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St. John restricts lawn watering to conserve water

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St. John Town Hall
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The town of St. John is working to conserve water during the hot summer weather, and that includes temporary sprinkling restrictions for residents and businesses.

Properties with addresses ending in an even number may only water lawns on even-numbered days of the month. Addresses ending in an odd number may only water on odd-numbered days. Town Manager Joe Wiszowaty also asks residents not to water lawns between 3:00 and 7:00 p.m.

"The town of St. John pumped over 7 million gallons of water in a 24-hour period this week, three times more than our average daily amount. This is more than the city of East Chicago, which has a population of 28,000. So it's a lot of water," Wiszowaty said during Wednesday's town council meeting.

St. John has also suspended bulk water sales and may adjust the hours of its splash pad. Wiszowaty said the town continues working to improve its water capacity to better meet demand. Residents can get updates on the sprinkling restrictions on the town's website.

This comes as St. John's water rate is actually set to go down slightly. Clerk-Treasurer Beth Hernandez said residents will typically see a reduction of almost 1.5 percent, due to the state's removal of the utility receipts tax.

"Utilities are subject to the payment of URT. We are required to reduce our rates and charges, due to the reduction in the URT," Hernandez told council members.

Even though the rate is going down and the town has little choice anyway, the town council will still have to hold a public hearing before finalizing the rate adjustment on July 27.