Water meter readers get electronic books

June 24, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

Hampstead has purchased two new electric route books for use by the town's water meter readers, said Town Manager John A. Riley.

He said the hand-held units, called "palmcorders," automatically read the town's newer water meters.With older meters, he said, the meter reader must type the meter reading into the unit.

"The time saving is when you come back to the office," Mr. Riley said. The palmcorders download all the meter readings directly into the computer system, so office staff do not have to transcribe them.

The town of Aberdeen already is using the palmcorders, he said.

Hampstead meter readers will use the new devices for the first time in next quarter's billing, Mr. Riley said.

He said Hampstead spent about $4,000 for the two units and their recharger. Interfacing software will cost another $1,500.

The units were purchased from Municipal Services Group. Mr. Riley said the town was not required to seek competitive bids.

He said Hampstead had considered telephone meter-reading systems, which also are under consideration in Manchester.

"It's just too much up-front money," he said. "This is more cost-effective in the short term."

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