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La Crosse Water Utility asking state lawmakers to reconsider bill

Published On: Aug 05 2013 11:25:26 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 06 2013 08:41:32 AM CDT
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The La Crosse Water Board is reaching out to state lawmakers asking them to reconsider a bill dealing with so-called smart meters.

The bill would allow residents to opt out of the smart meters, which allow the water utility to monitor water use in a home in real time without sending out meter readers.

The water utility would like to charge homes that opt out extra to cover the cost of sending out a meter reader.

But the legislation would limit what utilities can charge for the extra cost. "Essentially what it does is it puts those added costs back on to the rest of the rate-paying customers so it's a matter of being fair with people's choices and making sure that your billing accordingly," said La Crosse's Utilities Director Mark Johnson.

The Board of Public Works voted Monday to allow the water utility to send a letter to the State Senate asking them to oppose the legislation.