Tuesday, October 11, 2005

"Bombarded with numbers"

representative of Neptune explains $1.9 million meter proposal to Tarentum borough councilToday's Valley News Dispatch has a thorough report by Susan Thompson entitled "Tarentum Council reading meter presentations." Thompson says:

Council was bombarded with numbers Monday night during presentations about water and electric meters. The borough is considering either replacing or modifying meters.

The lengthy meeting involved proposals from Neptune Technologies and Sensus Metering Systems. It is hard to compare the relative costs of the proposals.

The Sensus proposal is to upgrade the existing meters at the cost of the equipment, with the borough continuing to carry the costs of personnel for reading, billing, etc. The company is ready to work with whatever budgetary constraints affect the borough in terms of the speed with which the upgrade occurs.

The Neptune proposal might cost $1.9 million over the ten-year contract, but Neptune says that the borough might make an additional $1.9 million through more accurate billing. Under the Neptune proposal, Neptune would take over the responsibility for maintaining, reading the meters and billing.

Given the need for the borough to invest in replacing aging infrastructure that is springing leaks underground (see this), I wonder whether it makes sense to plan to spend $1.9 million the borough doesn't have over the next ten years.

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