AMI bids reviewed

AMI soon is coming to the city of Seymour.

The acronym for Automatic Metering Infrastructure, AMI will result in electronic metering for electric and water to all city customers, saving the city labor costs of manually reading meters while also providing more accurate utility-cost usage for customers.

When the Seymour Board of Aldermen sets its utility rates last fall, meter charges were added to all customers’ bills to fund the cost of AMI installation and operation.

Last Thursday, city aldermen opened two bids for AMI services.

Remarkably, the two sealed bids were just over $1,000 apart.

With the lowest bid was Landis+Gyr and Fletcher-Reinhardt Company at $468,418.71.

The other bid for $469,498.50 came from the Tantalus Anixter Company.

The city of Seymour has roughly 800 utility customers, commercial, industrial and residential.

A third company, the Honeywell Corporation, presented its AMI services to the city; however, Honeywell did not submit an official bid to the aldermen.

After reviewing the two bids, aldermen tabled action on awarding the bid until the group’s next meeting on Thursday, June 27.

Assistant City Administrator Hillary Gintz noted that in the bid from Tantalus Anixter, nearly $44,000 was budgeted for the replacement of 3/4-inch and 1-inch water meters, while the Fletcher-Reinhardt bid did not include costs for meter replacement.

“We’ll need to talk again with both companies, but if we don’t replace the meters, which we don’t have to do, then the Anixter bid will be $44,000 less,” Gintz said.

Resident David Carpenter asked the aldermen if city employees would still have to travel in the field to obtain electric and water readings.

“No, they won’t,” Gintz answered.

“This is an automated system where all of the readings will be done here at city hall.”

“Is that also the case with shutting off utilities?” Carpenter asked.

“Yes,” she responded. “We will be able to do that here.”

Carpenter then asked if residents will have an option to pre-purchase electric.

Gintz again said yes.

“If someone wants to buy, for example, $100 of electric, then they can do that,” she explained. “Once the $100 is used and if more isn’t purchased, then the power would cut off automatically.

“But for people who want to buy electric that way, they will have that option. I do know that we have several people in the city who are interested in that option.”

All four city aldermen indicated the desire to officially award the bid for the AMI project at the June 27 meeting so work can begin this summer and continue through the fall, with a desire to have AMI up and running by year’s end, if possible.

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