Sweeping changes in rates and hookup fees are being proposed by the Kaysville City Council to head off future water shortages and discourage using drinking water on lawns and gardens.
The five-point plan was unveiled Wednesday in a public hearing attended by the council members and a single Kaysville resident, who supported the proposed changes."I expect we'll hear from the developers later when they get word of it," said Mayor Gerald Purdy, referring to proposed increases in hookup fees and building permits.
City Manager John Thacker said restrictions on outside water use are voluntary in Kaysville this summer. But unless the city expands its storage and transmission system, it could be mandatory next year.
The city has an ample supply of treated culinary water, Thacker said, but it needs to upgrade its ability to store the water and get it to residents. The city also needs to encourage more use of secondary or irrigation water for outside use instead of pouring expensive drinking water on yards and gardens.
Purdy said the city has been studying its water system and rates for several years, dealing with floods in 1983 and now, only five years later, a drought. He also pointed out the city was paying $42 an acre foot for culinary water six years ago and is paying around $70 for the same amount now. New water shares are up to $130 an acre foot, an amount the city projects could go to $300 by the year 2005.
"We see the cost of water going one way and one way only - that's up," said Thacker.
The five-point plan includes:
- Raising residential and business water rates, setting up a sliding scale for minimum water usage fees based on the size of the hookup.
- Instituting a "conservation rate" in areas of the city where irrigation water is available to encourage residents to hook up to it rather than use culinary water outside.
- Requiring connections to secondary water systems on new homes in areas where it is available, adding the $300 hookup fee to the cost of the building permit.
- Bringing secondary water to areas of Kaysville where it is not now available.
- Increasing the city's hookup or impact fee for new construction.