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Ridgewood Water Meter Reading Woes Continue

Council expected to approve bid so the utility can provide accurate bills after its phone reading server crashed

The Ridgewood Village Council on Wednesday night did not discuss the Ridgewood Water rate hikes that for over 50,000 residents in its coverage area, but it did indicate it would likely have to shell out some cash for problematic, critical infrastructure.

David Schiebner, Business Director for Ridgewood Water, told the council its and it will need a service provider to read 7,000 meters. Village Manager Ken Gabbert said the service, which he hoped would be utilized for less than a year, would cost $1,500 per month.

The utility had been over-billing some ratepayers and undercharging others due to its inability to read from some phone systems as residents transfered to cable providers in recent years. The council to convert the entire system to radio meter readers but has been gradually phasing them in.

"Approximately a quarter of the meters have been converted to the radio system," Schiebner said. "Of the remaining 14,000 or so, about half of them were successfully reading through the telephone system but the server failed. So now there's 7,000 reads we were getting that we won't be getting unless we get this service."

"We evidently need this," Mayor Killion said resignedly, with Deputy Mayor Tom Riche noting he'd like a closer analysis of the costs.

"Moving on there has to be some kind of change," Killion added.

Councilman Steve Wellinghorst remarked that as technology and service providers change, the same problems of not being able to read meters might continue. "That's what I'm afraid of," he said.

limabean December 08, 2011 at 02:04 PM
How do we know if we were impacted. Where can we get a list.
Bernadette Walsh December 08, 2011 at 02:12 PM
@limabean, first thing you need to do is open your bill and see if you have an actual reading or an estimate. If estimate, then you first read your meter and you can either call Ridgewood water and give them the reading, go online to http://www. water.ridgewoodnj.net and either send them an email with the reading or actually input the reading yourself. This simple task each quarter will keep your account up to date.
Oliver Train December 08, 2011 at 02:35 PM
Does $1500 per month to read 7000 meters extrapolate out to $4500 per month to read them all? If it does, that's $54,000 per year, or about $2.60 per month per meter...that's not so bad. 4 Million (plus operating expenses I'm sure) to do radio meters, or outsource for $4500 per month....hmmm
Harlan Consider December 08, 2011 at 02:42 PM
Do your own meter reading online. I do. Get instructions from Ridgewood Water's website.
Ken F. December 08, 2011 at 03:01 PM
I'm anoyed it took them 3 years to finally ask us to read our meter. We were being underestimated and now have to pay the difference at todays rate. I feel like we were intentionally ripped off.
Dominick Nizza December 08, 2011 at 07:23 PM
Go to your Village Water Dept office today and arrange a (date) to have a replacement meter installed. Took about 20 minutes Curb to indoors. Received an update showing a CREDIT of over $169 dollars toward my next bill. No further requirement for future readings to be done. Check it out yourself.
limabean December 12, 2011 at 05:13 AM
So every resident needs a new meter or just some. I will check on monday thanks

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