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Dixie Inn looking to upgrade water meters

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The Village of Dixie Inn is seeking grants to cover the cost of replacing the village's some 130 water meters.

DIXIE INN – The Village of Dixie Inn is seeking grants to install new water meters to some 130 customers.

Mayor Kay Stratton said most of the current meters are 40 years old and are slowing down, which makes it harder to get an accurate read on the meters.

“Our water meters were put in in the mid-1970s,” she said. “Our sewer plant has been upgraded through the years, and our water treatment plant has been upgraded as far as chemicals and things of that nature, but the only thing not upgraded is our water meters.”

She applied for the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant for about $25,000 to go towards the meters, and the Louisiana Governmental Assistance Program to seek funding for possible upgrades on the sewer plant.

“It would give us a good start,” she said. “We’d like to upgrade to the electronic water meters, but we’re not sure we’re going to be able to do that yet. The meters cost the same amount, but it’s the computer program that we’d need to read them and the antennas on the meters that are extra.”

The benefit to having the electronic meters is accurate readings, and it makes it easier for the meter reader to do his job, she said.

“You can actually drive down the streets, and if someone has a small leak, it would turn the dot on the map showing you where all the meters are a different color,” she said. “It would say, ‘low leak.’ If it’s a major leak, it would say ‘high leak.’ Right then, you can stop, look at it and turn the water off.”

It saves the homeowner money, and it gives the city a readout of every hour of every day, she said.

Stratton said updating the water meters has been under discussion for several years now, and the village is just now in a position to be able to upgrade them.

The village charges residents $9.50 for the first 2,000 gallons of water and $2.25 per 1,000 gallons up to an additional 2,000 gallons. Residential sewer rates are $3 for the first 1,000 gallons and $1.70 for each additional 1,000 gallons used. Also on a residential utility bill is the monthly $1 Safe Drinking Water fee. Garbage collection is $10.25 per month.

Stratton said a minimum monthly bill would be about $23.75.

Commercial water rates are $26.50 for the first 2,000 gallons and $7.25 for each additional 1,000 gallons used. Commercial sewer rates are $3.40 for the first 1,000 gallons and $1.80 for each additional 1,000 gallons used.

Stratton said the LCDBG grant would help offset the total cost of the project, which is about $35,000 to $40,000.

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