$99,000 ‘smart meter’ consultant decision headed to further discussion in Port Angeles

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — City Council members want more questions answered about a contract with a Chicago-based consultant to review the progress of the city’s delayed “smart meter” project before committing up to $99,000 for the contract.

City Council members Tuesday night voted 4-2, with council members Sissi Bruch and Dan Di Guilio the two opposed, to send the staff request for the contract with Chicago-based West Monroe Partners to the city’s Utility Advisory Committee, an advisory body to the City Council, for additional discussion.

“The $99,000 seems excessive to me for this particular project,” Di Guilio said at the council meeting.

“I’m reluctant at this point to support based on the amount of the contract.”

City staff is considering hiring West Monroe Partners to evaluate the progress of the city’s ongoing advanced metering infrastructure, or “smart meter,” project, which would replace the city’s roughly 10,500 home and business water and electricity meters with devices that can be read remotely and receive information from city utility staffers.

Completion of the project, however, has been delayed by at least a year as the city grapples with integration issues between its utility software and that of Mueller Systems, the contractor installing the meters.

If the contract is approved, West Monroe Partners would scrutinize the smart meter project, figure out why delays have plagued the project and present possible alternative ways forward.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: October 02. 2013 10:02AM
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