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Council Seeks Water System Improvements

By Staff | Apr 13, 2016

SISTERSVILLE – City Council unanimously approved the process to accept bids for radio-read water meters and related computer infrastructure that will enhance the city’s water system.

During Monday’s meeting, four recently elected new council members along with current council members endorsed Mayor Bill Rice’s plans to acquire the meters and explore financing options.

Rice said the purchase of the radio-read meters is a step in the right direction toward improving the city’s water infrastructure.

Based on preliminary estimates from City Hall, the new meters will cost about $180 each, for a total replacement cost of between $130,0000 and $171,000. The city will also be pursuing bids for a telemetry system that will monitor water flow within the pipes.

Councilman Alex King said investing in radio-read water meters and related infrastructure is an investment in the city’s future.

“Any way we look at it, the city will be spending money to update its water system,” he said. “Even if the city has to borrow the initial funding to pay for new radio read meters and a telemetry system, it’s more affordable to do that now and cut water loss so Sistersville can join Tyler County PSD. The meters and telemetry system are a drop in the bucket compared to what it would cost to build a new water plant.”

The Mayor said the move will upgrade the city’s aging water system not only by making meter reading more efficient, but the new meters can potentially alert the city about previously undetected leaks. Though the city may pump 3 million gallons per month, it only bills for about 1.6 million gallons. If the city is to connect to Tyler Public Service District’s water supply, it must reduce its water loss rate. The computerized telemetry will be used to monitor water flow in the pipes.

Councilman Brandon Chadock said it’s important to reduce water loss.

“I believe it’s necessary to vet all of our options for decreasing the town’s water loss,” he said.

In other business, council re-appointed City Recorder Chad Edwards and Police Chief Rob Haught to another year of service. Edward’s position changed from salary to hourly employee with no increase in base pay. However, Edwards will be paid time and a half for anything above 40 hours. Edwards was appointed to council in mid 2015.

“I love working for the City of Sistersville,” he said. “Even though my first year has been a bumpy ride, I’ve really enjoyed my time working the people of Sistersville. I’m excited about the opportunity to serve another year.”

In other affairs, the city approved the Autism Awareness Walk for April 16. And Paint the Town Blue, which is scheduled for May, seeks to recognize the hard work done by local law enforcement.

Former councilmen Mark Klages and Mitch Corley were appointed to the water board.

“I believe they’ll be an asset to that board and a great resource for further advising the council on the entire scope of water issues,” Chadock said.