IN BELFAIR, WASHINGTON, THE LOCAL WATER DISTRICT is in a snit because the Belfair Fire Department doesn’t pay for the water it uses. So the water district has padlocked all the fire hydrants and refuses to give the FD a key. In fact, they didn’t even inform the FD that they were doing it.
The Belfair Water District says it loses a million gallons of water a year to water thieves and contractors, etc., and they are just trying to control the water usage. But when Fire Chief Beau Bakken asked them for a key, they wouldn’t give them one. Even the hydrant in front of the firehouse is locked.
Even the hydrant in front of the firehouse is locked.
Chief Bakken said, “We immediately called the Belfair Water District and asked for a key. And we were refused by the water manager to get a key, and were just told that, ‘Hey, in the event of a fire, just cut these locks if you need to get into the fire hydrants.”‘
Despite their claim of water thievery, the dispute goes back more than two years when the water district asked the FD to pay for any water they use in training exercises and the fire department naturally refused. Belfair Water District Manager Dave Tipton told tv station KOMO, ”They will not pay for the water. We’ve asked them for 2½ years. They refuse to pay us for any water, for anything.” When asked about the delay in firefighting caused by the need to cut the lock off the hydrant first, Tipton responded that he doesn’t think locking fire hydrants will have any direct effect on firefighting.
The fire chief is taking the actions of the water district to the county prosecutor to see if he can get any relief. KOMO-TV ran this video report that includes an interview with one of the most muddle-brained bureaucrats you’ll ever come across:
Hat tip: Larry D.