The City of Meridian is working to cut costs and perhaps save some money. Tuesday city council members approved a contract with energy services company – McNeil Rhoades—to find ways on how the city can be more efficient in using power and water.
“We’re looking at where we can save tax payers dollars and how we can stretch the money that we do have,” said Richie McAlister, the chief administrative officer for the city.
With the new project, the city hopes to improve the efficiency of power and water usage by installing LED lights in all city-owned buildings and by putting in place electric water pumps.
“Right now, just on the water meter side, it is an extremely labor-intensive process, in which you have meter readers that are manually going out and reading these meters. What happens is you often will miss some of the water usage that is going through there, which is dollars we aren’t receiving back to the city,” said McAlister.
The changes are projected to save the city at least $850,000 per year… and with the new meters, officials say residents will be able to monitor their own water usage.
“If they call the billing office and say my water bill is $100 this month. I’m on a fixed income; I want to try to get it down to $80. What are some things that I can do? Literally, they’ll be able to pull up an hour-by-hour for the entire month and say do you know on this Saturday, we saw a spike in your usage. Where you watering your grass or washing your cars?” said Chris McNeil, president of McNeil Rhoades.
Officials say state financing and revenue from water and power bills will pay for the changes.
The city will begin installing the L-E-D lights and electronic water meters in January. The process will take about two years to complete.