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Dormant North Hall hydrants restored to service
North Hall commissioner fears issue could affect insurance rates
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A fire hydrant located on Shirley Road, one of more than three dozen North Hall hydrants that have been out of commission since January. Workers from the Gainesville Department of Water Resources restored service to all North Hall hydrants Friday. - photo by Alexander Popp

Service has been restored to more than three dozen North Hall fire hydrants that have been out of commission since January.

According to a press release from the Gainesville City Manager’s Office, crews of workers from the city’s Department of Water Resources installed a temporary booster pump station along the Highland Road area early Friday evening.

The release states that all hydrants in the North Hall area should be fully operational, and that all “out of service” tags and locks have removed from the previously affected hydrants.

Though the affected hydrants have been returned to service, local fire services have no plans to alter the current operational procedure in the area, Hall Fire Services Capt. Zachary Brackett said Saturday.

He explained that after Gainesville officials were alerted to the outage in January, an additional reserve unit was stationed at the Hall County Fire Station No. 16. That unit will remain stationed in the area for the foreseeable future.

“Obviously we are very happy that they installed the new pump,” Brackett said.

Hall County Commissioner Scott Gibbs is less than impressed with the temporary fix of the hydrants. His District 3 was one of the areas by the hydrant outages, and in his view, the fix should have never been needed.

“I’m not gonna sit here and be grateful for something that never should have been allowed to happen,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs went on to say that the events surrounding the hydrant outage may have repercussions that affect the entire county.

“Thursday we were alerted by ISO (Insurance Services Office) that they would be reviewing the county risk rating due to the lack of water,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs said the county now is rated as Class 3, a relatively low risk. But if that rating were elevated, it could mean higher insurance rates for county homeowners.

Gainesville is still currently working to install a permanent pump station in the Highland Road area. Officials report that a solution should be in place by the end of the year.

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