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Archive for Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Paying for fire sprinklers discussed in waterline project

June 6, 2006

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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.

Comments

Godot 8 years, 1 month ago

How am I not surprised by this? Private business owners get to use my tax dollars to pay for the capital improvements to their personally owned businesses. What a precedent this sets.

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justsomewench 8 years, 1 month ago

is this article stating that the commission and businesses acknowledge they're operating without complying to fire codes?

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jayhawks71 8 years, 1 month ago

Not being a plumber or well versed in the methods of plumbing.... The 3000 dollar one sounds reasonable; perhaps while they are putting in the waterline tapping it for sprinklers involves minimal labor compared to doing it later.

Godot, so these businesses don't provide money to the tax base? I bet they pump more in than you do. Perhaps they should complain about the benefits that you get for their tax dollars? They bring revenue to the city. You are a consumer, you use, what do you provide?

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Scooter_Trash 8 years, 1 month ago

So if a fire starts in one business on Mass St., how long do you think it will take before it involves another business and another. I've never really thought of the buildings downtown as private. They are a major part our city's history. I don't mind my tax dollars going to this. What happened in Hayes can happen in Lawrence too. We might as well try to prevent a major loss, while we have crews already working on the water lines. I hope every business along those two blocks takes advantage of this opportunity.

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Scooter_Trash 8 years, 1 month ago

justsomewench, those buildings were built looong before sprinklers were in the fire code.

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justsomewench 8 years, 1 month ago

scooter, aye, i realize this, but does that mean they're grandfathered in and are exempt from compliance to fire code? i'm just askin'...

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Scooter_Trash 8 years, 1 month ago

Yes, they are grandfathered in.

In correction to my earlier post, I said Hayes. I meant Ft. Scott.

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Godot 8 years, 1 month ago

Will all the buildings be fitted for the sprinkler hookup, or just the ones that have sprinklers? What are they going to do for the 900, 1000 and 1100 blocks?

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Scooter_Trash 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm not even sure if the building code requires a new store to have a sprinkler system. I'm sure you can find the building codes online at the city's web site.

Godot, they way I'm reading the article, it's just the 700-800 block because they are already doing repairs to that section. It also says that they will only do in the buildings that agree to install sprinklers with 5 years. So the city will install the tap line but the business has to install the sprinklers. I don't think the city is going to install the actual sprinklers. That's up to the business owner.

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cowboy 8 years, 1 month ago

doing the work for cost is fine , the building owner needs to pay the 3000 up front , if you cant get a 3000 loan on a building worth god knows what your pathetic , then get your sprinkler system in within 12 months. Why pitty pat around on this. City , get some balls with the whiny ass downtown property owners.

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Godot 8 years, 1 month ago

scooter, I bring up the issue of the 900 to 1100 block because they are next in line for repairs.

The City has agreed to pay a per diem bonus to the construction crews if they finished ahead of deadline; they have agreed to pay for advertising to drive people downtown during the construction; and now they are being asked to pay for the installation of the tap line.

What has, and will, the city do for other businesses who are not downtown and who suffer loss of business due to infrastructure upgrades?

What makes downtown business owners more deserving of taxpayer subsidies than any other business owners?

You can bet that property taxes will be increased to cover these costs.

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Godot 8 years, 1 month ago

Scooter says:

"So the city will install the tap line but the business has to install the sprinklers. I don't think the city is going to install the actual sprinklers. That's up to the business owner."

Really? Just wait and see.

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