Fillmore utility looks at trading portable devices

Monday, December 4, 2006

Trading in on current handheld meter reader was put on hold for the Fillmore Town Council.

During Saturday's business meeting, the board met with Brad Smith from Everett J. Prescott Inc. to discuss trading in the current handheld meter reader for a new one with a cordless link reading gun.

Smith told the board its current reader will no longer be supported by Sensus Metering Systems in July of 2007. Due to the fact that Fillmore's current handheld was manufactured in 1988, it is becoming harder to locate parts to maintain it.

Currently, Sensus believes they have enough parts to fix the current handhelds up to July 2007.

Smith also said that Sensus provides a computer software upgrade for the current program. The software and the new handheld are compatible with what the town has been using.

Board member Kurt Leonard asked how much the handheld would cost the town. "You're looking at $5,180," Smith said.

"That's with the trade in of the gun, the charging stand and the handheld."

Without the trade in on the equipment, the town was looking at paying $13,523.

The board was curious to find out if the current handheld it owns would be completely unusable. Smith said, "It can still be used. But come July of 2007, if something goes wrong with it, chances are you are not going to be able to get it repaired."

President Margaret Alexander asked Smith if the price of the trade in increases after July, which Smith replied no.

The board learned from Water Supt. David Gilley that the town has been without it's current handheld for two months due to maintenance repairs. Gilley said that the meter reader should have been shipped out Friday.

Board member Albert Epple asked Gilley what the bill on the repairs was going to be, which he replied he did not know.

Alexander asked Town Attorney John Zeiner if the sewer department could pay for half of the bill since they too would benefit from the new handheld. Zeiner said that because the board runs both funds and it swaps in and out of both funds for repairs, it could have the sewer department pay for half.

Smith informed the board that the State Board of Accounts would allow up to half of the money to be paid from a different fund.

The board decided to wait for the repair bill on the current handheld before making a decision on a trade in.

In other business, the board:

-- Learned that starting with December's water bill, a tracking rate will be added to each bill. This tracking rate will increase by the bill by 90 cents per 1,000 gallons of water.

-- Approved to hold $16,000 for road repairs and created a contract to work with Black Diamond. The board had been informed by Zeiner that it could hold the money over after the beginning of the year if it had a commitment with the company.

-- Learned that there were several holes in between the roadway and a homeowner's property. Leonard and Sewer Supt. Joe Cash informed the homeowner they go look at the holes and make a decision.

-- Learned that Zeiner had been contacted by Vectren to see if the town was interested in receiving gas. Leonard said he wanted Vectren to come down and talk with the board.

-- Received bill from H.J. Umbaugh about the water rate increase. The board discussed paying the bill a third each month. The board approved to pay a third of the bill in January and to check the cash flow before paying another third in February. Town Clerk/Treasurer Maxine Davis said she would send a letter to Umbaugh informing them of the decision.

The next regularly scheduled meeting is set for Saturday, January 13 at 9 a.m. This meeting is open to the public.

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