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City passes budget, includes water meter replacement and fewer water bills

March 15, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Canfield City Council had a watered down agenda last week. Council approved a water meter replacement plan and dealt with a change in the water billing system.

Under ordinances, council approved the 2012 appropriations budget that set aside $700,000 for the replacement of water meters throughout the city. According to city manager Joe Warino, every water meter in the city will be replaced late this year.

"The replacement fund will be created in late July," Warino said. "The actual replacement will begin in the last quarter of this year and will spill over into 2013."

Warino also mentioned the water department will be doing things a little differently when it comes to billing this year. In past years, the city has used bulk mailing to send out water bills. Those who didn't pay immediately were mailed a second bill as a friendly reminder. The second bill will no longer be an option as the city has to conform to new post office rules.

"We were informed the post office will no longer accept the bulk water bill mailing," he said. "So there will be no more friendly reminders. We are asking people to be more cognizant of when they are close to being late so they can avoid the penalty."

He said they will only get one bill in the mail now. That bill will come in an envelope and will be the only one sent. If it is not paid by the due date, a penalty will be added.

Another item in the 2012 budget approved by council is $100,000 set aside for engineering. Warino said the funds will be used to do the engineering work on sewer projects. He said there are a lot of grants that pop up from time to time that require a quick response to get the funding. By having engineering studies done and ready, the city has a better chance of getting grant funds for some of the sewer projects that are on the table.

Council also approved the renewal of the contract with Direct Energy to handle the cities gas and electric aggregation program. The renewal is a two-year extension and for 2012, represents a new all-time low for natural gas at 50 cents per million cubic feet. He said it was well over $1 when the city first entered the program a few years ago.

"I am very satisfied with the rates we have been getting," Warino said.



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