Ordinance to bring homes up to code

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 12, 2005

VIDALIA &045;&045; Noting new rules will make Vidalia homes safer, aldermen on Tuesday adopted a new building code.

The ordinance would bring the town into compliance with the international building code, the standard for construction.

The ordinance will require anyone doing electrical work on residences to have some kind of permit. If the work is over $7,500, the contractor (or whoever is doing the work) will have to pass a state test administered in Baton Rouge.

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If the work is less than $7,500, the contractor will have to pass a local test.

&uot;What we’re attempting to do is regulate buildings to make them safer places to live in,&uot; city attorney Jack McLemore said. &uot;All of this is being passed to protect the people.&uot;

City officials said the new code could also help lower the town’s fire rating, which is now a 3.

&uot;We’ve had some (house) fires in the past,&uot; Mayor Hyram Copeland said. &uot;Some have been caused by faulty wiring.

&uot;(The code) is to the benefit of all of us. We’re not here to hurt anybody or penalize anybody.&uot;

Some members of the audience at Tuesday’s meeting had questions about the necessity of the new code, but Copeland and McLemore pointed about the new code is similar to those in about 90 percent of the municipalities in the country, including Ferriday and Natchez.

New alderman Triand &uot;Tron&uot; McCoy, who was sworn in along with other aldermen at the start of the meeting, abstained from voting on the issue. All other aldermen voted for the new code.

In other business, aldermen:

4Approved a resolution authorizing Copeland to sign any documents related to a cooperative agreement for industrial park development.

Heard from Copeland that the city received a low bid on a new sidewalk project from Nottingham Construction, which will begin work on the grant-funded project in the next couple of months.

4Approved an occupational license for Mother Goose Day Care on Carter Street; an occupational license and sign application for Imogene’s Restaurant on Carter Street; and a sign application for Silver Street Ltd. on Carter Street.