The Saratoga Sun -

By Liz Wood 

Water billing getting into the flow

 


Water meter issues that have plagued the town for the last several months are getting resolved and Saratoga Town Clerk Suzie Cox is seeing the results of a system that works.

Sensus, the user interface program that was installed when the FlexNet water meter reading program was implemented can now let the town of Saratoga water employees know when there is a potential leak.

Cox said a user can come in and ask about their water usage and she can show them in a graph format what their water usage is throughout the day.

A daily report is printed and Brandon Mistelske, with the water department, goes through the report to detect possible water leaks.

Two examples of water usage, one with a normal usage and one with a leak, were shared with the Saratoga Sun to reflect how the town can spot the difference. (See the infographic to the right.)

Mayor John Zeiger said he is working with a representative from Sensus to come in and explain to the public how the system works, what went wrong this summer and the plans they have for improving the system.

“Watch for a public meeting announcement in the paper,” Zeiger advises town residents.

Cox is making suggestions to help with the billing. “Right now, I can only go back one-and-a-half months,” Cox said. She wants to be able to go back further than the above-mentioned time period and show the usage to the customers. Sensus is working to modify the program to do just that.

“We still have some data that is not converting (automatically), but we are doing it manually,” Cox said.

“I encourage anyone who has questions to come in and talk to me,” Cox said.

Cox said all the incorrect bills have been credited to the accounts. She shared the “billing register by customer name” with the Saratoga Sun, which shows $57,191.89 with adjustments of usage problems. If someone believes they are still being overcharged, Cox said she would like for them to come see her.

A resident who has shown concern about the penalty that was on the water bills, but not itemized, came to the Saratoga Sun about the concerns.

The town of Saratoga shared the documents, with addresses redacted, of the penalties charged and shared the “billing register by customer name” from Jan. 1, 2011 to Nov. 30, 2013.

The billing register shows $34,519.35 of penalties charged to customers and $42,861.76 of penalties credited back to customers for the same time period.

Don Price, chairman of the Saratoga/Carbon County Impact Joint Powers Board, said he is confident that the town of Saratoga has taken every effort to ensure that people who were charged with penalties have been credited.

“We pay the town to take care of the billing for the Joint Powers Board,” Price said. “I am confident that the town of Saratoga has taken care of the billing issues,” he said.

 

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