Stratford Town Board considers trial run for new water meters

By Ronda Cowen

News Star Reporter

After not having a December meeting due to no quorum, the Stratford Town Council met Tuesday night to a rather short agenda, considering it was covering two months time.

After hearing from a couple of Stratford residents with different issues, one item was tabled until the next meeting and no action was taken on the other.

The council then skipped to the Public Works Authority Agenda to allow Tom Gill from Secure Vision of America Inc. to present information about installing 20 ultrasonic water meters and software on a three-month trial period.

After Gill’s presentation, Sam Lambert, Head of the Public Works Authority reported that he had done extensive research on the different type of water meters and found that these were the best for the money.

“I have called other municipalities and towns that are using these water meters and they were all satisfied with the accuracy of them,” said Lambert.

According to Gill, the meters are not affected by any debris or air, do not cloud up with condensation so they are easier to read, and are more accurate than almost any meter made. The meters are made in Europe and the company has been in business since 1991.

Lambert said that most of the meters they are using having to be replaced every year or so. The ultrasonic meters come with a twenty-year warranty, ten years of full warranty and ten years of pro-rated warranty.

Gill also said that monitoring the meters will cut down on man-power currently used to read meters because they are digital and come with the software to read them. The software also enables the town to monitor usage down to the hour, which can help residents to identify if they have leaks in their side of the lines. The company provides the training on the software and continued support. The company also installs the meters themselves.

Gill also added that, according to research, about eighty to ninety percent of households have leaks in their lines to the house.

After the three-month trial, if the town decides to keep the meters, they will pay $6500 for the twenty meters and have the option to completely outfit the town with the equipment. If the town is not satisfied, the meters will be removed at no cost. Gill stated that he had never had anyone actually do that, though.

After some discussion, the council voted to go ahead with the test program. The test should commence within the next two weeks. Those houses participating in the test will be notified that a new meter was installed.

The final contract with Mercy for ambulance service was approved. Stratford provides the ambulances but Mercy EMS provides the service.

In a related item, moneys received from Garvin County to help fund ambulance service for the Stratford area were added to the 2018-2019 budget and set in the proper accounts.

When hearing from department heads, Chief of Police Adam McMillen reported that citations in November and December were up from the same time last year. He also reported that things were going well and they had some projects starting up, including focusing on nuisance properties to get a jump on the spring grass growing season.

The council approved a policy concerning marijuana usage that was in line with the current Oklahoma State Law.

Lambert reported that there had been no water leaks in the last three and a half weeks.

“I can’t remember the last time we didn’t have a leak for this long, so we are making progress,” said Lambert. “We have had to replace several meters this month, though.”

Lambert also stated that the new equipment that was recently installed in the town wells was working well.