City of Franklin 
300 Iberia Street 
Franklin, LA  70538 
Voice:  (337)828-3631 
info@franklin-la.com  

 

Utilities Billing and Collection (UB&C) is a Division of the Finance Department and is directly responsible for the billing and collection of the City of Franklin utilities fees and charges.

Specifically, the division collects fees for water, sewer, garbage, landfill usage, security lights and mosquito control. Franklin's UB&C has approximately 3100 customers that comprise 30 billing routes. Customers are billed monthly.

UB&C is made up of approximately five full time employees. Three employees periodically perform 24-hour on call shifts on weekends. Job duties that include assignments such as administrative clerical support, accounting and payroll, payments processing, mail operations, special billings, customer service, collections and field services. Although UB&C performs numerous functions and provides a multitude of services, there are two functions that most directly affect our customers: counter services and telephone customer inquiries.

UTILITIES DEPARTMENT STAFF

Mary Simmons
Utility Supervisor
Voice: 337-828-6313
E-mail: msimmons@franklin-la.com

Smarter water management is coming to the City of Franklin!

The City of Franklin has contracted with Utility Metering Solutions (UMS) for the installation of an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system for water meters. Advanced metering technology enables the wireless transmission of water meter readings directly to the City of Franklin from regional collectors located on existing water tanks and towers. This innovative system will collect multiple reads per day, allowing for better leak detection, increased billing accuracy and improved customer service.

Advanced metering also supports the City of Franklin's commitment to preserving and protecting the environment.

         Carbon emissions will be greatly reduced by taking meter readers off the road.

         City of Franklin's ability to quickly detect and stop water leaks will be greatly enhanced.

         By providing up-to-date water usage data, customers can improve their efforts to conserve.

Details about Your Water Meter Installation

Your water meter will be replaced with a Meuller water meter.  Upon completion of the AMI project, you will have the option to sign up for MiNet, which will allow you to view and understand your water usage through easy-to-understand consumption graphs and provide a simple method to establish alerts to better manage water use.

 

When Your Installation Will Take Place

Installations will begin in January 2017. The entire project should take approximately three months to complete. In most cases, the transition will be completely transparent and will not affect residents. The work will be performed during normal working hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my water meter being replaced?

Over time meters become less accurate and can provide inaccurate readings. By replacing water meters, City of Franklin will be able to bill more accurately and efficiently for water usage, and potentially, be able to identify water line leaks earlier by system alarms and data analysis.

Additionally, the new water meter reading system will include an automatic meter reading technology that will save labor time, prevent any recording errors, minimize wear and tear on vehicles and minimize the need for City of Franklin employees to go on the private property of customers.

Does this mean my bill will be increasing?

Not necessarily. In cases where rates remain consistent, the new meters and reading devices will simply record consumption more accurately. In some cases, your water bill may increase, but only if the current water meter is underreporting usage. Presently, the majority of customers are paying for the water they are actually using, while a few customers are only paying for a portion of actual usage. This condition is not fair to all customers. Discussions have already been held within the City of Franklin, and the City does not intend to make bills retroactive where under-billing has been noted. The new system will ensure fairness and equality for all the customers from this point forward.

When will this work be performed?

The work will begin in January 2017. The entire project will take approximately three months to complete. In most cases the transition will be completely transparent and will not affect the residents. The work will be performed during normal working hours of Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

How will this affect my service?

A UMS Installer will come to your residence and replace your water meter. The water meter will be checked to verify that water is presently not in use. If no water is being used, the meter will be replaced. There will be interruption of service for approximately 15 to 20 minutes during the change, but after that it will be the same great service (and even better) that you've come to expect.

How long will it take?

In most cases, it's a simple procedure that will require about 30 to 60 minutes, with 15 to 20 minutes of water service interruption.

How do I know who is authorized to do the work?

We have contracted with Utility Metering Solutions (UMS) to conduct this service. UMS Installers will be driving UTILITY METERING SOLUTIONS (UMS) marked vehicles; wear bright yellow shirts, jackets or vests identified by "UTILITY METERING SOLUTIONS Meter Replacement Team;" and carry appropriate identification.

All UMS Installers have successfully completed a criminal background check.

Do they need to come inside my house?

No. City of Franklin water meters are located outside.   

Do I have to be present for the installation if the meter is outside my home?

If your meters are accessible, it will not be necessary for anyone to be home. In this case, the majority of the work will take place in and around the water meter box.

However, if your water meter is not accessible, for example within a locked area, then please call the Water Department Billing Office (337-828-6313).

I'm on vacation or not available that day. Whom do I call?

For meters that are accessible, it will not be necessary for anyone to be home as the majority of the work will take place near the meter box. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the City of Franklin (337-828-6305).

Why was I not able to turn on my water after the meter was installed?

In rare instances, the main cut-off valve to your home may be left off. This will occur when the Utility Metering Solutions (UMS) installation team is not able to pressurize your home following the installation. The normal cause of this condition is when an inside spigot is opened during the installation and subsequently left open. The water is not turned back on to ensure a sink or bath tub does not overflow with the resident not home to turn off the water. In these cases, your water will be left off, and a door hanger will be left on your door providing you a point of contact to call to have your water turned back on immediately. 

Is there any special care or maintenance that I need to do to my new meter?

No, your new meter does not require any maintenance by the homeowner. As before, the City of Franklin will take care of all maintenance. However, please know that the new water meter has transmitting technology on it that allows your meter to be read remotely.

Will wireless technology affect my health or privacy?

The new meters will not negatively affect health or privacy. In fact, overall health will be improved and privacy enhanced by replacing vehicles and manual visits to your home with environmentally clean cellular communication. The wireless portions of the system will be operated according to Federal Communications Commission rules, and it will not interfere with other radio frequencies in the area. The transmitters use one-quarter of the power of a cell phone transmission. In fact, exposure to radio waves from smart meters is absolutely tiny compared to cell phone transmissions. The amount of exposure to radio waves decreases with the square of the distance from the radio source, and the total transmission time is only 15 seconds per day.

I still have questions. Where can I get additional information?

The City of Franklin is working with Utility Metering Solutions (UMS) to answer everyone's questions as thoroughly as possible. Customers may contact the City of Franklin (337-828-6309, 337-828-6312 or 337-828-6313).

 


 


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