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Front Page » May 3, 2005 » Local News » Price city discusses irrigation problems
Published 3,805 days ago

Price city discusses irrigation problems

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Sun Advocate reporter

Price is currently revamping their policy on irrigation waters being used by residents of the city. Water shareholders will now be responsible for obtaining their water from the canal when their turn comes.

Price City Council addressed the ongoing issue of irrigation management at a regularly scheduled public meeting on April 27.

The city council discussed the changes in the irrigation water management plan, which cuts expenses paid by the city, and approved a revised irrigation water management policy.

After revisions to the policy at the last council meeting, the council made additional revisions to the policy to further satisfy the demands for irrigation water. But some Price city residents using irrigation water are not yet satisfied with the revised irrigation plans.

To cut expenses, the city has eliminated from its payroll a full time water master to control use of the ditch water, but the city will continue to open and close each head gate at the canal according to the current water schedule.

Price promises a consistent flow of water will be attempted according to the shares of water for each user and availability of water. The hours of delivery are expected to be about the same as last year and the council stressed the fact that water shares will not be cut by any means.

Discussing Price city's intentions, Mayor Joe Piccolo explained that, of the 25 percent lost during normal delivery, Price pays all of the water back to the shareholders.

In the newly revised policy, when the water users' turns come, the Price residents will be responsible for obtaining the water in the ditch.

The individual user will be required to start and stop their water flow according to the water schedule.

The water users are expected to continue to be responsible for their own ditch cleaning so water can flow and to prevent flooding.

With the new schedule, the water will run for a period anywhere between 24 hours to 30 hours, which will require some shareholders to take turns at night or early in the morning.

The schedule raised concerns for some of the elderly shareholders.

One attendee at the city council meeting said it can be dangerous for an elderly person to go out in the middle of the night to get irrigation started and stopped.

Many attendees at the public gathering agreed with this, saying that it may also be difficult to work with this schedule if they have a job or some other scheduling conflict.

"I think some of those scheduling problems can be worked out," Piccolo remarked.

The maor also pointed out that "there's obviously nothing set in stone," but that there was not enough time to consider the irrigation options before the first day of irrigation.

The revised policy also allows for a pilot program for anyone who would like to form an organized group of ditch users to control the ditch gate at their canal. This would help those who have problems with the current water schedule and have support from all of the shareholders using their ditch.

The group would have to maintain their ditch and manage the watering schedule. A ditch captain would also be appointed by the group, and he or she would need to file with the city an explanation of how they will operate the ditch. It was said at the meeting that anyone interested in forming a group should notify the city in a letter.

The policy allows for the pilot program to be attempted for a 30 day period or longer. At the end of this, an evaluative meeting would be held with the water users, ditch captain and the city to determine what is in the best interest of the users and the city. If the pilot program works out for certain ditch users, the city can determine to continue this program for them.

The revised policy states that the city will continue to clean gutters, grates, culverts and ditches to manage storm water run off.

There will be no other meetings to discuss irrigation problems unless called by the mayor and Price City Council.

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