Denton, MD -- Caroline County plans on requesting to opt out of a state wide bill that requires new single-family homes to be built with fire sprinklers.
"We'll go into this eyes wide open, knowing it will be an uphill battle," said President Larry Porter.
As of July 1, local jurisdications were banned from opting out of this fire sprinkler law. However, Caroline County believes they should be an exception because they are rural and the cost of installing fire sprinklers with well water and septic tanks would be so expensive, people would stop building homes there. This would - in turn - hurt the county's tax base.
Senetor Jim Mathias, one of the main backers of the bill, said Caroline County would need the support of its local firefighters to get an amendment. However, when Caroline County officials met with local firefighters, they refused to support the county from opting out. Firefighters said that the additional costs to homebuilders were greatly exaggerated, and the lifesaving benefits outweigh the costs.
Porter said he woud not pursue opting out of the bill without firefighter support, but now he's changed his mind. "We'll go into it knowing our chances are slim. Ghrist said he wouldn't pursue the bill without firefighter's support, but I think he said that because I said it first."
What do you think? Do you think Caroline County should be able to opt out of the fire sprinkler requirement?