Canton’s Meter Replacement Project Registers Savings

Fixed network AMI pioneer City of Canton overhauls their first-of-its-kind water meter network

Bid Proposal Unit Prices:

Three cost categories were included on the bid proposal forms.

  1. Project Management: Lump sum prices were provided for major work such as mobilization; warehouse/office rental; project management; field supervision; call center operation; appointment scheduling and public notifications; contractor service vehicles that bear the city project logo for use by installers; data collection and management; training; quality control; and project meetings.
  2. Standard Meter and MTU Installation Work: Included replacement of water meters varying in sizes from 5/8” to 1-1/2”, and mounting the MTU outside.
  3. Non-Standard Installation Work:  The City did not want to negotiate change orders to address site specific problems with defects in homeowners’ meter piping. To make it easier on the customers, and maintain the project schedule by not having to reschedule appointments, defective valves or piping would be replaced. The, the City created a category for Non-Standard Installation Work.

Selection of Lowest and Best Bid for the Installation Contractor

Three bid proposals were received from installation contractors. The scoring system for Phase II Construction Costs was devised to preclude a low bid for the Standard work, and high unit prices for the Non-Standard work. The contractor with the lowest Total Bid Price for Project Management and Standard Work was assigned 80 points, and all other bidders received a proportionally lower score based their bid. In a similar manner, the lowest Total Price Bid for Non-Standard Work received 20 points, and others received proportionally lower scores. The scores for Phase I were added to the scores received in Phase II. The highest combined was deemed “Lowest and Best” bidder and was awarded the contract.

The project cost breakdown is as follows:

Project Cost Breakdown
Engineering $348,000
Water Meter $2,103,000
ACLARA MTUs $2,032,000
Project Management $1,515,000
Standard Work $3,062,000
Non-Standard Work $511,000
Construction Administration $324,000
Total Project Cost $ 9,895,000

Notice to Proceed was issued to Badger Meters, ACLARA Technologies, and Professional Meters, Inc. Milwaukee, WI in June 2014.  The Canton Water Department anticipates no more than eighteen months for construction duration starting from the Notice to Proceed.


As expected, the planning that led up to the start of this project was a very complex and arduous task given the number of variables to consider.  The City and B&N spent countless hours over the course of 2013 researching, discussing and determining the best approach for Canton and its customers.   These exceptional planning efforts allowed the Project Team to leverage the existing investment in Canton’s AMR system; select a reputable and established meter manufacturer; utilize local labor, and select a highly experienced national installation contractor. Final bids resulted in a price of nearly 30% lower than initial cost estimates, and will satisfy the meter reading needs of Canton and its customers for the next 20 years.

Carl Seifried is a Project Manager with Burgess & Niple

Tyler Converse serves as Superintendent for the City of Canton, Ohio