City council tables request to drill well

by Brooke Pankonin

Grant Tribune-Sentinel

A request from Pam Murphy and Mark Cunningham to drill a well was discussed at the Grant City Council meeting on Feb. 28. The well would provide water for their home on the south side of town. Murphy said she hoped the council’s decision was based upon the necessity and usage of the well, not on what was going on with the water system and meters. She said there’s plenty of water for it, as there are other wells in their area, so if it was denied, she hoped it was on a reasonable basis. 

Mayor Mike Wyatt asked the council if they needed more information, and if anyone was willing to make a motion.

Councilman Darrell Pierce made a comment stating they needed to keep in mind that whatever they chose, they would be setting a precedent. If they pass it, they’re going to have to pass 15-17 more applications, and vice versa. 

Councilman Matt Greenwood asked Murphy and Cunningham if they have problems with the water they are receiving. They said they do, especially during the summer months when people are watering. 

Pierce mentioned the wellhead protection area Tony Martinez from the Department of Health and Human Services spoke about at the previous meeting. Cunningham said he would use the same amount of water whether he was on a well or city water. 

He said he was never told the water system was bad and that it was his problem. He told the council the best solution was to shut off the line and let him put in a well. 

Pierce said the way he understood the wellhead protection area was that if too many wells go in, there’s a higher chance of contaminating the ground water. 

Murphy said it’s a sealed well, so it couldn’t contaminate the groundwater. Cunningham said people are just looking for an easy way to get water, and the council can’t put the hardship of paying for a pipe for a ridiculous amount of money on people. 

Wyatt told the council he needed an indication on how to proceed. Greenwood suggested they table it. Council member Andrea Brueggeman asked how long it would take City Engineer Tom Werblow to get estimates back on how much it would cost to update their system. Wyatt said it would be at least a month. When asked if this would be a satisfactory time frame to wait, Murphy and Cunningham said no. 

Greenwood said if they wanted an answer at that meeting, it would be no from him. Cunningham said he had no reason to say no. When Murphy asked why, Greenwood said they are trying to correct the problem. 

As voices raised, Wyatt called the meeting to order, and said discussion would be orderly or it would be stopped. Cunningham said he would be back the next meeting, and exited. 

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