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Burlington to update building codes

Updated: December 22, 2012 6:20AM

BURLINGTON — The village board has agreed to update its building codes for the first time in nine years.

The decision this week was to update official code books and complete an Insurance Service Office (ISO) report card as recommended by consultant Richard Piccolo of B&F Technical Code Services.

Piccolo said the village has been operating out of the 2003 code book, while the state has published updated versions in 2006, 2009 and most recently in 2012.

“When the state is on 2012 and we are on the 2003, it builds in conflict. Not that it cannot be done, but there is potential for more conflict,” Piccolo said.

Piccolo said the village has some options in application of certain codes to village preference and recommended that the local fire protection district weigh in on the requirements for sprinkler systems and fire alarms on new construction manufacturing buildings. He said new manufacturing buildings more than 12,000 square feet in size are required to install sprinkler systems. Those smaller than 12,000 square feet are not mandated to have sprinkler systems by code.

“We can’t touch (state) plumbing, accessibility or energy codes; but if you want to (mandate) sprinklers, we can change the text,” he said.

Piccolo stressed that these revised requirements apply to new construction only and are not to be applied to existing structures unless new additions are built.

Piccolo also recommended the completion of an ISO grading system report. He said the benefit of completing the report would be that some insurers will offer preferred pricing to individuals who reside in communities that have lower ratings.

“If the (village’s) code is more than five years old, you get the biggest hit,” he said. “If you want to get a good ISO grade, you need to update the code.”

In other business:

The village voted to appoint attorney Scott Larson to prosecute traffic tickets written for violations in town. Village attorney Nancy Harbottle told the board that village tickets being issued by Kane County sheriff’s police for local violations are not being prosecuted by the state. She said contracting with Larson at a rate of $200 per hour would ensure that the village receives the revenue from those tickets.

Trustee Duane Wilkison questioned whether the revenue to be gained is enough to offset the cost of the attorney’s services and voted against the measure. The motion to appoint Larson passed, with Trustees Bob Walsh, Betty Reiser, Nancy Melin and Al Vonderlack voting in favor. Trustee John Totemeier was absent.

A public hearing was scheduled for 7 p.m. this Monday by the plan commission regarding the preliminary plan for the Elgin Community College Sustainability Center. Village engineer John Whitehouse said the hearing’s purpose is to learn facts and evidence in support of the plan and provide an opportunity for cross examination by interested parties.

There will be a special meeting Dec. 3 of the plan commission and the village board when the recommendations of the commission will be presented to the board for its consideration.

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