Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Clay council meets

J-E Editor
Clay Director of Public works Paul Stone appeared before the city council last week to request the purchase of a new hand-held unit for reading meters.

“Our current unit is obsolete,” Stone reported. “It works fine, but after March 1 the company will no longer support the device. If we have a problem we wont be able to send it to them to be fixed.”
Stone told the council that purchasing the unit now was not necessary, but it would allow workers to read meters more efficiently. These hand-held units, he explained, are generally supported by the manufacturer for five to six years, which is how long Clay has owned their current device.
“Our current device will not stop working on March 1,” Stone told the council. “Until it dies we will be able to use two units,.”
Clay does not have radio read water meters. Instead two city workers must read each individual meter. One uses the hand-held unit, while the other records meter readings on paper. When they are finished, the unit can be downloaded directly into the city’s database, but the paper records must be entered manually. 
“We end up with a lot of paper,” said Stone.
That is a time consuming process. It also sometimes results in multiple trips to read the same meter.
“The hand-held unit has an alarm if a meter has an unusual reading, so we can go ahead and check it while we’re there” Stone told the council. “With the paper records we don’t know until we enter it into the computer. Then we have to go back and check the meter again.”
The unusual readings could be as simple as a number recorded incorrectly, but it could also be a sign of a water leak. The faster those are noticed, the fast the customer can be notified.
Stone gave the council three options for the purchase of a new hand-held device, ranging from $6,300 to $3,800. He recommended the $3,800 unit, a Tremlbe Nomad model 900LE.
The council voted unanimously to approve the purchase. The money for the unit is already it the city’s water fund.
In other business, the council approved the appointment of Juliana Rhye as City Clerk, Jeremy Moore as Fire Chief and Peggy Durbin to the Ethics Committee.
Rhye reported to the council that one day last week, while someone was cleaning the trailer park, they set a pile of trash on fire. That trash contained building materials, which Fire Chief Jeremy Moore said are illegal to burn. The matter has since been handed to Police Chief Chris Evitts.
Moore reported that Clay rescue made 168 runs in 2014 and the Clay Fire Department responded to 37 fires.

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