With about 90 water meters left to install in village homes and businesses, trustees at their April 20 meeting agreed to a $25 quarterly charge for those who have not set up appointments to have the new meters installed.
Mayor William Murphy and Water Department Superintendent Mike Hopf previously said customers who didn’t get new meters would have their water shut off. They have since softened their stance, but insist that all meters should be switched over eventually. Hopf said that in some cases it’s been bad plumbing leading into the meters that has caused the failure to have the switch, but those are slowly being taken care of. In other cases, customers have refused. The fee is meant to offset the cost of an employee having to read the meters on foot and provide incentive to switch to the new meter.
The new meters can be read remotely by a passing vehicle. Similar meters were the source of controversy in the town’s Glasco water district in 2013, with some concerned that the technology, similar to wireless Internet, was dangerous.
Hopf said when the water department recently read all the meters in the village, it only took about 90 minutes rather than the two weeks it used to take a meter reader to do the job.
The new meters also detect if there is a water leak inside the home or business. Hopf said during the recent reading of the meters, a leak was detected in an unoccupied home and repaired.
Trustees also authorized a $7 charge if a water meter’s freeze plates break, which can happen if a homeowner’s pipes freeze.