As part of the city's downtown waterline replacement project, city commissioners are considering subsidizing part of the costs for downtown businesses to install fire sprinklers.
After receiving several questions from downtown property owners, members of the city's Utilities Department now are recommending that city commissioners should consider a program to help building owners in the 700 and 800 blocks of Massachusetts Street tap into the new water line to install fire sprinklers.
City commissioners are scheduled to discuss the issue at their 5 p.m. meeting tonight at City Hall.
Normally it costs about $6,000 to tap into the main water line to provide water to a fire sprinkler system.
Utilities Department officials are proposing the city charge interested business owners just $3,000, which is the cost of materials.
City crews would make the tap into the line for no charge. The city also would allow businesses to pay on some sort of installment plan that hasn't yet been determined.
In exchange for the price break, building owners must consent to install the fire sprinkler system within five years.
The fire sprinkler program would not increase the duration of the waterline project, city staff members said.