Drought Watch: Vernon - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Drought Watch: Vernon

Drought Watch: Vernon

Water will be the main focus of Tuesdays Vernon City Commission meeting. The city is currently in a stage 4 drought and are looking at ways to lower that number or keep it the same. However the top line item on the regular agenda calls for a water extension from outside the city limits for the Santa Rosa Rodeo.

"We do have wells out there and stuff, but they won't stand up to the sheer traffic that will be coming out there to the rodeo. We would like to help run non-drinking water up to operate the rodeo during that period," said Vernon City Manager Mitch Grant.

Vernon will also be unveiling its 2014 Drought Contingency and Water Conservation Plan; the plan is due to be submitted to the state by May of this year. Grant says that the new plan will give Vernon residents more flexibility to choose what they do with their water in the midst of a stage four drought. If the plan is approved residents would be able to irrigate their trees and shrubs.

"As a taxpayer when you pay your water bill I believe you should be able to do more things with your water if you’re going to be paying for it," said Vernon resident Deborah Harrell.

According to Grant the city is still able to produce more water than city residents are using. Vernon does not rely on rain water to renew and refill its water source instead the city is heavily dependent on water wells. The last water well that was drilled at Goss Farm did not produce as much water as previously expected.

"With underground water its not quite that clear how much water you’re going to be able to pull out. We're proposing for the commission to allow that same driller to just move over and drill another well," said Grant.

Vernon is going to make a Declaration of Emergency in order to waive the nearly month long bidding approval process. Grant says that the "Declaration of Emergency" allows Vernon to have the authority to waive that process for this one meeting. The well was budgeted and planned for in October of last year.

Below you will find a direct link to Vernon City Council agenda archives.

http://www.vernontx.gov/Archive.aspx?AMID=35

Jack Carney, Newschannel 6      

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