Photo: The old bill will be replaced with a combined one with Belmont Light
After sending out water and sewer bills to the public four times a year “for more than forever,” Belmont is prepared to shake things up starting Jan. 1, 2021 when water and sewer remittances will be coming to customers on a monthly basis.
That was the announcement on Monday, Oct. 26 from Department of Public Works Director Jay Marcotte to the Select Board at its Monday, Oct. 26 remote meeting.
The change in billing frequency comes as the Water and Sewer department nears completion of the town-wide smart meter program. The four-year installation plan – replacing older models which required visual reading of the meters with the latest generation of systems that can be “read” online – is nearing 97 percent complete with approximately 400 residences that have yet to give their permission to remove the old meters.
When the automated system is up and running in the New Year, the department will replace its antiquated quarterly billing system and dove-tail into Belmont Lights’ invoice account.
“Once fully implemented, the ability to go to monthly billing is going to be a reality,” said Marcotte.
Before the Jan. 1 turnover, the department will undertake a comprehensive outreach and education program to inform residents of the change, how it will work, tools for on-line payments and viewing of real use consumption by homeowners.
The old system, which will be needed for the 400 customers whose meters have not been replaced, will incurring a fee to the water and sewer department to maintain and staff that system in order to accurately bill for consumption.
Public Works will waive the cost during this time of COVID-19 and will take up what the fee will be with the Select Board next spring.