PERRYVILLE — Town of Perryville officials gave the green light on Tuesday to lock down 51 fire hydrants.

Only Perryville’s Public Works employees and the Community Fire Company of Perryville will have the keys.

Commissioner Tim Snelling, the board’s public safety representative, said the devices would go on hydrants most at risk of being tampered with.

“There will be locks on fire hydrants in high risk locations,” Snelling said. “People are opening up hydrants and it affects water quality.”

Unauthorized use of the hydrants can also affect water pressure and is a potential waste of treated, potable drinking water, Snelling said.

While called ‘hydrant locks’ the devices amount to a reinforced metal cage. The town will also need to purchase padlocks to secure each hydrant.

“I asked (Public Works) Superintendent Aaron Ashford to get a price on hydrant locks,” Snelling told his fellow board members. Each cage device will cost the town $285 plus another 16 for a padlock.

Brad Willis, chief of the fire company, said getting all the locks at once and getting them keyed identically will help the town and the fire company in an emergency.

“It will help especially in the dark,” Willis said. That avoids having to figure out which key to use during an emergency when every second counts.

Willis said the system is simple to operate once his crew is trained.

“The back side has a hasp with a locking device,” Willis told the board. “Once the padlock is off it opens like a butterfly.”

Mayor Matt Roath said the locking system is another way to protect the town’s water supply.

“We’re continuing to chase after water price and water quality,” Roath said. “This is a matter of making sure we have high quality water for our residents.”

Debra Laubach, finance director, said Perryville can tap into its American Recovery Act funds to cover the cost.

Meanwhile, the town also approved spending $125,688.86 for the fire company. Laubach will draft a budget amendment showing that the town will move unspent funds from its Local Impact money. That’s the money Perryville receives for its share of the proceeds from Hollywood Casino.

“We have a little over $413,000 ... from the 4th quarter of 2021,” Laubach said. There was another $22,156 from the previous year.

The fire company had requested $125,000 even but Snelling asked for the additional funds to cover the entire cost for the breathing apparatus and other equipment.

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