Grand Haven officials are now taking a serious look at radio-read water meters and monthly billing. The automated process has been a sought-after goal of City Council.
“We are continuing to step in that direction,” City Finance Director Jim Bonamy said. “There’s really no right or wrong — it’s what council wants to do.”
A project concept has been developed and system vendors have already been interviewed.
City officials say there are several benefits to automatic meter reads and monthly bills. These include:
— Monthly billings to 5,000 customers.
— Better customer service.
— Less accidental overuse and charges for water and sewer.
— Easier for customers to budget monthly payments.
— Less costly for the city to read meters.
“The customer with a running toilet won’t have to wait 3-4 months to find out about it,” Bonamy said. “There will be a lot less wasted water.”
A report by the city's finance department prepared for City Council indicates a 2013 project to install meters and radio meter reading equipment would cost about $3.1 million. Bonamy said the money could be borrowed.
“We have $19 million worth of bonding ability possible,” he said. “If we wanted to do something, we certainly can.”
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