In exactly two weeks, Mid County Fire Protection district's board of directors will discuss the possibility of revamping their current building codes. Board member Mike High proposed the changes during the board's October meeting. He handed out the proposed changes with the expectation that the members take their time to read the codes over and be prepared to discuss the proposal at their upcoming November 15 meeting.
Mid County currently operates under the 2006 International Building Codes, which are the same codes that the rest of the lake area municipalities, fire departments and district operate under.
Mid County adopted the codes in 2004. At that time, they used the 2000 International Building Codes. In 2006, they adopted the newest version of the codes. Mid County along with other lake agencies were expecting to adopt the newest 2012 codes in 2013 before the proposed changes came before the board.
A total of 57 fire protection districts across the state operate under the same codes, yet some board members feel as if some of the codes are not necessary. The changes would completely remove any commercial building codes and would greatly reduce the amount of residential codes.
11 residential codes would remain; some changed from the original International code format. Attached to the proposed codes was a list of reasons why the changes are needed. According to Mike High, the author of the proposed codes, "Limited Fire Safety Ordinances are all that are needed for reasonable protection of the citizens and fire fighters in the MCFPD."
Another reason states, "2006 International Building Code enforcement is unpopular with a large number of citizens in the district."
During last month's meeting, one concerned citizen expressed concern for residents and firefighters if buildings were built without any code requirements.
The question now is whether the popularity of codes or safety of the citizens is more important.