Alpine moves forward on PI meter project
The low bidder, Craig F. Sorensen Construction, submitted a bid for $230,745 for the first phase of the project which was 12 percent below the city's engineering consultant's estimate. (A second bid by S&L, Inc. was for $363,250.)
In the first phase, Sorensen Construction will install 463 residential units and 463 non-residential ( parks, landscaped areas, concrete paved areas and unimproved areas) units.
Sorensen Construction's bid for the second phase was $296,115, 11 percent below the engineer's estimate, (S&L's bid was $481,700). In this phase, Sorensen Construction will install 579 residential units and 596 non-residential units.
According to City Manager Shane Sorenson, the approximate cost for each meter and its installation is S700. At an October public hearing, Sorenson told residents it would cost an average of 89 cents per month to use the radio system.
The meters will be able to be read remotely from City Hall through a radio signal on an ongoing basis. Currently, the meters are read manually twice a year. With the new meters, any leaks could be detected and reported immediately, city officials say.
Residents will also be able to access the meter and read their water use from their cell phone, tablet or computer.
In addition to real-time reading of the meters, a benefit of this system would be enhanced water conservation, city officials say.
Last year the city received a $1 million WaterSmart grant from the Bureau of Reclamation toward the project which is anticipated to be $2.5 million. The city plans to cover the remaining cost out of its water fund reserves. The project is expected to take two to three years to complete.
With metering, the city will be able to have different rate structures based on actual usage rather than the square footage of the lot, city officials say.
Once the system is installed, the base rates, which would be calculated using collected data for pressurized irrigation, are likely to remain the same. It is possible a new rate system will be implemented for higher rates, Sorensen said in October.
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