Wellington city council member Kelly Green will have her monthly “town hall” meeting Thursday at Big Cheese restaurant in Wellington. This month’s topic will be water conservation.
She and fellow council member John Tracy plan to have a discussion of water usage and what the city’s role should be in this area
The city has been discussing changing water rates for a few months now. They hope to encourage conservation of water by charging a higher rate for those that use the most water, and a lower rate for those that use less water, which is the reverse of how it is done now.
Water is a concern in Kansas, particularly when there are drought conditions. City officials were concerned last summer when the lake levels went very low during the summer
“We were bailed out by mother nature,” city manager Gus Collins said at a recent meeting.
But Green and Tracy want to put together a committee to study water issues in the area. They would like to have some members of the public on their committee, as well as city officials and employees.
“We want to study the issue,” Green said. “We don’t want to wait until we have to do something.”
The two of them may start forming their committee soon, but plan to discuss water at Thursday’s meeting regardless.
“We want to know what the public expects from the city, what they think the city should do,” Green said.
Customers who use very little water, such as a single person living in a small house, would not see any difference in their water bill, if the rates were adjusted. Bigger water users, such as Laundromats or car wash type businesses would see higher rates.
One wrinkle Kelly sees is with apartment buildings, where there are several renters on the same water meter. She runs and owns these type buildings, and has her rentals all on one meter.
In this situation, that apartment complex would probably be charged the higher rate because of usage, though the individuals might not be big water users.
Kelly said people should consider what they can do to reduce water usage. Things like attachments for toilets and water faucets can cut usage.