Hearing on water meters is tonight


AMENIA - The Town Board will hold a public hearing tonight, Thursday, Jan. 17, on the water meter project that is set to begin in March.

In October, the board approved the lowest bid for the project, from National Metering of New Jersey, which offered to do the project for $195,678. The original estimate for the project was $90,000

"The hearing is just a formality process we have to go through," town Supervisor Wayne Euvrard said. "It's part of the process and this is how we get public views on it. I don't believe anyone is going to be against this because it is mandated that we install these meters."

At a previous meeting, Water District Operator Gary Bonds said he estimates around 290 to 300 water meters would be installed.

"[Installation] is not going to be easy," Bonds said at the meeting. "It's got to be done at [the company's] pace, so you have to give them some time.

"Hopefully people will be more conservative of their water usage after the meters are installed," Euvrard said. "We went on a water restriction last summer because our water supply was low. Maybe people will use more common sense when they have to pay for water by the gallon."

At a meeting in December, former town Supervisor Janet Reagon said National Metering will contact each customer individually to set up a time to install a meter inside their home. The company estimates it can install two to three meters a day.

"There will be a wire that comes off of each meter and outside the house there will be a little probe and the data will be collected with a computer," Bonds said. "They will have all of that data and bring all of it back to the town."

Euvrard said he was not sure why the hearing was scheduled after the board approved the bid instead of before.

"Usually [town attorney] Michael Hayes gives us a procedure and we follow it," he said. "Hopefully we'll get an answer to this on Thursday."

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