Monte Milstead of Heetco Inc., a North Lawrence propane distributor, had asked commissioners to change the county's building code to allow for the installation of propane furnaces and water heaters in basements and crawl spaces of rural homes. The current regulations disallow such installations because building inspectors fear propane appliances located below ground levels may be more apt to produce large explosions in the case of a leak because propane gas sinks and would have no way to escape from a below-ground installation.
But Milstead and his attorneys told commissioners that there was no evidence that below-grade propane installations were any more dangerous than below-grade natural gas appliances, which are allowed in the code.
Commissioners directed staff to meet with Milstead and other interested parties in the coming weeks and present a new recommendation to the commission at its Oct. 1 meeting.
County to rework codes
County commissioners at their Monday morning meeting agreed to begin the process of codifying all the county's resolutions.
Currently all county resolutions, everything from animal control regulations to zoning laws, are organized in a county resolution book by the date they were approved. Under the new plan, all resolution will be organized in a county code book by subject matter.
Commissioners said the new system should make it much easier for residents to research county codes and regulations. The new organization method also will allow the commission to put all county codes on the Internet.