The Jim Thorpe Borough Council and Water Committee have been attempting to complete an overhaul of the town's water meters all summer. They are contracted with a meter company called In-Line Services, which is responsible for replacing the existing meters with new ones, which will be easier to read and represent a cost-savings to the borough.
Before the new meters can be installed residents have to put in an expansion tank, which has a back flow preventer. Currently 900 meters have yet to be installed.
Because of the large number of residents who have not responded, In-Line Services has reduced the number of crews working on the project from two down to one. This is a concern to the borough because they are only contracted with In-Line Services through the end of the year.
In an attempt to get a response from residents, the borough recently sent out over 700 letters to those who have not contacted In-Line Services about either the installation of the expansion tanks or the new water meters. The letter warned that residents who did not make an appointment with In-Line before August 31st would have their water service shut off.
The letters have generated higher responses, but they have also angered some residents who received the letters even though they already contacted In-Line.
One of those residents, Bill Solomon, was at the Jim Thorpe Borough Council meeting Thursday to complain. "I was one of the first people to put an expansion tank on my house and now I get this letter, what am I supposed to do?"
Council apologized to Solomon, and others like him who received letters mistakenly. Council also wished to make it clear that residents only had to make an appointment before August 31st, "the installation could be in September or October," said counsel vice-president John McGuire, "but as long as you make your appointment before August 31st you won't have your water shut off."
Borough Manager Wesley Jordan commented on the matter. "The whole project has had a lot of bad press but really it's a positive project. It's encouraging that so many meters have been installed already. When they are all done it will represent a large savings in labor costs for meter reading. These new systems operate by radio and from the parking lot of the borough building they can read over 300 meters."