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Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Coldwater switching to automatic water meter reading system

By Betty Lawrence
COLDWATER - Village councilors on Monday accepted a bid from Sensus System to install an automatic meter reading (AMR) system for the village's 1,850 water meters.
The $515,450 bid, the only bid received by the village, will include the tower base station, meters with transmitters, software, support and training. A $3,000 annual upkeep of the new meter reading system is requested.
The old meters, which were read by village employees, will be swapped out for new meters that will automatically record usage. Installation will begin in approximately six months and is expected to take three to four years.
Village manager/engineer Eric Thomas displayed an old meter and one of the new digitally operated meters.
In the event of a power outage, the tamper-proof meters will store at least a 30-day reading, Thomas said.
The village will not have to borrow money to finance the meter installation, finance director Clyde Bellinger informed council.
"We will be paying off the wastewater plant this year. They will be getting paid as the work is done, and right now, I don't see that we will need to borrow any money," Bellinger said.
Residents will still see quarterly billing, he said, with monthly billing available to those who request it.
Long-time village councilor Rob Fisher announced Monday that he will not run for re-election in November.
Fisher, 67, will be completing 20 years as an at-large councilman. He also plans to retire next year from DP&L after 40-plus years service.
"I'm getting close to time for retirement, and there's some trips my wife (Marlene) and I want to take, and I just don't think I would have the time to give as a councilman," Fisher said. "It's a position I have always taken seriously."   
In May, mayor Vern Stammen also announced he will not seek re-election. The deadline to file for open seats is Wednesday.
Additional online story on this date
ST. MARYS - Residents living near the city-owned Weston Woods have made a plea for help as their neighborhood has been infested by webworms.
The Vine and Beech streets residents asked city councilors during a meeting Monday night to eradicate the pests, which they say came from the woods. [More]
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