Friday, February 13, 2015

Jackson stops replacement of water meters

The city of Jackson issued the following press release:

Public Works Director Orders Temporary Halt to New Water Meter Installations

City of Jackson Public Works Director Kishia Powell has issued a stop work order to Siemens, halting the installation of new city water meters. Powell also postponed the start of a new online billing system that was set to go-live this weekend.

The action comes after the discovery that Siemens had installed at least seven meters that were not configured to properly measure water usage, resulting in unusually high water bills. A review found that the company had installed gallon meters. The city measures water usage in cubic feet. Those meters have been changed out and adjustments are being made to the customers’ accounts.

The company must provide the city with an approved corrective action plan before installation work can resume. Siemens was awarded a $90 million contract in 2012 to install a new water meter system in Jackson.

A media availability with Powell is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, in the Mayor’s Ceremonial Office at City Hall.

The city has been responding to customer complaints about higher water bills.  In many cases, higher bills result from a more accurate reading of properly installed meters. 

“While we believe there may be other gallon meters in the system that are contributing to the high bills, it has been found that some of the high bills have stemmed from leaks on private property,” Powell said.  “Once those leaks are identified and fixed, adjustments are made to the accounts.”

Customers with questions about their bills are asked to contact the Water and Sewer Business Administration at 601-960-2000.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

This con game is about to unravel.
.

Anonymous said...

KF, do you have a copy of the Siemens contract or know if it is publicly available?

Anonymous said...

Kennuf's first action item is complete.

Anonymous said...

A debacle from the outset.

Anonymous said...

KF, it would be nice to have an update on where all the main players in getting the contract approved are today…such as electionman and redneck boy. We need to know who was involved, who got what and how much. Expose those holding the strings

Anonymous said...

No wonder Quentin couldn't get out of town fast enough.

Anonymous said...

Installing the wrong meters is a monumental screw up. The city has been blaming everyone under the sun except themselves and Siemens. People have hired and paid for plumbers to check for water leaks but found none. The city should pay for those charges. If that much water was leaking with the old meters it would be readily apparent.

Now we are supposed to trust the city to spend hundreds of millions of dollars fixing the water and sewer lines?

GPM said...

Would like to see the resume' of Public Works Director Kishea Powell. My guess is a degree in gubment from J-State. Could not pick the word calibration out of a dictionary.

Anonymous said...

Harvey's baby but if I recall correctly then Councilman Tony Yarber voted in favor despite knowing about McComb's problems.

Anonymous said...

If there was ever a case for the Feds to look into, this would be it. Follow the money.

Anonymous said...

Wow. The wrong meters. I would not pay another dime or install another meter without a full accounting of every meter already installed

Anonymous said...

Key word in description of problem above: "configured."

My guess is that the meters are simply programmed improperly. Most likely the only difference meters that read gallons and cubic feet is the internal programing.

How well the City can operate a advanced system is another question.

Anonymous said...

According to the Clarion Ledger, McComb paid Seimens 4.5 million to install 6,900 water meters. Now Jackson's project is 10 times larger in scope. The fair market value for this reaming should have been????


I will wait..........



Anonymous said...

Don't think that Powell is the issue. The Siemens mess was birthed before she ever came on board. Don't believe she's a JSU product.

Anonymous said...

The Reason it is more expensive is because of the racist EBO plan Jackson has adopted.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if ex-jackson pw director galleit has done a project with siemens in his new pw director role in biloxi? Inquiring minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

EOB is to easy an explanation, but it would be what some might want us to believe. The scope of work does not justify the price.

Kingfish said...

Wow. So if she is black, she must be a JSU grad and stupid.

Here is her background:

Powell is a licensed professional engineer in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Morgan State University’s Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. School of Engineering

That good enough for you, racist scumbag?

Anonymous said...

I've got a plumber coming out to my house. This is a disaster. My bill has always been a little high, but the $1250+ bill last month took the cake.

Anonymous said...

First, Ms. Powell's resume is extensive and she is a Professional Engineer well experienced in management. Not from Mississippi or JSU. Seimans bears the full blame for any "screw-ups" until such time as the job is complete and accepted. The City should not have to pay a dime to citizens for Seimans "screw-ups". Seimans and/or their bonding company should pay the citizens who received inaccurate billings as a result of wrong or improperly calibrated meters. About the meters, find out who approved the use of mechanical meters instead of the smart meters. Maybe it was the Administration right before this one. I do believe the citizens are not now and maybe never will get their money's worth.

Anonymous said...

That's a far better resume than I expected. Having said that, your "racist scumbag" above may have simply made his/her statement based on a long history of unqualified city employees who got their jobs due to their skin color. Be fair -- the practice is just as abhorrent today as it was 60 years ago when the races were reversed. And stereotypes wouldn't exist if there weren't truth to them.

Anonymous said...

Gee KF, don't see where anyone brought Powell's race into the discussion before you did @ 8:58.

GPM said...

9:23 is correct. That was my assumption. It's easy to reach such conclusions having watched Harvey operate his personal employment agency for so many years. I'm no 'racist scumbag' (Mr. Wannabee Lawyer).....We tend to reach such conclusions, albeit rapidly, based on our experiences and observations.

Anonymous said...

Resumes mean 0.

Anonymous said...

1) As an ex-Baltimorean I an guarantee you Morgan State is Maryland's version of JSU, for better or worse (including having some very talented alumni). I know nothing about MS Powell personally but 1) she has the professional qualifications from three other jurisdictions and 2) this mess started way before she came here. Harvey DID hire a lot on incompetents though, based purely on race, so she unfortunately suffers from that suspicion (remember "Baseball is a white people's game" which led the Atlanta Braves to build their new park in Rankin County - thanks Harv!).

