When water service gets shut off in town, current practice has been to pull the water meter, to prevent the unauthorized use of water until the bill is paid or billable service is established at a site.

When water service gets shut off in town, current practice has been to pull the water meter, to prevent the unauthorized use of water until the bill is paid or billable service is established at a site.

According to Chapter 26, Section 231(c) of the City Code, “if the city determines that a meter or any other related property should be removed from a customer's premises to prevent the unauthorized taking of city water services, a charge in an amount as described in the city fee schedule adopted and updated from time to time by resolution of the city commission will be assessed to the customer's account for resetting the meter.”

At this time, the code only relates to the city pulling a meter for unauthorized taking of water, City Clerk Lisa Lasyone said.

With a brand new automated metering system being installed throughout the city, the current practice of pulling meters for shutoff are no longer an easy option.

Lasyone said the new system only has about 1,000 meters that can be cut off easily.

“Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meters are not easily removed, so, rather than removing a meter for unlawful use, the city will put a plug in the meter,” she said in a memo attached in Monday's City Commission agenda.

Commissioners on Monday unanimously approved a code amendment to allow for the plugging of the smart meters, as a means to shut off service; with it, the $75 reset fee that was charged for putting a meter back in the old system, will now be charged the same when unplugging the smart meter for service again.

The fee is not changing, just the wording in how the meters will be shut off.

The city’s process remains the same, with the exception of pulling the meter.