The county is not in the firefighting business, the Davis County commissioners have told residents outside of Syracuse who asked the county to pay for installation of fire hydrants in their area.

Although the county supplies some services to residents in its unincorporated areas, it contracts with nearby cities for fire protection. Services provided don't include water, for either drinking or fighting fires, the commissioners decided.The residents are putting in a culinary water system after years of drought and falling water tables have caused their wells to go dry. As part of the system, they are installing five fire hydrants, at a cost of $4,500.

Gale Voigt, who represents about two dozen property owners in the area between 4000 West and 4500 West along 1700 South, said the county paid for hydrant installation in the same general area in 1973.

Voigt asked for the installation last September, but was turned down. He resubmitted the request after his research showed the county paid for hydrants in the past.

County deputy attorney Gerald Hess also researched the issue and said he turned up some isolated instances where the county paid for hydrant installation, but charged it off to adjacent property owners.

The county is obligated to provide fire protection in unincorporated areas, Hess said, and does so through the South Davis Fire District in the county's southern half and by contracting with city fire departments in the north end.

But the county is not obligated to provide water or fire hydrants, Hess said. Based on his advice, the commissioners voted unanimously to deny the funding request.