City of Luverne repeals sprinkler system ordinance

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 9, 2006

The Luverne City Council voted unanimously to repeal its 2004 building code ordinance and revert back to the 1997 State of Alabama Southern Building Code.

Luverne Mayor Joe Rex Sport said that in 2004, the city council had passed a &#8220stronger, more restrictive sprinkler system ordinance” than was required by the Southern Building Code.

&#8220One primary restriction we had was that any building over 5,000 square feet must have a sprinkler system,” Sport said. &#8220We began to have people who wanted to build bigger buildings, but the required sprinkler systems would add to their construction costs.”

According to the Southern Building Code, a building must have a sprinkler system if it is over 16,000 square feet. Sport said that the state looks at several things, including the square footage, whether or not it is an assembly-type building and the occupancy amount.

&#8220Our ordinance was creating problems when it came to new prospects coming in,” Sport said. &#8220Many of them questioned the fact that we required a building of 5,000 square feet to have a sprinkler system when the state only required it in buildings of 16,000 square feet and up. So, we decided to go back to the original requirements of the Southern Building Code.”

&#8220We felt like it was detrimental to the growth of our community,” he added. &#8220The Southern Building Code still has plenty of protection that is needed for buildings.”

Also, the council re-appointed Morris Tate to the City of Luverne Electric Board, and the Luverne Rescue Squad is in the process of purchasing the property of Tommy Windham, which is located on the corner of West 6th Street and South Woodford, for the purpose of moving its headquarters and equipment there.