Fire chief updates City Council on sprinkler system compliance

James Heggen

More than half of the greek houses in Ames now have sprinkler systems.

Clint Peterson, Ames fire chief, gave the City Council an update on the “Retro-Conversion Sprinkler Ordinance.” The ordinance was adopted in 2006 and applies to existing high-rise buildings, institutions, mobility impaired and dormitories. However, in this respect, dormitories refers to greek houses in Ames. Peterson said the city has no jurisdiction in respect to the university dormitories, but it has to install sprinkler systems in their dormitories.

“They’re currently at 55 percent compliance, and they will have 100 percent compliance within 10 years also,” he said.

Currently, 12 of the greek houses have not complied, six are working on compliance and 23 have complied.

Peterson said they will be sending out letters June 15 to the different buildings who have yet to comply.

“We really don’t want to catch anyone by surprise,” he said.

The deadline for applying for an appeal is October 1. The compliance date for those who do not receive an extension is October 1, 2011. Peterson said the final compliance date, because two extensions are possible, is October 1, 2016.

If a building fails to comply by the required deadlines, Peterson said it will lose its “letter of compliance,” which means it will no longer to be able offer housing for rent.

So far, one greek, Phi Gama Delta, has applied and was granted an extension.

The council also approved a resolution appropriating $10,000 to CyRide to apply for a TIGER II federal grant. The $10,000 is contingent on Iowa State paying the other half of the cost of the application, $10,000. Sheri Kyras, director of CyRide, said the university has made a “verbal commitment” to pay the other half. The grant will go toward the construction of the intermodal hub facility.

CyRide already received a TIGER I grant of $8.8 million, but had applied for about $40 million, which means the project has been scaled back. With the TIGER II application, CyRide will be applying for an additional $10 million to include some more of the original plans.