Residential non-property owner (renter) or contract for deed owner shall deposit the sum of $200.00.
    2. Commercial non-property owner (renter) shall deposit the sum of 15% of the estimated annual usage cost.
  2. Return of Advance Payment/Deposit:
    1. Upon termination of service and payment of final utility charges, the deposit will be returned to customer after council approval.
    2. Upon the renter becoming the owner or when a business renter is in good standing with utility after 5 years.
  3. Earnings on Deposits:
    1. All deposits left with the City shall earn an interest rate as set forth in Minnesota Statute 353E.02, which will be calculated and credited to each utility account after January 1st of each year.

 Section 3

Connections and Disconnections

  1. Connections and disconnections will be made by Utility Department employees only.
  2. Non-payment – Disconnections for non-payment are covered under section 11.

 Section 4

Right of Access – Employees of the St. James Public Utilities shall have reasonable access for the following purposes:

  1. To install, read, and maintain metering equipment and load management control devices.

 Section 5

Ownership of Utility Services

  1. Electrical Service
    1. The utility department owns the overhead electrical lines to the point of individual service connection to the transformer and electric meter.
    2. Customer owns the service line from meter socket and all internal wiring.
  2. Water Services
    1. The utility department owns the water meter and outside remotes.
    2. The customer owns the service line up to and including the curb stop and water shut off along with all internal plumbing.
    3. Remote water meters shall be installed on all new home construction, others shall be installed as the city sees fit.

 Section 6

Unlawful Acts

  1. Persons may be prosecuted:
    1. Who willfully or carelessly commit any act tending to obstruct or impair the use of any municipal utility.
    2. Connect to a municipal utility without first having applied for and received permission from the City to make the same.
    3. Turn on or connect a utility when same has been turned off or disconnected by the City for non-payment of a bill.
    4. To jumper or by any means or device fully or partially circumvent a utility meter or to knowingly use or consume un-metered utilities.

 Section 7

Care of Utility Owned Property

  1. Meters and Metering
    1. Persons may be prosecuted for destroying or attempting to distort meter readings or meter accuracy, and will be repaired by the Utility Department at the customer’s expense.
    2. Damage to water meters that are allowed to be frozen on the customer’s premises will be repaired by the Utility Department at the customer’s expense.

 Section 8

Meter Reading Discrepancies:

  1. In the event that a customer suspects a discrepancy in meter readings, the following procedures will be followed:
    1. Customer shall notify the utility office of specific discrepancies.
    2. The utility staff shall review customer consumption history. If findings indicate that discrepancy is possible, the meter shall be re-read.
    3. When a consumer shall request the City to test any utility meter in use by him/her, such a request shall be accompanied by a cash deposit of $25.00 for each meter to be tested. If any such meter shall be found to be inaccurate the same shall be replaced with an accurate meter and the deposit thereon refunded. If the meter is found to be accurate in its recording, it shall be reinstalled and the $25.00 deposit shall be retained by the City.
    4. In the case of remote water meters where there is a discrepancy between the outside reader and the inside reader, the inside flow meter reading will be used.

 Section 9

Sanitary Sewer Charges – Sanitary sewer charges shall apply to all properties with connection to the city sanitary sewer system.

  1. To allow for removal of the monthly sewer service charges from any property the electric and water services must be discontinued.
  2. In the case of an apartment, the apartment must have been vacant for at least three months with electric service disconnected (the owner must request the adjustment to the sewer service charges).

 Section 10

Complaint Procedures

  1. All customer complaints or problems in regard to utility services shall be registered with City Hall/Utility Office.
    1. In the event the customer is not satisfied with the response of the Utility Office, the customer may appeal to the City Council. Appeals may be made by providing a written petition for a public hearing before the City Council requesting to be on the City Council agenda at which time the customer shall provide any documentation why the utility charges need not be paid in full and the customer will be provided information as to the time and date of the meeting.
  2. Disputes concerning bills and payments –
    1. The customer must pay the utility bill in full.
    2. If the findings of the City Council are in favor of the customer, only the amount agreed upon by the City Council and the customer shall be retained by the Utility and the difference shall be refunded.

 Section 11

DISCONNECTION RULE – the following disconnect rules shall apply to any residential/commercial customer of the St. James Public Utilities.

  1. The Utility shall have the power to disconnect the service of any residential customer during the “cold weather months” provided that the following procedures have been adhered to:
    1. Any residential customer who has failed to pay the utility bill on or before the 10th of the month in which the bill is rendered, shall be declared delinquent.
    2. Upon a utility becoming delinquent, the Utility shall on the 11th day of the same month by first class mail to the recorded billing address, mail a delinquent notice and disconnect warning stating the amount of the unpaid bill, including the penalty amount. This notice must state that if payment is not received by the 21st of the same month, service will be disconnected (if the 11th or 21st day of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the above procedure shall be implemented the next regular scheduled business day).
    3. Disconnect of service due to an unpaid utility bill of a residential customer shall be as soon as practicable following the 21st day of the month. Disconnect shall be made during normal business hours.
      1. Prior to disconnection, the Utility shall make one visit to the residence to be disconnected in an attempt to make personal contact. This visit will be during regular business hours of the Utility.
      2. If contact is not made or the delinquent utility bill remains unpaid following contact, the Utility shall disconnect the service, provided that such disconnection does not affect the primary heat source of the residence.
      3. In instances where disconnection, as described in 3b, may affect the primary heat source, the Utility may install a service limiter. The service limiter will limit the amount of electricity available to the residential customer. However, such limiters shall provide enough electricity to operate the primary heat source. This subdivision shall apply to only “cold weather months” beginning October 15 through April 15.
      4. The Utility reserves the right to attach the limiter in other cases as they determine to be useful and beneficial to the collection of a delinquent utility account.
    4. The Utility must reconnect service if the residential customer or designated representative:

      1. Pays the outstanding balance owed, or
      2. Presents documentation that the customer is to receive assistance from the Department of Human Services and/or emergency fuel assistance program for payment of the balance owed, or
      3. Enters into a payment plan with the Utility as may be established by the City Clerk, however, failure of the customer to adhere to the payment plan as established by the Utility shall result in immediate disconnection of service by the Utility.
  2. Upon completion of the above procedures where disconnection is required, whenever possible the landlord shall promptly be given notice when the disconnection is a result of failure by the tenant to pay the past due utility account.

 Section 12

RECONNECTION CHARGES - The following charges will be made as the result of any disconnection of utility services:

  1. When disconnection is requested by the utility user a reconnection charge of $50.00 will apply during regular business hours and $100.00 after business hours.
  2. When disconnection is the result of enforcing utility rules of Section 11, a reconnect charge of $50.00 will apply during regular business hours and $100.00 if reconnection is necessary after regular business hours.

 Section 13

Issuance of Dishonored Checks – A service charge not to exceed $30.00 may be imposed immediately on any dishonored check.

  1. During regular office hours Monday through Thursday 8:00 – 5:00, Friday 8:00 – 4:00, except holidays, visit the utility office located in City Hall or phone 375-3241.
  2. For emergency service after regular office hours call 375-3121 - your call will be handled through Watonwan County Communications Center.

It is the intent of the St. James City Council to provide a uniform method in providing electrical service and process for collection of all utility accounts.

Rules and regulations relating to municipal utilities are presently in effect and can be found in Chapter 3 of the St. James City Code. They are available at City Hall for public inspection, 124 Armstrong Blvd. South. The rules of procedure are detailed as follows.