The town of Baxter will have to spend $34,000 to upgrade its meter reader system.
Water Department office manager Melanie Harris said unfortunately the system upgrade has to take place.
“If we don’t do this by the first of the year we will not be able to read our meters. We will have to hand write them,” Harris said. “I think this is something we are probably going to have to do every six years.”
Harris said maters purchased after January 1 will not read without the system upgrade.
“We have no recourse but to go ahead and approve this,” Mayor John Martin said.
Harris said the good news is the system upgrade allows the water department to have two meter readers, which will help speed the process up.
“He (Water Department Director John Ramsey) can send both his guys out to read meters in one day and we can be done with it,” Harris said. “It’s helping us grow, but as you can tell there a cost.”
Ramsey told the board of mayor and aldermen Thursday night that city officials will also have to consider the possibility of moving to a cellular reader system in the future. That system would read meters off a ping, allowing Harris to read them within her office.
“If you go cellular, it’s going to be a whole change out,” Ramsey said. “That’s what we are having to set down and weigh out over time.”
The system upgrade will take place January 1st and will require three days of training for employees.