Proposed Gorham home sprinkler rules under review

August 9th, 2018 by admin Leave a reply »

GORHAM — The Town Council Tuesday forwarded a proposal to amend the town’s sprinkler rules to its Ordinance Committee for a review and potential rewrite.

The controversial ordinance amendment would mandate sprinklers to include all new, one- and two-family homes.

The council vote was 6-0 with Town Council Vice Chairwoman Sherrie Benner absent. The measure could return to the Town Council for a final vote in September.

The proposal kindled some opposition this week from the public podium. Jim Means of Beatrice Drive said homeowners should decide whether to install  sprinklers and not be dictated by the town. Means said the proposal is “stealing” liberties.

A violation of the ordinance would levy fines up to $100 per day.  A system would require an annual inspection by a licensed technician and, if not paid in full in 30 days, the Fire Department would consider the inspection “incomplete” and in violation of the ordinance.

“The way it is written is horrible,” Means told the Town Council.

Fire officials say a strengthened ordinance would make the community safer, protect firefighters and save taxpayers money in the future because of less need for additional Fire Department staff and more fire stations in the growing town.

Cost of a sprinkler installation in an average home in Gorham has been estimated to cost $8,000-$10,000. Fire Chief Robert Lefebvre said Tuesday sprinklers would save homeowners between 8 percent  and 14 percent

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