Thursday, May 18, 2006

City serious about water restrictions

Charlotte Sun-Herald

Fines, penalties in store for violators

NORTH PORT -- Every day that passes without rain puts additional strain on the city's water resources.

And while the city Utility Department understands residents want to keep their lawns beautiful, they are encouraging North Porters to abide by water restrictions and conserve water wherever possible. If residents violate watering restrictions, they could be penalized with a heavy fine or possibly even jail time.

"We are in a drought," said City Utilities Field Operations Manager Rick Newkirk. "And we have caught some people not following the watering restrictions. It hasn't been bad, but we have had to give out some fines."

The city issues a warning for a first-time illegal watering offense. However, commissioners mandated a $100 fine to be imposed for the second offense. Third and subsequent offenses will result in a fine ranging from a minimum of $200 to a maximum of $500, or possible jail time.