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Friday, December 04, 2020
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Hymera council talks water meter systems, audit and proposed new convenience store

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The Hymera Town Council discussed switching their current manual water
reading system to an updated electronic meter reading system during
this month's meeting.

The council heard a presentation on a new water reading system from
Utility Supply Co., out of Indianapolis

"For years, we've been living in the dark ages here," council
president Scott Enstrom explained. "Getting out in the wintertime and
laying down in the snow and reading the meters. Not being able to read
the numbers when the water's condensed on the lenses and everything."

Enstrom said this meeting was designed to have a discussion and change that.

"We install Neptune water meters and they've been around for over 125
years," Utility Supply Co. representative Scott Dunlap said. "They're
a 100% American-made product. The product is very high quality.

Dunlap said this switch would entail moving from clipboard technology,
where you're writing everything down, and going to an automated
system.

He explained the new system would be radio read meter units, with a
900 megahertz radio signal which is broadcast, adding this is the same
signal that cordless telephones use and it is a public broadcast band,
used by police and fire departments.

Dunlap noted the drive-by meter reading capability is within about a
1/2-mile of the meter itself, estimating approximately 200 meters
could be read directly for the town's new water office. He also said
the new system could eliminate disputes with customers concerning
water leaks.

"Each one of those meters stores 96 days of hourly data," Dunlap said.
"So you've got three months of data constantly being stored on that
device. You can download all the data on to your smart phone or tablet
and show the customer exactly what hour they used the water, how much
down to the tenth of a gallon. You can email or print it out for the
customer."

The system can also proactively detect a water leak status for each customer.

Utility Supply Co. has already installed these updated radio-read
systems in nearby communities, including Shelburn, Wilfred and
Jasonville.

The council voted 3-0 to proceed with this system and identify funding sources.

In other business:

• The council still needs to make a decision on where to move the
town's wood sculpture Indian, either on to school property or at the
new town office, just to the south.

The move is necessitated by a recent land purchase where the Indian
currently stands located on the northside of SR 48.

Utility Director Nick Cullison said he talked to surveyors on the
property recently, learning the site could be used for a proposed
Dollar General Store which has had drawings rendered.

• Enstrom informed the council the State Board of Accounts has been
conducting an audit of the town's finances, saying a person had been
onsite "for a couple of days."

He thought the town will know more about the results possibly as soon
as this week.


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