The Tecumseh city council on Monday authorized the city manager to enact water restrictions for the city whenever he feels the time is appropriate.
City Manager Jimmy Stokes told the council he feels like they should look at restrictions now, as both Shawnee Twin Lakes and Wes Watkins Reservoir are getting lower by the day.
The city of Tecumseh currently purchases treated water from the city of Shawnee, which pulls its water from those two sources.
Councilors said they assumed Tecumseh residents would follow whatever restrictions are set in Shawnee, but Stokes said he feels Tecumseh residents need to be more mindful of their water use.
“Sometimes I feel we need to be stricter,” Stokes said, adding Shawnee only has to sell Tecumseh up to 663,000 gallons per day.
“We push that some days in the wintertime,” Stokes, said, worried about usage increasing as they go into spring.
“I understand people want to have shrubs, trees and pretty flowers…but I want to live and you gotta have water to live,” Stokes said. “We need to make sure we conserve our water.”
Stokes talked about one Tecumseh resident who reuses her dishwashing water for use on her flowers.
“She grew up in a time when she had to do that…she’s very conscience of water,” he said, adding water is not as easy to come by these days.
And with drought conditions, “water’s not cheap and there’s’ not much of it,” Stokes added.
The council voted unanimously to allow Stokes to make any future restrictions as needed.
Before the meeting ever got under way, new Ward 1 Councilor Linda Farris took her oath of office for the seat. She was appointed last month to succeed the retiring Lou Sutterfield.
In other business, the council held two public hearings involving possibly declaring two homes on 13th Street as public nuisances.
In the matter involving 1509 N. 13th, the property owners had representation by a Shawnee attorney to question and define the problems of junk and derelict cars. The code enforcement officer said the problems in question had been cleaned up of that day so the issue was dismissed.
In another issue for 1110 N. 13th, the property owner told the council her home was a 40-acre farm so there are items there not associated with city lots. Code enforcement has been working with her on an unused and dilapidated trailer on the property as well as many vehicles that aren’t running. After a year working toward a cleanup there, the council voted to give her 45 days to get the trailer hauled off the property and will send her a formal letter outlining the action needed.
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