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Lockhart Town Council Awards Bid for New Water Meters

Daniel Prince

Lockhart planning town clean up and a couple of other community events

Lockhart Town Council met for their monthly meeting Tuesday night at the Lockhart Town Hall. Town Administrator Shannon Perry informed council that an application hearing with the Catawba Regional Council of Government for the Summit Drive project is scheduled for this morning at 10 a.m. at the town hall. She encouraged any council members who were able to come to the meeting, which she said would last around 15 minutes. She also noted that April is Fair Housing Month, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development is planning to hold a virtual Fair Housing Month celebration on Tuesday, April 5, at 2 p.m. via webcast. Perry gave the council members information on that.

The first item on the agenda was to discuss quotes the town received for a project to replace the town’s water meters. The proposed new meters would be the type that could be read electronically by driving by a house. They could more quickly get notifications if there was a water leak at a house, and it would significantly cut down on the time needed to read meters, with the job being done inside of an hour with the new meters. Perry stated the quotes were based on 300 water meters, but the town may not need that many, so the overall price may go down. There will be a recurring yearly charge for the software and reader. The first quote was from Core and Main, a company Perry said is their current provider of water meters and has a good working relationship with the town. The price of meters, reading equipment, software, and installation is around $98,875. If meter covers are needed, they run $9.50 each, which would bump the price tag to $101,725. The annual charge for the software comes to $1800, and the annual charge for the reader would be $1500, for a total of $3300 a year. The other quote came from United Systems, which is a company that Lockhart Power utilizes for some of their work. They quoted the town $102,695 for the meters, reading equipment, software, and installation. Their annual charge totaled $3995, which includes $2700 for maintenance software and $1295 for remote support.

Money for the project was going to come from American Rescue Plan Act funds, but Perry said she and the mayor met with Jeff with the Municipal Association of South Carolina, and he told them there was grant money available from the state for that type of project, and so the town hopes to pursue that. The meters would be purchased and installed in July, at the start of the next fiscal year. Perry said some of the rules governing the expenditure of American Rescue Plan Act funds had been relaxed, so if the town gets a state grant for the meters, they can use the ARP funds for other projects. Council voted unanimously to award the bid for the meters to Core & Main.

Council member Helen McFalls then talked to council about a meeting that she had with Deputy Chris Patterson of the Community Action Team, the mayor, and a couple of area pastors. During the meeting, they talked about ways to take back the town, putting the heart back in Lockhart, as McFalls stated. One event they have planned is coming up this Thursday at 5 p.m. All those interested from the Lockhart Community are asked to meet at the Lockhart Fire Department, and they will then walk through parts of the town, picking up trash and talking to neighbors along the way. A neighborhood karaoke night is being planned at EJ’s Café on Friday, April 8, from 5-8 p.m. The café will have a taco bar, dessert, and tea for $10. Community members are asked to come together and have some fun singing karaoke and fellowshipping with one another. On Saturday, April 16, from 5-9 p.m., Lockhart Freewill Baptist Church will host an Easter Glow event, complete with a glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt. On April 30 from 11-3, a Lockhart Spring Fling event is being planned for the big parking lot in the center of town near the town hall and Lockhart First Baptist Church. They will have free hot dogs and hamburgers, a bouncy house, face painting, and perhaps even a dunk tank. McFalls encouraged council members to attend and show their support for the town and to show those living in the town that they care about the community and want to take it back from the drug users and others who cause problems in the town.

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