Remote water meter reading coming to Kansas

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KANSAS – Reading the water meters and calculating the water bills will be much easier in the near future for the village of Kansas.

The Kansas Village Board unanimously approved the purchase of a remote water meter reader at the regular meeting Wednesday, Dec. 5. The meter, which costs approximately $3,230, makes it convenient for the village utility workers to accurately read meters, logging the use of water and generating the monthly water bills.

The cost of the machine includes a $500 annual maintenance fee for the device manufactured by Neptune Technology Group.

Utilities supervisor Andrew Henn noted the device logs data and is Android based. He recently purchased a Chromebook for just more than $100 to operate the meter reader.

“This will make life simpler as far as meter reading goes,” Henn told the board before the vote on the purchase.

He noted the reader will catch the signal from the newly replaced remote meters being installed in the village. He reported the installation of new meters is approximately 40 percent completed.

“If all goes well, we will hit it hard next year and get more than half the north side finished installing the new meters,” Henn said.

He added village employees are currently manually recording the meter information.

Henn said Neptune anticipates releasing a new software program in 2019. The new management platform is designed specifically for the needs of water utilities. It will collect water meter data faster and more accurately, quickly identify potential leaks, excessive consumption and reverse flow.

In routine business, the board approved the 2019 property tax levy. Susan Saxton made the motion to once again have what she described as a standard across the board normal increment of five percent. The board unanimously voted to approve the levy.

Henn reported he turned in the annual Motor Fuel Tax paperwork to the county highway department. He made small increases to the tree trimming, weed spraying and maintenance funds.

Henn also anticipates going back to spreading pea rock for street and alley oil and chipping projects saying, “The limestone was dusty and dirty.”

Kansas Police Chief Jeff Goodwin reported the police department handled one accident while issuing 10 traffic citations, four written warnings and 13 verbal warnings. The department made two arrests and remedied two complaints.

In addition, officers assisted the Coles County Sheriff Department and the Edgar County Sheriff’s department with theft investigations. The department’s Dodge Durango was serviced and received new outer tie rod ends and rear brakes.