The water source that Plaza Azteca Family Grill [El San Felipe] owners Mauricio Bandaras Aguirre and Maria Alvarez would utilize became a point of some contention last Thursday night.
Their request to be annexed into the city limits and come in as C-1 Commercial instead of R-1 Residential was approved, following a public hearing during the Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen meeting.
Much of the discussion, though, hinged on their initial request to connect to city sewer service and county water.
Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan first raised a question about what utilities they were seeking. City administrator Martin Toma said he thought they were seeking both city sewer and water.
Toma asked Steve Wilson, local manager for Alliance Water Resources, if the city water connection would be closer than the county connection on the opposite side of the property. Wilson said it would be 10 feet from the sewer connection.
“Why wouldn’t you connect to both the city water and sewer?” Toma asked.
Bandaras Aguirre said he only requested county water because some of his customers have told him they like county water better than city water.
“It doesn’t matter to us,” he said, “if it has to be county or city.”
“There’s a general rule that if you’re annexed into a city, you access city utilities,” Toma said. “The exception would exist if city utilities weren’t in proximity to your property. But in this case, it’s closer and cheaper for you because you don’t have to go under the highway.”
Wilson addressed the water quality issue.
“The difference between city and county water is our water is treated,” Wilson said. “We put chlorine in the water as a disinfectant. The county water you’ll find to be a lot harder. It’ll be a lot harder on your fixtures and your plumbing. It’ll be a lot more maintenance. You’ll have to purchase a water softener, you’ll have to treat the water in house, in the restaurant, yourself. With city water, it’s already done. City water is located at the front of the property; county water is located at the rear of the property.”
Ward 3 Alderman Mike Raney asked if it would create a billing problem for the city.
City clerk Pam Meyer said she would call the county to get the usage.
“So, an extra piece of work for staff to do to allow this to happen like this?” Raney asked.
“We’re already doing it for some,” Meyer said. “There are others out there.”
See complete story in the March 18 edition of the Herald.