This letter concerns raising the citizens of Tama's water bills in order to purchase an electronic meter reading device. In my opinion this is unnecessary. For one thing, Tama's water bill is already higher than several other towns' because, as I understand it, the bill was raised a few years ago to pay for a new water treatment system. Also, I believe there are other less expensive options that could be adopted to lessen the need for this equipment. One would be to send out schedules to Tama citizens informing them of the approximate day and time their meter is read and they could keep their dogs inside, or other wise contained, far enough away from the meter reader. Having to walk around a fence, to me, is a non issue.
If the City feels the need to purchase this equipment to keep their meter reader safe or to reduce the amount of steps required for the meter reader to walk around a fence, then pay for it out of City funds. It stands to reason that this would reduce the amount of time it would take the meter reader to do his or her job, therefore reducing the cost of paying them to do this job. This, then, should pay for itself over time, and probably not an excessive amount of time.
Already most citizens, in this economy, are on tight budgets, especially the elderly. As you mentioned in your article, they would be the ones most against this plan and also the most financially strained by it. Raising our water bills, as I see it, would then impact their quality of life, as well as a lot of others on tight budgets, when the solutions mentioned above would be sufficient and really not impact the city's budget either, as they would be recouping that money in the long run.