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Electronic Water Meters, Wastewater System Improvements to Begin

Posted 8/14/19

McKENZIE (August 8) — Installation of new electronic water meters and a significant rehabilitation, renovation of the city’s wastewater system will begin this week for the sewer and next …

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Electronic Water Meters, Wastewater System Improvements to Begin


McKENZIE (August 8) — Installation of new electronic water meters and a significant rehabilitation, renovation of the city’s wastewater system will begin this week for the sewer and next week for water meters.

Commencement of both projects was announced during the Thursday, August 8 meeting of the McKenzie Mayor and Council.

In March, the city voted to replace the city’s 2,000 water meters, 1,111 Carroll County Electric Department-owned street lights, and to provide Wi-Fi to access as part of a significant transition to more energy-efficient lighting.

The contract was approved with Trane. It includes the installation of LED lighting and energy-saving devices and equipment throughout the city-owned property and buildings, including Wi-Fi nodules and additional energy-saving and safety technology. The contract included new water meters and drive-by readers.

Representatives of Trane presented the $2,451,023 proposal, which guarantees $225,646 in annual savings over 20 years.

The new water meters allow human meter readers to record the customers’ water usage from their vehicles as they drive the streets. Personnel will no longer have to stop at each meter and manually register the customer’s water usage. Other utility providers are also converting or have converted to electronic reading. McKenzie Water Department is the last of local utility providers to switch to automatic reading. Carroll County Electric Department is in the final stages of converting to electronic meter reading, eliminating the need for human meter readers. West Tennessee Public Utilities, the local supplier of natural gas, switched several years ago.

A second significant aspect of the contract is replacing all Carroll County Electric Department’s street lights with city-owned LED (light-emitting diode) lighting. The lighting will provide more light while consuming less energy. 

During the August 8 meeting, the Council approved a contract with Carroll County Electric Department to maintain the lights and establish a usage rate for the consumption of electricity. The contracted rate is 4.362 cents per kilowatt hour in the summer, 4.023 cents in the winter, and 3.824 cents during the transition period — the months of April and May, October and November. Rates will increase or decrease according the adjustment rates by TVA.  

Carroll County Electric projects a loss of $35,000 annually in revenue because of the more energy-efficient, city-owned LED lighting.

Mayor Jill Holland said Trane has up to one year to complete the project.

Wi-fi internet will be available soon for McKenzie citizens.The public wi-fi network will consist of 1,100 smart nodes plugged into the top portion of the street lights.

The wi-fi network is partially funded with a $50,000 grant through the State of Tennessee.

City-owned buildings will be converted to LED lighting and the heating and cooling systems will be converted to more energy-efficient systems. 

Over 20 years, total costs are estimated at $4,163,789 with savings of $5,980,308 as compared to current usage. 

Positive cash flow over 20 years is $1,816,519.

 Trane representative Stu Shunk stated, “The project will help attract visitors and provide internet access to kids who might not have access to do their homework.”

In May, the McKenzie City Council unanimously approved a pair of bids for the upcoming sewer and wastewater treatment plant improvements. Bids were accepted on two separate contracts with Contract A focusing on Sanitary Sewer Improvements and Contract B focusing on Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements. Enscor, LLC won the bid for Contract A-Sanitary Sewer Improvements bidding $889,640 on the work. Miller Contractors, Inc. won the bid for Contract B-Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements totaling $667,634.

McKenzie was restricted in its growth because of the aging wastewater system. The improvements will clear the way for the city to recruit industries requiring significant water usage and add residences and businesses to the system.


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