2) "Wonder if ex-jackson pw director galleit has done a project with siemens in his new pw director role in biloxi?"
For the past two years Mr Galleit (sp?)has been preoccupied with the care of his son (see the "I Love RG" t-shirts around town) who was almost paralyzed in an auto accident at age 16 and, last I heard, was in an inpatient rehab hospital out of state.

Anonymous said...

She's a PE and they don't hand those out in a Cracker Jacks box. That being said, it symbolizes arrogance. That they bill by the cubic foot makes zero sense. But bureaucrats, that's what she is now...a poorly paid one too, make stupid decisions and engeineers are blinded by arrogance and a fear of unemployment.


// remembers that it was engineers that gave the green light to the Challenger takeoff

Anonymous said...

This whole thing sounds like a project Claiborne Frazier would be involved in. Maybe if the Frazier name was involved, the local media might go after it with the same zeal. This thing reeks of inside-dealing, payoffs and arm-twisting. Where are the Woodward and Bernsteins when we really need them?

Anonymous said...

Very interesting article. Bet the same seimens folks were involved in both deals.
http://searktoday.com/monticello-siemens-going-mediation-resolve-dispute-10-million-water-project/

Anonymous said...

Could be worse...there could be religious zealots to accommodate.

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2013/10/new-water-meters-turn-off-on-shabbat-to-accommodate-haredim-123.html

Anonymous said...

Anyone in the construction industry knows that when these big corporate energy companies do a project that by the time they add all their expensive overheads and profits to the work being done it drives the cost way up and they somehow justify it with their guarantees.The EBO probably added some to it but these companies are so heavy with overhead that Siemens markups are probably the biggest issue on the cost of this project.

Anonymous said...

Jackson is so lost

Anonymous said...

Murphy said: "The important things are always simple; the simple are always hard."

How many of you know who Murphy is?

Checked my meter and it is reading in cubic feet.

Anonymous said...

So far as I know, Dan Gaillet, PE was not involved in this Contract. His son is not doing much better and lives at home. I believe Public Works preferred doing the meter swap-out in house. I'm with an above blogger, follow the money.

Anonymous said...

Gaillet was completely involved in the Siemens contract while working for Harvey.

Anonymous said...

OK, I wasn't in the rooms; perhaps you were 7:14. Shall we suspect you? @9:31 am today: Almost all water in all jurisdictions is billed in cubic feet. Can not imagine what back storage bin they even found gallon meters to supply this job. Perhaps in the "rebuilt" or "refurbished" sections.

Some of you are forgetting that there was an administration between Harvey and the current one. Their hiring practices were certainly unusual.

The truth will out and I hope soon. It is just so hard to read the judgmental personal attacks waged by a few of the bloggers. They do not help any situation but do serve to perpetuate many outsiders' opinion of Mississippi. The 60's is long gone and it is time to get over integration. We will never move this State forward like we should when we are anchored in the past. All races have some really evil members but only the ignorant would apply that measure to every person of that race.

Anonymous said...

And another comment on 9:31's post:

Your Challenger analogy is fairly apt. The failure of the shuttle was not in its design, it was in the equipment. Jackson is getting poor equipment and it is contrary to what was stated in public by Seiman's representatives.

Also, JSU is an excellent school in many areas of study. Some better than others but they are striving daily to make it a better place to learn.

Anonymous said...

February 14, 2015 at 7:50 PM = Yada, yada, yada

Anonymous said...

JSU is an excellent school in many areas of study.

There is much truth in your words. Especially in Chemistry!

Anonymous said...

I think some of you are looking at this all wrong. As in - someone will have to go out and check every meter that has been installed under this contract. They really won't have to do that. If the meters were of by 5% or 10% someone would have to check all of them. Folks these meters will read 748% of what they should have read. So if you normally have a $50 water bill. The bill will be $374. All Seimons has to do is put someone in the billing office to check all the bills before they are sent out. When the meters are wrong, those bills will stick out like a sore thumb. You hold those bills. Make a list of the addresses and send someone out the next day to verify and change them out if needed. Then you send out a correct bill, two days late. Do this for two months and the problem will be solved. Is it a bad screw up - yes. Can Seimons fix the problem - yes. Can Seimons afford to fix the problem - yes. Will the public be inconvenienced - no. Will this cost the City money - no. So it sounds bad, but it should not be hard to fix.

Anonymous said...

That would presume that someone at Seimons [sic] or the City has the requisite deductive skills to recognize those sore thumbs.

These are the same people who have been sending out those bills and telling ratepayers that the dramatic increases must be the result of undiscovered leaks.

Don't make any wager$ that these same incompetents will suddenly become capable. It is likely you'll lose.

Anonymous said...

11:34 - good process if the gallon vs cf meters was the only problem with this contract.

But its just the latest to surface and finally one that the city is willing to admit. And they admit it because it is easy to put all the blame for this screwup on Seimons and provides for the city for at least a while longer on the many other problems/issues with this contract.

As to the PW director, she does come with a fairly impressive resume, but the history behind those various positions is subject to much question. While her degree doesn't come from JSU, Hizzhoner has certainly passed on many of the processes of the office to his compatriots at the city's university.

Anonymous said...

So 6:21 PM you are responding to yourself at 11:34 PM? LMAO

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