Residents of an Abbotsford neighbourhood aren’t getting their golden fire hydrants back.
Between 1995 and 2004, a developer installed 25 gold-plated hydrants as homes went up in a ritzy Eagle Mountain subdivision.
Over the last two decades, though, the condition of the hydrants deteriorated the sheen, and the gold-plating began coming off in “thin sharp shards,” according to city staff. The developer had provided two backups, but those were used during hydrant failures.
Hydrants are normally repainted every four or five years, and in 2018, the city asked a contractor to “prepare and paint” the hydrants to conform to city standards.
But the repainting was not well-received by everyone. More than a dozen residents contacted the city with their concerns.
A report to council said that although staff reviewed other options “all were found to cost significantly more than the existing city standard and also did not meet the [National Fire Protection Association] standard or the city’s Fire Service Bylaw.”
Staff say the white and blue hydrants “are easily identifiable and more visual for arriving fire crews versus the gold plated fire hydrants.” Abbotsford uses white, although the standard is yellow, the report says. The colour of the top of the hydrant and caps illustrates a hydrant’s “available flow.”
Staff say subdivision agreements didn’t require the city to maintain the hydrants’ gold-plating forever, and that no money was set aside to provide for their replacement.
On Monday, council agreed with staff’s recommendation to keep the hydrants in the area matching those in the rest of the city.
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