Monotoring water violations "takes resources from other areas"

- With only .85 inches of rain so far this year, compared to 6.61 inches which is where the National Weather Service said we should be, the City of San Angelo remains in a very serious drought.

We're looking at how the city's Code Enforcement Office is handling an increase in water violations.

As San Angelo remains in Drought Level 2 of the Drought Contingency plan, city employees say more time and resources are spent on water violations and less time is spent on other infractions such as the number of garage sales per house and weed height.

City Code Compliance Manager James Flores said the department is feeling a strain.

"It has created a taxation on the department. it's created a fuel taxation, it's created a man hour taxation," said Flores. "There's a lot of taxation that comes with the enforcement aspect of this."

Of the six Code Enforcement Officers, right now, two are focused solely on finding water violators.

As long as water remains the top priority, Flores said it may take longer than the city's goal of 24 hours to respond to resident's non-water related calls.

"But, that's not to say we're not going to respond to those issues and we're not going to still work those issues. Office poliicies do adjust internally," continued Flores. "We have a 24 hour response time to every other violation except water."

The most recent data from the city shows five common resident infractions have seen a lower response from Code Enforcement Officers from January 2013 to december 2013... although the number of reports remained relatively steady.

"I think upper management is okay with that. I hope they are because, if we're going to attack one isue at 100 %, which we should be.... water is the most precious resource, it is the most ultimate resource, other things are going to have to suffer if we're going to attack the water issues," finished Flores.

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