Wilsonville getting ‘smart meters’

Wilsonville soon will get smart utility meters after the Town Council approved the project during a recent meeting. (Contributed)

Wilsonville soon will get smart utility meters after the Town Council approved the project during a recent meeting. (Contributed)

By KRISTIN NEMETH / Community Columnist

At Wilsonville’s Town Council meeting, Monday, April 21, a public hearing was held in regards to funding for a new automatic meter reading system.

Grant writer, Kelley Taft of The Kelley Group, took the floor to explain to the residents and council members what AMRs are and how they will benefit the residents and town of Wilsonville.

“AMR’s are ‘smart meters.’ They will send a signal to a laptop for the reading and are more accurate. More accuracy benefits the citizens and the city,” he said.

Taft reported that 850 meters could be replaced with the new technology.

“If a resident has a leak, the AMR meter will be able to ping a signal to alert the water department during one of the routine neighborhood drive-throughs in lieu of a 30 day bill cycle to identify the problem.”

Roger Perry, Wilsonville’s Public Works director, said “47 percent of the current meters are more than 24 years old. Meters are recommended to be replaced around 15 years. After 15 years they lose their accuracy, depending on use. The new meters are more accurate and can maintain their accuracy for much longer.”

According to Perry, “Meter readings can take the department five-seven days, depending on weather conditions and residents often receive bills with different cycle intervals (25 days, 27 days, etc). With the new meters, the department can drive through and get the readings in a half-day.”

“The cost of the AMR system is $352,228. The city has applied for a DWSRF (Drinking Water State Revolving Fund) loan with ADEM. The city has been approved for a 50 percent principal forgiveness,” Taft said. “Once the other applications are submitted, it is possible to receive up to 100 percent. ADEM will review the applications of Wilsonville and other municipalities and make a decision in the later part of the year.”

“This is a wonderful thing for Wilsonville. It’s like money falling out the sky for us,” Wilsonville Mayor Lee McCarty stated.

The council approved the resolution for the loan and to continue to have Taft work on the project.