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Wayne Post
  • Residents get final warning on meters

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  • NEWARK — After repeated failed attempts to schedule an appointment to install a new water meter on properties in the village north of the Erie Canal, the Village Board is putting a cork in it.
    Last year, village officials began making rounds, going door-to-door to install new water meters for a new meter-reading system throughout the village. Starting on the north side, officials were stymied by residents who ignored multiple requests to make an appointment for the installation. The changeover became necessary when the state changed radio bandwidths that make it impossible for crews to electronically read the old meters. The new technology will allow the village to monitor water usage on a regular basis, so that if higher-than-normal water usage is noted, the village can contact the property owner to alert them of a potential problem within 24 hours, as opposed to quarterly when water bills are processed. There are about 3,500 water customers in the village.
    In February, with 600 non-responsive residents, the village authorized Village Attorney Art Williams to draft a letter advising the property owners to schedule an appointment. Then at the board’s August meeting, a new letter was approved warning unresponsive residents they have 30 days to schedule an appointment for meter installation or their water will be shut off. These letters were sent out on Sept. 20. Residents were reminded in the letter that there is no cost for the installation; however, if crews find that there is old piping that could become damaged during the installation process or that a resident has an illegal sump pump hookup, the property owner will have to make arrangements to fix the problem within 90 days.
    Village crews have now tagged residents’ doors as many as three times, yet 30 to 40 property owners continue to ignore the village’s requests. At the Nov. 19 meeting, the board authorized a final letter giving these property owners until Dec. 2 to make arrangements for the village to install a new meter. According to the letter, failure to do so “will result in the water service to your property being temporarily suspended until the meter is changed out.”
    The non-responsive property owners are also warned in the letter that they will incur $20 water shut-off and $20 water turn-on fees.

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