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Pulaski Council awards contract for RF meters

The Pulaski Town Council voted yesterday to award an $861,294 contract to Carolina Meter to install RF (radio frequency) water meters in the town.
Although the bid was not the lowest one received, Town Engineer Bill Pedigo recommended the contract be awarded to Carolina Meter because it was the only one that meets all bid specifications and because the town has a history of using the brand of meter (Badger) that the company installs.
The bid from Carolina Meter actually was the third highest of the seven bids received.
The bids ranged from a low of $782,571 submitted by Professional Meters Inc., to a high of $1.26 million submitted by DLB Inc.
Pedigo said the Badger meter is a better quality meter, and the warranty on that contract was better than some of the lower bids.
He said the lowest bid was for meters that have only been in use for about a year, and, therefore, are too new to get a good idea for their reliability.
Plus, he noted, the Professional Meters Inc. bid does not include a GPS coordinates feature on the meters.
Town Councilman Morgan Welker questioned whether the “problems” with the lowest (Professional Meters) bid are significant enough to warrant spending $80,000 more for the Badger meters.
However, Pedigo suggested the lower bid might not be that much cheaper once items left out of the bid specifications are included.
For example, he said, adding the GPS coordinates feature will cost $2 per meter.
Town Manager John Hawley pointed out that the low bid also was a “lump sum” bid rather than a per-unit bid.
So, if the town decided not to replace all of the existing meters, the price would be the same regardless of the number of meters involved.
Hawley said “it concerned us” that the other bidders didn’t follow the specifications of the bid.
Plus, Hawley noted, the town already has 20 of the Badger meters installed for testing, and Badger is the brand of meter the town has used over the years.
“So, they have a proven track record,” Mayor Jeff Worrell said.
Hawley said they do.
Welker said the difference in cost isn’t as significant given the town’s history of using the meters.
The town manager estimated payback on the new meters, which should provide more accurate readings than the existing meters, should be:
•a minimum of $65,000 in additional water revenue per year and a maximum of $120,000, and
•a minimum of $142,742 in additional sewer revenue per year and a maximum of $267,000.
As part of the water meter discussion, the Pulaski Town Council also voted to change its water billing increment from 1,000 gallons to 100 gallons to provide for precise readings.
The vote by the Council to approve the meters was 5-0, with Councilman H.M. Kidd absent.
You may contact Melinda Williams at melinda@southwesttimes.com

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Pulaski Council awards contract for RF meters

The Pulaski Town Council voted yesterday to award an $861,294 contract to Carolina Meter to install RF (radio frequency) water meters in the town.
Although the bid was not the lowest one received, Town Engineer Bill Pedigo recommended the contract be awarded to Carolina Meter because it was the only one that meets all bid specifications and because the town has a history of using the brand of meter (Badger) that the company installs.
The bid from Carolina Meter actually was the third highest of the seven bids received.
The bids ranged from a low of $782,571 submitted by Professional Meters Inc., to a high of $1.26 million submitted by DLB Inc.
Pedigo said the Badger meter is a better quality meter, and the warranty on that contract was better than some of the lower bids.
He said the lowest bid was for meters that have only been in use for about a year, and, therefore, are too new to get a good idea for their reliability.
Plus, he noted, the Professional Meters Inc. bid does not include a GPS coordinates feature on the meters.
Town Councilman Morgan Welker questioned whether the “problems” with the lowest (Professional Meters) bid are significant enough to warrant spending $80,000 more for the Badger meters.
However, Pedigo suggested the lower bid might not be that much cheaper once items left out of the bid specifications are included.
For example, he said, adding the GPS coordinates feature will cost $2 per meter.
Town Manager John Hawley pointed out that the low bid also was a “lump sum” bid rather than a per-unit bid.
So, if the town decided not to replace all of the existing meters, the price would be the same regardless of the number of meters involved.
Hawley said “it concerned us” that the other bidders didn’t follow the specifications of the bid.
Plus, Hawley noted, the town already has 20 of the Badger meters installed for testing, and Badger is the brand of meter the town has used over the years.
“So, they have a proven track record,” Mayor Jeff Worrell said.
Hawley said they do.
Welker said the difference in cost isn’t as significant given the town’s history of using the meters.
The town manager estimated payback on the new meters, which should provide more accurate readings than the existing meters, should be:
•a minimum of $65,000 in additional water revenue per year and a maximum of $120,000, and
•a minimum of $142,742 in additional sewer revenue per year and a maximum of $267,000.
As part of the water meter discussion, the Pulaski Town Council also voted to change its water billing increment from 1,000 gallons to 100 gallons to provide for precise readings.
The vote by the Council to approve the meters was 5-0, with Councilman H.M. Kidd absent.
You may contact Melinda Williams at melinda@southwesttimes.com

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