MARIANNA- After 25 years, the job got a little easier for Marianna's Meter Reader, Wallie Kiel.
"What happens when you put in an AMR- Automatic Meter Readers- is, your able to read the device much faster" Marianna City Clerk, Kim Applewhite explained. "Once the whole city gets on them, the meters can be read in four or five days, where as it takes the whole month to read them now."
Instead of manually reading every meter in the city, Kiel just drove by... some of them.
"We started this project about three years ago. The city's intentions were to provide more accurate readings for the city's commercial accounts" Applewhite explained.
Then, she said they decided to slowly start transitioning water meters as well.
"We have finished the commercial gas- that's been completed. Our anticipation is in the next couple years to finish the commercial water meters."
The plans are city wide- but Applewhite told us it would likely take at least 10 years to transition all 3000 residential meters. In the city's 2013- 2014 budget, $20,000 was allocated to the second phase of the natural gas project- the residential transition. Officials also put $20,000 toward the commercial water transition. Applewhite said they hoped to complete the commercial water phase within the next two to three years.
"I think you'll have a more accurate read" she said. "And also, when you're changing out the meters you're putting new meters in."
Rick Harrell, Marianna Water and Waste Water Superintendent said business owners- and eventually home owners would probably be nominally affected.
"It probably wont have any impact on their actually monthly billing" Harrell said, "but it would be beneficial in that it's getting a more consistent 30 day read out."