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Council takes action on codes

Posted: March 15, 2012 - 10:10pm

Soldotna City Council unanimously passed Wednesday two ordinances — an update to the city’s buildings and construction codes and appropriation of funds for construction of a cold storage building — in the absence of Mayor Peter Micciche and two other members.

Ordinance 2012-004 updates Soldotna’s municipal building code to reference more recent requirements adopted by the state, said Kyle Kornelis, city engineer. 

The state recently adopted the 2006 International Building Code (IBC) established by the International Code Council, an association whose codes are adopted in most United States communities. The IBC is used for commercial construction.

The council also opted to adopt the 2006 International Residential Code (IRC), a set of documents not adopted statewide. The IRC is used for residential construction, and adoption of the code is left to the discretion of each municipality.

Council member Nels Anderson asked if any issues would arise from adoption of the new codes.

Kornelis said he received no notes of concern from the Kenai Peninsula Builders Association.

“This building code is substantially similar to other adopted codes in the (Central Peninsula) area, specifically Kenai,” he said. 

Local builders and contractors understand the codes already are enforced elsewhere, he added.

However, the state is set to adopt the 2009 IBC and IRC in the fall. The newest IRC will require some residential structures to include fire sprinklers. Other municipalities that adopted the 2009 IRC can determine whether or not to include the sprinkler provision, Kornelis said. 

The council will decide to include the provision in the future. 

“This is the first step in getting our code up to date,” Kornelis said. “Fortunately, industry is catching up. Other municipalities are starting to see (fire sprinklers) go into residential structures, and we will be better informed when faced with that decision.”

The council also appropriated $115,000 to fund the construction of a cold storage building at the Soldotna Wastewater Treatment Plant.

An old animal control shack on the grounds of the treatment plant houses newly purchased generators, water filters and treatment chemicals. The small building is inadequate and dilapidated, Kornelis said.

“There are some serious roof concerns,” he said.

The shack will be demolished. A previous ordinance appropriated funds for the demolition.

The new building will provide more space and thus save money. Materials, such as filters and chemicals, used at the treatment plant will be purchased annually rather than every four months. The space results in immediate savings of $3,000 a year, Kornelis said. 

A consultant engineer will be hired for the initial planning of construction. City workers will handle the demolition, he said. 

 

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