Mt. Pleasant discusses water etiquette

MT. PLEASANT—Resident Jeff McDonald expressed concern with a directive from Mt. Pleasant City to conserve water, saying, “I don’t want to see neighbors turn on neighbors” and “Let’s not make enemies out of people.”

“This is a rarity, Jeff, but I agree with you,” Councilman Justin Atkinson said in the Tuesday, May 11 city council meeting.

The issue that McDonald brought up was the city webpage that specifies that water restrictions are in place. “Water is going to be very low in the entire State this summer; please conserve where and when you can,” the webpage said. The restrictions are: even addresses can water on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and odd address can water Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The webpage goes on to ask residents to “Please call Mt. Pleasant City to report any violations.”

Councilman Russ Keisel and Public Works Superintendent Colter Allen also said in the meeting that the city shouldn’t have worded it that way. Mayor Michael Olsen also expressed agreement with that.

McDonald said that when he lived in California 27 years ago, governments encouraged people to turn in other people over watering restriction violations and saw that it created animosity between neighbors.

Councilman Rondy Black if someone can call in anonymously. Sgt. Nate Taylor said that if you are the only person who observed it, you have to give your name in order for there to be a crime against the offender.

“All they do is they have to report ‘the water’s on at this location,” Mayor Michael Olsen said.

Black said he had a dead yard and his neighbor’s was “immaculate.” “I didn’t turn him in,” Black said.

Taylor said he has a conversation with offenders before issuing citations.

In other meeting action, the council approved a resolution adopting a tentative budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year and work on an issue at a later date of a raise for Jack and Gaylyn Widdison, Contoy Arena coordinators.

Finance Director Dave Oxman hasn’t seen the Widdisons come to meetings that Oxman has had with department heads over the budget, even though Oxman has invited the Widdisons, Recorder Jeanne Tejada said.

“I think it’s deserved … but I wish they would have gotten to you … so it wouldn’t be an issue,” Keisel said.

“It’s hard,” Oxman replied.

Oxman has also worked until as late as 10 p.m. trying to balance the budget while considering the Widdison’s prospective raise.

Councilman Kevin Stallings said that Jack “never said anything about having to use his own equipment.

“I think Jack and Gaylyn will be fine with the raise that we have in there,” Stallings said. “We’re being petty.”

The council also approved a resolution adopting the tentative 2021-22 budget for the Mt. Pleasant City Public Library.

The council also approved a resolution of the mayor and council “authorizing and providing for the incurrence of indebtedness for the purpose of providing a portion of the cost of acquiring, constructing, enlarging, improving, and/or extending its culinary water system facility to serve an area lawfully within its jurisdiction to serve.”

Also in the meeting, the council decided to proceed with WesTech Engineering in Salt Lake City for a test pilot treatment plant.

“I just like the fact that WesTech is a local company,” Keisel said, noting that getting WesTech staff to Mt. Pleasant would be easier than it would be with a company that is not local.

Devan Shields, project manager at Sunrise Engineering, was in town to recommend the company.

When discussing posting functions on the city website, Councilman Sam Draper asked if the city could post on the city website that the city posts notifications of meetings on the Utah Public Notice Website. Atkinson said that he would put it in the newspaper. (Olsen had noted that there was change in law making it so some meetings don’t have to be advertised in a newspaper.)

Tejada noted that “in the bigger cities, people aren’t subscribing to the newspaper,” but in rural areas, the newspaper is relied upon more.