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Sun, Feb. 23

Williams to revamp water sales

Local water haulers can soon expect an automated water metering system installed at Williams Rodeo Grounds.

And county residents can expect to pay to buy into its use.

“County residents will be charged a one-time setup fee between $50-$75,” said Joe Duffy, assistant city manager and finance director.

At Thursday’s regular meeting, Williams City Council approved a bid of $23,368 from Water Products.Net of Flagstaff to install a digitized system utilizing prepaid rechargeable plastic credit cards.

Duffy said during phase one a meter will be installed on one side of the standpipe, leaving one of the currently used quarter machines on other side. He stressed the new system will be more accurate, faster and more user friendly.

“We plan to set up one side within 30 days,” Duffy said. “The new system is accurate to 0.002 percent, which means customers will get as close to 32 gallons per quarter as possible no matter what the water pressure is at the standpipe.”

He said the current system is not nearly as accurate and requires city staff time to count quarters collected. Duffy also pointed out the City of Flagstaff has used the same system for three years with no down time.

Dennis Dalbeck said the city receives complaints from water haulers about having to find quarters to use for the current system, which he called “archaic” in terms of accuracy.

“We will issue one card per household, with no charge to city residents,” Duffy said. “They will be able to purchase as much value as they want or need to put on the card and use it until the value goes down to zero.”

He said once the system is shut off, a digital display shows how much is left on the card. Once it’s empty, a card can be recharged at city hall for a new amount purchased.

“Eventually, we need to find an alternate site in the community to install an unattended teller machine (to process cards) after city business hours,” Duffy said.

During phase two, an additional meter will be installed eliminating quarter sales at the standpipe. However, a quarter system will be put in place to provide water for campers and RVs.

Another advantage Duffy mentioned is the city will be able to track who is purchasing city water.

Other action

Also at the meeting city council approved:

• A contract for $8,500 with K.R. Saline and Associates (KRSA) of Mesa to assist the city in evaluating electric power resources and negotiate new agreements with Arizona Public Service (APS) who currently manages the city-owned electric utility.

The city is in the seventh year of a 10-year contract with APS but is required to a give three-year notice prior to making changes.

“Currently, with deregulation, the electricity rates have been decreasing,” Duffy said. “We want to investigate what our options are — what options we have to offer low-cost services to our customers.”

• A $500 donation to Armando Padilla, providing uniforms for the local Arcoiris Folklorico Dancers.

Councilmember Dale Perkins was absent from the meeting.

After the public portion of the meeting, city council went into executive session to discuss legal matters.

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