Lee fire commissioners discuss firehouse repairs, hydrants and social media

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TOWN OF LEE — Repairs at the Lee Center firehouse, a review of fire hydrant sites and water access, and social media policy modifications were among topics for the town Board of Fire Commissioners.

Also at its meeting last week, the board discussed an upcoming workshop with leaders of the Lee Center and Lake Delta volunteer fire departments regarding improvement areas, and addressed how to handle some future air tank purchases.

For the items, as outlined by board Chairman Patrick Hetherington:

• The roof on the Lee Center firehouse, which had been leaking, was repaired at a cost of $2,200. The work included “additional siding, soffit and facial repairs resulting from the winter,” said Hetherington. Repairs were performed by Big Brother Builders of Westernville, he added. Also discussed was a bid package for replacing two damaged catch basins in front of the firehouse. The town fire district purchased new concrete catch basins last year and will now get quotes for installation, said Hetherington.

• The board discussed dry hydrants, and wants to canvass Lee’s northern area that is not served by regular fire hydrants to ensure there is ample access to water for homes and structures outside the town’s municipal water district. Dry hydrants can include a pipe system installed in lakes, ponds and streams to provide a suction supply of water to a fire department tank truck. The town currently has two active dry hydrants in use including on Streun Road by a pond and in West Branch by a stream, said Lee Center fire department President William Baker.

“If there are areas where water supply could be improved, we will look at commissioning additional dry hydrants,” Hetherington commented.

• In a discussion on modifying the social media policy, a final version to vote on will be available at the board’s June meeting, said Hetherington.

The majority of the board agrees the town fire district should give final approval on any pictures made available to the public, Hetherington noted. The board has recently discussed tightening the Lee Center fire department’s cell-phone policy involving photos, after some photos of emergency-response scenes that were shown at the department’s officer installation banquet made some attendees uncomfortable.

• A June 30 workshop was scheduled for chiefs, assistant chiefs and presidents from the Lee Center and Lake Delta fire departments along with fire commissioners to “discuss collaborative improvement areas to better serve the entire town,” Hetherington said.

• The board discussed a Lee Center department request to purchase air tanks at a cost of $700. The tanks have a service life, and the oldest ones will expire in May of 2020, said Hetherington. The fire district will wait until closer to the date of expiration to order new ones rather than retire serviceable ones that still have useful life, he added.

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