Sprinkler system ordinance discussions and more at June 22nd, Lander City Council meeting

(Lander, WY) – The Lander City Council convened Tuesday, June 22nd, for its regular meeting at the City Council Chambers.

Resolution 1217 was approved, which exempts a portion of N. 8th Street to Lincoln from open container on July 2nd and 3rd, as well as Resolution 1218, which authorizes the reclassing of restricted City of Lander funds to become unrestricted monies.

Mayor Monte Richardson signed off on a General Service Contract with Rocky
Mountain Power that will provide electricity to the Lander Presents stage in City Park, an Airport Engineering Services 5-year contract with T-O Engineering, and an MOU between City of Lander and FCSD #1 for next year’s School Resource Officer program.

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There was also another discussion on Ordinance 2021-3, amending Title 3 to adopt 2021 International Codes regarding mandatory sprinkler systems in all newly built single family dwellings.

Fire Administrator/Marshal firefighter Nick Hudson spoke again on the effectiveness of residential sprinklers, and brought in J.D. Gamble, owner of Sheridan business Life Safety Solutions, a company that installs and maintains fire sprinkler systems.

Among the points they brought up, were the extremely flammable materials that are now more common in homes, such as mattresses, which can result in homes being engulfed in flames in less than 3 minutes. Hudson also referenced the 96% containment rate that sprinkler systems provide.

To view the live residential fire sprinkler demonstration that Hudson and the Lander Volunteer Fire Department put out in 2016, click here.

While the Council agreed with Hudson and Gamble about the efficacy of the sprinkler systems and the safety they provide, there were concerns over making their installation mandatory, as well as the cost.

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“I think the sprinklers are great, but I think people need a choice,” stated Council member Dan Hahn. “If this is something we’re seriously going to consider though, I’d like to have a grace period to give people, plumbers, and contractors more time to prepare. It would be smoother with a 3 year grace period.”

“I think it should be optional,” agreed Mayor Monte Richardson.

“We require smoke alarms, which are 50% effective. Sprinklers are 96% effective. Seems contradictory to require smoke alarms, and not sprinklers,” countered Council Member Chris Hulme, before commenting that he also agreed a grace period would be beneficial.

In terms of the cost, Gamble did say that retrofitting any previously built homes can be expensive (these homes won’t be required to add sprinkler systems though), and Hudson added that new homes will potentially save money since the homeowners won’t have to pay for costly things like certain flame retardant building materials or basement escape windows.

“It’s not about how much things cost, it’s about how much they’re needed,” Hudson stated.

While no agreement was settled upon, it was decided the discussion will continue into further meetings.

In County ambulance service news, during the Council discussion section of the meeting it was brought up by Mayor Richardson that the Council is currently looking into the Commissioners’ request for funding in the amount of $100,000 to go toward the service.

The Council is waiting on more data from the Commissioners at this time, and will continue further discussions once this is provided.

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