By WILL BRUMLEVE
ROBERTS – A letter was sent to all homes and businesses in the village of Roberts this week detailing the upcoming replacement of their water meters.
The letter, signed by village clerk Sara Waterson, states that the work will be carried out by Dye Plumbing of Paris, Illinois during the week of Monday 22nd to Friday 26th August. Three crews, each with two plumbers, will be working every day this week to complete the project in as little time as possible.
“They intend to work 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. all week,” the letter said.
Installations will be performed on different days in different parts of the city including Main Street, Cemetery Road, Oak Street, Hickory Street and Sunset Drive on Monday, August 22nd; Green, Locust and Adda Streets on Tuesday, August 23; Illinois 54/115 and South, Weber, Hall, Dilks, Walnut and East Maple Streets on Wednesday, August 24; Weldon, Melvin and West Maple Streets on Thursday, August 25; and all items that had to be moved on Friday, August 26th.
“The plumbing company will not zigzag through the city as this will slow down the progress of the project,” the letter said. “So we try to do this street by street as much as possible. Please make every effort to be home on your assigned street day or have a family member, friend, neighbor, etc. to accommodate the plumbers.
“The estimated time it will take per home to complete the installation is around 15 minutes. The installers ask you to be at home when they are there and that the area in your house where the meter is located is not blocked by anything so that they can get there easily. If they need to move something that blocks the meter area, $100 will be charged by Dye Plumbing and collected by Dye Plumbing at the water customer’s own expense.”
The letter asked that residents or businesses who “have a scheduling problem that can be solved by using another day in the same week” or “need a specific amount of time to accommodate (their) workday,” Waterson at 217 “Call” -369-8184. resolve conflicts or other concerns.”
“If you absolutely cannot work out a 15 minute window for your upgrade, you may make your own appointment with Dye Plumbing, our contract installers for this project, but unfortunately do so at your own expense,” the letter reads.
Every home and business must have a new meter installed to ensure accuracy of usage and billing, the letter said, adding that “non-compliance could result in an interruption to your service.”
A board member or village staff member will be present at each installation, the letter said.
“We really appreciate you all being flexible and patient with your board and installers during this time,” the letter reads.
The Borough Council voted in April to accept a $49,864 offer from Edinburgh-based Midwest Meter to replace all 175 water meters in the city. Midwest Meter’s offering included a five-year payout option for a total funded amount of $56,286. The board approved the five-year disbursement schedule, with the first of the village’s annual payments to Midwest Meter being due next April.
Funds to pay for the project will be generated through an increase in water rates approved by the Board in April. The $9 increase in the monthly price of groundwater – from $40 to $49 – went into effect on May 1.
Fully functional water meters should also bring in additional revenue to fund the project. The Illinois Rural Water Association estimates that Roberts has lost $17,877 annually due to inaccurate and non-functional water meters, and the hope is that once the project is complete, the city will be able to collect actual water usage debts owed each month.