THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2002, IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING
REGULARLY SCHEDULED BOARD MEETING
NOLENSVILLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
After a brief recess of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting the public forum began at 7:40 p.m. Mayor Charles Knapper, Aldermen Tommy Dugger, Larry Felts, Gail Phillips and Joe Rositano, Counsel Robert J. Notestine, Recorder Cindy Lancaster and 25 citizens were present.
Nolensville Volunteer Fire Chief Presley Hughes initiated the forum thanking the Board for allowing the Fire Department to perform this presentation for them in addition to the public. He then introduced Mr. Bob Trotter and Mr. Jason Jones with the City of Franklin Fire Department. He noted that Mr. Jones was Assistant Chief of the Nolensville Volunteer Fire Department.
Mr. Trotter began the presentation with a power point visual aid noting various statistics. Immediately following a film was observed by the audience showing the length of time a fire can consume a home.
Mr. Trotter then opened the floor for questions from the audience.
Mr. John Sheely-Vice President of the Home Builders Association for the Middle Tennessee area stated that he had some questions in regards to the statistics that were used. He noted that insurance companies issue discounts for newly constructed homes as well as sprinkler systems. He also stated that smoke detectors are currently required and must be maintained by the homeowner to work properly. This is not always performed. In addition sprinkler systems must be maintained and the state mandates inspections annually. He asked If the city of Nolensville or who would be performing these inspections? He also stated an example if the town performed theses inspections on 1,000 homes that would require approximately 3 inspections per day by the city.
Chief Hughes stated that they were not trading the sprinkler system for smoke detectors. He noted that smoke detectors worked extremely well. This system is merely a step above the smoke detector.
Mr. Ron Mark – Why can’t you mandate all homes to put in sprinkler systems not just new construction?
Chief Hughes – We cannot retro activate.
Alderman Rositano – The Average cost of this system is between 1 –2 percent of construction cost. What is the median price for a home in Nolensville?
Mr. Sheely - $160,000 to $220,000.
Alderman Rositano – the cost would be approximately $3,000.
Mr. Charles Lawson – Does the city of Franklin have this ordinance?
Mr. Trotter – On commercial 5,000 square feet and larger, not on residential.
Chief Hughes – Nolensville is the only municipality in Williamson County that has a Police Department, which carries an AED. This is to save lives. A sprinkler would be the same. Why can’t we be the leader in this area also?
Mr. Porter Freeman – There are more firetraps where people cannot get out of their homes because of inadequate exits. Everyone should have an escape door.
Counsel Bob Notestine – My concern is the type of duties and the responsibility the town would take up on inspecting these systems. If the town does take on this responsibility, what liability would be incurred?
Chief Hughes – According to MTAS the town has full authority to implement this requirement. He also reminded the group that every member of this department is a volunteer and must come from their home to the fire department and then go to dispatched call. As stated in the presentation, this department is a volunteer fire department. Time factors must be allowed for due to volunteers coming from their home to the fire department and then to the dispatched call.
Counsel Notestine – Addressed the Mayor asking if the town had checked into the inspection issue.
Mayor Knapper – Don would be obtaining his certification in the near future, but he would have to research the liability with TML.
Mr. Trotter – Franklin sends their Fire Chief due to the state mandating the inspections.
Mr. Sheely – Stated that he had been a volunteer fire fighter for three years. The sprinkler system is focusing on newer homes. In his experience these are the homes that are less likely to catch on fire. This should be reviewed. Also, it is hard to get the homeowner to check their batteries in their smoke detector. This system would have a more detailed maintenance.
Chief Hughes – Stated that this is true. It is like automobiles, newer cars are safer. He noted that the only maintenance is to release a valve and make sure the water is running through the system.
Ms. Katie Jones – Asked if sprinkler systems were required in Davidson County.
Mr. Trotter – They are in commercial buildings.
Ms. Katie Jones – stated she had a sprinkler sytems at her employment. It went off for no reason and everything got wet.
