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City to begin installing new “smart” water meters

Work will soon get underway at replacing or retrofitting approximately 4,200 water meters in the City of Cairo.
The new “smart” meters will have the capability of being read remotely and thus eliminate the need for a meter reader to manually read each meter in the field.
This phase is the first in a major infrastructure project to also replace all electric and gas meters with new “smart” meters.
Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton requested the council’s authorization for Mayor Bobby Burns to execute contract documents Monday night in order to get the project underway.
According to Addleton, the infrastructure for the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) must be put in place before the water meters are installed or retrofitted to insure the meters are communicating with the utility office as well as with the elevated water tanks.
The total cost of this phase is $1,112,652.50. The project is being funded by a Georgia Environmental Finance Authority loan of $1,189,645, of which $475,858 of the loan will be forgiven in the form of a GEFA grant to the city.
The material cost is $997,730.50 and installation cost through a subcontractor is $114,922. Addleton said there would be some engineering fees also to be paid with the GEFA loan.
The meters and infrastructure are being purchased from HD Supply and Waterworks and the installation is to be done by Utility Solutions of America.
Utility Solutions, located in McDonough, was the lone bidder for the installation. Addleton and consulting engineer Stacy Watkins reviewed bids received from the City of Pooler in east Georgia for similar work and determined the bid was in line with other vendors who submitted bids for that city.
Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas said he was scared that the city only received one bid, but Addleton said based on his review and the review of the engineer he was comfortable in making the recommendation to the city council.
Councilman Jerry Cox asked when work would begin and Addleton estimated two to three months.
The city has been considering investing in smart meters since 2009.

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