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Fire hydrant problems remain a hot topic in Bellaire

Updated: Monday, August 25 2014, 07:03 PM EDT
BELLAIRE, Ohio – A news conference was held Monday in Bellaire to publicly address fire hydrant brought to light by a string of recent fires.
There’s concern because the hydrants aren't being properly tested and tried.
"As many of you know, the ongoing problems with intake and producing water from the river has prohibited us from doing that," said Bellaire Village Administrator Dan Marling.
Marling noted the village has approximately 90-100 fire hydrants in the village, and it takes anywhere between 750-1,250 gallons a minute to flush those fire hydrants.
Those are worrisome numbers for village leaders. There is, however, some good news.
"Because of the rainy weather that we've so far this summer … which all does have an impact on how we can produce water, we are in a better position than we have been," Marling said.
Marling said the village has been proactive in going after funding and has been fortunate enough to receive two substantial grants thus far. But it's always a work in progress.
Marling looks toward a better understanding and perspective the last quarter of the fiscal year.
"So, hopefully as the year progresses, any surplus available we'll be focusing on replacing as many hydrants as we can," he said.
Six additional hydrants have been ordered. As soon as those come in, they will be installed. Marling says village leaders have been trying their best not to raise water rates to overcome these obstacles.
Now, they're appealing to village residents.
"We're on it,” he said. “We know what we have to do; we do even have a plan to do it. It's just finding the money to be able to accomplish the task,” he said.
A statement from the chief of the Bellaire Volunteer Fire Department, read, in part: “I'd like to reassure the public that although we've had multiple structure fires, they’ve not been related in any way. Two of them have been electrical; the remainder are still under investigation by the state of Ohio Fire Marshal.
Anyone who does see suspicious activity is asked to report it immediately.

Fire hydrant problems remain a hot topic in Bellaire

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