Water policy in the works

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:47

    Council and firefighters agree to set plan on filling pools, By Mark J. Yablonsky FRANKLIN — After an incident that saw a Franklin resident sharply criticize the borough fire department for filling a neighbor’s pool, fire officials and the council say they plan to work out a written policy that will become “standard operating procedure.” That decision was made after the council meeting on June 9, in which several borough officials felt the recent incident was blown out of proportion. Borough resident Dawn Inglis, after observing her neighbor’s pool being filled by volunteer firemen, made her complaint public by sending photographs and a verbal report to the Advertiser-News. She also filed a police report. “The way it was left off is that the (fire) chief is going to go back to his command staff and draw up a written policy, and then it will be brought back to the council for discussion,” explained borough administrator Richard R. Wolak last week. “And if it’s agreeable, then it will become part of their (department) standard operating procedure.” Always ready to help In the meantime, Fire Chief James Carroll told the council emphatically that public duty and proper assistance to residents in need will always come first. “I’ll never refuse a resident that requests water for his pool,” promised Carroll, a lifelong borough resident. “We will fill anybody’s pool who calls us. We’re there. We’re there if your house is burning, we’re there if you have water in your basement. We’re always there for the people of this town. And I’ll stand behind that.” The incident was also met with criticism from councilmen Gilbert Snyder and Jack Stoll, both of whom said that firefighter assistance was nothing new. “We’ve been doing that for 30, 40 years,” said Snyder, a former sergeant with the borough police force. “It’s more than just doing it for a few people.” Paying it back Council members pointed out that when there’s a need, firefighters will ask for help from residents. “Anybody who has a pool, we have the right to go in and get water from any of these pools in the event we have a fire,” Stoll said. “So it’s only right that we put water in. If we do 10 a year, that’s a lot.” Wolak and others stressed that nothing wrong had been done. “It was perceived that there was something improper, but further review showed it was not improper but just needs to be addressed,” Wolak said. “But if we fill pools, it will be with non-potable water, meaning water from the Franklin Pond.”