Not quite Chinatown, but it’s still water politics 

The San Francisco Fire Department has about $13 million to slash from its budget, but there’s no way the civilian commissioners who oversee the department are going to give up their water.

Transferring the maintenance of the Auxiliary Water Supply System, the underground network of water that helps firefighters fill their hoses, to the Public Utilities Commission was taken out of the budget Tuesday despite the chance for the department to save millions.

Fire Commission member Victor Makras, who knows a few things about real estate, fought the proposal for months, claiming that turning over the maintenance of the system to the PUC would lead to the Fire Department losing a vital emergency resource. On top of it all, tens of millions of dollars in a public safety bond measure could go repairing the aging pipes.

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Brent Begin

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