SYRACUSE -- There may be a move to meter secondary water in this city, although not in the near future.
City Manager Robert Rice said city officials are working on an overhaul of the city's water system, but said monitoring the amount of secondary water used by residents could be years away.
Resident Scott Holt expressed potential concerns about a change in the city's secondary water system at a recent council meeting. He asked if there was a time frame in place to initiate the change.
"I don't see why we want to do this. You're running a tremendous profit," Holt said of the city's current setup.
He worried that a new meter system would simply translate to bigger water bills for local residents.
Rice said any change in the secondary water system would be to make it a pay-as-you use system, which could actually lower water costs for some residents. He noted that a new billing process to give residents a chance to see their culinary and secondary water usage is part of a water system overhaul.
Holt claims the city made an agreement with local residents' years ago not to monitor secondary water and to hold rates down when a new system was installed. His claim was backed up by former Councilman Lurlen Knight who said the city's leaders made the accord with property owners when wastewater ditches were removed from some residences, as part of a move to a new secondary water system.
As part of a potential water overhaul, city officials initiated a test program earlier this year with a new radio system, which reads water meters from a distance and could help individual residents save water and money.
That system does have the potential to monitor both culinary and secondary water, but a price tag to buy and install those meters has ranged from $400,000 to $1 million, according to former pubic works director Mike Waite.
Mayor Jamie Nagle promised that no change in the secondary water system would occur before public hearings are held on the matter.