By The Advocate
The City Council voted unanimously to approve $7.6 million in new water meters and to replace two fire trucks.
With respect to the new water meters, mayor dan rizzo spoke in favor of the two loan orders during the public hearings, saying to the council that current water meters are past their useful life, beginning to fail, and in need of replacement.
“This has placed stress on our water and sewer department as well as unfair stress on our ratepayers,” said the mayor.
Rizzo said that it was time to take advantage of the state’s principal forgiveness program, including the potential to use funds from the Casino Host Agreement. City Finance Officer George Anzuoni reiterated the mayor’s comments, saying that the state-of-the-art water meters would help save the ratepayers money.
Robert Button, project consultant from CDM Smith, stated that the manufacturer of the current meters is no longer in business and that the new automated system being proposed was installed in Boston years ago with great success.
Button said the timeframe for installation would be approximately 18 months for connecting the 11,500 new water meters, and then connects to the new technology.
The loan orders of $250,000 and $7.6 million were unanimously approved.
In a late communication, city councillors approved the financing of $500,000 for two new fire trucks under a collaborative program with the City of Medford.
Fire Chief Gene Doherty spoke in favor of replacing the two busiest fire apparatus in the City’s department. Doherty stated that the trucks were in constant need of repair, and that the City “was starting to sink good money into bad.”
The chief said that the City would be looking at low-end payments of approximately $560,000.
The new trucks, which will also be foam-capable, are expected to arrive somewhere between six to eight months following the placement of the order.
Doherty also stated that the new apparatus could also be used at other fire stations that had been closed in previous years due to budget cuts, such as the Point of Pines and Beachmont fire stations. But the possibility of the two stations reopening is largely based on the awarding of the Suffolk Downs/Caesar’s Palace resort-casino license.