Moulton residents should see construction beginning sometime in October for the installation of new water and gas meters throughout the city, Water Superintendent Jay Johnson said.
In a special called meeting Monday night, Moulton City Council approved contracts for water meter materials and construction labor totaling $788,197.37.
Contracts for water meter materials were accepted with Ferguson Waterworks of Pelham, Alabama, Core and Main in Madison, and G&C Supply Co., Inc., of Atwood Tennessee, totaling about $588,600.
A contract for labor on the water meter replacement was awarded to Tren-Tay, Inc. of Jasper, for $199,598, as recommended by financial consultant Kelley Taft, with The Kelley Group of Tuscumbia.
The Council also approved material for the replacement of gas meters for $167,351 with G&C Supply Co. and United Systems and Software, Inc. of Benton, Kentucky.
Taft told the Council bids were advertised for materials and labor separately to cut costs for the city as contractors who bid for labor and materials together may charge a 10 to 20 percent mark-up on products.
She said the group issued an addendum after bids for labor on gas meter replacements were not received. The Kelley Group will revisit labor bids before Sept. 26, she said.
The Council approved the meter replacements in January of this year. The project will allow Moulton utility employees to perform drive-by meter readings and provide more accurate data for each customer, according to Johnson.
“Old meters may not register a leak,” Johnson said in a council work session earlier this year. “The new meters would allow us to give customers a print out of usage and leak details.”
He told the Council that due to the accuracy of the automatic meter readings, the city could see a return in revenue that would account for approximately 25 percent water loss not being read by outdated meters.
“One thing that will be happening under the gas and water (project) is there is going to be one reading system,” Taft said Monday night.
She said readings for gas and water are currently conducted separately, but the new system will allow gas and water meters to be read together by one tablet and one employee.
“That’s going to save on your fuel cost, your vehicle maintenance, your carbon footprint, and it will make everything quicker as far as reading,” she said.
Johnson said work for the water meter replacements could take 120 to 150 days, dependent upon the weather. He said he hopes to have the water meter project completed before winter this year.
In the same meeting, the Council also approved the city’s fiscal 2020 budget, as presented by City Accountant Emily Farris.
Farris projected an overall surplus of $193,275.34 in the city’s general fund.
She said the new rental tax that was approved by the Council in January should generate $20,000 in additional revenue this year, which has helped to offset the cost of replacing the roof at City Hall—an amount totaling about $60,000.
The Moulton City Council will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 7, at 5 p.m. unless a special meeting is called. All council members were present for Monday’s meeting.