Blanding City to address water, budgetary concerns
Feb 19, 2014 | 1531 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ongoing concerns about sediment in the Blanding City water system were discussed at the February 11 Blanding City Council meeting.

In a previous meeting, resident Dan Shores asked about discolored water that is delivered through the city system when deep wells are pumped directly into the culinary system. Shores returned to the next meeting with more questions.

“I thought we have had the best water in the country, but the well water needs to be in a drinkable state, and it is not,” said Shores, who added, “Trust is a big issue here and I don’t have any right now.”

Mayor Calvin Balch assured Shores that the water is carefully monitored and is safe to drink, despite occasional discolorization of the water in some areas of the city after the pumps are started.

City officials said 90 percent of the sediment in the system is because of the older lines in the city system. It is caused by oxidation and rust in the old cast iron lines.

Staff members will lead the Council in a review of the procedures that the water goes through in a future council meeting.

A total of 16.6 acre-feet of water was pumped in January from the deep wells. They are designed to provide culinary water when the ground water systems are experiencing drought conditions.

City Engineer Terry Ekker reports that despite the dry conditions, the upper water collection system is doing well.

In other matters, Fire Chief Craig Stanley reports that eleven firefighters attended the Winter Fire School.

The Council approved changes to the net metering program, in which the city purchases excess power produced through local wind or solar-energy projects.

The Council approved a request from San Juan County to wave the fee for use of the wellness center for the Health Fair on Saturday, June 7.

In addition, the City will offer a free-swim event on that day.

There will be a public hearing on February 25 to address proposed changes to a zoning ordinance which governs the size requirements for accessory buildings. The intent is to allow homeowners on very small lots to build accessory buildings. The buildings could be 1,000 square feet, regardless of the size of the home.

The Council began a series of budget work session meetings during council meetings in February and March. The budgets begin on July 1 of each year.

City officials hope to have a proposed budget by the end of April. After a public hearing on May 27, the plan is to adopt a budget on June 10.

The work session is intended to discuss the goals of each department to help guide city staff as they prepare the budget.

At this meeting, the Council discussed general fund issues, including the visitor center, parks and recreation, wellness center, planning and zoning, airport, and fire departments.
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