Texas Border Business
Mission, TX. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting local municipalities and governments worldwide, city leaders are looking toward innovative methods to improve service delivery of critical, essential services in spite of revenue losses while also ensuring the health and safety of city employees and residents. The City of Mission this week joined municipalities across the nation that are transitioning from an outdated and aging water utility system to a modernized, upgraded and efficient water system. After a thorough and lengthy due diligence process spanning more than two years that consisted of analyzing current usage data to develop a customized and efficient solution to meet its needs, the City of Mission approved upgrading the city’s water system to be more sustainable, enhance revenues, improve efficiency, and enhance their customer experience for city residents.
While the City has experienced steady growth in population, business development and its economy in recent years, its water system infrastructure has struggled with outdated mechanical meters. Adopting the use of an upgraded water delivery meter system provide multiple benefits including accurate and handsfree remote metering, recuperation of water loss due to aging infrastructure, enhanced customer service and transparency through real-time access to water usage for residential and commercial users, and most importantly, at no tax increase for residents and three years of deferred payments for the City of Mission.
“Mission has always been at the forefront of innovation and the use of new, smart technologies, and this project aligns with our vision to deliver critical services to our residents with the highest standards of efficiency, transparency, and cost-effectiveness,” said Mayor Dr. Armando O’Caña. “Our citizens and families deserve the best service and water system that meets our current and future needs, provides added benefits to the city and its residents, and will be a sustainable system for the City’s future,” he added.
The City-approved project will significantly improve operational efficiencies and allow the City’s commercial and residential customers to see their water usage data in real time, for the first time ever. Other benefits include improved billing accuracy, reduced costs of meter reading and field visits, better outage and leakage information, and guaranteed savings.
Without raising taxes and with no payments for three years, an added benefit especially during this pandemic, the City of Mission will replace an estimated 28,000 water meters that are currently being read manually. Once implemented, the new system will meet the highest efficiency standards and communicate directly with the City of Mission through an advanced metering infrastructure communication network.
Throughout the life of the project, these 21st century improvements will generate over $38 million in revenues & savings for the City of Mission. That is more than enough of project-driven financial benefits to fully fund the project as well as leave an additional $10 million net savings to be used for other city needs.
The City of Mission selected Performance Services, a qualified energy services company, to develop the project through an energy savings performance contract allowable under Texas Local Government Code 302.
The contract enables public entities to pay for efficiency improvements within their existing operating budget. Savings are generated from the installation of new, modern, and energy efficient technology and equipment improvements. The scope of the project also includes the installation of high-efficiency LED lighting at city facilities, further resulting in additional improved efficiency and cost-savings that the city will realize.
The technology that will be used in Mission is manufactured by Sensus and is currently being used across the nation in cities like Philadelphia, in 40+ cities throughout Texas, with Fort Worth being their largest application, and in cities large and small throughout the country. The new water system will allow water customers to see their water consumption in real-time using their smart phone or personal computing device by logging into the customer portal. The new advanced metering infrastructure system features remote monitoring and meter reading, so will also result in a safer, no-contact environment for workers and residents.