Cove water meters

A new digital water meter from Fathom Water Management Inc. is seen in Copperas Cove. Fathom began exchanging the water meters Oct. 11, 2016. All old water meters were replaced with a new meter to connect with the Neptune E-Coder Advanced Meter Infrastructure System.

COPPERAS COVE — An audit of city utility accounts originally estimated to be completed by this week will take more time, according to city officials.

The city is auditing 1 percent of local Fathom accounts from a billing perspective.

The audit process, costing $16,000, is looking at all billing aspects, meter readings, adjustments, corrections and payments made/applied to those accounts. The audit process is also exploring solid waste accounts.

Following a meeting this week, city spokesman Kevin Keller said the audit will not be completed until later in December or early January. External auditors are continuing to look through information, Keller said.

Since Fathom — a company based in Phoenix, Arizona — took over billing two years ago, residents have complained of high water bills and other issues with Fathom.

Fathom serves as the third-party system responsible for billing and customer service. The city is responsible for the maintenance of the water equipment.

The city entered into an agreement with Fathom on May 17, 2016, with a one-time implementation fee of $7 million.

The city is contracted for 15 years of Fathom service, an agreement that automatically renews each year until it expires in 2031.

In response to resident complaints, auditor Weaver & Tidwell, which has audited for the city before, is examining the 1 percent, and depending on what the audit discovers, a more thorough audit may follow, according to interim City Manager Ryan Haverlah.

“Depending on the findings, there could be more (audits) that come from this audit,” Keller said.

mpayne@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553

Herald staff writer

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