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Ripon keeps water play feature dry
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The popular Mistlin Sports park water play feature is staying turned off — at least for now.
The Ripon City Council debated whether to turn it back on for several days a week during Tuesday’s meeting but ultimately decided doing so would send a message that the drought is over which, as council members noted, it isn’t despite a fairly wet winter.
The interactive water feature uses up to 2,000 of gallons per day.
“The reason for that is it keeps up the standard of water (clean) while allowing kids to safely play,” Ted Johnston, who is the director of Public Works, said.
Councilman Leo Zuber proposed keeping the interactive water feature in operation three days during the week – Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday – and to lift certain restrictions. Only he and colleague Dean Uecker were in favor of such a  change.
Mark Winchell, Mike Restuccia and Mayor Jake Parks were in favor of having the interactive water feature on during the week.
Ultimately the council was unanimous in agreeing it would be inappropriate at this time to turn it back on even for a limited number of days.
Meanwhile. the City of Ripon continues to improve on its water conservation numbers.
Johnston indicated that Ripon is closing in on Gov. Jerry Brown’s water conservation mandate of 33 percent, using 2013 as the baseline year.
“We’re now at 30.7 percent (overall for the year so far) and getting closer to the state mandate,” he said.
Folks in Ripon did their part last month by reducing water usage by 38.6 percent.
Johnston, who recognized Water Conservation Coordinator Kevin Fuller for helping the cause, gave his water conservation program update to elected leaders during the open session in the Council Chambers.
With it came a proposal that requested removing some of the restrictions put in place during the drought.
Included was turning back on the interactive water feature at the Mistlin Sports Complex, allowing folks to wash their cars, and refilling home pools and spas.
For now, the water conservation measures will remain the same one last updated in March.
The Water Conservation coordinator helped issue 253 courtesy notices to those in violation.
Johnston pointed out the infractions were mostly minor ones such as watering on the wrong on the days, water running off into the street gutters, and water sprinklers being misaligned.