Storm-water plan won't break Wellsville's budget
WELLSVILLE -- Even under the strict requirements of the state, new storm water guidelines will not be a great deficit to the city, said Zan Murray, chairman of Wellsville's storm water management committee.
In a recent city council meeting, Murray outlined the new storm water management program and assured council members the program will not put the city behind budget.
"When we sat down as a committee, we said, 'Let's do things that are simple and don't cost a lot of money," Murray said.
Wellsville City Manager Don Hartle explained to the council that the new plan is not a mandate by the government -- it is a requirement. This means there will be no federal funding.
"I would like to take $3,000 from the general budget," he said. Hartle will then plan accordingly in subsequent years.
Murray said, "The state is interested to see a dollar amount for two reasons: first to see if it is a reasonable amount of money to complete the measurable goals, and number two, so you can budget for the years to come."
Even though Councilman Bradley White inquired about where the money was going to come from, Murray said he didn't see money as being a necessarily large problem.
"We as a committee have tried to keep the items in [the plan] low enough in budget so we don't bankrupt the city and have to force a storm drain utility on the citizens," Murray said.
One of the goals includes youth and other groups getting involved in city-wide clean-up projects, he said.
"We have a lot of service that is able to be done in the community with the youth groups," Murray said. "We are going to harness that.
The new Storm Water Master Plan is a requirement of the state and insists that cities take control of the watershed and storm water in the community and clean up the pollutants being discharged into watersheds like the Little Bear River in Wellsville.
Murray, along with five other members of the recently formed committee, established a notice of intent which will be submitted to the state by March 10. The final document is not due until October 2004, Murray said. The notice of intent summarizes the master plan, which includes discharge of street drainage into canals and the Little Bear River.
Murray said the new program will cover three specific areas. Those areas are first to educate the public and train everyone to do his or her part in reducing waste water; second, to establish standards for control of problem areas such as constructions sights and agricultural runoff and third, to adopt and enforce ordinances prohibiting the illegal discharge of pollutants into the water system.
Murray gave an example of the goals the plan covers. He said one goal is to inventory signs regulating where the public can or cannot dump their garbage. In the first year, the committee will inventory the signs and in the third through fifth years they will repair any damage to those signs and place more where needed.
Other business at the meeting included finalizing a date to meet with Bureau of Reclamation to discuss potentially requiring water rights to be transferred to the city at time of annexation. This discussion will take place April 6 during the normal city council meeting.
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