Aging water meters and North Wharton Street improvements top the agenda when the El Campo City Council meets Monday.

Of the city’s 4,809 active meters, a study by Ameresco recommended replacing all but four while installing a tower-based reading system at an estimated cost of $3.47 million.

“The city is experiencing double digit water loss (about 16 percent) or unbilled water (as a result of faulty meters),” City Manager Courtney Sladek told the newspaper last fall when the study was authorized.

Normal water is considered about 8 percent.

The city last did a full water meter change out in 2004. The estimated life-expectancy of the units at that time was 15 years.

The proposed project the meters, 75-foot monopole towers at the city’s lift station on Herman Drive and in Delta Street Park as well as shorter receiving units on city water towers. Other anticipated costs include software, support fees, antennas and the like.

To pay for it, the city is considering a bank-financed tax-exempt lease purchase.

If approved, the work would likely begin in the late summer to early fall.

Future plans for North Wharton Street will be brought to council as well, although this project is not ready for action.

Wharton Street is actually FM 653, a state road.

The Texas Department of Transportation is having an engineer prepare improvement plans and met with city officials Jan. 31 to discuss road replacement, curb and gutter, sidewalks and drainage.

To do the work, water and sewer lines would need to be moved.

“TxDOT has indicated that if North Wharton Street is to be improved, upon completion, the city will maintain all of the infrastructure,” Sladek said, adding the state would like El Campo to take ownership of the roadway as well.

The El Campo City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday in chambers, 315 E. Jackson. The meeting is open to the public with time specifically designated for citizen comments.

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