Hydrant replacement weighed

17 June, 1992 (~estimated)

Hydrant replacement weighed

PRINCETON TOWNSHIP — Replacing the Princetons’ fire hydrants with ones built like those used in most towns would cost $150,000, an official from Elizabethtown Water Co. estimated yesterday.

Frederick Yoerg Jr., director of system operations for Elizabethtown, said it would cost roughly $1,000 for each of the 693 hydrants in Princeton Township and Prince-ton Borough. In some cases, mains would have to be rebuilt, noted Norman Nelson. Elizabethtown’s director of planning and system development.

Princetons’ fire hydrants have “threads” that do not match those now considered standard. When fire companies from nearby towns are called in on bigger fires, they must use an adaptor to hook their hoses to hydrants, – which wastes precious minutes.

Yoerg and Nelson spoke before yesterday’s meeting of the Joint Fire Commission. After hearing the cost estimates, commissioners discussed alternatives, such as permanently in-stalling adaptors to all Princeton hydrants and replacing them with standard models when they wear out, which Yoerg said could take 50 years.

The adaptor method would cost at least $100,000 Yoerg and Nelson estimated.

Fire Commissioner Fred Golomb noted that replacement plans have been tabled before because of the cost. But township Mayor Richard Woodbridge said. “You lose one building because it took somebody a few extra minutes to put a thread on,” and the cost of replacing them is already spent.

In addition to the hydrant issue, commissioners also discussed whether the area could use a “telesquirter” truck, which offers a safer, faster method of sending water into tall buildings. It needs only one person to run the machine, which West Windsor Fire Marshal Jim Yates said is a big plus for towns that rely on volunteers.

Woodbridge asked Yates to give commissioners West Windsor’s reasons for buying two trucks in the next several mouths. Also, Yates was asked to see whether both areas could save money if they purchased three trucks from the same firm at the same time.

But the projected $300,000 to $450,000 cost clearly troubled some Township Commit ten members who attended. Committeeman Larry Glasberg asked whither Princeton’s volunteer companies could provide examples of buildings that could have been saved with the telesquirter, or close calls with a firefighter’s safety.

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