Lowell to get tough with water meter holdouts

2012-09-24T22:00:00Z Lowell to get tough with water meter holdoutsMelanie Csepiga Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
September 24, 2012 10:00 pm  • 

LOWELL | About 150 water utility customers will have their water shut off if they fail to allow town crews to change their meters.

Public Works Director Greg Shook told the Lowell Town Council on Monday that his office will be sending letters to those customers with the old meters giving them 30 days in which to let the town make the switch.

"We've tagged their doors twice," Shook said of those not complying.

The effort to switch to radio read meters, which do not require a meter reader to physically be at the meter, has taken more than two years.

There is no cost to customers, and the change takes about 15 minutes, Shook said.

The council learned town crews have even made the switch during evening hours and Saturdays to accommodate customers.

The council also agreed Monday to have North Nichols Street paved from West Commercial Avenue to Deere Way at an estimated cost of $80,000.

That portion of Nichols Street was removed from the town's major paving project three years ago because officials thought it could be funded with grant money.

Shook said the $80,000 quote from Town and Country Paving compares well to prices three years ago.

Lowell Town Court Judge Karen Coulis said she knows the town could use the $100,000 owed the court in outstanding violation and infraction fees.

Coulis asked for and received the council's permission to enter an agreement with Capital Recovery Systems, of Ohio, for collection services.

"It's win-win," Coulis said.

The firm collects what is owed the town first, then collects its charge from the violator leaving no cost for the town, she said.

The council directed Town Attorney Gregory Sobkowski to prepare an ordinance to allow the Town Court to make collections and contract with the collections firm.

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