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The Dayton city council implemented social distancing at their last meeting with people sitting as far from each other in that tiny office as possible. The distancing was helped by the absence of two council members Stacy Moser and Lain Telford. Telford was able to join the meeting via phone.

The council members will be handing out a flyer with a summary of the water study results. Some of the highlights are:

• The current water system is not paying for itself, it is depreciating faster than the water bills can counter.

• To counter it water rates would need to be $30.40 at least.

• With the new wells that are currently being planned water rates will go up to $37 if the city gets all the grants it could hope for, and $64, if it doesn’t.

• With the water system stretched to capacity, no new water hookups are available.

• The Idaho Dept. of Water Resources (IDWR) has an agreement with Dayton City for the right to drill wells to provide up to a total of 1,000 gallons per minute. That agreement, however, is tenuous.

“Please remind the people… that Dayton could lose the water right to the well if it is not acted on now,” cautioned a bond attorney from Boise, hired by the city. For example, the drainage from the Bear River has been appropriated by the IDWR and they’re not likely to give it back. Also both the elementary and high school buildings demand more fire-flow then the city’s current system can put out.

The council made two big decisions about the future of Dayton’s water supply. The first was to raise the impact fee for a new hookup to $20,000 to help offset the unease that current residents feel when a new neighbor moves in by making that new neighbor pay more into the system. The second is to bond for the new water project and its two wells. The vote is set for May 19. Though the project may be delayed up to a year due to issues stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

It was also noted that grant committees look at the amount of community support a project is getting when determining where to assign funds, so if the people of Dayton vote yes on the bond the chances go up to get better grants and lower interest loans.

The council agreed to provide a letter of support for the Franklin County Medical Center’s new ambulance.

The council has been in a touch of legal hot water of late. The date of city council meetings has been different from month to month, to better maximize council attendance, but by state law, the city has to have a scheduled meeting time every month. That meeting time is now set for the second Tuesday of every month at 4:30 pm.

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