Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Regulation of Rates by Municipality

Municipal Rate Hearing Required -- Notice

69-7-111. Municipal rate hearing required -- notice. (1) Except as provided in 75-5-516, 75-6-108, and subsection (6), if the governing body of a municipality considers it advisable to regulate, establish, or change rates, charges, or classifications imposed on its customers, it shall order a hearing to be held before it at a time and place specified.

(2) Notice of the hearing must be published in a newspaper as provided in 7-1-4127.

(3) (a) The notice must be published three times with at least 6 days separating each publication. The first publication may be no more than 28 days prior to the hearing, and the last publication may be no less than 3 days prior to the hearing.

(b) The notice must also be mailed at least 7 days and not more than 30 days prior to the hearing to persons served by the utility. The notice must be mailed within the prescribed time period. This notice must contain an estimate of the amount the customer's average bill will increase.

(4) The published notice must contain:

(a) the date, time, and place of the hearing;

(b) a brief statement of the proposed action; and

(c) the address and telephone number of a person who may be contacted for further information regarding the hearing.

(5) Notice of all hearings shall be mailed first class, postage prepaid, to the Montana consumer counsel.

(6) (a) If the proposed increase in the rates, fees, or charges imposed by the municipality is the result of the establishment of or change in rates, fees, or charges imposed by a regional authority of which the municipality is a customer and the authority is required to hold a public hearing pursuant to 75-6-326, the governing body of the municipality shall:

(i) mail notice of the public hearing to be held by the authority to all persons served by the municipality at least 15 days before the public hearing; and

(ii) provide notification to all persons served by the municipality at least 10 days prior to the enactment of the ordinance or adoption of the resolution implementing the increase.

(b) The municipality is not required to hold a public hearing in connection with the increase.

(7) If a regional authority is not required to hold a public hearing as provided in 75-6-326(9), the municipality is subject to the hearing requirements of this section.

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 607, L. 1981; amd. Secs. 4, 10, Ch. 588, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 10, Ch. 645, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 507, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 187, L. 2013.