EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part two of a two-part series on the city of Piqua’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.
PIQUA — The Southview neighborhood will be getting new water meters beginning late spring of 2016. The city of Piqua has been awarded a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Critical Infrastructure Grant. It was the city’s first year applying for this grant and its first year obtaining it.
“The big benefit is reduction in cost estimating,” Nikki Reese, development program manager for the city of Piqua, said. “A lot of households in that area are being estimated.”
Due to a number of circumstances, the meter reader is not able to get into a number of houses.
With the new meters, there will be no need for a meter reader to enter a home or business. The existing water meters in the homes and businesses in the Southview neighborhood will be replaced with new ones that use Automated Meter Reading (AMR) technology that will allow the meter reader to remotely read the meters and send the information to the city’s billing office.
“They’re going to have a more accurate reading,” Reese said.
The meter reader will be able to complete the reading in a day versus three to four days. This will also reduce the safety hazards that the reader may encounter, such as dog encounters, slipping on ice, and dangerous basement stairs.
The new meter readers will also recognize a water leak right away versus when the customer receives an abnormally high water bill.
“It allows us to detect if there’s a leak right away,” Reese said.
The total water meter project budget is $500,000. Approximately 70 percent of the project will be funded through grants and the remaining 30 percent will be from city funds. The funding breakdown includes:
- CDBG allocation funds: $60,000
- Critical Infrastructure funds: $280,000
- Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund: $46,000
- City water funds: $114,000
General administration for the project will cost approximately $32,000, and required fair housing expenses will cost approximately $3,000. Those costs will bring the overall total budget to $535,000.
The city receives CDBG allocation funds every year, but combining those funds with CDBG Critical Infrastructure funds allows the city to make a big change.
“Then you’re starting to talk about impact,” Reese said.
Reese explained that the city has been talking about implementing this technology for several years.
“The city will definitely be looking at replacing all the water meters,” Reese said.
Reese stated that this project is basically stage one of replacing all of city’s water meters and will be taking care of a quarter of the city.
The Southview neighborhood was chosen because more than 51 percent of its residents have a low or moderate income, making this neighborhood eligible for CDBG funding. The boundaries can be viewed on the city’s website under the Community Development Department.
Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall