Moroni residents will now hire own contractors for water hookups
By Suzanne Dean
MORONI—Moroni will no longer have its staff hook up utilities for new homes or buildings.
In fact, at a meeting Wednesday, Feb. 19, the city council talked about extending the requirement that property owners hire their own contractors to secondary irrigation connections as well.
Up to now, the city has charged $2,500 for a water and $2,500 for a sewer hookup. That has included mapping the hookup location; providing piping, a meter and other materials; actual installation of pipe from the home to the water or sewer main; and setting up the billing account.
But under a resolution passed at the meeting, the city will drop its hookup charge to $1,400 for water and $500 for sewer. City staff will still map the location of pipe, provide all the materials to make sure they fit the rest of the system and set up a utility account.
But property owners will have to hire an approved contractor to dig trenches, install meters and connect pipes. The Moroni public works staff will inspect the work before a contractor covers up a trench.
“We’re not in the contracting business,” Mayor Paul Bailey told the city council. “Our equipment’s getting worn out….We don’t have track hoes that can dig these long sewer lines. I think it’s time we have the homeowners contract their services…”
Last summer, a record number of new homes were built in Moroni, Bailey said. The two-person public works staff got so backed up connecting homes to the water and sewer systems that the city had to hire a third employee to take care of parks and the cemetery.
Councilman Troy Prestwich said he would like to see the same approach extended to secondary irrigation hookups. The mayor said he would get a figure for city costs connected with irrigation hookups and bring a resolution for secondary irrigation to the next council meeting.
In other discussion, Prestwich, who is the council liaison for water, reported that the city had installed a software update for monitoring one of its two culinary wells. The upgrade cost about $5,000, he said.
“The new software has all the bells and whistles,” he said. “It shuts down the pump if we get a lightning storm, if it gets a power surge and the like.”
But he said it’s time to start planning for a new well, especially if money is available.
“I really hate that thought,” he said, “but I think down the road, we’re going to have to have it.” If money is available from the Utah Community Impact Board (CIB), the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) or the state, the city would be crazy not to move ahead, he said.
“We’ve got more problems than just the well,” Prestwich added. He said the last time the city cleaned one of its two water tanks, the tank had rust in it.
Prestwich also talked about the secondary irrigation system, where numerous pipe breaks popped up last summer. Possibly the city could get grant money to replace irrigation pipe in phases, he suggested.
Mayor Bailey said the deadline to get on the Six County Association of Governments priority list for CIB money was Feb. 28. After the meeting Carol Haskins, city recorder, reported Moroni had put some projects on the CIB list for the first time in several years.
In other discussion, the mayor gave a glowing employment evaluation for Steve Grey, who was hired as police chief about a year ago.
“I have seen how hard he works and how seriously he takes his job,” Bailey said. “…He takes calls from dispatch at all hours of the day and night….He is highly respected by other law enforcement agencies and officers in the area due to his willingness to help and knowledge of the law.”
The mayor said the chief had completed a 12-month probation. The council voted to give him a $1 per hour raise, effective for the rest of the budget year.