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City acting to correct temporary problems with water billing

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

While the installation of new modern-technology water meters will eventually create a much more efficient water system for Roswell customers, the meter-installation project has resulted in some unanticipated temporary issues negatively impacting the city’s water-billing capabilities. The city has identified the problems and enacted the necessary solutions. It is hoped the billing system will be fully recovered from these issues by mid-April.

In recent months, water customers have seen delays in receiving their bills, with some containing higher-than-expected charges and some having lower-than-expected charges when they received them. The delays and calculation confusion resulted from various factors, including scheduling conflicts between reading of meters and installation of the new meters. Adding to the billing troubles were changes within the company that provides the city with its utility (water) billing computer program. That led to some delays in completing and mailing monthly bills.

The city has initiated changes to the meter-installation firm’s schedule to eliminate any further confusion regarding the installation. The billing program issues have also been resolved, and the system has been tested and is now functioning as it should.

The Utility Billing department is now in the process of recovering from the delays that were experienced as these issues developed as the installation of the new water meters began some months ago. The city of Roswell takes full responsibility for these issues and has acted to correct them. It has taken some time to fully identify all the specifics of what was causing the troubles, but the city now has a complete picture of what needed to be corrected and has taken appropriate measures to get things back on track.

The city apologizes to citizens for the hassle and inconvenience this situation created. There were some very serious “bumps” along the way in this ongoing major project of converting an antiquated system into one that is state of the art. While some billing delays still exist, the system overall is expected to be back on schedule by mid-April. The city thanks its residents for their patience. The utility billing department will assist anyone who is still experiencing any issues with this project.

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Anyone experiencing any problems related to a new meter once it has been installed by RTS Water Solutions should call the RTS Hotline at 940-235-6991. If there is a leak around the new water meter, please do not call a plumber, but instead, call the RTS Hotline at 940-235-6991.

Anyone with questions or concerns about a water bill is encouraged to contact either Utility Billing Manager Sylvia Casarez at 575-637-6265 or s.casarez@roswell-nm.gov or Martha Morales, utility billing supervisor, at 575-637-6210 or m.morales@roswell-nm.gov.

Public Information Officer Todd Wildermuth said the installation of the meters began last summer meters around the city and Roswell’s approximately 19,000 existing meters around 4,500 meters have been replaced with the new smart meters.

Wildermuth said the installation crews of RTS Water Solutions started with commercial customers mainly, although there were also residential customers involved, and are now transitioning to more residential customers.

In regards to how many customer complaints were received, Wildermuth said it is not possible to track how many calls turn out to be truly related to topics involving the new meters on the city’s side. Wildermuth said RTS takes calls directly related to the meters and their installation.

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