Let’s talk infrastructure. ZZZZZZ. C’mon, don’t fall asleep, especially if you live in Yonkers.
For years, I’ve been bitching about the ridiculous system– I should, say non-system– of billing water users in Yonkers. I live there, so I know what I’m talking about.
Once I got a bill out nowhere demanding I pay $1,200, like it was high-end brand of vodka or something. This outrage routinely happens to city residents, and there are a number of reasons for it which I’ve pointed out ad nauseum in my Journal News column. That the city did away with regular water-meter readers many years ago had something to do with it. Actually it had a lot to do with it.
The bottom line is that few people believed the biannual bills were fair and accurate. And that posed a big problem for the city.
Well, here’s the good news. Pending approval from the City Council, an $18 million , two-year project to upgrade the system will begin in September. The idea is to install state-of-the-art meters outfitted with radio transmitters in every home and business that uses city water, according to David Simpson, who is director of communications for Mayor Phil Amicone.
The meter overhaul will be formally unveiled tomorrow at a 1:30 p.m. press briefing in City Hall, Simpson said.Â Part of the presentation includes excerpts from a couple of my columns, which does minor wonders for my fragile ego.
The City Council will hold a public hearing on it at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
A vendor has already been selected to do the job– Ameresco, Inc.– which will install the meter, set up the radio towers and they’ll send out notices telling rate payers when the installations will take place.
Simpson said once the meters are installed, rate payers should be more confident that what they’re paying is what they actually owe. In some cases, he said, bills will go up.
“I don’t want to overstate the problem,” Simpson said, “but there are a lot of people ou there who disconnected their meter maybe because they had an illegal apartment, or they turned their meter around and tampered with the sytem and they’ve been getting away with paying substantially less than they should which meant that it cost more money for everybody else in the district.”
The new system will also detect leaks.