Senoia will be replacing all of the city’s water meters, over a three-year period.
The first round of meter replacement will be funded out of the city’s reserve funds, with the second and third year of the project funded by a loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, said City Manager Harold Simmons. The loan will also reimburse the city for the first year of the project.
The Senoia City Council approved the project at Monday’s council meeting.
Simmons said that starting in early 2018, city staff began noticing some problems with the current meters, which are “radio read” meters that transmit signals to devices carried by meter readers.
Meter readers were having to read certain meters two or three times, Simmons said. And at homes where there are irrigation meters as well as the home’s service meter, there were problems keeping both readings in the machine.
The city was getting complaints from residents about billing issues, he said.
City staff have had “long conversations” with the Coweta Water and Sewerage Authority and several cities about the metering systems they are using, and chose to go with a proposal from Kendall Metering.
Replacing all the city’s meters at once would cost around $660,000, which isn’t financially feasible, Simmons said. The first installment for the three-year process will be just over $273,000.
The city has already applied for the GEFA loan, but can’t wait on it. "The infrastructure is not going to hold us,” Simmons told the council.
“Right now we’re having to order about 40 meters within the next week. I don’t see us spending that amount of money to buy old meters and then turn around and have to replace the ones we just bought,” he said.
All new construction will get the new meters, and the city will replace existing meters in zones. The first round of meter replacements will be in the Cumberland and Willow Dell subdivisions, which are some of the older subdivisions in the city, Simmons said.