Bradley County Commission Weighs Using ICC Building Codes

Monday, October 20, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Bradley County Commissioner Charlotte Peak urged the commission to think before possibly voting to opt out of using state approved ICC building codes.

She said, "If we opt out, we might as well kiss all of these grants goodbye that we've ever applied for."

She also said not adopting state codes would make Bradley County ineligible for FEMA assistance and many future grants. Currently, 35 counties in Tennessee have opted out of the state codes.

Commissioner Jeff Yarber asked if it were possible for the commission to create their own codes, but Commissioner Peak said it was not.

Gary Farley, an official from the state fire marshall's office, said that adopting the codes would make insurance on homes and buildings lower, while opting out would raise insurance prices.

Mr. Farley said, "They're put in place to make homes safer and more efficient."

According to the ICC's website, building codes "provide protection from tragedy caused by fire, structural collapse and general deterioration in our homes, schools, stores and manufacturing facilities."

However, Commissioner Dan Rawls said, "A lot of those ICC codes are ridiculous." He said they increase the cost of building homes.

He said, "There are possibly things that are better than what we're looking at. The ICC is not the only system available."

During the meeting, a motion to approve bond for EMA employees to carry weapons was also approved.

Commissioner Rawls said, "I personally feel more confident when someone trained with a gun is anywhere that I am when I'm not carrying mine...I think any citizen in this community should be armed."

He said, "It can save your life."

A motion also passed to lower the speed limit to 35 m.p.h. on Urbane Road for vehicles with three or more axles. For all other vehicles, the speed limit remains 45 m.p.h.

Another motion passed to increase the speed limit on Benton Pike to 45 m.p.h. The increased speed limit on the road starts a quarter of a mile after Michigan Avenue Elementary.

 


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