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BCWA approves radio-read meters

The Butler County Water Authority approved a measure to see if it can use the remaining funds from a USDA grant to purchase radio-read meters at its Monday morning meeting.

The BCWA wants to use the remaining funds from the USDA money to makae the purchase, but the authority hasn’t received the final change order to do so, Kathy Hobson, business manager and bookkeeper for the BCWA, said.

“We’re waiting on them so we can take care of the remaining $397,000 with the USDA,” Hobson said.

Board members were told by Clearwater Solutions manager Wesley Bass that to complete the radio-read meter project, that they would have to purchase an additional 500 meters.

Hobson said in order to do that, the BCWA will have to use their meter maintenance reserve. The 500 extra meters would cost approximately $107,000.

“Then as they install them, they have to buy the assemblies to put it all together,” Hobson said. “If they don’t have the meter maintenance money, then they will use the tank reserve.”

The BCWA sets aside money each month for the tank reserve and maintenance reserve. While the BCWA is paying out $20,000 a quarter, it puts in $30,000.

Hobson said once the authority gets the change order from the USDA, they’ll use the $397,931.03 in funds plus $107,000 to order the 2,387 meters to complete the project.

Moneys will come after the authority buys the assemblies, and labor will come later, Hobson said.

The radio-read meters will allow the water authority the ability to read when a customer has had a problem and for how long.

Bass said instead of one month worth of data, these new meters will be programmed to read six months of data.

In other business, the water authority:

• approved the minutes of the Jan. 26, 2015 meeting;

• approved the write offs;

• approved a payment of the Artesian Utilities Operations Bill and R&M;

• approved the January 2015 financial reports;

• approved to pay off the Pioneer loan; and,

• voted Thelma Mixon as chairman; Black as the vice chairman; and Dan Driscoll as treasurer of the water authority.