HAMLET — Water meters at the housing authority and the charging of water rates were again addressed at the monthly budget meeting of the Hamlet City Council.
City Manager Matthew Christian reported that progress has been made since his previous report at the March 28 budget meeting.
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“We have found all of the meters,” said Christian. “We have already started to obtain the consumption data to be able to report back how much in respect to dollars and in respect to gallons and then compare that gallon’s figure to what leads us back into the question of unaccounted water.”
Councilman Jesse McQueen expressed concern about completing the install of the updated meters.
“I think we need to get those places metered to see where we stand,” said McQueen. “What we’re looking at that about is that loss of us treating that much water and with the proposals that was mentioned as positive cash flow for the city.”
Multiple units in the Hamlet Housing Authority have been metered but have not been read.
“We replaced the master meter which covered 71 units at Taylor Place, have found the 24 meters on Wilmington Street and read them, located all 94 meters in South Hamlet also known as Buttercup, (21 of those are not working) we’ll be replacing those immediately,” said Christan.
Councilwoman Abbie Covington was less than amused.
“That’s 206 meters,” said Covington. “It’s worse than I thought.”
McQueen inquired about how the charges for the water on the newly metered properties will be collected.
“Even though we are going to meter it,” said McQueen, “are we still going to charge them the minimum?
Christian said that the units will be charged for their consumption.
On Friday, there will be a meeting with members from the Hamlet Housing Authority.
“Robert (Brown, interim public works director) and I are going to have a meeting with the Hamlet Housing Authority on Friday to sit down and talk about this stuff,” said Christian.
“We had been trying to get it on the calendar before now, but I impressed upon them there will be some changes to their bills…I want to go through everything we have and make sure they are in the loop.
“There were some unusual things that we uncovered in this process, but we’re going to correct them and move forward.”
According to Christian’s investigation, “You have 206 units total if you assume a daily use of 2,000 gallons you can start to do some ‘back of the envelope’ figures … you’re still not touching the amount of loss or unaccounted-for water that we talked about in the past.
“We’re going to see what these numbers are (for the first month or two) and then we’ll have some real numbers to say, ‘this is what we’ve accounted.’”
The next monthly city council meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday May 9 at Hamlet City Hall.