Centerfield to hold public meeting on water, zoning requirements

CENTERFIELD—With plans pending over potential new rules and expenditures, Centerfield City Council has announced a public meeting to hear opinions of residents on water and zoning requirements.

Ben Lasseter / Gazette Photo
After the first phase of irrigation-water delivery, the 9-Mile Reservoir is still alarmingly low, but “holding up,” according to city officials.

The council will address these issues with the public at a meeting tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, May 5. Three portions of the hearing will focus on water use and setback requirements on Centerfield properties.

“We need the public’s input on how much they’re willing to spend on water,” Councilman David Beck said at a Wednesday, April 21 meeting. The council said it was looking for grant funding for the projects, but some or much of the potential spending would probably need to come from residents.

The council has discussed purchasing additional culinary-water shares and installing a new well. The project would cost “no less than a million dollars,” according to Beck, but the council did not have a precise dollar amount at the time of the announcement.

Beck said until the council has a more exact figure on the culinary-water rights, it may not be able to be a topic at a public meeting, including next the one Wednesday.

The water initiatives could include initiatives to install secondary-water meters at every home, keep water shares bundled with properties for sale and buy culinary water rights.

As for the delivery and rationing of secondary water in the first half of this year, Councilman Jaden Sorenson said, “It seems to be working very well. The pond is holding up so far.”

But Sorenson, the water-committee leader, added that the current measures are only temporary, and more drastic action is necessary for the long term, which is a topic of conversation that has come up often in recent city council meetings.

He said for the long term, installing water meters to measure irrigation-water flow at every house was the “only way to solve [the city’s] problem” of having to rely on an honor system.

The city council has conferred with the Six County Association of Governments and Utah Community Impact Board about grants, but Mayor Tom Sorensen said he had learned it can be “hard to get funding for secondary-water meters” this way.

To follow through on another idea that came about in January meetings, the city council will also seek to hear opinions about the sales of water shares. An ordinance currently in place bars owners from selling subdivision properties and the water rights associated with them separately.

Centerfield is looking to extend this ordinance to cover all properties, with public approval.

Also involved in the ordinance measures to review with the public, the city has proposed changing the explicit requirement that a property-owner must own or rent at least one water share per half-acre.

An amendment would allow people with lots up to 3/4 of an acre to only own one share. Properties of one acre in size would still require two shares, and each additional half-acre would require another share.