Watering Discount Not Renewed

Dayton Council Members Say Town Needs The Money

Posted: July 15, 2014

DAYTON — Dayton Town Council decided Monday not to extend sewer bill discounts for residents who water their lawns during the summer.

The program, which has been approved the past two years, would apply May usage rates to determine sewer bills for July and August.

Dayton calculates sewer usage based on how much water each household consumes.

But when people water their lawns during summer, it’s being absorbed into the ground rather than sent to the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Regional Sewer Authority plant in Mount Crawford for treatment.

The intention of the discount program is to avoid charging people for sewage that’s not actually being treated.

“This usually costs the town between $2,000 and $3,000,” said Justin Moyers, town treasurer. “It would save individual residents between $15 and $30 at most those two months.”

Councilwoman Shelley Newman raised doubts about the necessity of the program at Monday’s meeting.

“I know when I water my own plants, I expect my bill to go up,” Newman said. “I’m using it, so I should pay for it.”

Jeff Daly, a council member who serves as head of the finance committee, agreed, saying the town has had to tap into its savings because it’s operating at a loss.

“We’re running a deficit right now,” he said. “We’re pulling money from reserves, and this might not be the best time to give money away.”

Town council did not raise a motion to approve the discount, essentially killing it for the year.

Also at Monday’s meeting, Planning Commission Chairman Jerry Critcher gave the council the panel’s recommendation to approve the use of golf carts and utility vehicles in the town.

Council will host a public hearing on the proposal at August’s meeting, but some residents gave their opinion during the open forum part of Monday’s meeting.

“I have kids on bikes, cars and tractors flying down our street,” said resident Tara Rexrode. “I just don’t think adding golf carts to the narrow street is going to be safe.”

Town Council’s next meeting will be Aug. 11 at 7 p.m.

Contact Megan Applegate at 574-6286 or mapplegate@dnronline.com

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