Drought fears grow in Blanding
With year-to-date precipitation dropping to 77 percent of average, Blanding officials are concerned about water storage.
Current city water storage totals 1,205 acre feet, compared to 1,590 acre feet last year and 2,568 acre feet in 2011.
City Manager Jeremy Redd reports that residents did a great job conserving water last summer, but it has contributed to a $95,605 drop in water revenue over six months compared to last year.
In addition, year-to-date expenses (six months) have increased $23,711, due in large part to the $34,407 spent to pump wells.
Adding to the challenge: there may be no water this year to sell to the White Mesa Mill. Water purchases by the mill last year totaled $55,000.
Redd said water use last year was down 908,000 gallons at the Visitor Center Park, and 835,000 gallons at Centennial Park.
The City pumped 13.5 acre feet of water from deep wells in December.
Use of the city Wellness Center is up, with crowd control needed at busy times of the day. City recreation director David Palmer reports that Utah State University pays for 200 student memberships a semester, and they are all being used.
Year-to-date revenue at this point is $83,806, compared to $81,408 last year and $88,761 in 2011.
The Blanding City Council met on January 14 with a new look and new assignments under the direction of new Mayor Calvin Balch.
Calvin Balch: Police, Fire, Office, Finance, Insurance.
Kelly Laws: Mayor Pro Tem, Transportation District, Sewer and Water Board.
Joe B Lyman: Planning, Zoning, Christmas.
David Johnson: Power Board, Airport, Solid Waste, Storm Water.
Robert Ogle: 4th of July Celebration, Arts and Events Center, Travel Council.
Taylor Harrison: Parks, Recreation, Natural Gas
Appointed officers include Jeremy Redd as City Administrator, Kim Palmer as City Treasurer, Terry Ekker as City Engineer, Lyle Bayles as City Marshall, William Walker as Justice Court Judge, and Craig Stanley as Fire Chief.