HOLGATE — Village council Tuesday approved updates to its water meter system.

Village Administrator Rob Nagel presented a quote from Everett J. Prescott, Inc. in Lima, which is the company the village utilized for its Sensus water meters and associated system.

“Everything’s all out of date. The meter system’s about six years old now,” Nagel said, adding the update includes red flagging accounts with high usage to detect leaks quicker. “The way I’m taking it from the salesman is it will pretty much do everything that we were told it would do in the beginning that we’re not getting.”

Mayor Blake Tijerina said it appears the system was not fully activated when it was installed and so periodic updates were never performed.

“We paid for it, it didn’t get (fully) turned on and, had it been turned on, we would have noticed that it stopped working due to the (needed) upgrades,” Tijerina said.

Nagel said the new system will be web-based, so four data boxes currently stored at the village office will be removed.

The one-time cost for the software upgrades are $23,750. There is also an annual fee of $15,300 for the first year, which is an increase over the approximately $3,000 per year the village is currently paying in annual fees. The annual fees will increase 3% per year.

Council approved moving forward with the upgrade, splitting the cost equally between the water and sewer funds.

In other matters:

•Council approved second readings on ordinances prohibiting loud noise disturbances and littering and yard waste in gutters and streets.

•Nagel reported work will begin today on the new control system for two of the village’s four wells as they are not shutting off correctly. It will be a radio-read system that includes a transmitter at the water plant and receivers installed at the well that would control them.

•Nagel also reported they rolled the walking trail at Old School Park to see if it could be tamped down more after concerns were raised about the surface being loose. “That’s as solid as it’s going to get,” Nagel said. “It’s not track material we put on there, it’s pretty much a berm. If they want a better surface, he (Punches Excavating, LLC) could probably topcoat it.” Nagel will get an estimate for the topcoat.

•Council approved the purchase of a new laptop for Nagel from EK Computers at a cost of $899.95.

•Council reviewed quotes for a redesign of the village’s website, but delayed a decision after Councilman Mike Medina said he thought the project could be postponed until larger projects in the village are taken care of first. Tijerina will look into what the hourly rate is for updates through the current company hosting the website and smaller changes might be made instead of a total redesign.

•Filling in a ditch along State Route 108 throughout six blocks of the village was again discussed. The issue has stalled as all work must be approved by the Army Corps of Engineers, but there is not funding typically available to assist in those kinds of projects and it’s an estimated 17 years to go through approval processes and receive assistance with the project. Medina questioned how a church in the area was permitted to fill in its portion of that ditch, but no one was aware of the circumstances of that project. A council member will contact the church to find out more information. Officials have previously stated the ditch is an eyesore, has impacted walkways and driveways located along the ditch and is a safety concern with the amount of semi truck traffic traveling through the village.

•Council learned the online system to pay utility bills is scheduled to go online Monday. Users will first have to create an account and then can pay their bills. An option will also be available to switch from paper to electronic statements.

A Park Committee meeting has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 25, followed by the regular council meeting at 7 p.m.

E-mail comments to jenl@northwestsignal.net.

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