PLEASANT VIEW -- A comprehensive storm water ordinance is now in place to comply with new state regulations.
Council members have had several discussions on why the League of Cities and Towns does not push back on this issue.
Public Works Director Paul Ellsworth has said the stringent regulations are overkill, but Mayor Doug Clifford said if this is something the city must comply with, the city will just have to do it with a new ordinance in place.
"We all realize this is something we would like not to have to deal with, but if you have to swallow a toad, don't chew it," he said. "This is something we have to do."
City Administrator J.J. Allen said the new ordinance will implement controls that will give the city the power to keep pollutants out of the city water system. He said any connection at all into the city system will require a permit.
Councilman Todd Walker is concerned about hazardous materials stored in garages and said he has kids and something could get spilled.
He also expressed concern about city employees being allowed to inspect residents' property for compliance at any time and asked that the words "with permission to enter the premises" be added to the ordinance.
"Then you're giving the property owner the right to unequivocally refuse," Allen said.
Ellsworth said any rinsing of pesticides into the gutter or even an unattended open paint container near the curb would be a problem, but things stored inside a garage would be a different matter.
He said there would have to be cause for the city to inspect property and developments are always open to inspection.
"If you think someone is dumping animal waste in the storm sewer, that is a reasonable cause," Ellsworth said.
"Somewhere along the line, somebody has to make a judgment," Allen said. "Somebody has to."
Ellsworth said the new ordinance would be reviewed annually.
Walker moved to approve the ordinance and said he did so in light of the fact the state and federal governments are forcing the city to do this.
The ordinance was approved unanimously. Councilwoman Mae Ferguson was absent and did not vote.