Mayor Louis Mendoza says it was anything but easy to tell residents of this farming community that they won't be allowed to water their lawns and gardens for the rest of the summer.
Mendoza said Sunday the region has been hard hit by the drought, and for the first time in the town's history, spring flows are unable to keep up with culinary and outside sprinkling demands."Our council hated to place the heavy restriction on our residents, but spring flows are dropping, and even with a backup well, we are simply not able to keep up with the demand for water," he said.
Mendoza said city officials and crews will be watching closely for violators, and because of the serious water situation anyone caught sprinkling yards or gardens with city water will be subject to a $100 fine.
The restriction remains effective for the rest of the summer and through the fall.
"The only thing that would change that is the heavy rainfall we've been praying for for a long time," the mayor said.
Mendoza said the community gets its water from two springs above the city, another spring in the canyon above Cove in northern Cache County, Utah, and a well developed east of Franklin a few years ago.
With a population of just under 500 people, Franklin is not experiencing a major growth problem.
"There are only half a dozen new homes and a few new mink farms that do not take a great deal of water," Mendoza said. "Our main problem is we were hit more severely by the drought this year than anyplace in the region."
Mendoza said some residents have become irate about the ban on watering, which replaces an alternate-day watering schedule.
"People tell us the springs have run for hundreds of years without trouble, and because owners of cattle and mink are taking water, they should be able to also," he said.
"Some people have been taking water out of turn, which has contributed to a situation that could be disastrous if a fire occurred," Mendoza added.
He said the City Council is holding meetings to determine if money can be raised for future water development.
Meanwhile, he said, "I'm making plans to resign and leave town if we don't get snow this winter."