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N. Hempstead muses hydrant-clearing law

Snowed-in fire hydrants are causing concern throughout Long

Snowed-in fire hydrants are causing concern throughout Long Island Photo Credit: T.C. McCarthy

No need to break out the shovels just yet in the Town of North Hempstead.

The Town Board Tuesday continued a public hearing about a proposed resolution that would make commercial and residential property owners responsible for removing snow and ice from fire hydrants on their properties.

The North Hempstead Fire Advisory Council pushed for the new law, saying unshoveled hydrants block access and could delay response times.

“This law will simply open up more eyes to the crucial importance of ensuring our first responders have access to a water source so they can protect lives,” said Tom McDonough, the council’s chairman.

But two board members — Angelo Ferrara and Maria-Christina Poons — were concerned about what the new rules would mean for older residents who can’t shovel, residents who are out of town, and residents who clear hydrants only to have them blocked in again by town plows.

The board continued the hearing to Nov. 15 to address those concerns.

Under current law, property owners are required to shovel sidewalks but not fire hydrants, which are usually installed in grassy areas in front of sidewalks on or near property lines.

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