NEWBERRY – Newberry may be one step closer to instituting a program they have been working on since 2015. During the June 22 Commission meeting, City Manager Mike New reviewed progress in researching and establishing an Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) program for Newberry.

Commissioners authorized New to negotiate an agreement with the only company compliant with a request for proposal (RFP) put out by the City in March to provide AMI system services. In the event the city manager is unable to negotiate contract terms with the compliant submitter, Commissioners also authorized the termination of negotiations and re-issuing an RFP for AMI services.

With the assistance of Quanta Technology Engineering Project Manager Bob Dumas, the City developed the RFP and pre-qualified four firms from which to solicit proposals.

“We received proposals from three of the pre-qualified firms,” said New. “The fourth firm, Aclara, declined to submit a proposal citing previous commitments.”

Quanta performed a high-level compliance review of the three submittals and found that only one, Sensus, was compliant with the RFP document. The other two submittals by Honeywell and Landis+GYR were found to be non-compliant, New said.

The RFP evaluation committee consisting of Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) Manager of Member Services Development Mike McCleary, Lakeland Electric Utilities Assistant General Manager for Customer Service David Kus and Mike New met remotely on June 11 to discuss Quanta’s compliance review. The RFP evaluation committee unanimously approved a motion to find the same two company’s proposals non-responsive and recommended that staff be authorized to negotiate a contract for AMI service with Sensus, and that staff be authorized to re-issue the AMI service RFP if negotiations with Sensus are unsuccessful.

If negotiations are successful, this project could be rolling out as soon as this fall.

The City estimates deployment cost for AMI to range from $1 million - $1.2 million. “The budget for FY 2020/ 2021 includes funding for this project,” New said.

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