City Manager Deborah Ballí said she had received requests from several of the five council members, asking that the item be brought before the council.
said the council had several options to entertain, including leaving the fee as it is, reducing the cost of a permit or completely doing away with the fee.
expressed concern about changing the fee, saying that residential wells could be drilled into the same aquifer that the city may end up using.
said that would mean that those who could afford to have a well drilled would be getting water for free from an aquifer that city utility customers are paying to receive.
Also, allowing city residents to use the aquifer could adversely affect the city's ability to draw water from the formation.
"We would need assurance that water from the wells would be used only for irrigation," Ballí
And the city would lose, forever, any revenue it could have seen from residents who have wells drilled.
Councilman George P. "Trace" Morrill said he
has a problem with a fee that discourages property owners from taking advantage of their right to capture and use a resource to which they have a right.
Councilman John Fulghum said he
would like to see what kind of fee other municipalities charge for a well-drilling permit.
had been told the initial fee for a permit to drill a well had been $5,000 and that the city had reduced that by half some years back.