Local installation of fire hydrants is money-saving prospect

Chairman Ken Honecker, left, questions Rony Joel, Marco Island's general manager of water and sewer service, at the Utilities Advisory Board meeting Wednesday at City Hall. Joel reported to the board on  utility rates, fire hydrants and more.

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Chairman Ken Honecker, left, questions Rony Joel, Marco Island's general manager of water and sewer service, at the Utilities Advisory Board meeting Wednesday at City Hall. Joel reported to the board on utility rates, fire hydrants and more.

With eyes focused squarely on the city’s check book, members of the island’s Utilities Advisory Board (UAB) heard a preliminary update on plans to install additional fire hydrants in residential areas during the committee’s regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday.

A memo in August noted that the distance between residential homes and fire hydrants is an on-going safety concern. Many properties are not within 500 feet of a hydrant, while others are in excess of 1,000 feet.

Because hydrant installation is not budgeted for the 2011 fiscal year, public works director Tim Pinter has been exploring whether installation by the public works department would be more cost-effective. Pinter compared the cost of one city-installed hydrant, with three similar installations done by outside contractors. According to Pinter’s preliminary estimates, which he presented to UAB members Feb. 2, the city could save between $2,500-$3,000, per hydrant if city workers completed the job.

“We’re at the infancy of this whole program,” cautioned Pinter. “So it’s hard to say exactly how much we’ll save.”

However, Pinter noted that the savings could increase as public works crews become more familiar with the installation process.

It is expected that 52 hydrants will need to be installed throughout the city as part of a multi-year project.

According to Pinter, plans to install new hydrants in Golden Rod, The Estates, and Copperfield as part of the city’s septic tank replacement program should continue to be completed by outside contractors. The island would see the most cost savings by having city works complete hydrant installation in older sections of town.

Pinter’s next step is to determine how to allocate funds to pay for the project, adding that he plans to make sure the program is included in the city’s 2012 budget.

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Comments » 9

marco97 writes:

What is Joel doing there, I thought he left in January?, is he a paid consultant now?

Ian_Curtis writes:

Can someone tell me why we are all paying for the city to put in fire hydrants for a small portion of the Island? I was told I had to have a sewer connection because it was for the benefit of the entire Island, in particular, the health and safety of all. However, I had to pay for the installation including the pipes added in the road, not just to connect my house. Now I am being asked to pay to add the hydrants to areas of the island that do not affect me. I have 2 hydrants within 500 feet of my house and a 3rd within 1000 ft by GPS. I should not have to pay!!!
If they want to add these hydrants, they should charge the home owners that will receive the benefit just like the STRP.

deltarome writes:

marco97, I was at the Feb 3 meeting. Rony Joel was not there. That photo is from a past meeting.

OldMarcoMan writes:

I almost have my STRP loan paid off, what the heck with ObambaCare I can afford to double down a few months.

Thanks Ken, you got my vote next Council election.

dc5799 writes:

Where is Issler? He disappeared same time klabautman did. Ya think?

dc5799 writes:

in response to islandeye1#236971:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thank's

marco97 writes:

in response to deltarome:

marco97, I was at the Feb 3 meeting. Rony Joel was not there. That photo is from a past meeting.

Thank you Delta, I thought he was gone. The picture makes it seem that he was at the recent meeting.

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

DUHHHH!!!!!
Why wouldn't it be cheaper to have City employees do the work?
If 90% of these employees worked for the other water department, why are they not already famaliar with the installation process.
I will say that Pinter was trained well by Joel, stating that the areas of the Estates, Goldenrod, and Copperfield should be completed by contractors. Spend, baby, spend.

MrBreeze writes:

Installing a hydrant in Marco Island is a "no brainer". The depth of the mains is about 2 feet and all sand. This is kids play in the real world of excavating.

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