About one out of every five of the city's fire hydrants are nonfunctional, the City Council was told on Tuesday.
iBerkshires.com reports the city has 631 fire hydrants of which about 500 are fully functional. Around 100 need to be fully replaced and another 30 can be repaired, at this point.
The exact number of hydrants out of service or in some disrepair isn't clear and the city and the North Adams Association of Firefighters Local 1781's numbers don't completely jive. The union, in a letter to councilors, said a survey had been done in 2018 at the direction of Fire Chief Stephen Meranti following an incident at a garage fire.
The city has been trying to address the hydrant system for a decade. A study of the entire water system presented in 2011 by Tighe & Bond estimated that $20 million would be need to upgrade the system, including 200 hydrants.
Both Lescarbeau and Meranti said the biggest obstacle to maintaining the system is the lack of manpower.