City to realize savings after errors found in water meter contract

The cost of the water meter replacement currently ongoing throughout Devine will be a bit cheaper after discrepancies were found in the contract with provider HydroPro Solutions.
Interim City Administrator Dora Rodriguez said she noticed the errors while reviewing the contract.
“They’re saying we have 1,900 three-quarter meters, and it’s 1,690,” Rodriguez said. “So that changes the cost from $527,237.33 to $468,948.10.”
Mistakes were also found in the number of one-inch and two-inch meters needed: the City has 12 one-inch meters instead of 20, and 60 two-inch meters instead of 80.
The contract also called for the installation of three repeaters, which collect usage data from water meters. One of the repeaters was intended for the 12 meters at the Municipal Airport.
“I told [HydroPro] those meters are not on our system,” Rodriguez said. “They’re supported by a well over there. And so they’re saying that the two repeaters that we have that they’re going to be putting in would catch everything.”
City Engineer Raul Garcia agreed that only two repeaters were necessary.
“But one thing that is not in here is the Walmart eight-inch meter,” Rodriguez said, adding that HydroPro had been told to take it out, but that she told them to add it back in.
Garcia estimated the eight-inch meter would cost around $9,000.
All told, the changes will save the City around $120,000 on the project, which is being financed by close to $1.1 million in Certificates of Obligation that Council authorized in April.
Mayor Bill Herring also addressed a ‘like for like’ clause in HydroPro’s contract.
“If they have to do more than just replacing the meter, if they have to move the meter around and level it and all that good stuff, they’re going to charge us some extra money, which we didn’t know about,” Herring said.
City Attorney Tom Cate said the charge could be up to $30.00 per meter box.
“We’ve talked with Public Works, and we’re trying to get Public Works to go with these crews as they’re installing these meters,” Cate said. “And if there’s any adjustment needed on the meter boxes, that our guys do that.”
Rodriguez added the contract also states that HydroPro can skip meters, “if something happens.”
“That’s why we want to have Public Works with them at all times,” Rodriguez said.
A motion by District 5 Councilman Cory Thompson and District 3 Councilman David Espinosa to approve the proposed changes to HydroPro’s contract passed 5-0, with District 1 Councilman David Valdez, District 2 Councilman Steve Lopez, and District 4 Councilwoman Jennifer Schott all voting in favor.
By Marly Davis
Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: The above discussion and vote took place during the City Council meeting held June 25.