Summit looking at fire hydrants
Village wants to be proactive before trouble strikes
By Steve Metsch
The Summit Village Board is looking into whether it needs to replace fire hydrants around town.
It’s not that the hydrants are failing or in danger of doing so, Mayor Sergio Rodriguez said. Rather, officials just want to know if there are any potential problems and want to address those sooner than later, he said.
The board discussed the hydrants during its committee of the whole meeting held before a recent regular village board meeting,
Fire Chief Wayne Hanson said that replacing one fire hydrant could cost $7,000 to $8,000, according to Unique Plumbing in Brookfield.
Trustee Sam Dardovski said the village hopes to, if needed, replace perhaps a dozen each year.
“The ones we look at first are the ones by businesses and schools, where there’s the most population at risk. Then we’ll go into the housing area,” Dardovski said.
There’s a chance there may be extra cost repairing pipes leading to the hydrants “because they’re old,” Hanson said.
After the committee meeting, Hanson said Summit is not having problems with fire hydrants overall, but several have sustained damage over the years, usually from vehicles striking them.
“We’re working on it. There’s not a lot,” Hanson said. “This is an old town. So, there are issues. It’s an old system.”
Public Works Director Bill Mundy said testing by his crews found no major problems with any of the hydrants. “We’ve got video on all of them working,” Mundy said. “If one is damaged, we have to replace it.”
During the committee meeting, Village Administrator Mike Profirio said the village’s workman’s comp insurance is going to cost $82,000 less for the coming year. That’s a savings of 12 percent, Rodriguez said.
“Our claims are really down. There are less people on workman’s comp. So, keeping village employees safe with good morale is paying dividends,” Profirio said.
Trustee Art Sullivan asked if the police have an incentive program that rewards officers for staying in good health and injury free.“We do not have a safety policy,” Police chief John Kosmowski said. “Guys don’t want to get hurt because they love to come to work.
The department will lose four personnel in 2018, Kosmowski said, but two recruits are in the academy right now with two more new officers expected to be hired in the coming year.
Repainting of the village’s water tower has been completed, Rodriguez said. It included repairing a few small leaks, he said.
During the village board’s meeting, after a 30-minute executive session, trustees unanimously voted to approve a four-year contract extension with Kosmowski, and a two-year contract with the firefighters. Each will receive pay raises of 2.5 percent each year, Rodriguez said.
The mayor said he and the board are very pleased with Kosmowski’s job performance.
Kosmowksi, 51, has been police chief for three years. He started with the department as a radio dispatcher in 1987, and was hired as a police officer two years later.
“I’m happy. And, the mayor’s happy with our police activity. Morale is everything, and our morale is good,” Kosmowski said.
“Knock on wood, it’s going good. I hope nobody gets hurt on the street. That’s my biggest fear,” Kosmowski said.
He’s focused on continuing the department’s good work of recent years. Testing for new officers will be held Nov. 18 at Argo Community High School, he said.
The board also entered into an agreement which will have Azavar Audit Solutions, Inc., which will conduct audits to make sure the village is collecting the proper amounts owed by businesses, utilities and others for fees, taxes, etc.
During public comments, the board heard from a resident of the 7600 block of West 63rd Place who complained that the alley floods during rainstorms.
Mundy said public works crews will be dispatched to check it out. “I know we clean out the basins every summer,” Rodriguez said.
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