MILTON — Pace resident Lewis Loveless has had difficulty getting a fire hydrant fixed near his home. Loveless said it took almost a year and a half to resolve the issue because Pace Water System and Pace Fire and Rescue each said the other was responsible for fixing the hydrants.
The discussion at the Sept. 10 commission meeting continued to how many hydrants did not work, why and who was responsible for repairs.
According to Brad Baker, emergency management director for the county, the water purveyor for that area is responsible for addition of new lines, maintenance and repair. Baker said there are 15 water purveyors in the county. The only area Santa Rosa County is responsible for is Navarre Beach.
Pace Fire and Rescue Chief Robbie Whitfield agreed with Baker. Both said they have personnel that regularly inspect and do minor maintenance on hydrants but anything major goes to the water purveyor.
Mark Murray, assistant county administrator, worked with GIS and Emergency Management to identify how many hydrants were out. Murray said the county has 6,276 fire hydrants. As of Sept. 13, 28 were out of service, a less than 0.45 percent out of service rate.
It was decided that the water purveyor was responsible for addition of lines and maintenance and repair of fire hydrants.
For Loveless's case, Commissioner Parker asked county staff to contact Pace Water System to find out the water purveyor's plan of action to resolve these issues.
Murray said they were in contact with Pace Water System's general manager, Damon Boutwell, PE,. Boutwell said he would call them when he returned from travel.