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BPW Discusses Smart Meter Installation at Jan. Meeting

The Holden Board of Public Works (BPW) discussed installation of the new “smart” meters at its Jan. 4 meeting.

The discussion began with Tony Lerda, head of O&M Enterprises and Holden Water Superintendent, clarifying information given at BPW’s December meeting. Lerda said the actual number of meters installed at that time was approximately half of what was reported.

He went on to say that between holidays and colder temperatures recently, progress had been slowed.

He added, “However, with the return of good weather, installations will be completed as quickly as possible.” Lerda reminded the Board that even when the installations were completed, more time will be needed to get them online.

He cited training, a change-over to the new system, and providing information to users about an available portal as to the reasons for the delay.

Lerda went on to say that while the process does takes time, customers should be pleased with the information which will be available to them provided by the smart meters. “For instance, they will be able to download an application to their cell phones which will give them a 24/7 monitoring service,” Lerda explained. “With that, customers and the City can track water usage. If a leak is detected, a notification can be sent and the problem can be remedied more quickly than in the past.”

Turning to the overall water system, Lerda reported there was a leak which occurred at Elm and Elizabeth Streets on Christmas Eve, but it had been repaired.

In a water update, Lerda said he is exploring some options with biologic choices to address the taste and odor problems some water customers have complained about within the past year.

He also addressed several sewer-related issues which he feels could be lessened with education to the public.

Practices such as putting grease in drains and flushing cloths, even those billed as “flushable,” should be avoided, because they both can cause extensive damage.

In new business, BPW Chairman Katy Barrett gave an official welcome to new BPW member Julie Getz, who was in attendance for her first meeting.

Council member and BPW liaison Ray Briscoe updated the Board on the status of DNR grant money during the comments portion of the meeting.

Briscoe said he had received the inspection report and was going to process the payment.

He said it should take three to four days to pass through the comptroller and the funds should be received soon.

Briscoe clarified the funds would be directed to the City and they would be reimbursing the BPW for all monies of the grant.

He also discussed an item from the previous Planning and Zoning meeting concerning public comments regarding the system around Walnut and Chestnut Streets.

There was discussion about changing the zoning from residential to commercial, but it was not approved by the Holden City Council.

Briscoe concluded by saying he mentioned to council that the survey completed by Lerda and Holden City Councilman Jim McDaniel was a thorough document and should be considered when looking for infrastructure projects to do with the COVID relief funds the City received. With that item, the Board adjourned its January meeting.

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