May 9, 2013 Updated: May 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm
PALMER LAKE - The town of Palmer Lake on Thursday night passed watering restrictions to assuage the drought that plagues the region, joining Colorado Springs, Monument and Woodland Park in the mandatory conservation efforts.
As with Colorado Springs Utilities customers, Palmer Lake residents are now restricted to watering two days a week, designated by their addresses. The board of trustees - six trustees and Mayor Nikki McDonald - passed the ordinance unanimously at their monthly meeting Thursday in Palmer Lake's town hall.
Residents can wather between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Those with even numbered addresses can water on Sundays and Wednesday, while residents at odd numbered addresses can water on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
While residents will be able to water their lawns and landscaping, the new ordinance should impact their lives in more subtle ways as well - whether it comes to washing cars or dining out. For instance, using your hose to wash any motor vehicles, boats or trailers is strictly prohibited under the ordinance. Also, restaurants are not allowed to serve guests water unless they explicitly ask for it.
Residents with hot tubs or pools will not be able to drag the hose into the basin to refill them, either.
Although light rains fell on the town Thursday night, and nearby fields are starting to turn green, the drought has taken a visible toll on Palmer Lake.
The actual lake is a dry as bone, its black bottom exposed and barren. Keeping the lake filled during a persistent drought is not a new challenge to the town; this time, an engineer will examine the lake bed for leaks before it is refilled.
That will take grant money, which the town could get by the end of the year. But it could be two years before the lake is a lake again, and the town will have to raise the funds to pay for repairs, said McDonald.
During her brief update to the council, McDonald also mentioned another community effort to raise funds for the town, this one to pay for a town park. The town intends to apply for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant, which would chip in $360,000 for the park. But, as a condition of the grant, the town must match at least $36,000, which it can't afford. The town would have to finance the park in installments, and McDonald experts to the total cost to reach around $1 million.
The local restaurant association has concocted a boost, and planned a summer concert series at the The Villa Palmer Lake, where raffles will contribute to the park pot, said McDonald.
Concerts are scheduled for June 23, July 14, Aug. 5, and Sept. 15.
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