SHERIDAN — Utilities director Dan Roberts presented Sheridan City Council with a plan to complete the city’s water meter replacement project during a study session Monday night.
The water meter replacement project began in October to replace approximately 9,800 residential water meters that have exceeded their useful life and were no longer accurate. The replacement meters are more accurate, easier for the city to monitor and give residents more tools to monitor and control their water usage.
Roberts estimated the project has replaced 57 percent of the meters in the city so far, which puts it on pace to finish by August; however, Roberts said nonresponsive residents have hindered progress. Keystone Systems, the company subcontracted to complete the project for the city, is contractually obligated to set appointments with residents to replace their water meters.
Roberts estimated about 20 percent of residents, which amounts to about 1,700 water meters, have not responded to Keystone. If the project is not fully completed, Roberts said, its benefits to the city would be limited.
To reach unresponsive residents, Roberts proposed the city make public outreach efforts through various media outlets asking residents to help the city complete the project and offer incentives, such as a drawing for a gift card, to enroll. Residents who still have not scheduled an appointment could then be targeted directly, Roberts said, with notices like door-hangers. After that, Roberts suggested the city shut off water service for residents who still have not responded; he estimated between 50 and 75 residents might get to this point and noted some of those will be uninhabited properties.
The city council will vote on the plan at its next meeting March 19, though Mayor Roger Miller said he supported the plan.
“ Public works director Lane Thompson told council the city is accepting proposals for a consultant on the city’s Capital Improvements Program. Thompson said the CIP allows the city to prioritize and plan its infrastructure projects for the next several years, as well as provide an overview of the expected funding from local federal and state sources, over those years.
“ City clerk Cecilia Good told council the city did not receive any applications for bar and grill liquor licenses after advertising they were available through multiple channels. The deadline for applications was March 5. Good suggested the city leave the applications open indefinitely.
“ Thompson presented council with a staff recommendation to approve an ordinance that would annex the Big Horn Avenue Loop from the county. Officially incorporating the road into the city would square up city limits and allow the Sheridan Police Department to enforce traffic laws without having to request permission from state and county law enforcement agencies.