WBON-TV9 continues to investigate why area firefighters had to bring in water tankers to fight last Saturday nights blaze at Richmond Manor Apartments on Third Street. The second time in nearly three years. WBON-TV9 covered the last fire at the same location in September of 2019 and reported on the hydrants not working at that time as well. The onus of maintaining and repairing hydrants falls on the owning utility, in this case, Madison County Utilities District.
Counsel for the District, Jud Patterson, released this official statement on behalf of MCUD:
For a small utility like Madison County Utilities with limited staff and resources, hydrant maintenance is a collaborative effort. MCUD works with both the Madison County Fire Department and the Richmond Fire Department to inspect and service the hydrants. The fire departments inspect the hydrants and notify the utility which hydrants aren’t functioning properly. MCUD then makes any necessary repairs. Two of the hydrants near the area of the Richmond Manor apartments are currently scheduled to be repaired.
Like everyone else, MCUD has suffered from a labor shortage losing over half of its field staff in the last 18 months. Identifying and repairing water leaks, correcting service interruptions and new service requests must all be handled before repairs can be made to the hydrants. Madison County Utilities appreciates the importance of fire protection and prioritizes the repair of the hydrants as much as possible. Madison County Utilities will continue to work closely with the local fire departments to be sure they are aware of which hydrants may be used for fire protection and which hydrants are not available so they may respond appropriately in the future.
Patterson also told WBON-TV9 Thomas Construction, an outside contractor, has been retained to repair and replace the hydrants in question. Find more video and stories on this matter on our wbon facebook page.
Patterson Law Office, PLLC
228A West Main Street
Richmond, KY 40475
Counsel for Madison County Utilities District