Water meter issues dominate Hanover meeting

HANOVER — Residents of the hamlet of Forestville voiced a number of complaints regarding the water bills and meters at the recent Hanover Town Board.

In a workshop before the meeting, Superintendent of Wastewater and Sewer Rob Wisekirker gave a presentation on improving meter-reading practices. “There’s some funding out there, new opportunities,” Wisekirker began. “There’s new meter-reading software. … You fire up the laptop, hook up the antenna, and it will flag usage.”

Currently, the meter-reading process isn’t as cost effective as new technology could make it. “Realistically, we could read the entire town of Hanover, (we being) one guy, in an hour,” Wisekirker said. “Right now it takes four of us over a month and a half to complete that. It’s not cost effective. … By the time we finish, we’re already thinking about reading again.”

The number of meters and access also causes additional strife for meter-readers. “We spent weeks and months manually going over readings, making appointments to get into houses,” Wisekirker stated. “Nine-hundred forty meters, legitimately two months invested in those reads.” Wisekirker also noted an incident over the winter where a large amount of water was lost, which could’ve been avoided with the electronic meter-reading equipment. “We had a gentleman in Sunset Bay, this winter, use 137,000 gallons in six days because his water service was split on his side of the meter.”

During the board meeting, Forestville resident Brenda Meyerhoff told the board that she received a water bill with over 700,000 gallons listed. “I haven’t used that much. My husband is a dentist,” Meyerhoff told the board. “There are no known problems with the pipes.”

Meyerhoff did theorize that the pipes may have been set up wrong, or connected to another property, going through her meter. “There was a prior tenant who used to run a dog washing business,” she noted. “She left sometime in July.”

Wisekirker confirmed the activity at Meyerhoff’s property, as well as a date coinciding with the dog washer’s departure. “I can confirm that heavy water use at that particular property did end in July,” Wisekirker said. “At this point, I think your best bet is consulting with a plumber.”

Deputy Supervisor Louis Pelletter acknowledged that the pipes may have not been installed correctly, but also not to discount the theory that someone may have simply been stealing Meyerhoff’s water. “In my personal experience,” Pelletter said, “if the water isn’t pooling somewhere, or there isn’t a leak, someone may be tapping into your water.”

In other news, the meeting itself opened with a moment of silence in memory of Timothy Domenico, Town of Hanover Deputy Highway Superintendent, who passed away March 28. Domenico served the town of Hanover for 24 years, starting with the highway department back in 1994.

On the recommendation of Highway Superintendent Steve D’Angelo, Jeffrey Smith was appointed Deputy Highway Superintendent, effective April 13, while the appointment of Nickolas Coggins as new MEO (replacing Timothy Domenico) was tabled for further discussion.

The town board approved the installation of a new gas line and SR2 IMRV meter for the Hanover Sewer Plant, due to required facility upgrades from the wastewater treatment plant project at a cost of $6,738.

The board also approved the purchase of 102 dozen flags from Fredonia Hardware at a cost of $1,204.