Thursday, October 3, 2002
Hayden Several Hayden residents have approached Hayden Town Hall staff asking the 5,000-gallon restriction on key pump station water usage be lifted.
At Thursday's meeting, the Town Board adamantly said "no."
"People have called me to say that the maximum limit is too low," Town Manager Rob Straebel said. "I told them that if they went over 5,000 gallons, the police would issue them a ticket."
Initially, the discussion began after Public Works Director Frank Fox told the board a woman was asking to go over the limit on a one-time basis.
Mayor Chuck Grobe said there would be no exceptions.
"This may be a hardship for some," Grobe said, "but how do we regulate this if we make exceptions?"
Public Works Director Frank Fox said the town has been using 250,000 gallons of water per day with restrictions in effect from an available 450,000 gallons.
The water issue has been a constant one for Hayden this summer.
After a severe drought and an unprecedented water crisis, the town staff has been studying ways to better conserve water in the future.
After 10 years without raising water rates, Straebel said it is now time.
Straebel promised to present several options to the Town Board over the next few months. He suggested the possibility of "accelerated rates" in the summer months. The more water residents use, the more they would be charged per gallon, he said.
"We have deficit spending in water funds," Straebel said. "In my professional opinion, something has to be done."
The extra revenue would be used to repay a $1.2 million loan taken out for water treatment plant improvements.
At Thursday night's meeting, the board not only addressed water usage of current Hayden residents, but also discussed use by possible future residents.
Straebel said he recently spoke to Peter Patten, advisor on a proposed 900-acre subdivision known as Sunburst Ranch.
"He is still wondering about the possibility of annexation," Straebel said. "We need to decide whether we are serious about his or not. It will become harder and harder to back out if we don't decide soon."
Grobe said the town has already established they do not have enough water for the new subdivision.
"I would like to see impact studies," board member Joe Schminkey said. "I don't want to just shut them out."
The board agreed to invite 4S Development Limited back to give another presentation.