Colorado Springs’ City Council gave initial approval today to a new water ordinance aimed at getting consumers to save 5.8 billion gallons this year. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, the proposal contains a variety of tools to get through what is projected to be a tough drought year.
The new ordinance would allow council to declare different drought stages, with increasing restrictions and penalties. The city-owned utility plans to ask council in late March to limit outdoor watering to two days per week. Utilities CEO Jerry Forte says a new rate aimed at excessive use is also intended to encourage compliance.
"If they’re using water in line with the restriction requirements, they shouldn’t see any adjustment in their bill at all, if they’re a typical customer."
According to the proposal, a first violation would prompt a warning letter. Continued violations at this stage could result in fines up to $500 for residential customers, and double that for businesses. If approved, the restrictions would go into effect April 1.
In other news, Council approved Mayor Steve Bach’s proposal to allow city employees to bring guns to work if they have a concealed-carry permit. The vote was 7-2 with Council members Scott Hente and Jan Martin dissenting.