Spring City will not attempt to regulate use of Main Street spring

SPRING CITY—The Spring City Council decided at its last meeting not to take any action to prevent people from taking an excessive amount of water from the town spring.

People attending the Thursday, May 6 council meeting applauded the decision not to tamper with access to the spring.

Rhett Wilkinson / Messenger Photo
A couple fills up jars with water from the Spring City spring.

There was a discussion about posting a sign asking people to limit how much they take, but ultimately, the idea of a sign was dropped.

The spring in question is the feature Spring City is named for. The spring water is dispensed from a stone structure that has a Daughters of the Utah Pioneers historic plaque posted on it.

Councilman Joe McGriff said some people believe the water is “magical because it comes out of the monument.” At an earlier meeting, he claimed people had been observed coming to the spring at night and filling up a 300-gallon container.

However, at the meeting Thursday, McGriff said he didn’t think a sign would change behavior very much.

Resident Tara Adams said she knew of a family in town whose well pump was broken. She said her daughter told her, “Their survival … and the ability to drink comes from the spring.”

“Let’s not forget to be human,” Adams said. “Let’s not forget the people who do need that [water].”

Another resident said she lives across the street from the monument and has had “a pretty good opportunity to observe it,” working at the window of her art studio all day. She said folks will typically retrieve two or three gallons of water and get a drink.

Some will try to get 20 gallons. Some will come with big jugs and fill them up. But “those are really … rare,” she said.

In fact, the resident said she has seen people say that they have a lot of water and tell someone else in line to go in front of them.

“People are nice, courteous, friendly,” the resident said. “I don’t think that they [take too much].”

“I agree,” Councilman George Kenzy said.

In other discussion, the council agreed to move forward with a request funding from USDA Rural Development for culinary water and sewer expansion.

Also in the meeting, the council voted 3-2 to lower (not raise) the electric power impact fee. McGriff and Councilman Paul Penrod voted “no.”

That followed a 3-0 vote, with McGriff and Penrod abstaining, to accept an impact fee analysis from Active Power Engineering LLC, of Spanish Fork.

In a public hearing prior to the council meeting, several people, including Kimberly Stewart, a former council member, questioned Active Power’s projection that Spring City could expect population growth of 3 percent per year over the next 10 years. People objecting said they believed growth would be more rapid than that.

“Three percent is still, across central Utah, very aggressive,” said Jesse Ralphs of Sunrise Engineering, which was also involved in consideration of the impact fee.

McGriff said the council needed to step back and review the analysis, as the council didn’t have enough information yet.

But Ralphs said that the population growth rate is only one factor in the impact fee calculation. Even if the impact was based on an average growth rate of 10 percent per year, he said, the amount of the fee would not change substantially.

After seconding the motion to accept the impact fee, Anderson said, “It’s the course we are supposed to take given the circumstances.”

The 2021 impact fee ranges from about $750 for a smaller residential connection to $9,500 for a major commercial building.

An impact fee is a one-time charge developers of new buildings are required to pay to help a municipality expand power, water and other systems to handle growth.