The City Council met in special session on November 13, 2013 at 6:30 P.M. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mayor Walker presided:
City employees present were Public Works Director McFrederick, Attorney Green, Mike Curtiss and Clerk Kennedy.
Grangeville Cemetery Representatives were Rob Groom, John Lamb and Jerry Jessup.
The meeting was called to discuss the request from Grangeville Cemetery to drill a well or have discounted water rates. Mayor Walker felt the Cemetery’s request was to drill a well but the request got sidetracked with discounted rates. The Cemetery confirmed their request is to drill a well.
Councilors Lester and Grant met with Jerry Jessup and discussed the Cemetery’s request. Lester also visited with Rick Collingwood with the Department of Water Resources and he was directed to a website to view the City’s water rights online. It was explained by Rick, that if the cemetery drills a well and the City has well problems in the future, the City could come back on the Cemetery as long as the City had documentation on City wells. Attorney Green explained that those with first rights get first in line. If there were problems, the City could sue whoever drilled a well saying that the diversion of water impacted the City, as long as the City had records. Lester didn’t want the City to say it was ok to drill a well if it could affect the City’s water in the future. Attorney Green further explained the water right system in Idaho. The water right is not a permit that you can only use that much but it’s a system for tracking historical numbers. The water right doesn’t say you are limited to the amount in the water right.
Councilman Houger was concerned about the wear and tear on the wells if the City sells that much additional water to the Cemetery. Houger questioned how many people ask the Cemetery to water the grass. Rob Groom estimated about 10 people a year.
Councilman Peterson asked if the water tables are going down. Public Works Director McFrederick stated the City wells are losing water static level and water production. The drilling of bigger wells by the City is definitely a concern.
McFrederick stated the future use of WWTP water could be an option, however there are other costs and equipment necessary and the City doesn’t have that number or know if or how far into the future it could be before water reuse becomes possibility.
Councilman Dumas asked what the cemetery does for water conservation. Groom explained they only water new grass and the trees.
Mayor Walker asked if drilling a well is still the cemetery’s request. He was concerned that the numbers on the well were inaccurate for the number of gallons needed.
On motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilman Peterson to deny the request to drill a well in the City limits or the Area of Impact for the Grangeville Cemetery District. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Dumas, Houger, Lester, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
Citizen Georgia DeHaas stated the City has to protect the City’s water source for the future.
Mayor Walker directed Attorney Green to review the City water rights with McFrederick.
The meeting adjourned at 7:14 P.M.
Bruce Walker – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – Clerk