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Automated metering is under way in Seymour.

The city of Seymour’s first AMI meters were installed today (Wednesday).

AMI, an acronym for Advanced Metering Infrastructure, was approved early last spring by the Seymour Board of Aldermen. The project, with a price tag of about $500,000, has progressed in the interim as city employees — from the office to outside workers — have trained with the system that allows electric and water usage to be monitored and read remotely.

City Administrator Hillary Gintz told the city’s aldermen at the group’s regular meeting last Thursday that the first AMI meters will be installed today.

“These are only city meters,” she explained.

“They will be testing meters. But the system will be live for us, so we can see if there are any problems.”

What’s next?

Gintz said that if all systems are good, then the citywide installation process will proceed.

“We’ll be up and running with AMI this year, without a doubt,” she told the aldermen.

In other action at Thursday’s city meeting, the aldermen:

• Purchased a trailer for the city’s new Yanmar excavator. The cost is $4,669. It will be bought at Montgomery Trailers of Strafford. The Montgomery bid was signifi cantly lower than two other bids presented to the aldermen that ranged from $5,700 to $6,600.

• Learned from South Ward Alderman Nadine Crisp that per her count, the city had 16 new businesses open in 2020.

“That’s really something, considering the year that we’ve had across this entire country,” Crisp noted.

“I’m proud of our city. I’m proud of our employees and what we’ve done as a community. When I think about that, it sure makes me proud to call Seymour my home.”

• Heard from North Ward Alderman William Pogue, who said that he felt signage was needed at the city’s public restrooms on Main Street.

“We know the bathrooms are there, but I don’t think that visitors to town do,” Pogue said.

“I feel that adding a sign over there really will be a benefit to everyone.”

All three other aldermen agreed, as did Mayor Richard Vinson.

• Agreed with North Ward Alderman Jim Ashley on his suggestion that the city’s meetings be moved back to the second and fourth Thursdays of each month.

Currently, the city’s meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays.

“I think it just works better going back to the old way of doing things,” Ashley explained. “A lot of (the city’s) bills aren’t in by that first Thursday, depending on when it falls, and to me, meeting on the second and fourth works better.”

Crisp, Pogue and South Ward Alderman Dan Wehmer agreed with Ashley’s assessment.

Effective in February, the city’s meetings will return to their former schedule of the second and fourth Thursdays.

Meetings start at 6 p.m. and are held in council chambers at Seymour City Hall.

• Listened to a proposal from Wehmer about signage at two of the city’s parks.

“We added a new sign to the Lee Binley Memorial Park on the west side of town, and it looks great,” he said. “By doing that, I feel it showed a need to do the same thing at our other two parks — the Seymour Downtown Park at the center of the square and also at the South Park.

“I’d like to see similar signs ordered and installed at both of those parks.”

The other three aldermen agreed with Wehmer.

It was decided that the new signs will be installed by the start of spring.

• Approved a new city Family Medical Leave Policy in accordance with the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which grants employees up to 12 weeks (and up to 26 weeks under certain conditions) unpaid leave on an annual basis, based on the previous rolling 12-month period.

To be eligible for this leave, an employee must have worked for the city for one year and worked 1,250 hours or more in the 12 months preceding the beginning of the leave.

The policy was passed in a 4-0 vote.

FMLA leave will be granted under the following circumstances:

• An employee’s serious medical condition.

• Birth, adoption or placement of a child.

• Caring for a spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition.

• Exigency arising out of the fact they are the employee’s spouse, child or parent is covered military member on covered active duty.

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