Elmo discusses water problem in meeting
Elmo Town met in their monthly council meeting on June 9. A public hearing was held to discuss the town budget. The mayor, Kirt Rasmussen and council members Stoney Jensen, Ryan Jensen, Caleen Wilcox and Clark Atwood discussed ways to cut the budget so it would balance. An estimated shortfall of $11,000 in the budget was looked at and the ways to bring this amount down. It was decided to budget $5,000 for Horse and Buggy Days instead of the originally budgeted $7,400. It was determined $5,000 could come out of the road fund. Truck maintenance was reduced from $8,000 to $3,000. Money will be taken from the cemetery perpetual care fund for upkeep. The remainder of the money to balance the budget will come from the general fund. The town budget is $395,894.70 Expected revenues with the additions from the perpetual care fund and the administrative fund will be enough to balance the budget.
The council came out of the public hearing and approved the 2011 fiscal year budget.
The council looked over some drawings of an eagle scout project Chet Funk is planning for the Elmo Cemetery. He will be placing two benches in the cemetery. The council approved a donation to this project.
Several Elmo residents were on hand to discuss a letter delivered to their homes earlier in the day. The letter said no watering of lawns or pastures until further notice. "The canal company is having problems with their diversion dams into their pipeline. As a result the water going into the Elmo secondary pond will be reduced. Let's all work together and conserve the water in the pond to keep our gardens alive. The lawns will green up when the problem is fixed. Please turn off your automatic sprinklers. Those caught watering lawns or pastures will be given one warning and then your secondary water will be shut off until the problem is fixed, you will then be charged a $50 turn on fee. Please help us get through this time of water shortage, remind your neighbors. Water your gardens conservatively and we should be able to get through. The canal company said this could take a week or longer to fix. The town of Elmo, not the canal company or the special service district will let you know when you can water lawns again. Please also remember that watering with culinary water is against the law and will be punished accordingly," stated the letter.
The residents at the meeting said they felt threatened by the letter and they wondered if legally the town could charge the $50. The mayor let the residents know that these reconnection fees for water that's been shutoff are in the town ordinances. In emergency situations the mayor can act. The residents wondered if they could use culinary water outside. The answer was no. The residents mentioned they are having a hard time getting their notices from the city. Notices hung up in the post office don't seem to work.
There have been various rumors out as to why the town doesn't have secondary water. As the Huntington/Cleveland sprinkler project has gone forward they used some temporary pipe and were going to go back and finish up with the permanent pipe as the project went along. At the diversion in Huntington Canyon some water has been flowing over and not into the three diversions for Huntington, Cleveland and Lawrence. Work is being done to get these problems corrected as soon as possible so the residents will be without water for a short time.
When the Elmo pond is full the pressure and supply will return. Elmo has a no watering policy from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in normal situations. Mayor Rasmussen said the problems the system is now having has nothing to do with Elmo. It is growing pains for the new sprinkler/irrigation system. Elmo has been very conservative in their water use.
There was a discussion of rights-of-way and streets in Elmo and whether or not they are streets and who is responsible for them. A citizen brought a letter given to him by a previous Elmo council concerning rights-of way.
Elmo council set up a planning and zoning appeals board. Any residents can go to the appeals authority if disagreements arise in planning and zoning issues. The board will have five members with varying terms.
The council discussed the Castle Valley Special Service District request for a portion of the road money to go into the district each year. Currently the city receiving the chip and seal project pays a large chunk of money when it's their year. This way a percentage will be paid each year avoiding a large lump sum payment. The council voted to approve a 13-15 percent payment each year.
The planning and zoning committee terms are expiring and new people need to be recruited as well as asking existing committee members if they will stay. Mayor Rasmussen explained to the council about the building inspector issues going on in the county right now. The building inspector for the county resigned and currently the county has hired Sunrise Engineering to do the county inspections. The council decided they will stay with the county for the building inspections for Elmo.
The council discussed the problems they are having with dogs running loose and unpaid dog license fees. It is $10 per year for a fixed dog and $20 per year for unaltered dogs. Elmo will talk to other cities to see how they are addressing dog problems.
The city worker has sprayed weeds once and will do so again. The city worker will place stop signs where they need to be placed.
Atwood says the Elmo fire department is desperately in need of volunteers. Delena Fish, town clerk, said the loan payment for the fire station building is due and requested it be added to the bill list. The town paid the bills.
There is concern over some graves in the Elmo Cemetery which are sinking. Settling has occurred and the city worker will put more dirt on them.