WILMINGTON — Council is looking to amend rules of water service and replacement of water lines.
At Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting, council performed the first reading of an ordinance amending certain sections of the city’s water rules and regulations.
Councilmember and City Services Committee Chair Michael Snarr told council, “Recently it has become apparent, in many instances, it is more cost-effective for the property owner to use their contractor who they already have to make the (waterline) tap.”
Snarr highlighted that the city offers to replace a line for $1,500. But what’s been happening, according to him, is that a homeowner will hire a plumber to do it. If the plumber costs more, the homeowner will call the city.
With these aspects in the mind, it was proposed to change the city’s ordinance to state the Waterworks Department “may make and shall witness all taps of its water main lines along with the extension of services pipes for the consumer from the city’s water main line.”
The ordinance would also be changed to city personnel replacing the line at “the actual cost, based on time and materials needed” — instead of $1,500.
Councilmember Matt Purkey advised that with the way prices are right now, this would be a good idea and helpful for local residents.
Councilmember Nick Eveland expressed concerns about the city “competing” with the private sector. Public Works Director Rick Schaffer advised he agrees, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the city has to at least offer to do the line replacement.
The second reading will occur at the next meeting on April 21.
Also during council:
• A public hearing was scheduled for May 19 to discuss the rezoning of property owned by Chakeres Theatres on North Lincoln Street from a suburban neighborhood to a traditional neighborhood.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574