Armstrong water meter success on tap

The City of Armstrong is touting its water meter installation project as a rousing success

The City of Armstrong is touting its water meter installation project as a rousing success.

In a report to council, chief financial officer Terry Martens said as of Dec. 3, there were about 106 homes out of a total of 1,800 that have yet to receive meters.

“We’re at 94 per cent complete,” said Coun. Kelly Rowe, chairperson of the city’s finance committee.

Of those 106 homes outstanding, a little more than half need meter pits to properly install the meters, which is more than originally anticipated.

Only three homes steadfastly refused to have meters installed.

Council approved a contract extension in June for the project to end Nov. 30. At that time, 550 meters were left to install.

Council voted unanimously Monday to extend contractor Corix Utilities’ contract to May 31, 2014 to complete the project, and spend $80,000 to cover increased costs on the project.

That money has been already included in the 2014 budget.

Coun. Ryan Nitchie motioned to begin shadow, or “fake,” billing in 2014 to let residents know how much water they are using.

“I know we’re only at 94 per cent complete but that’s a significant number to start shadow billing in 2014,” said Nitchie. “It will give the vast majority of residents a chance to see what their water consumption is, and start billing in 2015.”

As of now, all residents pay the same amount for water usage. When full billing is implemented in 2015, residents will receive two bills per year, one for water usage from Jan. 1 to June 30, and one from July 1 to Dec. 31.

Coun. Shirley Fowler was absent from the meeting and did not vote on the recommendations.