Spring City concerned that some are abusing spring water fountain
By Rhett Wilkinson
SPRING CITY—The Spring City Council discussed options for its renowned water fountain next to The Old Watering Hole.
Concerns about the fountain have included dripping water and folks taking too much water for each other. And the main issue, Spring City Mayor Cynthia DeGrey said, is that folks are using the fountain as their primary water source.
“I’m quite amazed they are able to live in a home that has no culinary water,” DeGrey said. “There are some people who are living like that.”
Folks are coming from “all over the state” to get water from the fountain, DeGrey said.
“That is a concern,” she said at the Jan. 7 council meeting, held on Zoom.
A meeting attendee named Carla Nelson expressed concern about an ice puddle caused by dripping water from pipe that comes out of the side of the fountain.
“I don’t know who would have liability for that,” Nelson said, noting that the fountain is city property.
Meeting attendee Julie Allred said the water that drips, which then goes down a ditch, is not going to waste, but to farmers.
Another meeting attendee named Jan recommended a five-gallon limit. She didn’t find it fair that someone uses a 275-gallon “tote.”
Nelson noted that a woman from Salt Lake City got two cups from The Old Watering Hole and filled each cup until she filled a 10-gallon jug.
“People feel that the water has more minerals,” Nelson said, noting that people coming in the morning, afternoon and evening for the water.
“I hope we could share it,” Jan said. “We don’t want people hogging it, either.”
Another councilman said people have the “right” to the water, with caveats.
“That is a natural resource of Spring City and Spring City citizens and if you are hauling hundreds and hundreds of gallons away, you don’t have the right to that resource,” the councilman said. He added that he doesn’t recommend that people not use the fountain, but that they use it in a “responsible” way.
Councilman Joe McGriff said that most comments from citizens are to limit the water and charge a small fee for gallons beyond the first free five gallons.
“Kind of like you pay your fee at a national park,” McGriff said.
“Whether we take it or not, it’s going to keep coming out of the ground,” Jan added.
McGriff also talked about how Mt. Pleasant closes their park at 11 p.m. and then it sits unused, but the city’s priority is something other than people using it.
“I think the biggest comment I hear is just the congestion that can build up,” McGriff added.
A resident named John Stewart asked the council members if they would turn someone away at their door if they asked to fill up 100 gallons. Councilman Cody Harmer said he would, bringing an end to Stewart’s questioning.
Because the fountain is the Daughters of Utah Pioneers’ monument, the organization has “a fair amount of say” and needs to be involved in discussions about the fountain, DeGrey said.
DeGrey made a couple of people aware that the fountain was on the agenda and invited them to make public comments, but they did not participate in the discussion.
Just before the meeting, the council held a public hearing. Craig Paulsen and George Kenzy presented a summary of requested city code changes on behalf of the Planning & Zoning Commission to the council.
There were 10 amendments to the code presented, most of which are minor clarification changes.
An important change is that the road frontage rule of 214.5 feet for 1.06-acre lots be reduced to 200 feet, with maintaining the 1.06-acre rule. Building frontages in the buffer zone as well as setbacks in the buffer zone will be the same as those as in the city limits. Buffer zone lots recorded before Jan. 1, 2018 do not need to comply with this rule.
The maximum length of storage containers allowed will be 45 feet and accessory structures will not occupy more than 25 percent of the property area, not including required setbacks.
Zoning permits will require that structures with basements will be set so that the foundations will not extend more than 12 inches above the average grade of the existing site around the structure. City inspections for this compliance will be part of the required city inspections and variances may be required under certain site circumstances.
There weren’t objections to the changes from those that attended the approximately 20-minute-long hearing, which was also held on Zoom