Letter: What are the town’s priorities? 

When will common sense prevail? I am writing this letter because I am simply out of options and tired of the Town of Washington’s inability to make respectable, rational decisions.

The hydrant, since painted black.
The hydrant, since painted black.

Several years ago, I returned home on Piedmont Avenue to discover a garbage bag on a fire hydrant located in front of our home. I contacted the Washington Town Hall and was informed the hydrant had been abandoned and there were no funds for replacement. The hydrant serviced 14 homes, which include elderly, disabled and, at last count, 15 children. The garbage bag had been placed on the hydrant to inform first responders not to attempt to utilize the hydrant.

Over the years, I repeatedly contacted town representatives to address this safety issue to no avail. On each occasion, I was informed that although we live in the town’s Water Servicing District and pay for town water for our homes, the cost to replace or repair our water hydrant is an unnecessary burden.

Recently, there was a house fire on Piedmont Avenue and as a direct result of the town’s neglect, the abandoned hydrant a quarter of a mile closer to the fire, created an unnecessary delay. Shamefully, the town’s garbage bag resolution failed. Once again, I addressed my concern to the town and was met with only excuses about the excessive cost. (The quote that I received to plumb the existing hydrant came in at less than $5,000.)

I simply do not understand how town representatives can continue to knowingly ignore this safety concern year after year while funding much more expensive projects to “beautify” a parking lot and intersection.

William Metcalf

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