Benton Township trustees agree to buy 100 water meters

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON TOWNSHIP — Benton Township officials knew there would be maintenance costs when the township began running its own water system.

Some of those costs became known at Tuesday’s Township Board meeting. Trustees agreed to buy 100 water meters based on the recommendation from Water Distribution Supervisor Mike Baldwin.

At a $130 apiece, the total cost was $13,000.

Superintendent Kelli Nelson told trustees Baldwin had already identified the meters that were either outdated or have had significant water usage pass through.

With a replacement plan in place, Baldwin having an inventory of meters to use would make the process more efficient, Nelson said.

“As many of you know, when we started maintaining our own water system, we replaced many of the meters,” Nelson said. “Since then, some of them have used a significant amount of water, which has made their useful life lessen.”

Nelson told trustees that Baldwin had been ordering 30 meters at a time.

However, due to the significant number of meters that need to be repaired, Nelson said it would be more convenient to order 100 meters so there would not be a wait time for delivery.

Each meter tends to have a lifespan of 10 years, Nelson said. There would be no cost savings in buying more ahead of time.

“With our water distribution system, the company we buy the meters from knew the number of meters we would be changing out in the end,” Nelson said. “Our pricing is based on a volume discount from how many residents we have. So, essentially the discount is already built into the price.”

Trustees also approved the purchase of two copying machines for more than $16,000.

Nelson said this purchase would save the township $7,200, as they now lease three copiers. The move would decrease the number of copiers the township uses at its office building, from three to two.

The next board meeting is at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 at township hall.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 18, 2017)

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