Monette Council discusses new water meter system

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Monette City Council discussed the possible installation of a new water meter reading system during the regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Monday, April 24. Dan Pasternak of Zenner Metering Company presented a new system that would change the manner in which meters could be read for the city.

The town, which currently has a coded meter system previously installed, through Zenner Co. is currently using a walk-by system. Pasternak presented additional hardware that would complete the system and enable the readings to be done by drive-by readings on a fixed based type system.

“Fixed Based Systems are beneficial to the community because they cut down on labor costs, they enable the water company to dispute any bills with customers because the water usage is gathered on a daily basis, it also detects leaks, cuts down on tampering and theft as well as more accurate rereads,” Pasternak said. “They also have a full 20 to 30 year life expectancy, 10 year warranty (total replacement if anything were to malfunction with the equipment, excluding vandalism) as well as a 20 year proration warranty, six month battery alarm (with a 13 to 14 year life expectancy on the battery) and are also backhauled through the Internet so it is all proprietary, separate and secure.”

The board further discussed and broke down the proposed costs of the meter hardware and installations, which would cost the city $81,429.25 with an annual maintenance fee of $2,080.

“The annual fee, which starts the second year after installation, would include the maintenance of the collectors, handheld devices as well necessary software updates to the required 600 meters at 80 cent per meter per year for the city,” Pasternak added.

The board decided to seek another quote from another distributor and to also discuss with John Pate, director of Public Works, the pros and cons of the recent meter installation through Zenner Co. for the city of Gosnell before motioning an approval for the new system.

The board also revisited and discussed the current sewer plant project that is underway. Wayne Menley, of Miller Newell Engineers, was in attendance to provide updates for the project. Menley explained they are ahead of schedule and should be completed around October or November. He also elaborated on a few change orders that have currently taken place.

“The first change order was for the dewatering process around the tank. The cost was $100,000 that had already been set aside for the project,” Menley said. “The second change order was considered a deducted change order in which roughly $51,000 came back to the city.”

Working with Entergy and the minimal billing project, the city was able to save $20,000 to run a new phase to the new sewerplant. The city also received an additional $31,000 due to the elimination of two-feet of concrete around the plant. “The third change order dealt with the irrigation wells that totaled out to about $22,000,” Menley said.

Barbara Suber from the Housing Authority spoke to the board about the $1,000 monthly water/sewer bill they are having to pay. Suber indicated, “We have to come up with a plan to help pay this monthly bill due to sequestration, if the budget isn’t passed on Friday, April 28, 2017.” Suber proposed that the installation of 49 individual meters should be installed at the housing authority, enabling each tenant to be responsible for their own bill. Although the board didn’t have a prompt answer, they did decide to take a further look into the matter and come up with a plan that would be beneficial for all the citizens of Monette.

The board also discussed issues with the weather sirens.

Police Chief Brian Carmichael who is working on the project said two of the four sirens are working.

“The siren at the fire station would require a new motor, costing roughly $1,000,” Carmichael said. “Also, the on/off switch for the siren by the school has been replaced.

“The 20-year-old siren west of town has a transformer that has blown and the siren east of town is spinning, has tone but low decibels."

The board decided it would be better to fix the two sirens, but get a bid on the older siren.

In other business:

*Date for Clean Sweep week is May 1-6.

*Board agreed to replace mulch with pea gravel for the city park.

*Board agreed to continue employment for Bobby Shirley with 20-30 hours a week.

*The city has a new truck provided through a grant from the Craighead County Solid Waste Blue Bag project. Discussion was held on the possible sale of older vehicles but no action was taken.

*A dedication date for the Vetearns Monument will be held May 29. The board discussed asphalt for the new parking area located between the monument and the fire station.

*Board stated the city council meeting for May will be changed to the third Monday night, due to the BIC graduation on May 22.

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