Cost of Middletown water meters increases $171K

Supply chain, inflation and labor shortages to blame, leaders say.

Calling it “a tough one” and “a hard pill to swallow” Middletown City Manager Paul Lolli said the city needs to spend an additional $171,000 to replace automated water meters due to the supply chain shortage.

The city agreed to a contract with Aclara Technologies in January to purchase the software and replacement equipment for the 13,340 automated meter reading systems in the city. But due to contract negotiations, it wasn’t signed until April, according to city records.

Then in early June, Aclara notified the city that the company had recently announced a price increase due to the global supply chain challenges for critical components, increase fuel and transportation costs, and labor shortages.

The original contract for the meters ($1,142,400) and AclaraOne software ($72,823.75) was $1,215,223.75, the city said. The cost increase for the units is 15% that raises the contract cost to $1,386,583.75. The city is asking council for an amendment to the contract in an amount of $171,360, Lolli said.

Funds are appropriated in water and sewer capital in 2022 for the purchase and the cost will be split evenly between these funds.

The emergency ordinance is listed on Tuesday’s City Council agenda.

Scott Tadych, public works director, said the meters were installed in 2005 and need to be replaced so the city can receive accurate readings. Without “true readings,” residents may receive bills much higher than their estimates and that can cause “a real strain” on their finances, Tadych told City Council.

Mayor Nicole Condrey said it’s unfair for consumers, or in this case, Middletown, to always be responsible for paying the higher prices. She wished companies shared the burden of the increases.

“We should not be the ones eating all the time,” she said about companies not abiding by their contracts.


The city budgeted $2 million this year for the replacement program.

  • Grid One Installation Support Services Contract Amendment: $44,492
  • Aclara One Software Upgrade: $72,823.75
  • Original MTU Purchase Contract: $1,142,400
  • Grid One Installation Support Services Contract: $494,913.60
  • Total: $1,754,629.35.
  • Total after amended contract: $1,925,989.60.

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