Monday's regular meeting saw the green light given to the purchase of an estimated 500 electric water meters which can be read remotely. Billy Baker, former Director of the Rome Water Department and now consulting for the city of Kingston, urged members of the council to invest in their water system and to invest often.
"Water meters are your cash register. The rule of thumb in the water industry is when you change a meter out, your revenue is going to increase approximately 10 percent," Baker said. "You've got more leaks in the city of Kingston than the city of Rome does. ... We need to upgrade the water system. You need to spend money each year on your water system."
With about 500 meters in service, Kingston public works employees currently read meters over the course of two days manually reading and entering numbers from each meter. Baker noted the task could easily be reduced to 30 or 40 minutes saving costly man-hours.
In addition to new water meters, the council approved a financing agreement to pay for the upgrade through the Georgia Municipal Association with BB&T bank for the amount of $160,000.
A vote on adopting a city ethics ordinance was tabled for a final drafting by City Attorney Peter Olson.
Also brought forth by Olson was the second reading and adoption of two ordinance amendments bringing the city into compliance with updated regulations. The first was to clarify the imposition of excise taxes within the alcoholic beverage ordinance followed by an amendment to the water ordinance updating conservation efforts with that of new mandates. Both ordinance amendments were approved.
The Kingston City Council will meet again Monday, Aug. 15, at city hall for a special called meeting to discuss personnel matters regarding former Police Chief Walter Harrell.
Kingston residents and customers can now pay bills online at https://secure.udsinc.com/odp/ocip/ ingstonga/. New users must create an online account before logging in for their first use. For more information contact city hall at 770-336-5905.