Q The County wishes to purchase and install fire hydrants in unincorporated areas served by rural water associations. May the county do so? If so, may the county allocate funds to the fire districts or volunteer fire departments for them to purchase the fire hydrants and arrange with the water associations for installation, as long as the hydrants remain county property? Can the county obtain a CAP loan for this project?

A Pursuant to Section 89-1-39, the board may appropriate funds to a volunteer fire department and fire protection district for the purchase of fire hydrants. Once the appropriation is made, the volunteer fire department and fire protection district may arrange with privately owned water associations for the installation of the fire hydrants. If the board makes a finding of fact, spread upon the minutes, that the purchase and installation of fire hydrants constitutes “capital improvements” as defined in Section 57-1-302(2), then it may borrow funds from the Local Governments Capital Improvements Revolving Loan Fund for such purpose. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Sutton, September 14, 2018)