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County Council Live Blog: Sprinklers, School Appropriation, Redistricting

Follow the latest updates on the Harford County Council Meeting.

8:54

Meeting adjourned.

8:35

Approval of HCPS supplemental appropriation to OPEB was unanimously passed.

8:32

The Redistricing Bill was unanimously passed.

8:26

Lisanti: District F is a very gerrymandered area. The Board of Elections should look at the balance of districts.

8:23

Council member Richard Slutzky makes a motion to vote on the Redistricting Bill. Council member Dion F. Guthrie seconds it.

8:20

Pledge of Alligiance

8:06

No public testimony was offered for the Redistricting Bill.

8:05

Public hearing has ended for Bill No. 11-51.

8:02

Brenda Nash wants to build a ranch-style. She says that a sprinkler system would cost $10,000 and only give her three extra minutes to get out of her house before it burns down.

7:49

Retired Aberdeen volunteer firefighter: It cost me $2,000 to put sprinklers in my house.

7:48

Fire protection engineer Scott Panowitz says sprinklers will reduce the time it takes for firefighters to complete the process of putting out fires.

7:43

The Maryland State Firemen's Association Residential Fire Sprinkler Committee Chairman Richard Green says the whole volunteer firefighter association is behind sprinklers in homes. "When you call 911 you invite the government in your home." He says it's up to the government to protect the lives of firefighters.

7:40

William Barnard, a Maryland state fire marshal, says the sprinklers are life saving systems for not just the homeowners but firefighters. He said smoke alarms don't do enough to save lives.

7:37

Tim Hopkins, a real estate broker, says the building of homes lacks behind the jobs boom at Aberdeen Proving Ground. He says homeowners should have the decision for changes to their homes.

7:36

A representative for the homebuilders association says homeowners are looking at a $5,000 to $7,000 increase per home with the code changes.

7:32

Dan Whitehurst of Clark Turner Development says the market has declined in Harford County. Only 289 building permits issued this year. He said it costs $1.40 for every square foot with sprinklers installed. There is no value on sprinkler systems when financing your home. Not a single person for Ryan Homes has chosen to install sprinkler systems.

7:28

Ben Curts, firefighter for 39 years asks council to support bill. It give us county wide protection. "Residential sprinklers gives families an opportunity to get out of the house."

7:27

Public comment is open.

7:19

County Council member Mary Ann Lisanti asks Harford County Public Works Director Joel Caudill if the department is able to act on the changes of the bill. Caudill says yes.

7:01

Truitt: The department will have classes to inform house builders how sprinklers work and affect pricing.

6:53

Boniface: $272 annual fee for home owners with sprinkler systems.

6:50

Director of the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits Richard Truitt sits next to Lynch. Truitt says it is not necessary for annual inspections on sprinklers in homes.

6:50

Lynch: Department is ready to inspect all changes in the bill on day one.

6:44

Boniface: There's a lot of confusion about the issue of sprinklers. I don't want to rehash what has already been acted on. 

6:41

Lynch explains that the fire department would have to visually see the systems inside new homes.

6:39

Council President Billy Boniface asks if the upfront cost is more on system, then will there be energy savings afterwards.

6:34

Lynch: most significant change from '09 to '12 bill is structure in energy efficiency.

6:33

Richard Lynch of the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits begins to speak in front of County Council members.

6:29

The room just got very quiet. Hearing begins in less than one minute.

6:25

The public hearing for Bill No. 11-51, Building and Mechanical Codes 2012, will begin shortly. County Council members will hear testimony on why there should or should not be sprinklers systems in one- and two-family homes.

6:23

Five rows of seats have filled up with volunteer firefighters.

6:21

Lt. Fred Budnick of the Aberdeen Police Department arrives inside the County Council Chambers.

6:16

I noticed that there's sprinklers on the ceiling of the room where the County Council meeting is taking place.

6:13

The first County Council members to arrive make their way to their seats.

6:08

The first rows of chairs begin to fill up with people.

5:57

Retired Maryland State Fire Marshal W. Faron Taylor talks with Patch about his opinion on why sprinkler systems should be inside one- and two-family homes. A part of the interview will appear in an upcoming post.

5:23

Bob Schott, a field marshal with the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, gives a demonstration of the residential sprinkler extinguishing a fire. The fire was contained inside of a trailer equipped with sprinklers.

Proud to be liberal November 19, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Nick: Yes there is welfare abuse. Yes it should only be used as a short term solution. That is why one of our greatest presidents signed a law that did put life time restrictions on receiving welfare (see Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996). I let you Google that one. Why would you think I am so supportive of a “…system that encourages people to remain a burden to those of us who work hard for a living.” That’s tea party propaganda. There is a difference to being compassionate for people who are down and supporting “welfare queens.” Firstly, because of the above mentioned law, there are no welfare queens any longer. Secondly, the tea party/GOP keeps that myth alive so people like you will not become alarmed at the trillions bestowed on billionaires who run corporations in this county. It’s known as a false target. They want you to concentrate on “welfare abuse” and ignore the wholesale raping of America by big business. It’s no coincidence that a half a billion was spent on lobbyists last year to influence congress. If you want to complain about anything, complain about that. Congress should represent the people who elected them and not the lobbyists who gave them the most money. We need election reform much more that welfare reform. It’s the lobbyists that are the real corruption in this country.
Karl Schuub November 19, 2011 at 02:48 PM
Proud - so many talking points so little time. Don't bore me.
Proud to be liberal November 19, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Karl: I know you have a short attention span. Go back to the comics.
Nick November 19, 2011 at 07:57 PM
"It’s the lobbyists that are the real corruption in this country." Well at least we can agree on something.
Proud to be liberal November 19, 2011 at 08:36 PM
Nick: There are a lot of things we would agree on.

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