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Bearing the cost of new meters

Chris Aiken, Pioneer Staff Writer

City officials are uncertain who will bear the cost of replacing worn out water meters, a majority of which were installed in 2000 and are  reaching the end of their life expectancy. 

Raising the issue during the May 7 City Council meeting, Deputy Clerk Marilyn Raisland said meters had been failing more frequently since last summer, and that homeowners were being charged for the replacements. 

However, it is unclear how residents will end up paying for new meters, which cost roughly $220.  “Nothing is set in stone as of now,” said City Attorney Jim Lippert, who thinks the decision will ultimately fall to the city council. 

Section 2.14 of the city’s Rules and Regulations Governing Utility Services states that customers are responsible for maintaining water lines up to the curb stop, but makes no mention of the water meter itself. Section 10.2 addresses the matter more directly, stating that it is the utility’s responsibility to “furnish, install and maintain a municipal water meter…on every water service line connected with the municipal water supply system.” 

By contrast, Section 10.17 states that the customer can be held responsible if the meter is damaged by “carelessness or negligence.” 

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