Medina Journal-Register — SHELBY — Officials from Medina, Ridgeway and Shelby spoke positively Monday about a proposal that would be the first major shared initiative to stem out of ongoing inter-municipal meetings.
Members of all three municipal boards expressed interest in continuing towards a project to replace decades old water meters and transmitters, an idea presented by highway and public works chiefs in November. That would improve management of municipal water supplies and more accurate consumption readings.
Currently, Medina loses around a quarter of the system’s water through inaccurate readings, leaks and fire response, Public Works Chief Pete Houseknecht said. Shelby Highway Chief Mike Fuller said a similar loss is happening in his town.
Each board will take up the idea of having Wendell Companies of Buffalo provide a full assessment of municipal needs after hearing a preliminary assessment at Monday’s shared services meeting.
“My gut is that we will do this at our next meeting,” Shelby Supervisor Skip Draper said in comments echoed by Ridgeway Supervisor Brian Napoli and Medina Mayor Andrew Meier.
Wendel Energy Corporate Vice President Gerald Summe and Lead Engineer Keith Krug presented an assessment to the gathering of municipal officials based on a walkthrough of village facilities and report on existing infrastructure.
They estimate that more than 3,000 water meters, mostly in the
village, would have to be completely changed out to fully upgrade an aging meter system in all three municipalities. Another 1,300 water meter transmitters, spread more evenly between Medina, Ridgeway and Shelby, would also be replaced.
“Changing out old meters gives a fair, accurate reading,” Krug said.
Once improvements are in place, Krug said Wendel’s conservative estimate of savings from a decrease in unaccounted for water use has Medina saving $170,000 a year, with Ridgeway and Shelby each saving around $20,000 annually.
Additional savings could be achieved by related reductions in manpower hours needed to read radio meters, which all three municipalities have begun to install.
“It’s a process where one person could do readings in the towns and a tower could read the village’s meters,” Summe said.Contact reporter Jim Krencik at 798-1400, ext. 6327.