OPA-LOCKA – City officials say Opa-locka will deliver more efficient services to its water utility customers by expanding its entire Automated Meter Reading system. In December city commissioners approved $440,456 for the upgrades. The Utility Task Force began installing the new meters on Saturday, March 2.
There is no direct charge to utility customers for the changes, officials said, adding that about 1,100 residential and commercial meters will be upgraded over the next three months and all 7,400 meters in the city’s system inspected during the year.
“We are making significant investments in our utility meter system to automate the reading process,” said Kelvin L. Baker Sr., city manager.
“This technology increases operational efficiencies and improves the service that we provide to our customers. With AMR, utility workers no longer need access to a customer’s property each month to read the meters. Locked gates and protective pets no longer block the path to an accurate reading, which translates into an accurate monthly statement.”
The installations will not require a service interruption, officials said, nor require access inside any residential home or commercial building to complete. The employees will wear Opa-locka shirts, safety vests and carry City of Opa-locka identification, and task force vehicles will carry “City of Opa-locka” signs.
Customers with questions can call Public Works Department at 305-953-3058, and information also is available at opalockafl.gov.
Opa-locka officials also are partnering with the South Florida Workforce Investment Board (SFWIB), to serve as the link in providing access to training and work experience while supplying a proficient workforce to local businesses under what is titled the First Source Hiring Referral Program.
The partnership is an expansion of the initial program to implement a sidewalk installation and repair program and hire qualified city residents to perform the work.
For more information on the First Source Hiring Program contact Cora Eutsay at South Florida Workforce, 305-953-3407.
*Pictured above is Opa Locka city mananger Kelvin L. Baker Sr.