Non-responsives receive increasingly strong notices
by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (July 15, 2018) – Residents who have ignored or not yet responded to letters and postcards sent by Village Administrator Dan Podgorski about the water meter replacement program are now expressing some alarm at the recent round of communication. Letters received last week explain that non-compliance could result in fines and/or increased water bills.
About the new meters
Many water meters in Lansing are more than 20 years old and may not be functioning correctly, which can result in lost revenue for Lansing. The Village contracted with Calumet City Plumbing to replace 9,500 water meters with updated meters at no cost to Lansing residents. The new meters will provide more accurate tracking of water usage, more efficient billing, and reduced operational costs.
The upgraded meters will allow data to be collected remotely, so the Village is moving away from a water meter reading system that was based on personal visits to each residence. Residents who prohibit the Village from installing the remote-capable meters are increasing the expenses associated with administering Lansing’s water billing system, so the Village plans to increase those homeowners’ bills in order to cover the additional expenses incurred.
About the notices
Water meter replacements must be done inside the home or business, so the Village mailed a first-round letter inviting people to call the scheduling system or go online to make arrangements for Calumet City Plumbing to come install the new meter. The online calendar allows people to choose a day and select morning or afternoon. An adult must be present when the installation is done.
Residents who have already had their new meters installed report that the scheduling process was easy and the actual installation took only 15–30 minutes.
Because the scheduling system is automated, residents who disregard the first communication receive a follow-up letter and/or postcards reminding them to schedule their free water meter upgrade. The most recent letter in the series makes this recommendation: “To avoid doubling your water bill, please schedule immediately.”
The letter further explains that appointment scheduling can take place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by phone or website. Appointments are available on Mondays–Thursdays as well as Saturdays.
About scheduling your installation
To schedule installation of your new water meter, contact the scheduling system directly:
- Call M.E. Simpson Company: 888-252-1521
- Or visit www.mesimpson.com/lansing and enter the account code provided with your most recent letter