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Dozier to apply for water meter grant

New water meters may be in the future for the town of Dozier, and the improvements could help improve the town’s revenue.

David Ewing from Ewing, Conner and Associates was a guest at Monday’s council meeting, and he explained why such an upgrade might be needed and what kind of funds are available to complete the project.

“We started researching the unbilled water loss, which is the difference between what you’re pumping and what you’re billing for,” Ewing said.

From January 2008 to April 2010, Dozier had 9,241,329 gallons of water loss, which comes to 26.5 percent line loss.

Ewing said that the Alabama Department of Environmental Management suggests no more than 10 percent water loss per month.

“If you went back and figured what that potentially cost, it comes out to $660.09 per month in potential lost revenue,” said Ewing, who added that there would also have been about $4,100 in production costs, which moves the per-month loss to between $800 and $825.

The town of Clio went through a similar procedure by replacing outdated water meters, and their unaccounted water loss dropped from 25 percent to just over 10 percent.

Ewing said his company has worked with engineer Troy Hudson to develop a plan to replace the water meters with radio-read meters, which would allow the meters to be read more efficiently.

The grant application to ADECA to replace Dozier’s 146 water meters comes to $139,700, with no funds coming from the city of Dozier.

One concern about the change came from council woman Ann Holland.

“We have a lot of residents in Dozier on a fixed income,” she said. “What concerns me is the potential hardship on people who are on a fixed income with an increased water bill.”

Despite those reservations and doubt about the project from council woman Linda Hutto, the vote passed 4-0 with Hutto abstaining.