To a list that includes buggywhip factories, elevator operators and righthanded sluggers in Twins uniforms, we can add another vanishing species in these parts: meter readers.
The Duluth City Council will vote Monday on spending $9.5 million on a system that will replace the need for 10 employees to walk from house to house, reading 53,811 meters, according to the Duluth News Tribune.
In Duluth’s case, a person would drive around the city using a GPS map and a laptop, said John Hall, the city’s chief administrative officer. After the van comes near a meter device, it would send a signal to a laptop registering the reading. A light would go off on the laptop, letting the driver know a reading was taken.
Nationwide, there were 45,000 meter readers in 2006 with a median income of about $29,000. Only 440 are left in Minnesota, the Labor Department says, with a mean salary of $40,720.
That is a loss for the community! One less person around who can make sure our communities are safe.