City Council Briefs

The Olney City Council approved an ordinance that updated the City’s Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan at its April 22 meeting, and discussed ways to remind citizens about the ongoing drought declaration. The City has been under a Phase 1 drought declaration since May of 2022, when the water level in Lake Cooper dropped below an elevation of 1,135 feet.

During any period when Phase 1 is implemented, no watering will be allowed between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mayor Rue Rogers noted, however, that the water restrictions had not been adhered to, and that a public service campaign may be needed to remind citizens about the rules.

Phase 2 restrictions occur when the lake level drops below 1,133 feet, and mandates that watering of lawns or noncommercial washing of vehicles, windows, driveways, sidewalks or other outside uses of city water be restricted to three days per week, with no watering allowed Wednesday or between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Phase 3 restricts watering and the other abovementioned uses to two days per week. Phase 4, when lake levels drop below 1,127 feet, prohibits outdoor watering, use of water to wash vehicles at all times and closes the municipal pool and bans watering of cemeteries, golf courses, baseball and football fields and other recreational facilities.

The Council may lift these conditions when the lake level rises to 1,138 feet, according to City Code.

The Council also approved a plan to charge a 30 percent fee to citizens whose utility accounts are sent to collections to defray the costs of collecting the delinquent funds.