The City of North Mankato is exploring a water meter project, which would eliminate the need for residents to submit monthly meter readings.

City Administrator John Harrenstein says residents spawned the idea.

“I think we’re one of the few left that has the residents submit their readings every month. So, it comes up from time to time, we do get asked about it. The cost is roughly 3-million dollars to change out the meters.” 

Approximately 7,100 meters would need to be changed out citywide to the new radio read water meters.

The plan is still in the early stages as the City is still gauging interest from residents and if they would be interested in paying for a portion of the costly system. Staff is proposing a 15-year bond issuance to be repaid through water revenue through a dedicated water meter project fee.

“What we would do is put a fee on the monthly bill and it could range from three to five dollars.”

Officials are also determining how the system would improve efficiency. But, the City says the improved accuracy of the meters will help identify minor leaks that may go unnoticed, improving water conservation.