Amidst the recent flurry of winter snow fall in Monticello, water needs are on the minds of the Monticello City Council. At their January 26 meeting, the council heard a report on the review the policies and procedures related to the secondary water system.
The City staff identified areas where the policies need to be adjusted. Assistant City Manager Ruth Skouson and Public Works Supervisor Nathan Langston presented several suggestions, including a new application for secondary water connections in the city. The new policy stipulates that new construction and new lines would be installed by the resident at their own cost, and inspected by the City of Monticello before being put into use on the system. City Engineers will draft a spec sheet for residents outlining requirements for the installation of new secondary lines. Also, new connections will require a meter on secondary water lines. With an estimated price tag of over $1 million to meter the secondary system, Mayor Doug Allen and Langston said that the requirement is at the very least a “step in the right direction.”
Skouson and Langston recommended that secondary water be billed annually in one lump sum, and then allow residents to pay monthly, if needed. The council suggested that if payments are allowed, they be limited to a six-month time period when the secondary water is used. The council asked for reconnection fees to be listed in the application so residents are aware of the fee should they turn off secondary water and reconnect at a later date. Skouson said that residents who move in mid-season are prorated for the months they use secondary water.
Councilman Craig Leavitt shared concern regarding the size of water lines in different areas and the amount of water used on the larger lines. City Staff will look at rate increases based on the size of lines. This will affect large water users, not residential water users. Residents are currently paying for the secondary water they used in 2009. The new policy is planned to take effect in April, when the new secondary water year begins. The council discussed the need to educate the public on the new policy prior to that time.
The Council approved the appointment of Jones and Demille and JUB as the Monticello City Engineering firms of record. City administrative staff and council members said both firms have different strengths and should be used. They plan to re-evaluate the decision after 18 months. The staff will determine which firm to use based on the individual project needs. Capitol projects with a cost over $225,000 will be put out for bid from outside engineering firms. The City does not pay the engineering firm unless they work on a project.
For two years, the Planning Commission has been working on an ordinance to regulate planned community and planned unit developments. The issue was brought to the fore by George Wythe College, which has stopped making progress on their proposed campus.
Members of the council said that it would be beneficial if the Planning Commission completed the ordinance. Councilman Walter Bird suggested they complete the ordinance with broader parameters so it best suits the needs of the City and can be finished in a timely manner. The council agreed that it would be a valuable item to have for the future and instructed the Planning Commission to finalize their recommendation for the ordinance.
The council approved a water conservation plan ordinance by unanimous vote. The majority of the plan was establish in 2004, and is required by the State Division of Water Resources. The ordinance addresses the current water system and identifies goals and areas that need improvement. Many of the original goals outlined in the 2004 draft have already been addressed by the City. The current draft outlines several goals specifically targeted at the secondary water system.
The council approved a lease to purchase ten electric golf carts for The Hideout. The recommendation came from the Golf Board of Directors. In order to generate funds to make the lease payments, fees at the course increased by $2 for 18 holes and $1 for 9 holes. Based on the number of rounds played in 2009, it is projected that the increased fee will cover the costs.