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NEWS
November 10, 2013
Baltimore wants to replace our water meters with smart meters at a cost of $83.5 million ( "City awards $83.5 million deal for water meters," Nov 7). I have lived in Baltimore County for 66 years and never had a faulty bill. Most of the reasons for this upgrade are cases of human error. True, "smart" meters will likely eliminate much of the human error - at a cost of many jobs. The track record of Itron speaks for itself. Just ask Houston, where they are still trying to resolve problems 10 years after Itron upgraded their system.
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NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | August 5, 2014
Baltimore neighborhoods Mount Vernon and Pimlico and Baltimore County's Bowley's Quarters will be the first to receive new water meters as part of system-wide overhaul, city officials said Tuesday. Beginning in September, crews will install about 5,000 new meters in the city and 5,000 in the county, officials said. The new meters will use wireless technology. Residents will be able to continuously check their water use online, the city said. The installations are part of an $83.5 million contract with Itron Inc. to upgrade Baltimore's water-meter system.
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NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | November 30, 2011
Workers have begun replacing water meters in 12,000 households in Baltimore City and county, public works officials announced this week. The meters can be read remotely, eliminating the need for workers to travel to the homes, and will replace outdated meters that no longer function properly, public works spokeswoman Celeste Amato said. Officials hope to eventually replace meters for the 400,000 households on the municipal water system with the meters, which will eliminate the need to estimate water bills, Amato said.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | June 9, 2014
City officials say the insurance program for broken water pipes they've been publicizing likely won't be available for several months, and possibly not until autumn. Baltimore first announced the insurance - which officials call a service contract - last year in connection with the approval of a system-wide overhaul of water meters, warning residents they would want to buy the insurance in case pipes break during the work. Kurt Kocher, a spokesman for Baltimore Department of Public Works, said recently there is a very small chance pipes could break during the overhaul of about 400,000 water meters in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.
NEWS
May 16, 2011
Anybody who has ever tried to figure out a Baltimore water bill likely had a simple reaction to news last week that the city's Department of Public Works was going to improve billing procedures and upgrade its water meters: It's about time. The City Council is scheduled to take up a measure tonight sponsored by Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke that would end the practice of estimating bills, which has led to sticker shock for many water customers who have faced inexplicably huge charges.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | November 4, 2013
A key city agency is recommending that a West Coast firm win a multimillion-dollar contract to overhaul Baltimore's water-meter system — an effort officials say is long overdue and could help end the persistent problem of wildly erroneous bills. But the plan to convert the system to wireless "smart" meters is being protested by a rival firm, which says that Itron Inc.'s $83.5 million proposal has "substantial technical deficiencies," including using "unlicensed radio frequencies that may not function properly.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | November 6, 2013
Baltimore officials awarded an $83.5 million contract Wednesday to overhaul the city's huge water-meter system - and warned residents that they could be liable for damage the work might cause on their properties unless they purchase insurance. The city selected Itron Inc. of Washington state to install meters for a new wireless meter system that will serve 400,000 customers in Baltimore and Baltimore County, rejecting a competing bid from local firm Dynis LLC that was $101 million more.
NEWS
By Katherine Richards and Katherine Richards,Staff Writer | February 4, 1993
A Wisconsin company touting a better water meter is hoping the town of Manchester will beat a path to its door.Manchester's ad hoc committee on water and sewers heard a sales pitch last night from Badger Meter Inc., of Milwaukee, for an automated water meter system that would eliminate the need for meter readers.Some Town Council members also attended the presentation."We're looking real hard at this system," said Steven L. Miller, the town's water and sewer superintendent. "The elderly people like it because that's one less person who's going to be nosing around their homes"The automated system uses computerized water meters that automatically call a computer in the town office at night to report meter readings.
NEWS
By Katherine Richards and Katherine Richards,Staff Writer | December 23, 1992
Manchester is throwing money down the drain.The town's water meters are wearing out, causing them to under-estimate the amount of water some customers are using, said Steven Miller, the town's water and wastewater superintendent.That means water users are being under-billed, and the town is losing tens of thousands of dollars in uncollected water and sewer charges.Recently, water and waste water department figures show, the town has only been billing for about 78 percent of the water it has pumped.
BUSINESS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | November 13, 2005
BOLINAS, CALIF. - - Blessed with a quaint downtown and some of the most impressive scenery on the Pacific Coast, this town is largely unknown even in San Francisco, 20 miles south. To keep that from changing, residents have a habit of tearing down highway signs that so much as mention Bolinas. The same urge to remain pristine has led to one of the most extreme anti-growth policies in the nation. For more than 30 years, Bolinas has refused to authorize a single new water meter, needed for hooking up to the town water supply.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2014
The city's spending panel on Wednesday is slated to approve $9.7 million more to overhaul the city's huge water-meter system - on top of $83.5 million approved last year for the project. The Board of Estimates is expected to authorize a contract with EMA Inc. to "ensure that the program moves forward efficiently and expeditiously," according to city documents. Among other tasks, EMA will be expected to provide oversight for the project, including budgeting and "quality assurance," officials said.
