As you are probably aware, the City is currently in the middle of a large project to upgrade our water and electric infrastructure systems by converting to an automated meter reading system. This project is ongoing, and we plan to have the new system fully implemented by the end of the year. As with any transition, there are issues that must be worked through, and as hard as we have tried, no implementation process is completely fault proof.
We have found that during this month’s billing, the approximately 264 customers that had their meters changed out between July 7-12 show their billing period is from July 9 to August 21. The service date starts on the date your meter was swapped as we must input the final read from the old meter from the date it was last read through the date it was changed out. We have gone through and manually recalculated several of these customers’ bills for both the previous and current month to ensure that no one was over charged or received bills for overlapping service dates. If you are one of these customers and would like us to go over your bill with you, please feel free to give us a call or stop by City Hall. We ask for your patience, as it does take some time to run these calculations, and we want to make sure we provide each customer with individual attention and ample time to ask questions.
An issue affecting all customers is the amount of days in the present billing cycle. Even if both your water and electric meters had previously been changed out, your bill was calculated for 6-7 days longer than this billing period for 2018. The reason for this is that we have to stop meter installation for one week each month so that we can have obtain the meter reads and complete the billing process. As we have a third party installing our water meters, this time is scheduled carefully so that they have an opportunity to go earn a living by working on another job on the week we are stopping their progress on the work for the City of Odessa in installing meters.
These are just a few of the most common questions and concerns we have been addressing. Our City staff works very hard to provide safe, reasonable, and reliable utility services to our customers. We take pride in our work and want to assure you that the accurate calculation of our utility bills is of upmost importance. Can mistakes happen? Absolutely, but we will work individually with any of those customers to rectify the situation as soon as we are made aware. Thank you for your patience and understanding.