The newly approved ordinance establishes penalties for violating the restrictions and provisions of penalties, which includes disconnection of water service, citations for multiple violations, and providing authority for certain city employees to issue citations for violations of the ordinance.
The ordinance states that the city will work with citizens to seek voluntary compliance, but if they refuse to comply with the drought contingency plan, the ordinance will allow citations to be issued by code enforcement officers and police officers for such violations.
The ordinance also states that if a person if found guilty of a violations, a fine may be assessed up to $2,000 per occurrence. The fine for a first conviction of the plan has been set by the judge at $265 and amount of further fines is at the discretion of the judge.
In addition, the ordinance states that a second violation of the plan may result in disconnection of water service without prior notice to the person. Service will only be restored upon payment of a reconnection charge, currently set at $35 according to the ordinance.
"It is not the City's intent to write citations to people. It's the City's intent to request all residents comply with our drought contingency plan," said Brownwood City Manager Bobby Rountree. "Our goal is to seek voluntary compliance of the drought contingency plan. These rains have helped us with a little bit of relief, but I don't know if we caught a lot of water in the watershed of the lake, so we still need to follow our drought contingency plan."