Automated Water Metering System

The Public Utilities Department is committed to continuously evaluating public infrastructure, providing necessary resources for ongoing maintenance, and planning for future infrastructure needs to maintain service delivery. Evaluation of existing water meter infrastructure indicates a need to improve the accuracy and reliability of our water meter reading system through Automated Meter Infrastructure (AMI). This project will also help solidify the succession planning of staff in these current roles and allow them to be re-allocated to the crew, increasing our ability to respond to all of our other infrastructure needs.

Start Date: The Commission discussed the project at a Work Session on May 31, 2023

Completion Date: Completion anticipated by the end of 2024

Cost: The cost to convert all meters to the automated system is $2,331,578.14, with an ongoing operation and maintenance expense of $41,698.08 annually

  1. PROJECT Timeline
  2. What is AMI?
  3. INSTALLATION pROCESS & SCHEDULE

October 2022 - The Public Utilities Department began looking at an alternative means to read water meters in order to enhance accuracy, aid in succession planning, convert to a single billing cycle, and address an outdated system.

May 31, 2023 - The City Commission discussed the project at their Work Session.

July 2023 - The Public Utilities Department solicited proposals for the automated metering system. Vendors had until July 28 to submit a proposal for consideration.

September 2023 - The Public Utilities Department evaluated four proposals for the automated metering system, ranging from $2.56 million to $2.86 million. The City also is beginning plans to move to one billing cycle for utilities beginning Dec. 15, 2023.

Oct. 20, 2023 - The Public Utilities Department recommends implementing an automated system from Core and Main for a cost of approximately $2.48 million, as well as $42,000 a year in operational expenses.

Nov. 6, 2023 - The City Commission approved the bid from Core and Main for the installation of the system.

Nov. 13, 2023 - The City mailed a postcard notifying water customers of the change from two to one billing cycle beginning in December.

Nov. 20, 2023 - The City Commission authorized the sale of General Obligation Temporary Notes, Series 2023-1 to finance the automated meter infrastructure for the public water supply system for $2.4 million. Payments will be approximately $250,000 each year and will come from the water fund. Because this will likely require an increase in water rates, the City has contracted with Baker Tilly to provide a model detailing what rates should be to cover those costs, which is anticipated to be between 5 and 7 percent.

Dec. 15, 2023 - The first new water bill was mailed out, which is now due the 15th of the following month.

January 2024 – Accumulation of meters in anticipation of the change out. We intend to begin installing Ipearl meters for any new construction and a handful of other locations to begin beta testing of the system.

February 2024 – Community engagement of what to expect and how these new meters work via social media.
- Base station for the system shipped, with anticipated installation by Core and Main.
- The Utilities Department should begin to receive meters and radios for testing phase.

March/April 2024 – Installation of the base station on top of Sixth Avenue water tower. This is the collector site for all meters within the city and once this is on-line, any new meter installed will begin reading on the new system.
- Testing phase anticipated to begin.

April 2024 - Begin collection of data on a small scale to work out any kinks to ensure a smooth transition for our customers.

May 2024 – Additional customer outreach with target starting locations of installation

June/July 2024 – Begin mass installation of meters of ~100 per day, until completed.

Oct. 31, 2024 – Target date for installation completion for all customers.