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Tulia spending money on lighting improvements

The city of Tulia is looking to upgrade its meters and improve lighting around the city. (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

The City of Tulia is spending money to save money in the long run. The city council unanimously approved an increase in the city’s water and electricity rates to invest in high-tech water and electric meters. The city going to Advance Meter Infrastructure (AMI) and is also planning to improve street lighting.

“The total project will be $2.5 million,” said Dion Miller, the city manager. “It will be financed over a 15-year period with Certificates of Obligation.”

The city is planning to use proceeds from water and electric rates to pay for improvements. Water and electric rates will go up $5.00 each per month per customer. City Manager Dion Miller tells ABC 7 News the goal is to get a more accurate reading since the city is using up to eight different brands of meters.

“Some meters read fast and some read slow and some meters are just fine,” said Miller. “This will help us determine at an earlier time how accurate the meters are.”

By switching over to a Census Meter for water and an Elster Meter for electricity, the readings are guaranteed to provide better data for the 4,995 accounts. Funding from the project will help the city recoup cost of installing LED Lights throughout the city.

“It’s important to have an area well-lit at night, especially here because its dark all over town,” said Adonica Delos Santos, a Tulia resident. “The current lights are older and so it will be good to have the LED Lights.”

The light poles will not have to be replaced as they have withstood the test of time according to Miller. The city will have to swap out the bulbs and replace them with 307 LED lights which will last longer and shine brighter.

“Operational cost should be reduced for the city,” said Miller. “The LED lights are guaranteed to last longer and it will be a better, more attractive light increasing viability and safety both for pedestrians and drivers.”

The new LED Lights will be installed during the summer. Customers of Tulia electricity and water can expect new meters to be installed in 2019. Miller tells ABC 7 News the city is still working out details on how they will install the new meters. Per terms of the agreement, the water meters will be tested once a year.


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