As serious discussions regarding building codes in the Mid County Fire Protection District get underway, opposition seems to be growing

As serious discussions regarding building codes in the Mid County Fire Protection District get underway, opposition seems to be growing. Until recently, Osage Beach Fire Protection District was the only lake area entity to speak out on this issue. Ameren Missouri is now coming forwarding raising concerns with the possibility of changing the district's current codes.

In a letter to the fire district board, Jeff Green, Shoreline Management Supervisor spells out the entity's issues with the proposed changes. "One of the cornerstones of our economy finds its roots in the resident, visitor and second homeowner knowledge that docks, housing and commercial structures at Lake of the Ozarks are safe. Building and electrical codes, as administrated by fire districts, contribute significantly to the safety of structures, both on and off the water," Green wrote.

"We value the partnership in electrical safety that we have with Mid County and other fire districts around the lake. We certainly do not support any initiative or change in the regulatory framework that removes or reduces codes necessary for electrical safety in and around Lake of the Ozarks," Green added.

Cindy Leigh, a resident of Mid County Fire Protection District said as a homeowner and taxpayer, "this proposal scares me."

"As a taxpayer, I want Mid County Fire Protection District to hold all of us to a certain standard and I want that standard to be based on rational and consistent codes that do not give advantage to any one group of people but to protect all of us," she added.

Leigh's concerns are focused on the safety of residents of the district, "The reduction of building codes will increase the risk of injury and therefore increase liability to the district. In addition, the International Building Codes are nationally recognized, developed over the years with tremendous research and years of experience, and are a minimum standard."

Board member and treasurer, Mike High, proposed the building code changes during their October meeting. At that time, he proposed reducing residential codes to only 11 codes and cutting all commercial codes from the district's by laws. In a meeting with a Lake Sun reporter on November 6, High presented a new copy of the changes including five commercial codes. Dock codes are to stay the same, but nothing has been written out concerning dock codes at this time.

Mid County is scheduled to discuss the proposed changes further at their November meeting. It is unknown if any decisions will be made at that time. The Mid County Fire Protection Board's meeting was currently underway at the time this article went to press. The Lake Sun will run a follow-up article about what is discussed during the meeting in the Monday edition of the Lake Sun.