County Codes To Push Water Conservation

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The county's water conservation efforts are starting as a recommendation to use prudence with liquid resources, but it is only a matter of time before water conservation becomes the law of the land.

The Gila County Board of Supervisors wants the building codes amended to require the use of systems that limit the amount of water needed -- such as low-flow toilets and showers, according to Gila County Manager John Nelson.

The board approved a resolution at its June 22 meeting encouraging year-round conservation of water.

"They also directed the Gila County Planning and Zoning Commission to review the building codes and see how conservation measures could be incorporated," Nelson said. He said the commission was not given a deadline on the directive, but told to come back to the board with recommendations as soon as possible.

Additionally, the supervisors included language in the resolution requesting all water providers and utilities adopt formal water conservation guidelines for their customers, Nelson said.

The resolution was instigated by District 1 Gila County Supervisor Ron Christensen at the end of May.

"I fully support the concept of water conservation ... I think it's very important that we keep the public well aware of what our problems are ...," Christensen said.

In other business:

  • In a split decision, the supervisors amended zoning ordinance for sexually oriented businesses, changing the operating times. Currently these businesses may operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., the change requires a 1 p.m. opening, but allows the business to continue until 1 a.m., six days a week.

This type of business cannot be open on Sunday, Nelson said.

Christensen opposed the change, Nelson said. Christensen was not available for comment.

Supervisors Joe Sanchez and Cruz Salas were in favor of the change.

The Juniper Lounge at Pete's Place Restaurant and Bar in Star Valley is one of the businesses affected by the change.

Manager Mitch Crosby said it's a good thing for the business.

"It's more toward the hours we wanted to have," Crosby said. "We run the cabaret from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., so this fits in for us."

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