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Wellsville City Council tables decision on new irrigation water line

September 22nd, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Allie Jeppson

WELLSVILLE — The possibility of a new water line for irrigation and sprinkling was discussed at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

Wellsville residents have expressed interest in hooking onto the city’s water line, Mayor Thomas Bailey said, opening discussion on the city’s current water system. While water is used in large amounts for farming–mainly sprinkling and irrigation–the option of whether to replace the city’s old system with a pressurized water system or to simply add another water line remains. If a new water line were to be added it would service four blocks near the Elwood subdivision.

“What about water rights?” City Manager Don Hartle asked. “The city can’t put in a secondary water line and just have people hook onto it.”

But if people already have water rights to a certain area, how can the city charge them for it, asked Bailey. “Wellsville’s been trying to get a pressurized system for years and I think that if we can, we should.”

The pressurized system would be able to produce enough water for farming and irrigation without wasting the water, said Councilman Carl Leatham. However, the water would still have to be measured and citizens charged based on their monthly water consumption, which also leaves a decision to be made on the rate to be charged.

Unable to reach a final decision, the council passed a motion to further assess the situation and area where the new water line would be put in and come back to the topic when the city manager is ready.

The council also amended the “failure to comply” section of the city’s nuisance code, which will now require land owners who fail to adhere to land requirements to pay the expenses themselves. The original code required Wellsville to clean up a particular piece of property (remove weeds, garbage, certain objects) at the city’s expense if the owner refused to do so on their own.

“We want to change it so that the home or property owner is responsible for the clean up,” Mayor Thomas Bailey said.

However, the ordinance is to be used as a last resort, said Councilman Colin Harris. “We need to make sure that we’ve done everything we can before that.”

The process begins by sending a letter of compliance to the landowner and if no response is given or they refuse to comply, then the city attorney gets involved. If the owner still won’t cooperate, the city will take care of the land and charge the owner a fee, explained Bailey.

“It will be an incentive for them to do it,” said Councilman Jackie Orton.

The topic was then opened for public discussion. The few residents who were there agreed, and the amendment to the nuisance code passed unanimously.

Eagle Scout Tristin Foreman presented the council with a proposal to repaint the fence and sign at the Wellsville city entrance gate for his Eagle project. He explained that the project would take place within a couple of months, no paint primer was needed, and the wire brushes required to paint the fence would be donated by Bennet Paint and Glass whom he was working with. He asked the council if they would be willing to cover the $113 cost of paint for the project.

“I thought it might be a little light for an Eagle project,” said Councilman Gary Bates, “but I feel like its still a pretty good deal for us with the labor.”

Foreman was supported in his proposal as the motion to fund the project was passed by the council.

In other business, the council:

· Tabled discussion of adding sidewalks to 400 and 500 South until spring.

· Gave an update on each individual department and their recent events and progress.

· Held an executive session to discuss the purchase of property.


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