The Village of Halkirk council heard a proposal from Paintearth Gas Coop to install Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) gas meters in the village during the Aug. 24 meeting.
AMR components attached to gas meters would allow Paintearth Gas Coop to pull gas readings on the system remotely at the start of every month for billing purposes and have the information sent to the village office for invoicing to the residents.
Going this route would reduce staff time and expense of manually reading the approximately 85 active gas meters in the community once a month.
While some of the meters in use are new enough to have the AMR component added, Scott Bagshw, the general manager of Paintearth Gas Coop, notes that good a number of them would have to be changed out.
Costs for the electronic AMR component alone will run the village around $150. For the meters that need to be replaced and the AMR component, the cost will be around $300.
Bagshaw says that due to the small size of the village, Paintearth Gas Coop would look at rolling the village’s meter’s into their own system to spare the municipality the added expense of having to pay annual licensing costs in addition to the equipment.
“If we can save you where we can, why not?” asked Bagshaw.
Monthly costs for the municipality for the reader meeting service would be $100 plus $2.63 a meter per month.
Bagshaw noted that the costs for the meters and AMRs are guaranteed until the end of 2022, giving the village time to review their options.
If council were to proceed with the plan, the soonest any meters would be changed out would be the spring, as Paintearth Gas Coop “wouldn’t change them out in winter,” according to Bagshw.
Mayor Thomas Schmidt moved to accept the presentation as information and for administration to begin looking for grant funding to hopefully offset some of the cost.
As part of the Village of Halkirk’s ongoing efforts to come into compliance with the ministerial order resulting from the outcome of the 2021 viability vote, village administration has begun reviewing all the leases the municipality has signed with outside parties.
Leases included in this review include the Halkirk elevator and the Halkirk Community Hall.
As part of the findings in the municipal viability report, the village must review all the leases with outside groups by the end of 2022.
After a visitor to the municipality complained of falling on a sidewalk on Main Street near the Snack Shack in August, council is reviewing the block running from the hotel past the Post Office.
The complaint was apparently received by the village on Aug. 13, with the complainant suggesting that the village may “want to repair the sidewalk” in that section due to its slant.
Mayor Schmidt commented that the access at the alley is bad as well, particularly in the winter. He noted that the area tends to build up with ice and becomes very slippery, and hazardous to walk on.
“If’ we’re going to do that section, we may as well do it all,” said Schmidt.
Due to a change in Mayor Schmidt’s work schedule, the scheduled meetings for the remainder of the year have been adjusted.
The September meeting will take place on Sept. 21.
October’s meeting will take place on Oct. 26.
November’s meeting has been moved to Nov. 16.
Decembers meeting has been moved to Dec. 28.
All meetings will be held at 5 p.m.