City considers rules for water use restrictions

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(Posted July 13, 2022)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Changes could be coming to London’s rules when it comes to water use during water shortages and emergencies.

On July 17, city council heard the first reading on a proposal that would give the city’s safety service director authority to limit water use when the water supply or water pressure are insufficient or inadequate.

Examples of situations that would create such an emergency include:

  • a water main break;
  • any physical or mechanical failure at the water treatment plant;
  • dry or drought conditions; or
  • restriction of water supply by state or federal authorities.

During a water emergency, the safety service director could restrict non-essential uses of water such as:

  • watering lawns;
  • commercial and residential use of water to wash boats, cars, trucks and other vehicles;
  • filling swimming pools;
  • watering from hydrants;
  • washing sidewalks, driveways, porches and building exteriors;
  • sterilization, blowoff and testing of water lines and sewer mains; and
  • burning of paper, trash, wood or other combustible material.

The proposed legislation change calls for a fine of up to $500 for anyone convicted of violating the ordinance.

“Basically, (the proposed legislation) is so we have something in place if we do ever come to the point where we need to limit water usage,” said council member Bryan Robinson.

Council member Greg Eades commented, “I could see the need to have this, regardless of whether we have one working water plant or two, if we’re in drought conditions. I can see the need for being able to say we need to limit this somehow.”

Looking to get the changes on the books as soon as possible, council member Rich Hays moved that council suspend the three-reading rule for legislation and put it to a vote that night. Council member John Stahl seconded the motion. The vote for suspension was 5-1 with Eades casting the “no” vote. Eades has previously stated that he would rarely vote for suspending the rules. Six votes are needed to allow suspension. Council member Joshua Peters was absent from the meeting. As a result, the measure stayed on first reading and will be up for a second reading at council’s July 21 meeting.

Crosswalk signs

At a recent council meeting, resident Michael Norman recommended the city look into installing signage to increase safety for pedestrians at intersections around town. Eades reported at the July 17 meeting that the recommendation has since been discussed in committee, and the street department has put together a preliminary plan.

Bill Long, street superintendent, confirmed that his department has identified 12 intersections where solar-powered crosswalk signs could be installed:

  • Elm Street and Park Avenue;
  • Main Street and Park Avenue;
  • Fifth and Main streets;
  • Midway and High streets;
  • Fourth and Main streets;
  • Union and High streets;
  • Second and Main streets;
  • Westmoor Drive and High Street;
  • Elm Street and New Hampshire Avenue;
  • Elm Street at St. Patrick School;
  • Elm Street at the London City Schools campus; and
  • Oak and High streets.

Four of the 12 locations are ones where traffic lights were removed earlier this year.

The estimated cost of the signage is $184,000. That does not include labor which could double the cost, Robinson said.

Long added, “We’re going to get estimates on labor and see where we end up.”

City council’s next regular meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at city hall, 20 S. Walnut St. For more information, visit www.londonohio.gov.

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