Weatherford Democrat

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January 17, 2014

Council gives OK to updated building codes

By BRIAN SMITH

Updated building codes were adopted Tuesday night by Weatherford City Council members.

The city previously operated under 2003 codes, but the council approved to update to the 2009 International Building Code and the 2008 National Electrical Code. In a staff report, Director of Planning and Development Craig Farmer stated planning and development, the Weatherford Fire Department, code enforcement and the city attorney’s office recommended updating the codes to allow for easier navigation of information and to bring city information more in line with construction industry practices throughout the area.

Adopting current codes allow cities to keep up with principles and methods used in construction practices and can also help homeowners save money on insurance costs. New methods and products can make construction easier and more cost efficient, a staff report stated.

Changing to 2009 codes will allow for newer materials and industry practices to be used and a potential savings in labor by discontinuing outdated or no longer applicable practices, according to a staff report.

Every code recommendation submitted to the International Code Council, which makes the final decision on code changes worldwide every three years, goes through a review and acceptance process. Once a long list of steps are completed, codes are then forwarded to cities and towns for local adoption.

The last code change by the ICC was completed in 2012, but Farmer said previously most jurisdictions remain about three years behind the most recent update to give contractors a chance to catch up.

In other activity, council members Jeff Robinson and Waymon Hamilton were appointed to work with city staff on prioritizing projects in the Holland Lake watershed.

At last month’s council meeting, a presentation was made on a number of projects to be considered for the watershed, the combination of all expected to run just under $17 million. Representatives from consultant Freese and Nichols said not all the projects would need to be completed.

Criteria for what is considered priority will be developed and a project list is expected to come out later this year.

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