published Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Chattanooga: Sprinkler ordinance could come to a head tonight

by Cliff Hightower
  • photo
    Sprinkler fitter Derek Swanson, with Mission Fire Sprinkler LLC, installs a sprinkler head in the Strauss Building which is being renovated to be a restaurant in downtown Chattanooga.
    Staff Photo by Dan Henry

The Chattanooga City Council is expected to vote tonight on whether to defer an ordinance that would give nightclubs two years to install sprinkler systems per Chattanooga fire code.

But it was unclear today during an agenda session before committee meetings started whether the item would be deferred.

Councilwoman Carol Berz said she felt the ordinance should be just voted “up or down.”

The item has been controversial for months, because the new fire code requires all nightclubs to install sprinkler systems to deter fire and has no grandfather clause. City officials said the code affects 25 nightclubs in Chattanooga.

Other council members said if it came to a vote they would vote it down, because it puts an unnecessary financial burden on business owners.

The council will vote on the measure during its 6 p.m. regularly scheduled business meeting.

For complete details, see Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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