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The Sanpete Messenger

Manti reviewing 30-year-old ordinance on water right

Manti reviewing 30-year-old ordinance

on water right

 

By Suzanne Dean

Publisher

9-3-2020

 

MANTI—The Manti City Council has agreed to review an ordinance, established at least 30 years ago, saying residents outside the city limits who want to receive culinary water from the city must deed .75 water shares (three-fourths of one share) to the city.

The council decided to review the ordinance after hearing from Carson Howell, who is purchasing 2 acres of property and plans to build a home on 200 West and 800 North. Howell wants to tap into the city’s culinary water.

The Howell property is just west of the city limits. The city boundary runs along the east side of his land. There are 1.25 water shares attached to the property.

Howell, who moved to the area to become vice president for finance and administration at Snow College, is currently living inside the city, where, he told the city council recently, his family uses about 7,000 gallons of culinary water per month at a cost of about $28 per month.

He expects he will need about the same amount of culinary water at his new residence outside the city limits.

Under the 30-year-old ordinance, all properties hooking up to city culinary water have to deed water shares to the city. Properties inside the city limits are required to turn over .13 (13 tenths of one share), while properties beyond the city limits must deed the .75 shares.

Howell told the city council that during the irrigating season (April to October) .13 shares translates to 45,000 gallons of water per month—a lot more culinary water than a typical household actually uses and more than six times what he expects to use at his new property.

If he gives the city .75 shares of water, the amount required under the current ordinance, he calculated he would be giving the city rights a large amount of water. He claimed that during the irrigating months, .75 shares translates to 296,000 gallons per month.

Howell told the city council, if he deeds .75 shares to the city, he would have just .5 share (one half of one share) left over to irrigate his 2 acres. That’s not enough, he said.

Howell said he and his family love living in Manti and want to stay permanently. But the question he is facing is, “Are we going to have enough water to be able to manage our property?”

City manager Kent Barton said the .13 and .75 shares were the amounts engineers recommended years ago to sustain Manti City culinary supplies for the long term.

While some households, such as the Howells, only use 7,000 gallons per month, others use much larger volumes, Barton said. And the volumes Howell mentioned are for “seasonal water,” water provided for the irrigating season between April and October. The city has to deliver water to customers year-round.

Barton noted that some cities do not permit properties outside city limits to connect to city services at all. Moreover, homes outside the city limits are typically larger than average and use more water than the average home in the city. Those factors help to justify requiring nonresident properties to deed a larger water share than properties in town, he said.

With that in mind, Barton said, “It’s a good time for the city council to get involved in understanding” and considering modifications to current procedures.