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Council send PA smart meter decision back to UAC

October 2nd, 2013 - 5:44am

(Port Angeles) – No answer yet on whether the controversial "smart meter" program will continue in Port Angeles.

The City Council voted 4-2 last night to send a proposal to hire a consultant back to the City's Utility Advisory Committee.

West Monroe Partners are seeking a 99-thousand dollar contract with the City for their expertise in solving the problems involved with the Advanced Metering Infrastructure, or A-M-I.

City Manager Dan McKeen says the project has been delay for over a year and he feels the city needs to bring someone in that will get the work back on track or move in a different direction.

McKeen says cancelling the project is one option that could be a viable alternative.

A former electrical engineer spoke before the Council and suggested the City send a “Show Cause” notice to Mueller Industries, the supplier of the smart meters, forcing them to solve the problems.

McKeen says that option, could have some bad consequences.

The City has a significant investment in the smart meter project already, and McKeen feels it's important to do it in the most financially prudent manner possible.

He says without having the information to identify the options, cancelling the contract could cost the City more than hiring a consultant.

The Utility Advisory Committee will be meeting prior to the next Council meeting, when McKeen hopes the Council will be better able to make an informed decision.

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