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Usage of water in Pembroke discussed
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The Pembroke City Council and mayor held a workshop on Thursday night to discuss water rates, usage and future plans.

Matt Barrow with the city engineers office, P.C. Simonton and Associates, discussed the Environmental Protection Division’s special conditions of the city’s ground water withdrawal permit.

According to Barrow, Pembroke’s current permit has recently been renewed for 306,000 per day through Jan. 31.

Barrow said the city’s average usage per day is approximately 240,000 gallons. He said city officials are anticipating a new revised permit the EPD is currently working on to be approved before the end of 2008.

As part of the new revised permit there are six items that must be completed by the city and submitted to the EPD by Aug. 15.

The items include provisions that the city create a water conservation and education program, a conservation oriented rate structure, a meter calibration and replacement program; the city must adopt and implement an outdoor watering schedule, adopt and implement a water loss control plan and meter hydrants and flushings.

City Planner Wynn Carney presented a new outdoor watering ordinance that will bring the city in compliance with the governmentally owned or operated public drinking system special condition.

According to Carney, the ordinance also moves forward with the city’s plans to promoted good stewardship of a limited natural resource in times of drought.

The new outdoor watering ordinance will adopt by reference the outdoor water rules mandated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division, as they from time to time may be amended.

It is proposed that the city’s code enforcement officer shall be authorized and empowered to enforce the provisions of the ordinance through the issuance of warnings and citations.

Carney also discussed the need for public education of water preservation and conservation usage.

Next, Code Enforcement Officer Michael Foxworth presented bids for the resurfacing of one of the city’s two tennis courts, located on Lanier Street. The courts were built in the late 1970’s and according to Foxworth, they are in pretty rough shape.

The resurfacing company out of Swainsboro will strip the surface of the court, sterilize the weeds in the cracks, spray a layer of acrylic to fill in all the cracks and then spray four layers of the top court surfacer for $8,676. The project is slated to begin the end of July and should only take a week to complete.

The second court will be removed for the construction of a new skate park. The skate park is being built through a grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation and a private gift to the city earmarked for recreation. The skate park construction will cost the city approximately $80,000, Foxworth said.

Pembroke Police Chief Bill Collins presented the mayor and council with several concerns regarding his department, including a request for pay increase for part-time officers, the purchase of a new patrol car and personnel promotions and openings.

Part-time police officers employed with the city of Pembroke are started at a pay rate of $11.25 per hour; in order to stay competitive in the region Collins proposed an increase to $13.42 per hour. The Pembroke Police Department currently has eight part-time officers. No action was taken on the proposal during the meeting.

Collins informed the mayor and council that he will be purchasing a Dodge Charger to be used as a patrol car in the next few weeks. The council had already approved the purchase of a new patrol car.

Collins also announced the promotion of Jennifer Baxter from Court Clerk to replace Office Administrator/Assistant to the Chief Susan Crowe, who recently resigned from the department. Collins also spoke of the need to hire two more full time police officers.

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