PHOTO: Mayor Jimmy Alexander and College Grove Utility District Commissioner Johnny Crawford following the board meeting in Nolensville on Tuesday // Photo by Alexander Willis
BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
Nolensville Mayor Jimmy Alexander and representatives from the College Grove Utility District discussed potential solutions to the town’s fire hydrant maintenance issue during a meeting on Tuesday.
As previously reported by the Home Page, no entity is currently maintaining the fire hydrants in Nolensville, with the issue coming to light recently after two hydrants failed during a fire. Nolensville Fire Chief Brian Moat has stressed the fact that the hydrant malfunctions did not result in any additional damage.
While unofficial at this point, the ultimate agreement of the meeting was that the town government and College Grove Utility District would split the costs of maintaining the more than 700 fire hydrants in Nolensville, with the Utility District currently in the works at exploring options for facilitating the work of a contractor.
“I have a hydrant in my front yard, and I like it,” Alexander said during the meeting. “But I’ve lived there 20 years and I’ve never seen it open. I always thought if I have something wrong, it will open, and it will work. But we do know there are some concerns in the community, and we’d like to be able to go back to them and say this is where the board stands, and this is what they’re doing about it.”
Members of the board for the College Grove Utility District explained that they would be willing to help offset some of the costs, but not the cost in its entirety.
“We really want to work with you guys and work out something, but at the same token, we can’t afford to take the full cost,” said Commissioner at the College Grove Utility District, Johnny Crawford. “We’re running up on money problems like everybody else. I don’t think it’s really quite fair for us to pass on what we would have to do for Nolensville to all our customers.”
Another option discussed was for the College Grove Utility District to pass the extra costs of maintaining the fire hydrants along to only their customers residing in Nolensville.
“Why don’t you come up with a plan, and then we’ll talk about cost sharing, or you passing it along to everyone that lives within our town,” Alexander said to the board. “I don’t think anyone in our town would complain,” Alexander said before being cut off by an eruption of laughter in the room.
The idea that seemed to garner the most agreement was hiring a contractor to maintain the fire hydrants, negating the costs of tools, transportation and other requirements a full or part-time position would require.
“I understand you’re trying to keep your costs down in the city, [but] we want to be a good neighbor,” Crawford said. “We want to work together, and I think we can get this worked out.”
With a smile and a handshake, Alexander thanked Crawford and the board for their willingness to work together to solve the issue.
The College Grove Utility District is currently researching costs and logistics of hiring contract work, with the board telling Alexander they will contact the city as soon as the research is complete.