10/23/07 — Turn off the water

View Archive

Turn off the water

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on October 23, 2007 2:02 PM

Citizens can still water their lawns a few days a week -- but not for much longer.

Goldsboro City Council members did not make any decision on when to implement stricter water conservation measures at their meeting Monday night.

But they did outline new measures and phases for city water use.

Council will meet at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Mayor's Conference Room at City Hall to determine when those new rules will become effective.

City officials have revised the Water Shortage Response Ordinance to include three phases in the mandatory water conservation stage.

The revision to the ordinance is more like what other communities like Raleigh have in place, city planning director Randy Guthrie said.

With three phases, city officials said citizens should find it easier to gradually conserve more.

"Phase I would allow us to have some relaxed standards," Guthrie said. "Phase II is essentially where we are at."

And Phase III encourages even more conservation.

The third phase puts more stringent regulation on water use, and this, City Manager Joe Huffman said, will help if the city needs to go to groundwater.

"We have friends of the county that have groundwater available," he said. "If we get into the habit of using less water and need to go to groundwater usage, then we'd already know how to do it."

Public Utilities Director Karen Brashear said those county "friends" are Wayne Water District and Fork Township Sanitation District, but they would only have half the water the city would typically need.

Huffman is optimistic.

"We could probably make it using groundwater," he said.

Huffman told council members he didn't expect them to approve or implement any of the revisions to the ordinance at the meeting Monday. He recommended that they hold off deciding anything until Thursday's meeting.

Council members and Mayor Al King want to get the ordinance into place quickly.

"We have got to do something," King said. "We have got to decide how to deal with this and take drastic measures now. We have a water problem.

"There's no question about that. Everybody's going to suffer. They are going to have to adjust. People are going to be upset, but they're going to have to be."

Mrs. Brashear said residents need to stop thinking that water is unlimited.

"We need water to drink and for sanitation purposes," she said. "We don't need this much water. We don't need these long showers."

Councilman Chuck Allen wanted to make sure that the revisions are fair to everyone -- including businesses.

He said the new ordinance would affect certain types of businesses more than others.

"I don't like it because I can't load my water truck," he said. "Lowe's doesn't like it. They can't water their plants."

He added that the measures should be spread throughout the business community.

"You need to respond equally," he said.

The council will discuss the measures and the effective phase dates and are expected to make a decision on both Thursday.

In other business, council held public hearings concerning the rezoning of property on the south side of C.R. Lewis Dairy Road between Tom Herring Road and Old State Route 1909 from residential to general business conditional district, closing a portion of North John Street and matching one half of the One North Carolina Fund Grant for Reuel Inc. Only one person spoke at the hearings.

Six dilapidated dwellings, located at 1005 Ivey St., 1010 Ivey St., 412 S. William St., 603 Isler St., 107 N. Slocumb St. and 812 E. Elm St., were also condemned. All but one of the properties will also be demolished. The Downtown Golds-boro Development Corp. is in the process of acquiring the dwelling on South William Street.

Councilmembers also approved all of the consent agenda items, except one that was removed and postponed until the next council meeting and one that was moved to recognitions.

The approved items included police budget amendments, the sale of city-owned surplus property at 209 W. Pine St., an agreement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation for re-inspection of bridges on the municipal street system and departmental reports.

Council also set a public hearing for a contiguous annexation request for Gruma Corp. for Nov. 5 during the consent agenda, and also approved a municipal agreement between the City of Goldsboro and NCDOT for payments on the train station.

A site plan revision for the addition of a playground at Victory Free Will Baptist Church will be postponed until council members can meet with church officials to discuss citizen concerns.

In other business, Mike Haney of the Wayne County Development Alliance introduced the new WORKS Director Diane Ivey, David Quick spoke to the council on car washes and water conservation measures, and the council recognized Capt. Don Haley, Daniel and Samantha Casey, the National Guard and Reserve and the Central Heights Community Develop-ment Outreach Program.