Blanding officials say water situation is “grim” and urge conservation
Apr 17, 2013 | 6668 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“The water situation is very grim. It is very real, and we need to make sure that our citizens understand that,” said Councilman Kelly Laws at the April 9 meeting of the Blanding City Council.

“At this point in time, we are not going to initiate watering restrictions,” added Laws, “but it is something that could be done in the future.”

As a result, the Council strongly encourages residents to voluntarily initiate water conservation efforts, particularly as they relate to lawn watering.

“If we can control the waste, we can probably stay afloat,” added Laws, who said that watching water run down the gutter in the summer causes him heartburn.

City residents are encouraged to adjust sprinkler systems to avoid sending water down the gutter. If steps are taken to avoid waste, the city may not need to implement watering restrictions.

Council members also discussed initiating fines for those who waste water. “It may help to put a penalty in place to encourage residents to adjust their sprinklers,” added Laws.

The Council acknowledged that the city itself has been a water waster in the past and pledged to do better. Other large water users, such as school, churches and businesses, were also discussed.

The city currently has enough water to meet needs for two years, 2013 and 2014. In contrast, when all reservoirs are full, the city has a five-year supply of water. As a result, Laws pointed out that reserves are currently three years low.

The city has drilled three deep wells for emergency situations. They could meet city demand. However, city officials state that they would prefer to use the existing reserves because of the high cost of operating the wells.

In other matters at the April 9 Council meeting, the Council approved a $1,500,912 bid from Silver Spur Construction for the water transmission pipeline project. The engineer’s estimate for the project was more than $1.5 million. The other bids for the project ranged from $1.2 to $1.8 million.

Council members expressed delight and concern that the low bid was so much below estimates. The engineering firm stated they have worked with Silver Spur in the past and added that they are “experienced and capable of performing the work”.

Related to the project, the Council authorized a $750,000 Parity Water Revenue Bond to help fund the pipeline project. Funding for the project was coordinated through the Utah Community Impact Board.

City officials report that an investigator from the state has investigated complaints about unlicensed contractors. The investigator encourages anyone with concerns to report them and said the state will investigate complaints. A conversation in a prior council meeting centered on who is responsible to investigate and enforce licensing concerns.

The Council also discussed proposed changes to Blanding General Plan, which has not been changed since 1998.

Councilman Joe B Lyman stated that the changes were generally minor, with a few edits, clarifications, and minor adjustments. The changes will be an action item in a future council meeting.

Lyman said the General Plan is not binding, but “it sends us in the direction that the document points.” He added, “The City tends to become what is written in here.”

Council expressed approval to a letter by Mayor Toni Turk regarding immigration enforcement. The letters encourage the federal government to get the job done, secure the borders and enforce the laws.

Bret Hosler approached the council regarding two building lots he owns that he intends to merge into a single lot. Currently, both lots have water, sewer and electric connections. Hosler would like to transfer the connections to a lot he owns in another area.The council wants to ensure that the lots are merged and will wait for an action item in a future meeting.

City officials report that monthly natural gas use is 16 percent higher than in 2012, twelve firefighters are taking the training courses, and college memberships are “booming” at the city recreation center

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