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Convinced that the city needs a secondary water system, Clinton's City Council has planned hearings aimed at selling residents on the plan.

The first public hearing will be Tuesday, May 28, and the second is planned for Tuesday, June 11. Both meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall."Secondary water is the only correct way to go," City Manager Dennis Cluff said. "Eventually it will cost citizens less (than culinary water)."

Cluff said for some residents it will be an instant break-even situation for secondary water costs - especially given the water rate increase that takes effect in the city on July 1.

"Culinary water will be at a premium cost," Cluff said. "Secondary water looks even better for the future."

The City Council approved a rate increase for culinary water of 75 cents per month for the basic 10,000-gallon fee and a 20 cent increase for each additional 1,000 gallons. This increase is less than initially proposed last month.

The City Council is also considering a mandatory hookup for all residents. This means when the secondary water line comes up a street, all residents must pay to connect.

Proposed prices vary by the size of lots. For lots under one-half acre in size, the initial hookup cost is $200, and then the user fee is $200 a year, payable in 12 monthly payments.

The one-half to 1-acre lot size cost is $300 for hookup, with a $300 annual user fee.

Costs could vary for future subdivisions, though.

Cluff said the city would tentatively be divided into three sections to make a three-phase secondary water installation project, funded and operated by the Davis and Weber Canal Company - a nonprofit company headquartered in Sunset.

Clinton residents would pay the same cost as West Point residents do, who received an identical secondary water system several years ago. That pricing structure has upset some West Point City Council members, because it seems unfair since they were the first on the system.

However, Canal Company manager Floyd Baham said the fee structure was set up that way several years ago. Costs of the system in both cities are covered by the same low-interest state loan. Distribution lines and the reservoir in Sunset were both oversize in planning for Clinton residents to someday come on board.

Cluff hopes construction on phase one could begin next year and that some city residents would be using secondary water by the summer of 1997.