By Dustin Ensinger
Reynoldsburg residents’ water meters will no longer be read by city employees.
In what is believed to be the first step in a transition to monthly billing, on March 28 Reynoldsburg City Council approved a one-year contract with Michigan-based Bermex to read the meters.
“This is a more cost effective meter reading solution than hiring a new employee and the company will be equipped to read all the meters monthly when the transition to monthly billing occurs,” Water Superintendent Mike Root wrote in a report to council.
Until the transition, the company will read one-third of the meters in the city on a monthly basis.
The contact is expected to cost the city just under $21,000 and will not require any additional appropriations.
The currently vacant meter reader position will be converted to a bill clerk position, which city officials say will help transition toward monthly billing.
Auditor Richard Harris said the transition from quarterly to monthly billing could occur as soon as next year. Officials believe the transition will lead to fewer delinquent accounts.
Solid waste collection costs
The low cost of gasoline is saving consumers money in unexpected ways.
Council approved a measure to lower the rates of garbage collection services from $17.79 to $16.19 per month. The cost for seniors will be lowered from $16.29 to $14.82 per month.
The change is due to the city’s contract with Rumpke that allows the price of service to be adjusted based on changes in the price of gasoline. The change is expected to take effect in June.
Main Street landscaping
Council approved a two-year contract with Ameriscape Landscape to provide numerous landscaping services in the Main Street corridor.
The contract will cost the city just under $80,000. The New Albany-based company was the lowest of three bidders. The city has worked with the company in the past.
“They will probably be out working next week,” said Service Director Nathan Burd.
Council approved a measure to allow the city to enter the Ohio Department of Transportation’s cooperative road salt purchasing program.
“This resolution does not restrict our ability to purchase salt through other purchasing consortiums or buy directly from salt vendors,” Burd reported. “This is just one more option available to us.”
When winter began, the city had about 1,400 tons of salt on hand. It typically purchases about 3,000 tons a year, but due to the shortage, it could only purchase 475 tons last year. The city has just 640 tons of salt on hand.
West Licking Joint Fire District
The West Licking Joint Fire District will look at locations in Reynoldsburg that could in the future be the site of a new fire station, Councilman Dan Skinner said. The location is likely to be between Broad and Main streets, according to Skinner.