Officials say the Village of Milford Center is losing nearly $24,000 a year as a result of discrepancies in water billing and infiltration issues.
At Monday’s council meeting, Mayor Virgil Reisinger said there are 12 water meters in the village that are currently not functioning.
He said the 12 non-functioning meters are causing discrepancies in billing, since those residences default to paying the minimum bill of $65.24 each month, regardless of their actual water consumption.
“They just got lucky for a little bit, that’s all,” Councilman Ronald Payne said.
Reisinger said Milford Center does not have the parts to fix the water meters and is having difficulties finding the parts needed. The village has also looked into acquiring meters from another village, but none are available.
Officials also said that although only 12 meters are completely nonfunctional, the age of the entire system may mean there are discrepancies throughout.
The current water meters were installed between 15 and 20 years ago, although council members said they were unaware of the exact date. Councilwoman Terri Kean said the estimated life span a water meter is about 10 to 15 years.
“If the life span is 10 and it’s been 15, we’re not even measuring accurately, frankly,” Councilman Dan Johnson said.
The village intends to purchase a whole new meter system, given the aging state of the current one. Officials said software the water system uses makes it impossible to repurchase just the 12 non-functioning meters.
In previous meetings, council has set aside funding in the 2020 budget to repair the meter system, but members agreed they would like to complete the project earlier if possible.
The village has received two quotes for the project – one for $131,000 and one for $80,000, including parts and installation. Kean declined to say which companies the quotes came from.
She also said the village needs three quotes before it will begin to explore grants or low-interest loans as funding options. As a result, there is currently no timeline for the completion of the project.
However, the village is being charged more by the City of Marysville than it is charging its residents for water consumption in the meantime.
Kean said she believes this is not solely caused by inaccurate billing of Milford Center residents, but potentially an infiltration issue as well.
Reisinger said there is no meter at the base of the water tower, but there is a meter at the water plant. Since there no way to compare input and output, it is unknown if there is a leak in the line. Kean said it is likely because the village is losing nearly 20,000 gallons of water a month.
In order to determine whether there is a leak, council decided to pursue estimates to install a meter at the base of the water tower. If the village is able to find an estimate less than $5,000, council members agreed to pursue installation without further hearings in an attempt to streamline remedying the issue.
Council will continue to discuss replacement of the water meter system at its next meeting in July.
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