Mr. Aubrey Short – There was a recall on sprinkler heads recently, would this present a problem?
Chief Hughes – The Omega sprinklers were recalled. These were recalled and replaced.
Mr. Aubrey Short – In 1988 there was an ice storm with power outages. What happens if freezing occurs? What about corrosion in the pipes? Mobile home fires are more common. What about a mobile home sprinkler system? The testing and maintenance of this system is a concern in addition to the reliability of this system in 10 years.
Mr. Trotter – Residential corrosion is not an issue.
Chief Hughes – The state of Tennessee requires one test per year.
Alderman Tommy Dugger – In commercial buildings water companies charge a fee per sprinkler head, will residential dwellings be the same.
Mr. Charles Strasser (Director, Nolensville/College Grove Utility) stated that currently commercial buildings are charged 15¢ per sprinkler, per month. Residential would have to be evaluated. In answering Mr. Shorts question, there must be a back flow. This is required by the state. This backflow must be checked annually. This is another test that is required.
Alderman Dugger – If the waterline is further than 100’ from the mainline does it have to be outside box?
Mr. Strasser – No. I do not think that would apply.
Mayor Knapper – The size of the pipe was a concern when we met earlier and this was discussed.
Mr. Strasser – The Governor’s Club has residential sprinkler systems. Someone in that area had to put in a 2” line due to the water pressure.
Mr. Porter Freeman – Will the pipes keep water in them at all times?
Chief Hughes – Yes.
Mr. Freeman – What about freezing?
Chief Hughes – You have to maintain these pipe same as you would your home plumbing.
Mr. James Hollis – Are pipes in the attic? In upper walls?
Mr. Trotter – All the piping is in the interior walls.
Mr. Hollis – In listening to this it sounds like this will end up costing 3 – 4% instead of 1 – 2%.
Mr. Sheely – Where are sprinkler heads installed? In the ceiling or the walls?
Chief Hughes – Whereever the homeowner wants it, ceiling or wall.
Mr. Sheely – If you have it in the ceiling it will be in the attic.
Chief Hughes – No. It would be in the wall. (Mr. Trotter physically demonstrated this.)
Mr. Joe Curtsinger – He expressed how he admired everyone’s effort in this endeavor, although felt that more focus should be directed on the current residents. He felt that too much emphasis was being placed on new construction. He stated that he has looked around the town and hasn’t seen enough fire hydrants and has heard that hoses the department currently has are not long enough in some cases.
Chief Hughes – In regards to the fire hydrants all new subdivision requirements are met. The rural areas are in need of more hydrants. Beginning this year the fire department will be placing three throughout the town. The town will also be placing three for a total of six more hydrants in Nolensville.
Mr. Curtsinger – Asked who would bare the responsibility and the liability. He again stated that he admired the system, but the town needs to research ways to help all citizens.
Mr. Strasser – The Water Company has no liability. County, city and state requirements must be met. Currently there are 2, 3, and 4-inch lines and he wishes there could be 6-inch lines.
Counsel Notestine – Nolensville is young and there haven’t been a lot of requirements. In the zoning ordinance there are hydrant requirements, which are met.
Mayor Knapper – Noted that he had investigated retrofitting homes. This is not financially feasible. There are about 10 billion dollars in grant money that is available. He has investigated a smoke detector system that would connect each home and have a central monitoring station. He will be researching this further.
Mr. Hollis – Why is the town trying to be such a trendsetter?
Mayor Knapper – Stated the fire department has requested this to be reviewed therefore the town is doing so. Additionally, this is not the forum to discuss this issue.
Chief Hughes – The AED is a lifesaving device and the Nolensville Volunteer Fire Department recommended this be placed in the police cars. This is another lifesaving technique the fire department has asked the town to review.
The forum adjourned at 9:25 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Approved,
Cindy Lancaster Charles F. Knapper
Town Recorder Mayor