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Port Angeles report shows problems with smart-meter rollout

February 5th, 2014 - 5:38am

(Port Angeles) – “Smart-meters”...are they in or out for Port Angeles. It's too soon to tell.

The Port Angeles City Council last night heard a nearly 2-hour assessment of the city's program to put in the new electrical and water meters.

The city hired West Monroe Partners last fall to study the Meuller Systems' effort to bring the advanced metering program to Port Angeles.

West Monroe's report hammered the city's contractor hired to put in the systems saying the current project team couldn't meet the projects objectives. The report did say, with changes, the company could achieve most of what was outlined in the contract.

The city hired Meuller four years ago and last month claimed it had breached its agreement after spending nearly two million dollars of a five million dollar contract.

City Attorney Bill Bloor says Meuller now has 60 days to respond. City Public Works Director Craig Fulton thinks Meuller will submit their best proposal and try to carry out the rest of the contract.

If Meuller and the city agree on going ahead with the project, there could be an additional expense involved.

Last night's report from West Monroe Partners painted a dismal picture of Meuller's efforts so far.

It said Meuller's field services and project management teams lacked sufficient skills and resources; Mueller's installation team lacked training and tools, and did not comply with meter deployment guidelines defined in the contract.

The report also said the company didn't develop an acceptance test plan, resulting in different perceptions of “success” by Mueller and the city.

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