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3/13/2013 3:21:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Computer woes result in water bill snafu in Bridgeport
BRIDGEPORT - Water wells and water bills dominated Tuesday's Bridgeport City Council meeting.

Computer programs relating to the reading of water bills prompted city officials to close city hall today to give employees a chance to work on the system, which is producing incorrect water bill readings.

"Some people have got bills for $50,000 and $30,000," said Mayor Max Schauf, noting the computer program even crashed a couple times. "The ladies up front, Vicky Shoulders, Vickie Ralston, have been working on it. They'll get it lined out.

"It's just like anything else, you have glitches and it takes time to work it out, but the city is waving all interest and penalties and the ladies up front will get it worked out and everything will be back to normal."

After technicians refused to help fix the system because it was too old, the city was forced to upgrade the computer program, and then upgrade the wand that reads the meters, so it is compatible with the software. Cost of the two upgrades was reported as more than $2,000.

Well three, at the city's water field, south of Billett, is also back up and running at full capacity.

The well was struck by lightning early in the year. Schauf said after Tracy Electric verified that it was a casualty of lightning, and the city's insurance agent, Terry Andrews gave the OK to get it fixed, Speth Plumbing was called to make the repairs.

"When it went back we were pumping only about half the capacity on well three, about 205 gallons per minute," Schauf said. "They pulled it back out. We put it back in, got it going and now we're pumping 410 gallons per minute on all three wells, if we need it. But of course we don't need all three wells at once."

The council held a short executive sessions to discuss contracting services for the water plant. Following the closed session Schauf said the city will need to do more water testing due to recently implemented Environmental Protection Agency requirements.

IN OTHER BUSINESS:

- Council member Ed Standley reported a personnel committee meeting had been held and it has been decided to table hiring a city superintendent until a new budget is put together. Standley said the city has 30 applications.

- The council voted to donate $100 toward the second annual city-wide homecoming. The event is scheduled to be held Sept. 14 at the Moose during homecoming weekend.

- A donation of $125 was made to the Bridgeport Little League program - $65 for the banner and $60 for the program.

- The city recently purchased, through a grant, an AED for the squad car.

- The next city council meeting, set for election day, April 9, was rescheduled for 7 p.m. April 16, at city hall.



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