NEWS
November 10, 2013
Baltimore wants to replace our water meters with smart meters at a cost of $83.5 million ( "City awards $83.5 million deal for water meters," Nov 7). I have lived in Baltimore County for 66 years and never had a faulty bill. Most of the reasons for this upgrade are cases of human error. True, "smart" meters will likely eliminate much of the human error - at a cost of many jobs. The track record of Itron speaks for itself. Just ask Houston, where they are still trying to resolve problems 10 years after Itron upgraded their system.
NEWS
November 9, 2013
Let me get this straight. Residents are being advised to buy insurance to protect themselves from damages Itron Inc. may cause while installing the wireless "smart" water meters that are designed to correct the problem of inaccurate readings that the city created ( "City awards $83.5 million deal for water meters," Nov. 7). And Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has the gall to empathize with the "hardworking families, many of whom are barely making ends meet?" City Comptroller Joan Pratt had it right when she said the need to purchase insurance was "like another tax. " I suggest city officials search their archives and find out how they managed to get the water meter readings right when water bills didn't require a second mortgage to pay. Sean Tully, Baltimore - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com .
NEWS
November 6, 2013
The tentative award to the low bidder for the upgrade of the area's water meters may not prove to be for the best ( "Water meter bid is backed," Nov. 5). Wouldn't it be a prudent for the award to be predicated on the successful low bidder to prove themselves by modifying a small section of the city's meters before tackling the entire area? In my humble opinion and based on what I read, it reminded me of the old saying, "When in doubt, do nothing. " Bernard E. Helinski, Baltimore
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | November 6, 2013
Baltimore officials awarded an $83.5 million contract Wednesday to overhaul the city's huge water-meter system - and warned residents that they could be liable for damage the work might cause on their properties unless they purchase insurance. The city selected Itron Inc. of Washington state to install meters for a new wireless meter system that will serve 400,000 customers in Baltimore and Baltimore County, rejecting a competing bid from local firm Dynis LLC that was $101 million more.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | November 4, 2013
A key city agency is recommending that a West Coast firm win a multimillion-dollar contract to overhaul Baltimore's water-meter system — an effort officials say is long overdue and could help end the persistent problem of wildly erroneous bills. But the plan to convert the system to wireless "smart" meters is being protested by a rival firm, which says that Itron Inc.'s $83.5 million proposal has "substantial technical deficiencies," including using "unlicensed radio frequencies that may not function properly.
NEWS
By Traci A. Johnson and Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer | August 9, 1993
New Windsor residents will receive a note with their monthly bills telling them if their water meters have remained unread and why.Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr. said the change in billing comes after a resident complained about a leak the town meter reader failed to detect because he was not able to read the meter.Albert Grimes, son of Councilman Kenny Grimes, earlier this year went to make a quarterly reading of the meter in the 300 block of Main St. The meter was at the end of the property, between the home and the street, said the resident, who asked not to be named.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | June 9, 2014
City officials say the insurance program for broken water pipes they've been publicizing likely won't be available for several months, and possibly not until autumn. Baltimore first announced the insurance - which officials call a service contract - last year in connection with the approval of a system-wide overhaul of water meters, warning residents they would want to buy the insurance in case pipes break during the work. Kurt Kocher, a spokesman for Baltimore Department of Public Works, said recently there is a very small chance pipes could break during the overhaul of about 400,000 water meters in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2013
Two politically connected firms are lobbying for a multimillion-dollar contract to overhaul the city's water-meter system - a once-in-a-generation effort Baltimore officials say could help end the chronic problem of wildly erroneous bills. City purchasing officials, who are evaluating the bids, could recommend one of the companies to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as early as Friday. The winning bidder will have to install more than 400,000 water meters and replace the management system by April 2017 - likely not soon enough for customers who continue to receive exorbitant, and inaccurate, bills.
NEWS
October 21, 2013
The growing controversy over an upcoming contract to install "smart" water meters in Baltimore has once again provided a glimpse into the legalistic mind of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake. In a statement issued on her behalf, the mayor's spokesman assures us that "many documents pertaining to this matter are already public, and there is nothing to suggest that the mayor is an active participant in this process or any other procurement matter. " In the closed door, backroom world of City Hall deal-making, it is reassuring to know that no documentation of political favoritism exists, but it would be far better had Mayor Rawlings-Blake made a simple, declarative statement that she has not and will not try to influence this contract.
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