Santa Clara City Council implements water restrictions, approves budget, adds new positions

ST. GEORGE — Santa Clara City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve the tentative fiscal year 2021-22 city budget and an ordinance that will promote water use efficiency in landscape irrigation. 

(L-R): Santa Clara City Council members Wendell Gubler, Denny Drake, Jarett Waite and Leina Mathis speak at a City Council meeting in Santa Clara, Utah, April 28, 2021 | Photo by Megan Webber, St. George News

Mayor Rick Rosenberg and council member Ben Shakespeare were absent from the meeting. A public hearing was scheduled to hear from residents about the budget but no members of the public came forward to speak. 

In the matter of the budget, Brock Jacobsen, the city manager, told council there were three main changes being proposed. The new tentative budget allows for an additional firefighter or EMS position at the fire department, a new economic development planner position and redistributing the percentages of police, firemen and justice personnel between Santa Clara and Ivins. Due to an increase in population in Santa Clara, the budget now calls for 46% of personnel in Santa Clara and 54% in Ivins, where it was previously 55% in Ivins and 44% in Santa Clara. 

The changes brought the total budget to $8,018,850, Jacobsen said. The budget allots $2.292 million to the water department, $841,000 for sewer, $5.472 million for power and $596,000 for stormwater. It also allows for $800,000 worth of projects. The council approved the budget without further discussion. 

Jacobsen also presented a proposed ordinance to promote education and water use efficiency in landscape irrigation. The ordinance will restrict city residents from irrigating their lawns or landscape between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Jacobsen proposed handing out pamphlets or knocking on doors of residents to educate them about the benefits of irrigating early in the morning or late at night, and also as a means of enforcing the ordinance. 

The ordinance was proposed after the Washington County Water Conservancy District encouraged municipalities to consider adopting a time-of-day watering ordinance. 

“The WCWCD is confident that the consistent watering restriction times will help promote the ordinance, encouraging more public awareness and improved compliance,” Jacobsen wrote in a request for action to the council. “This is a start as we talk and look at ways to conserve water in Santa Clara and Southern Utah.” 

The council voted to exclude any enforcement guidelines and set the start date as June 1. 

In other news, the council also approved a proclamation setting May 2021 as Building Safety Month in Santa Clara. Building official Corey Bundy told the council that this proclamation is part of an international campaign to raise awareness about building safety. 

“Regularly updated building codes and a strong system of code enforcement ensure that individuals and communities are safe in the buildings where they live and work,” Bundy said. 

 The city will also reach out to local elementary schools to teach children about building safety.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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