Oak Park is changing the color of its fire hydrants from green to red next year. That will make them a matched set with the village’s fire trucks. But one village board member wasn’t so sure about the switch.

“Is red the right color?” Trustee John Hedges said at a village budget meeting last week, later adding, “They are going to stand out a lot more.”

“Which is the point,” said Public Works Director John Wielebnicki. The fire department wants to be able to easily spot the water gushers, and it’s a universal color.

“Well, I think the fire department knows where the fire hydrants are,” Hedges said with a chuckle.

Trustee Ray Johnson suggested that Oak Park use local teens to repaint hydrants, but village staff balked. The job requires heavy-duty sandblasting and it would be safer and better done by trained professionals, Wielebnicki said.

No one else on the village board joined the chorus of concern over fire-hydrant painting. Village President David Pope jokingly said the village should paint hydrants with people on them, ending with, “John, I will defer to you guys to figure out the color.”

“Right decision,” said Trustee Colette Lueck.

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