Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Libby running short of water meters

by The Western News
| April 22, 2022 7:00 AM

Pinched by a national supply deficit, the City of Libby is working with a limited stockpile of new water meters to install for incoming municipal customers.

City Administrator Samuel Sikes advised the Libby City Council of the shortage Monday during its regular meeting.

Sikes said he would be asking the city’s standing Water and Sewer Committee to convene on the matter.

He told The Western News on Tuesday that the city currently held 16 water meters.

As seasonal construction picks up for the year, that essentially means 16 new water hookups could be outfitted properly with new meters for billing under the city’s current rate system.

“We’ll just have to wait to see what happens,” Sikes said Tuesday, noting that the city is limited to working only with regional suppliers. “We’ve had meters on order for more than a year now.”

Senior council member Brian Zimmerman chairs the city’s Water and Sewer Committee.

Zimmerman said Tuesday that he was then planning for the committee to meet next week, a firm date to be determined.

In other water business Monday, the city’s new electronic billing and payment system comes online April 28.

The system includes among other features a new one-time payment option, autopay and e-statements. Account setup is available at

Existing automatic recurring payments will have to be re-established within the new system and will not automatically carryover, according to the city.

The council also approved Monday a $694,000 contract with Libby’s Thompson Contracting to install a wastewater filtration system — an auxiliary bar screen — that removes debris like wipes and plastics from municipal treatment operations.

One other contractor, Dick Anderson Construction, of Missoula, bid roughly $1.38 million on the project, according to agenda materials for the meeting.

The council on Monday also approved business licenses for Adex Roofing, 193 Notta Rd.; and Libby Tech by Andrew, 213 Norman Ave.