After several years of research and investigation, the City of Urbana is busily preparing to launch an intricately planned and highly accurate update within the Water Division.
The Automated Meter Infrastructure and Meter Replacement (AMR) project, which uses the latest technology to determine water usage without sending an individual out to read and then record a resident’s monthly usage, eliminates the need for “estimated” readings due to accessibility, or weather-related conditions.
The city carefully weighed the many advantages of providing accurate, real-time readings to household, commercial and industrial account holders by: allowing the Utility Billing Office remote access for immediate information on how and when usage occurred; early detection of over-usage due to leaks, failed or improperly installed plumbing systems, or unintended usage (i.e. outside faucets being left on); and cost savings as a result of eliminating the time-consuming task of monthly scheduled travel to each account owner’s physical address, and return visits, if needed.
In its September 15, 2020 meeting, Urbana City Council unanimously passed Resolution No. 2589-20 which states: “A Resolution authorizing the Director of Administration and the Director of Finance of the City of Urbana, to apply, and enter into a cooperative agreement for the construction of the Water Meter Replacement Project between the City of Urbana and the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA).”
After months of planning, preparation and the execution of bid packets; six (6) companies were evaluated and interviewed. On March 2, 2021, the City of Urbana Board of Control (Mayor Bean; Chris Boettcher, Director of Finance; and Kerry Brugger, Director of Administration) recommended City Council approve the proposal from EJ Prescott (EJP) to complete the project using an OWDA loan with a 20-year term at 1.28% fixed interest, and Council unanimously approved the expenditure.
During the discussion with council, Joe Sampson, Water Superintendent, stated: “… the discussion about a Water Meter Replacement Project has been ongoing for some time … the city received bids from six (6) different contractors.” As a result, EJP was chosen as the best option to manage the project through completion, and installation of the water meters will be performed by Professional Meters Inc. (PMI), a subcontractor for EJP. PMI has installed hundreds of thousands of water meters for counties and municipalities all across the United States over the past 20 years.
The duration of the project is expected to cover a six-month period, and will replace an estimated 5,000 water meters including household, commercial and industrial accounts. EJP, in cooperation with Mueller, will be installing collectors and receivers on the city’s water towers and at the Municipal Building.
PMI is in the process of mailing postcards to customers informing them of the project and asking that they call to schedule an appointment, 1-866-584-3846. Appointments can also be scheduled online at www.ScheduleMyMeter.com.
Info from City of Urbana.