The city council is preparing to meet state’s new water conservation regulations head-on, approving new language to the city’s own water ordinance and fast-tracking the measure to prepare for the summer season.
The council Monday evening approved final changes to its ordinance and set the stage for a public hearing on the issue. Council is expected to reduce the watering schedule for all users even before the new ordinance is approved, calling for a resolution at its next meeting.
The actions come in an effort to meet much stricter state water conservation efforts in the wake of four years of severe drought. In April, the state called for further water use reductions, and Corcoran landed in the highest tier: the city is required to cut water use by 36 percent, compared to its 2013 usage. Last year, the city did cut back use by about 19 percent over the previous year, but must cut at least another 18 percent to remain in compliance.
Failure to meet the regulations could result in heavy fines from the state,
Under the new local guidelines, it appears the community will go immediately into a two-day per week watering schedule for all lawns and landscaping. That schedule calls for watering on the following basis:
–Residential units with addresses ending in an even number will be able to water Wednesday and Sunday;
–Residences with odd-ending numbers can water on Tuesday and Saturday;
–Businesses with addresses ending in an even number can water
Wednesday and Sunday and businesses with odd numbers on Tuesday and Saturday;
–Local schools can water on Thursdays and Sundays;
–Parks will be watered on Monday and Friday;
–Churches can also water on Monday and Friday; and
–Apartment complexes can water each Tuesday and Saturday.
The two-day watering schedule marks phase 2 of the new ordinance. Phase 3, which could be implemented later this summer, allows outdoor watering just one day per week.
The public hearing on the ordinance will take place Monday, May 26, in the council chambers beginning at 6 p.m. Residents can make comments at the hearing, or can submit comments in writing to the city. Residents may also call in comments to the city at 992-2151, extension 228.
Once the ordinance is approved, the city will also have its enforcement arm in action: the council Monday evening approved the job description for a new full time position, that of building inspector/code enforcement officer. The current building inspector spends two full days a week at that task, so it would appear code enforcement would account for about 60 percent of the time for the new job.
The code enforcement officer—and other city employees—will be able to present local water wasters with a notification that they could be cited. The actual citation, if necessary, will come from Kevin Tromborg, who is in charge of the city’s planning and community development departments. Citation fees will range from $100 for a first offense to $500 for a third offense.