- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Jackson City Council members and representatives from engineering company Siemens debated about the city’s problematic water billing system during a budget committee meeting.

The Clarion-Ledger (http://on.thec-l.com/1Y5uwoG ) reports that city officials on Monday demanded explanations from Siemens about problems with the city’s meters, which have led to bills with inaccurate readings.

The issue stems from an automated water billing system called Advanced Metering Infrastructure that Siemens installed with the promise of saving Jackson money.

Public Works Director Kishia Powell said that people are still receiving bills with estimated meter readings, instead of more accurate readings. About 6,000 accounts on meters with AMI data are still receiving estimated bills because of a backlog in the system that can only be cleared manually.

“We’re still waiting on some explanations on what’s going on with bringing AMI reads in, so it is not proven to be the simple push-a-button process that was presented to us,” Powell said.

Siemens representative Frank Gagliardi said the company is working to clear a backlog.

“The work is progressing,” he told councilmembers, adding that the company is unable to determine when the issue would be resolved.

“You, as a contractor, need to know a date that I can sit here and say that it will be done by or at least a projected date,” Councilman De’Keither Stamps countered.

Siemens anticipates that its online customer self-service portable will be accessible to assist customers in June.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com

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