Watering ordinance tabled

Published 10:06 pm Friday, October 1, 2010

Decatur County Commissioners have temporarily delayed adoption of a landscape watering ordinance some county officials have decried as “intrusive.”

The proposed ordinance would put restrictions on outdoor watering in the unincorporated portions of Decatur County; however, it would not apply to animal or crop farming, personal food gardens, hand watering with a hose, newly installed landscaping, horticultural crops and public recreational areas, among other exempted uses.

Non-exempted uses would be limited to the hours between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. daily.

Email newsletter signup

The Sheriff’s office would be responsible for enforcing the ordinance.

But commissioners tabled the ordinance at the request of County Administrator Tom Patton, who said County Attorney Brown Moseley had some questions about the ordinance’s enforcement that he wanted to ask the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia.

ACCG drafted a sample landscape watering ordinance for counties’ use after the Georgia Legislature passed a law requiring all counties to have such an ordinance in place by Jan. 1, 2011, Patton said.

During commissioners’ comment time, Commissioner Butch Mosely called the ordinance “more government intrusion” on the part of state legislators. Mosely said he personally wanted legislators to focus on more important issues, rather than issuing unfunded mandates to local governments.

Patton said he believed state watering restrictions would be more useful for metropolitan Atlanta than for South Georgia, especially considering the number of water uses that are exempt from the ordinance recommended by the ACCG.

In other business conducted Tuesday, commissioners honored Dr. Bob Lane with a resolution commending his service to Keep Decatur County Beautiful. Lane joined KDCB’s board in 1996 and served as its chairman for 12 years following.