GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - There were plenty of questions before Gulfport council members voted to install more than $9 million worth of new electronic water meters.
"I know Gulfport is doing pretty good. But are we doing that good to spend $9 million?" asked one resident.
A petition to get the water meter measure on this year's election ballot only garnered 500 of the 1500 required signatures. So a few of the residents opposing the new meters showed their solidarity at the Tuesday afternoon meeting.
However, it wasn't enough to keep city leaders from moving forward.
"We need to be fair across the city of Gulfport. Bill everybody for the water that they use and move on down the road," said Gulfport finance chief Mike Necaise.
Necaise said the old meters had a life span of only seven years. Decades later, they are still being used throughout the city.
He says the new meters have a 20 year life span and will give accurate readings unlike the old meters.
"This project will not only pay for itself, but it will generate about $700,000 a year, and that's on the low side," said Necaise.
Some council members agree. That's why four or the seven council members voted in favor of the measure.