Modified ordinance allows second person to implement water-conservation measures

Published 8:19 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Should the need arise, someone other than Washington’s city manager can implement water-conservation measures to respond to drought or other water-shortage conditions.

The City Council, during its July 9 meeting, amended the city’s ordinances to reflect that change. Previously, only the city manager had that authority. Now that authority still remains with the city manager or with the city manager’s designee.

North Carolina law requires that each unit of local government that provides water service shall develop and implement water-conservation measures to address drought and other water-shortage occurrences as set out in a water-shortage response plan. To comply with state law, the city’s ordinances had to be amended, according to a memorandum from Adam Waters, public-works director, to the mayor and council members.

“Whenever the trigger conditions … are met, the City Manager or their designee shall declare a water shortage condition and implement the water shortage response provisions contained herein,” read the amended ordinances. In the event of a water=shortage occurrence, the ordinance requires that residential, commercial, institutional and industrial water customers be notified of any water-conservation measures via the city’s website, City 9 (channel 9 on the local cable TV system) and through the media (local newspaper and TV stations).

In other business, the council set Aug. 13 as the date for a public hearing regarding a petition by American Legion Post 15 to have its property annexed into the city. At its June 11 meeting, the council directed City Clerk Cynthia Bennett to investigate the post’s petition for annexation. Bennett investigated the petition and certified the property meets annexation requirements.

The city clerk investigates annexation petitions to make sure the property in question meets the state’s requirements for annexation. If the property were annexed, the property owners would pay property taxes. The property would receive police and fire services that are provided by the city. The property would also become subject to the city’s zoning regulations, building codes and other regulations.

The council also ordered the city clerk to investigate annexation petitions from Beaufort County Schools and Avalanche Motor Sports. Beaufort County Schools wants 6.47 acres of land adjacent to Washington High Schools annexed into the city. The land would be used for a soccer complex. Avalanche Motor Sports seeks to have 3.46 acres on West Fifth Street to become part of the city.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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