Lakewood may be on the hook to pay for maintenance of its fire hydrants – an annual expense to the tune of $195,000 annually.
City Manager Andrew Neiditz said this week that the Lakewood Water District — citing a 2008 state Supreme Court decision that placed the responsibility of fire hydrant maintenance on local governments — wants the city to pay for maintenance.
“This is certainly a major cost, a cost we have never covered,” he said.
“This is not good news,” he added.
The announcement comes less than a year after Tacoma Public Utilities asked a judge to require five governments – Pierce County, University Place, Fircrest, Federal Way and King County – to reimburse Tacoma Water for improvements it made to bring water to their communities, as well as pay for future maintenance on their systems.
Neiditz said it’s likely lawyers for both the city and the water district will be involved in the discussions over who pays for fire hydrant maintenance.
I left messages with both the city and the Lakewood Water District this afternoon. I plan to have a story later this week.