Aldermen amend residential codes

By Daniel Brunty
Winston County Journal

The Louisville Board of Aldermen discussed changes in the city’s residential inspection codes during their regular meeting held on August 5

at City Hall.
The meeting began with the approval of minutes, which was passed unanimously by the board. Next, the board moved on to new business starting with a hearing of unclean property at 124 Armstrong Street. Mayor Will Hill asked the audience if anyone representing the property was present. After no response, Hill asked Louisville Code Enforcement Officer Jody Fulton to give a report on the property.
Fulton began by stating that the property was overgrown with weeds, and that his department had sent multiple letters and postings on the property itself. Fulton then asked the board to adopt a resolution to clean the property after the August 25 deadline that had already been proposed. A motion was made to adopt the resolution, and it was passed unanimously by the board members.
The board then discussed ordinance amendments to the City of Louisville, in regards to the International Residential Code. Hill told the board members that they would need to make these amendments, one being a change from international electrical code to the national electrical code. The board made a motion to accept the amendment to Section 1 regarding the electrical code. The motion was passed unanimously by the board members.
Hill then stated the next amendment, which was a change to the home sprinkler system codes. “The City of Louisville hereby does amend Section P9204 of the 2012 International Residential Codes where fire sprinkler systems are only required in single family dwellings of 5,000 square feet or more, is set forth in the 2006 International Residential Code,” Hill said.
Hill continued. “Section 2 of this ordinance is the City of Louisville does hereby amend Section E390212 of the 2012 International Residential Codes where arc-fault circuit interrupters are only required in sleeping rooms as set forth in the 2006 International Residential Codes. Section 3 of this, the City of Louisville does hereby amend the code where a fire extinguisher shall be located in each kitchen and in close proximity not more than 10 feet to each and every wood-burning fireplace. Section 4, the City of Louisville does hereby amend the code where a carbon monoxide detector alarm shall be located the same location that required smoke detector alarms and any and all dwellings using gas appliances or heating units.”
Hill said with the actions of the board during this meeting, these amendments could take effect immediately. He also stated there could be a possibility of denial of building permits. Hill then asked for questions or comments. Alderman Judy McLeod expressed concerns regarding the term “moral” in the amendments, which brought her to ask who would judge if it was moral or not.
Alderman Dickie Caperton had concerns with residents not being able to understand the language of the amendments, while Alderman Eugene Crosby felt that the changes to the language make it easier for residents to understand. Hill stated the amending this ordinance will allow more leniency to the residents, while at the same time abiding by the laws that are already in place.
A motion was made to adopt the amendments, and it was passed unanimously by the board members. Following the motion, Alderman-at-Large Frances Ball asked Hill if they could address residents that were attending the meeting who had concerns regarding the residential codes and allow them to ask some questions as well. Hill stated at first that with those people not being on the agenda, that it would go against board policy to allow them to address the board. Hill said he would yield to the board and if they chose to suspend the agenda to allow those people to address the board, then it would be done.
A motion was made to suspend the agenda. At that time Alderman Gwynetta Mays had concerns that if the agenda is suspended for this particular instance, then in the future it could happen again. After a brief discussion, the motion was passed unanimously by the board.
The first resident to speak asked why they have to buy a permit for land that was purchased 40 years ago that they have paid taxes on the entire time to build on the land. “That is correct,” Hill said. “It is the same way if you owned the land and decided to build an additional building on your property, and anything you do on your property require a permit.”
Hill then made another comment to all attending the meeting. “Do not think the city is being adversarial. You can look at the city as trying to be a help to you, to protect you, to make sure you what you have built is safe, and second to make sure who is building for you is going to abide by the codes, and lastly, we didn’t invent the wheel, so the codes were already in place prior to the disaster. It is unfortunate what happened.”
For the next few minutes, the board members took questions and comments from residents regarding permits. The board then continued with their agenda. The next item discussed was the Ordinance for Non-conforming use of Real Property in the City of Louisville. A motion was made and it was passed unanimously by the board.
In other news, the board:
Authorized payments upon receipt of FAA funds plus city funds to Kemp Associates for $2,820.90 and to Davidson Hauling for $14,975.28 for application #10 for the Terminal Building Project.
Authorized payment of the Docket of Claims, $150,955.53.
Authorized payment to Golden Triangle Planning and Development for $2,503.36 for GIS project.
Authorized to M & N Computers for $11,065 for computers funded by Homeland Security Grant.
Authorized payment to Ingram Equipment Co. LLC for $32,627.72 for 548 garbage carts, to be paid from Solid Waste.
Authorized payments for Landfill expansion paid from Landfill fund: 1) Crowder Engineering & Surveying – $11,181. 2) Ronald Clark Logging – $3,840. 3) Jantz Excavating – $23,284.80.
Approved request for Brian Collier to attend Fire Inspector 1031-II course from Aug. 25-28 at MS State Fire Academy, $370 course fee.
Approved requests for Joel Triplett and John Chris Young to attend Fire Fighter 1001-II course September 15- October 30, $1165.00 course fee.
Authorized closing of Police Reserve Bank Account, balance of $1005.89 to be transferred to General Fund.
Authorized payment(s) from the lease proceeds for the cell phone tower on Railroad Avenue to Mississippi Development Authority & Winston County Economic Development District, pro rata share to be computed based on the lien from Louisville Brick Project and transfer of responsibility when the land swap took place.
Declared surplus property(ies) and authorize notice for sale of surplus vehicles
Authorized the hiring of rookie Police Officer at $13.00 effective August 7.
Approved request for E911 training for Vera McCarty and Kayla Rogers to attend, September 22, Pearl, registration $150.00 each, and room $60.00 each, plus meals, reimbursable.
Approved request for E991 for Vera McCarty and Kayla Rogers to attend Standards and Training Board meeting in Ridgeland, on August 12, no cost to attend.
Approved request for Tonya McWhirter attendance at Basic Dare Officer Training, August 11-22, in Biloxi, no cost for lodging or food, use of vehicle only.
Approved appointments of Victoria Goss and David Bane, Jr. to the Historic Preservation Board (Victoria Goss’s three year term ends August 1, 2014, while Bane will replace Marveen Moody, whose three year term ends August 1, 2014).
Discussed ending cemetery contract with Jay Graham and the city taking responsibility of digging graves on October 1, 2014.
Approved purchase of Kubota Tractor L45 and Kubota ZD 221-54 21 hp zero turn mower for 60 mo. with monthly payments of $972.15 at 2.36%.
Authorized paying Tony Harris $10.00 per hour instead of $8.00 current rate.
The Louisville Board of Aldermen will have their next meeting on August 19 at City Hall.