CADILLAC — Cadillac City Council will host a public hearing on Monday regarding a resolution and ordinance changes regarding fire hydrant inspections.
The public hearing will be held during the city’s scheduled meeting on Monday, July 15, at 6 p.m. in the Cadillac Municipal Complex Council Chambers.
According to the proposed resolution language, if it’s passed the city will require all hydrants in the city to be inspected biannually to ensure that they are accessible and in working condition in case of a public emergency requiring fire suppression.
The city also would use color coding to identify hydrant ownership and inspection responsibilities; would “bag‘ or otherwise cover hydrants that do not meet inspection criteria; and will have determined a fee schedule for inspections and fines for non-compliance.
Cadillac Utilities Director Jeff Dietlin said what the ordinance change would be is that an inspector, either with a private contractor or with the city, would inspect the fire hydrants twice a year and then the fire department would know all the fire hydrants in the city are working.
“This will help ensure that when the fire department would have to show up on the scene with a private hydrant that they know that they can connect to that with confidence that it will provide them the same kind of water as one that we own and maintain as part of our system,‘ Cadillac Director of Finance Owen Roberts said.
Dietlin said they inspect city fire hydrants twice annually, once in the spring and again in the fall.
Truly the fall inspection is the most important one, he said.
That’s because sometimes the valve will leak water, which will freeze in the barrel of the hydrant.
Then, when the fire department goes there and puts on its hose, it opens up the hydrant and the water starts going out of the side of the hydrant and actually can take the ground out from underneath them, he said.
The department has had this happen on several private hydrants where they either couldn’t get it to work or had a malfunction, he said.
Dietlin said Cadillac Area Public Schools, Consumers Energy and a lot of condo associations have private fire hydrants.
Some do a great job maintaining their fire hydrants, but for others it’s a piece of equipment they never check.
“So those are the ones we’re trying to see,‘ he said.
According to city documents, the following are the proposed fees that will be considered at the upcoming meeting:
Hydrant inspection fee (municipally and privately owned)
• April Inspection: $25
• October Inspection: $25
• Each Re-inspection after Failure: $25
• Fine for non-compliance: $10 per day
If adopted, the ordinance shall take effect 20 days afterward, according to city council documents.