Gulfport approves high-tech meters

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - If you live in Gulfport, you will soon have a new water meter. Tuesday,  the Gulfport council approved a measure that will allow for new high-tech electronic water meters.

"Remember, Gulfport is more than 100 years old. Some of the meters have been in the ground 50 years and many of them are in need of repair and they don't read accurately," said Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr.

Gulfport council approved a proposal to borrow up to $9.5 million for the purchase of new electronic meter reading devices.

"They will pay the bill for themselves plus they will generate a positive cash flow of about $700,000 a year," said Mayor Warr.

But not everyone is on board with the idea. Council women Ella Holmes Hines and Barbara Nalley say it's a waste of money.

"I would have hoped that if we had gone out for a loan that we would have included some of these water, drainage and sewer projects in this loan," said Ella Holmes-Hines.

Nalley agrees.

"If I'm going to borrow $9.5 million and you're going to have to possibly help pay for it, then I want it to be to pave streets and roads to repair the water sewer lines all over the city not just in Orange Grove," Nalley said.

But the mayor says since Hurricane Katrina, millions of dollars has been invested into water and sewer throughout the city.

"We've installed 77 miles of water and sewer. That's more than the equivalent from Gulfport to Hattiesburg," the mayor said.

Councilman Gary Holliman went for a ride-a-long with a technician to test the new meters and he's confident the meters will eliminate several problems for Gulfport residents.

"A lot of times the citizens are complaining about the water bill being an excessive amount and they think there is a problem and actually this meter will detect that," Holliman said.

So not only will the electronic meters save time, but they may also save money too.