Kouts officials consider changing well ordinances

2013-06-17T20:30:00Z 2013-06-17T20:30:30Z Kouts officials consider changing well ordinancesPhil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com

KOUTS | What happens when Kouts' residents' wells aren't well?

Well, under the current ordinances, they can just go dig a new one, but that might change soon.

Clerk-Treasurer Laurie Tribble said she's had inquiries from four or five people over the past couple of years wondering if they need a permit to drill a new well because their old one went dry. She estimated that 20 or 30 homes still have well water.

The town meters some of those because the homes are connected to the sewer system and sewer bills are based on water use, but some get no bills from the town for either. If the well needs to be replaced, the resident can simply have a new one installed.

The situation came up again recently, and Tribble said she talked to Town Attorney Bob Schwerd about whether the town ordinances should be changed to require anyone whose well becomes nonfunctional to hook into the town water system, if the service is available at their property.

The council discussed it at Monday's meeting, and Council President Tim Jones said he thinks connecting to the town water service should be required. The cost to connect to the town water is $1,000 for the tap-on fee and $175 for the meter. The resident also would have to pay for the line from the main to the home.

Town Engineer Jim Mandon said a new well costs about $3,500, which would be about the same as the total cost of tying into the town service. The council asked Schwerd to research what changes would be needed to the town code and provide them with the information.

A proposed ordinance to prohibit the parking of vehicles in residential yards was tabled for more study. The ordinance was introduced at the May meeting after some residents complained they couldn't sell their homes because cars parked in the neighbor's yard were unattractive.

Councilman Kevin Salyer said he was approached by several residents, including those who keep their yards neat, who said they opposed the change. Council members also were uncertain whether "vehicle" included boats, boat trailers, RVs or anything but cars.

An ordinance to charge $45 for inspecting unsafe buildings was introduced Monday. Tribble said the building code includes fees for other inspections but not unsafe buildings. The fee would be deposited in the unsafe building fund, which would have to be created if the fee is adopted.

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