Tattler: Reader asked this one today. Roughly stated, why is the City spending $950,000 on "smart meters" rather than using the money to pay down the water bond debt?
Gabe: Good question. Water leaks, lost water, and the personnel costs associated with each are larger operational cost drivers than the recently refinanced water debt. The AMI smart meters will reduce the overall costs of these categories with greater financial impact.
Tattler: Wouldn't it be more cost effective to just repair those pipes once and for all?
Gabe: By financial order of magnitude the single best thing we could do financially was to refinance the water debt, which Council did last year. The second best thing we could do was convert our meters to the AMI "smart" meter system, which Council approved tonight. The third best thing we could do was to repair the top 9 to 11 (I forget the exact number) of mains which have failed or will likely fail in the near future. Council approved the replacement of four of these mains last year and we have designed the replacement for the remaining pipes on the list, and will fix an additional 3 or 4 mains this coming year. Replacing the remaining water system will take a sustained commitment to a healthy water infrastructure system. Council has shown an great willingness to undertake this task.
Mod: Does that make any sense to you? My guess is maximizing the money take from residents through a quite large investment in smart water meter technology replaces the need for another water rate hike. This is how the city will fund the next round of water infrastructure repair and bond service. If I missed let me know.
The continuing disaster in Arcadia explained
Mod: This comes from an Arcadia Facebook page called "Save the Highlands." Probably the best informed piece of writing on the toxic political situation there yet.
Mod: The entire GOP is compromised.