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Whose line is it, anyway?
Wilson County NewsMarch 28, 2012 | 1,553 views | 1 comment
POTH -- Due to the rising costs of frequent repairs, a new 3,800-foot, 6-inch waterline has been proposed to replace a private 4-inch line that currently supplies water to residents along U.S. 181 south of Poth. The city also proposes to take ownership of the line at a future date. The line was the subject of a workshop held before the March 19 Poth City Council meeting to give residents and the council a chance to discuss the costs and needs that must be met.
While the necessity for a new waterline was agreed upon, concerns were expressed over the cost of installation. The line currently is private, and not under the city’s responsibility to maintain.
Claimed as a “non-negotiable” point by Mayor Travis Pruski if the city effects the improvements, the city would require installation of seven new fire hydrants along the line to serve the 19 meter holders.
The hydrants alone would cost approximately $20,000. The total cost for the hydrants and line was estimated by the city’s engineer to be approximately $60,000, to be split evenly between the residents and city.
“This is our final offer,” Pruski said.
After the workshop, the council approved a decision to split the cost of the line and hydrants with the current owners, requiring a monthly collection of a $6 maintenance fee per meter. A yearly increase of 50 cents [per meter] was also part of the agreement. The city will take ownership of the line and will begin replacement within two to three years.
If the residents do not agree to this proposal within 60 days, however, a master meter will be installed on the line.
Regarding an evolving demographic and the business this might bring, the council discussed possible zoning changes to cope with the oil boom in the wake of continued exploration of the Eagle Ford shale. With the recent influx of thousands of workers into the area, concerns have been raised regarding the possible appearance of sexually oriented businesses, a concern in communities affected by the oil-field exploration.
The Poth council has discussed options for stemming the flow of prostitutes and gentlemen’s clubs into the city. So far, the city has received three inquiries about possible club construction, according to City Secretary Rose Huizar.
Considering such establishments a possible moral threat to the community, the mayor suggested an outright ban on all sexually oriented businesses in the city; he was informed by the city attorney that such a ban would be unconstitutional, as an infringement to First Amendment rights.
At this point, the city’s options consist of restricting the location of sexually oriented businesses through zoning changes. If any such businesses wished to set up in Poth, they would be required to be a pre-defined distance from schools and churches, and would need licenses and permits.
No action was taken regarding possible zoning changes; the council will hold a public hearing before the next city council meeting on April 16 to discuss this further.
Following up on a proposal from a previous meeting, the council approved a four-way stop at the intersection of Sutherland and Carroll streets. The stop was proposed as a safety measure to slow down traffic around the new Hunt Oil Co. building.
The council also approved canceling the May 12 city elections, as no one filed to oppose Pruski, who will remain mayor, and councilmen Darren Dylla and Eric Ramirez.
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Publius Valerius Publicola
March 29, 2012 11:31am
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