The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

January 21, 2013

Ward 3 commission candidates share goals

(Continued)

ENID, Okla. — Stephens

Stephens said the city should cut back on potable water usage for splash pads and proposed water features in the parks plan.

“I think we need to not only attempt to address the problem, we also need to look at some of the practices we have in place,” Stephens said. “The two splash pads we have, that water is not recycled, it goes straight into the sewer.”

Stephens questioned whether the city’s planned water supply increases would be sufficient to meet extra demands involved with a proposed water park in the parks plan.

In the long term, Stephens said a city lake could be a solution to the city’s water issues.

“We would have to make sure we have a viable water source to fill that lake,” Stephens said. “We wouldn’t want it to end up like Lake Optima out in the Panhandle, and build a big lake and have no water in it.”

Question: Should attracting new industry and supplying current commercial users be a priority for the city’s water resources?

Ezzell

“Our water demand will continue to go up, and we need to place our city’s water needs high on the priority list,” Ezzell said.

He said raising the city’s water rates for commercial users could help fund a water-treatment plant to prepare gray water for commercial use.

“Our industrial water rates have been kept relatively low,” Ezzell said. “If we need to do some $10 million investment to get the outflow scrubbed, I think it’s only fair for the industrial users to chip in and help pay for that.”

Stephens

Stephens said the city needs to provide water to new industry if it hopes to attract new jobs to town.

“I believe if we don’t have water to provide companies like the canola plant, and any other manufacturer coming in, then we’re not going to be able to attract those companies,” Stephens said.

He said there needs to be a balance between meeting residential users’ demands and providing water for new and existing commercial users.

“We have to have enough water for us to survive as a city,” Stephens said. “When a prospective company is coming in, we need to know up front what their consumption is going to be, and then weigh that with any restrictions it’s going to put on our residents.”

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