Talk of the city’s forthcoming smart meter system and an ongoing downtown trash problem dominated the city of Delaware’s recent Public Works/Public Utilities Committee meeting.
Public utilities director Brad Stanton said Mueller, the vendor the city chose for its water meter reading system, recently conducted a propagation on where the devices would be located. The system is described as advanced metering infrastructure, which means there is two-way communications with the meter.
There are three devices involved with an AMI system: individual meters that contain a radio frequency transmitter to send data to a repeater on an hourly basis, and a collector. Repeaters are used to extend the distance from the meter to the data collector, and can run on AC or DC power. From there, the data goes to the city’s server, and customers will be able follow their water usage data via a customer web portal.
Based on the study, fewer collectors and repeaters will be needed for the project than previously proposed, saving the city about $9,000.
“The collectors will be on city-owned facilities — the water tanks, one at the water treatment plant, one at station 301, one on the sirens over on Executive Boulevard and at Smith Park,” Stanton said. “The repeaters are much smaller units at fire stations, the police station, at different traffic lights, pump stations and street signs.”
Stanton told Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle the repeaters and collectors would be installed in April, and operational in May.
Public works director/city engineer Bill Ferrigno suggested either changing the city code or adjusting pickup times in order to deal with trash that is frequently dumped in front of an unidentified location on South Sandusky Street.
“Our current policies aren’t managing the issue very well,” Ferrigno said. “In order to have a change in behavior, you have to have a change in our code.”
The city’s codified ordinances state that property owners have 48 hours to remove their trash. “But because it is downtown, we’re directed to remove it right away,” Ferrigno said. “Our code works against us.”
On the other hand, if you throw litter out of your car, for example, police can immediately fine you.
Ferrigno suggested revising the time limit and issuing a first-time warning for repeat offenders, and then a graduated series of fines. There was also talk of changing collection day from Mondays to Wednesdays, so that trash couldn’t be put out on the weekends. However, trash can be put out up to 24 hours before collection.
“We have so many tenants downtown who do follow the rules,” Ferrigno said. “I’d hate to make sweeping changes because of one violator.”