We appreciate the willingness of Alpena City Council to reconsider the "true-up" water meter charges for city residents, reducing them from a cap of $400 to $100 this week.
Two weeks ago council learned that in the conversion from old meters to new ones, there could be a discrepancy in some homes from the outside remote meter to the inside one. United Operations Manager Mike Glowinski said in some cases, the difference could be financially quite significant.
In anticipation of that being the norm, rather than the exception, council capped the maximum residents would have to pay at $400. However, as we advocated editorially, that cap still seemed in our opinion too high for most residents.
Council apparently agreed, and Monday lowered the cap to $100, which seems more reasonable.
"There was considerable concern in the community, so it got brought back to the council and we changed it," said Councilman Mike Nunneley. "I'm not totally comfortable people have received water they didn't pay for, but now we are going to have new meters which will be 99 percent accurate over the next 20 years."
Given the future accuracy of the new meters, we believe it made good sense for the city to "eat" the potential differences now of the old meters, knowing that from this point forward, readings will be accurate and true.
Council did the right thing by reconsidering their initial action, and for that, they should be commended.