Council approves ordinance no longer requiring fire sprinklers in town houses

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


Town houses will likely no longer require a fire sprinkler system if the Mt. Pleasant City Council approves two more readings of the new ordinance.

While all counties? building codes require sprinklers in residential buildings, most cities and counties back off that requirement and don?t require sprinkler systems in houses and duplexes. Town houses were an exception, said Building and Zoning Administrator Jack Swarm during the Mt. Pleasant City Council meeting on Wednesday, June 27.

Now, Swarm says the sprinkler requirement should be waived in town houses as it has been in single-family dwellings. Swarm explained that town houses are side by side units, each with their own front and back door with a firewall between them, making the sprinkler requirement unnecessary.

The Ordinance Committee recommends approval for this amendment. The council approved the first reading. There will be two more readings before the ordinance is adopted.

During the meeting, the council also approved several resolutions, awarded a contract to the low bidder for the sanitary sewer lining project, approved a site plan for a car wash expansion and a Class B Beer Permit for the Henry County Fair for one night.

?This is a first,? Mayor Steve Brimhall said about allowing beer at the fair.

?Yeah, we?re trying something new,? City Administrator Brent Schleisman said.

The approval of a site plan for Super Wash at 708 Wohlleber Dr. in Mt. Pleasant will allow the car wash to add a new wash bay on the east side of their building. The car wash will lay some additional concrete to widen the entrance and exits. The stormwater basin will be located east of the new bay.

The council approved a resolution to amend the 2017 agreement with the Iowa Finance Authority to provide additional funds on the $3.5 million State Revolving Loan fund to pay for sewer repairs. Schleisman explained that adding 10 percent to the loan will lower the interest rate so payments stay the same and the additional $350,000 will be used for the Water Quality Mapleleaf paving project.

The council approved the same resolution for a second loan of $1.6 million State Revolving Loan fund to pay for the Jay St. sewer project. The additional $160,000 also will be used for Mapleleaf.

As for the sanitary sewer lining project, the council approved awarding the project to Municipal Pipe Tool Co. from Hudson.

Finally, the council approved waiving the city subdivision requirements to split an existing lot on West Winfield from one to two lots. There are two homes built on one lot that the owners want to create into two individual lots.

In other news, Brimhall recommended reappointing Ted Wiley and Ann Thomas to the Airport Advisory Board for another three-year term, which the council approved. Brimhall said he is looking for one more woman to sit on the council to keep the committee gender balanced.

?If you know something about airplanes, engineering or those kind of things, please give a call,? Brimhall said. ?We need one more person.?

Council member Kent White said that engineering knowledge is more of a requirement to sit on the board than knowledge about aircrafts. ?Knowledge about aircrafts is secondary,? he said.

?You don?t have to fly them,? Brimhall joked.

A public hearing was set for the vacation and sale of a portion of North Porter Street right of way. This section of street goes from East Henry north to the railroad tracks and was never opened. The adjoining property owners are willing to purchase their parcel for $320 each. The public hearing is set for the next Mt. Pleasant City Council meeting on Wednesday, July 11 at 5:30 p.m.