DON OCHACHER ASKED WHY HIS HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION WAS BILLED
$2,555 A YEAR FOR ‘FIRE SERVICE.’ THE ANSWER: IT’S A MASSIVE
DWP RIPOFF OF RATEPAYERS WITH PRIVATE HYDRANTS.
By Steve Silkin
PART 1: THE NEWS
THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT of Water and Power has been charging property owners with private hydrants at least $7.5 million a year for “fire service” which in fact is nothing of the sort, and in exchange for that money does absolutely nothing: zero, nada, zilch.
Additionally, when ratepayers with hydrants on private property call to ask about the charges and services, phone representatives have recently said the utility tests service to hydrants—a blatant lie because the city’s Fire Department does that.
To make this whole sordid case even more revolting, DWP does not pass along any portion of the revenue to the Fire Department, not the least dime, while the utility pays the firefighters $5 for each hydrant tested on sidewalks and other public property.
By best estimates, DWP charges property owners $2,555 for each hydrant, and there may be more than 3,000 private hydrants in the city. This insanely rampant thievery now totals at least $100 million, because it’s been going on for at least 14 years.