At least 10 times a year someone manages to take out a City of Manteca fire hydrant.
Street lights also get knocked over, stop signs and other signs are taken out, street trees mowed down, and even ornamental trellises destroyed mostly in solo accidents.
The city’s first priority is to get them replaced as soon as possible — especially in the case of fire hydrants and street lights.
Equally important is making sure the responsible party and/or their insurance company pays the tab so the taxpayers aren’t left footing the bill.
And it isn’t cheap. Based on information gleaned from a survey of Bay Area cities, replacement hydrants can run $1,000 to $2,000. That doesn’t include the cost of labor to install them that whoever is to blame for the accident is on the hook to pay. Street lights are often in excess of $5,000.
“We try to get street lights replaced as soon as possible,” noted Public Works Director Mark Houghton.
Unfortunately, it takes longer to replace ornamental street lights such as the ones in downtown Manteca along Yosemite Avenue. They also cost more.
Most fire hydrants are replaced within a few days as are street signs. The city typically keeps a replacement hydrant on hand given that in any given year 10 to 12 fire hydrants are knocked over.
“In some cases they (the replacement) take longer because it may be an older style of hydrant,” Houghton said. “The newer ones also have break-away bolts.”
The recent accident at East Yosemite and Lincoln avenues that wiped out an ornamental trellis and damaged a street light on the southwest corner of that intersection in downtown Manteca will take a while to replace due to the style of the light pole.
When trees are destroyed in an accident, Houghton said the city typically waits until it is a good time such as the spring to replant trees.
As with fire hydrants, if a responsible party has been identified they will be billed for city costs not just of tree being replaced but the labor and any other costs involved.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com