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The Sanpete Messenger

Fairview City takes long range at water situation at council meeting

Fairview City takes long range at

water situation at council meeting

 

By David Olsen
Staff writer

Apr. 26, 2018

 

FAIRVIEW—Fairview is looking long term at their sewer and water.

The Fairview City Council recently heard presentations on doing an engineering study, and the mayor suggested the city raise water rates.

At the Fairview City Council meeting on Thursday, April 19, Justin Jackson, sewer and water department supervisor for the city, presented the idea of the city doing a long-range engineering study.

The water and sewer engineering study would cover the projected 50-year growth of Fairview.

Currently when a party requests new sewer and water service, it requires an expensive and time-consuming engineering study. This creates a negative environment for new development and expansion of Fairview.

At the meeting, representatives from Horrocks Engineers presented a suggested map covering from the sewer plant to north of the city limits. Currently the city only has a plan for the developed center of the city.

A rough estimate of $80,000
for the study was mentioned by the Horrocks representative, and the city would need to finance this project with a loan.

Councilman Cliff Wheeler commented that it sounded more like a $100,000 project, and no one disagreed with this comment, including the Horrocks representatives.

Jackson emphasized that this was not just another piecemeal item. This was providing for the residents’ children and their children.

In addition, a third of the city’s water meters are currently auto-read meters, and the city needs to add in the cost of buying the remaining auto-read water meters and backflow preventers to finish converting the city system to monthly reading.

Current budget limitations require up to five more years to complete the conversion to auto-read meters.

The council agreed the engineering study is worth looking into.

Over the next month, a better map will be created, and firm numbers will be developed for the council to review. Horrocks will provide financing information for the council to consider.

Mayor Dave Taylor also presented a proposal regarding water usage in the city, part of which would be covered by the proposed engineering study.

First, he emphasized that the city is in good shape for water despite the poor snowpack this winter. He wants the city to look long range for providing future water needs, citing the concept of considering needs of our children and their children yet to come.

In short, the mayor believes people who use more should pay more.

With that in mind, he wants to lower the base water allotment from 8,000 gallons per month to 6,000 gallons per month. Five years ago, the baseline was dropped from 10,000 gallons to the current 8,000 gallons.

Fees for excess usage would be $3 per 1,000 gallons per month for 6,000 to 30,000 gallons.

For 30,000 to 50,000 gallons over base, the cost would be $3.50 per 1,000 gallons per month.

Usage from 50,000 to 100,000 gallons per month would be at the rate of $4 per 1,000 gallons.

And above 100,000 gallons, the rate is $4.50 per 1,000 gallons.

For example, if a resident used the current 8,000 gallons, their monthly bill would increase $6 per month (i.e., $3 for each 1,000 gallons over 6,000 gallons). The additional fees would cover the cost of wear and tear on the pumps and pipelines.

Currently, 196 auto-read meters have been installed in the city out of the 587 meters in use.

In November 2017, water usage for those 196 meters was 1,109,893 gallons.

During March 2018, only 14 customers went over the current allocation of 8,000 gallons. This amounted to 262,490 gallons or 30.5 percent of the water used by the 196 customers.

The mayor also pointed out that the city has three springs not currently connected to the water system. These were taken offline in 1983 during the flooding.

He would like Jackson to investigate redeveloping these springs and adding them into the system. The council agreed to look into his proposal and develop a plan of action.

In another matter, the council committed to paying $9,000 to Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems to continue in the research and development of the small module nuclear power plant program. This system is tentatively scheduled to go online by 2028.

Councilmember Cliff Wheeler mentioned he had received reports of shooting near the cemetery. This is not in a safe area to shoot in and such activity may involve trespassing as well as endangering others.

If further shooting is heard, he asks that the sheriff dispatch nonemergency line (835-2345) be called so an officer can respond.