Columbus considers fire hydrants in Beechwood

Published 8:00 am Saturday, November 17, 2018

Resident pleads with council in light of California fires

COLUMBUS — In light of the devastating fires on the West Coast in California, the Columbus Town Council heard a plea from a Beechwood subdivision resident for hydrants.

Susan Johann spoke to the council during the town’s meeting on Thursday night.

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“I’m just concerned about fire hydrants,” Johann said. “The reason I’m concerned is I just came from a place that was on fire.”

Johann said the town has to do something about Beechwood.

“It isn’t right,” Johann said. “I don’t want to be evacuated and see my neighborhood go up in smoke the way I saw Los Angeles. I hope you will find a way to get this done and paid for.”

Columbus Town Manager Tim Barth said the there is a project where the first part of a waterline would be installed, with one small exception being approved by the United States Department of Agriculture.

“That paves the way for us to start getting bids,” Barth said.

He said the town hopes to bid the project in December. It will likely be another 30 to 45 days when the town can decide whether or not it can fund it.

Johann asked if there is money the town can access to go forward, or is Columbus waiting on funding.

Barth said any money that can be raised to offset the cost of the West Beechwood and Hague Drive portion would be great, but he is not aware of any state or federal funding that would be available.

“The town needs to figure out how to fund it,” he said.

Barth said the town is going on for bids on the large project and, after the bids come in, the town will determine if it has enough money to fund the first section of Beechwood. Then the town will discuss how to complete the entire subdivision.

“We look forward to that,” Johann said. “It’s not going away.”

The council also discussed issues with roads within Beechwood subdivision.

Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre said he and other members are investigating the roads. There are some ditches that are very deep, and McIntyre understands where a tire could go in and break someone’s axel.

He and others discussed issues with culverts and water runoff as well.

The council decided to get a preliminary opinion from an expert on what can be done with the roads and drainage.

Barth said there is no point in doing work on the road because it will be torn up if a new waterline is installed.

McIntyre said the council can hopefully review a preliminary report in January.