On Feb. 13 I attended the open house at the Taber Civic Center to listen to the presentation on why the taxpayers of Taber need a new fire hall. As I sat and listened to the discussion it became clear that the reason for a new fire hall is economic development. The residential building contractors are conveying to the administration that to meet the current copy of the Alberta Building Code in the town of Taber it costs $20,000 more than in Coaldale or Lethbridge. All builders in the province, regardless of which town or city they build in, MUST, by law, follow the current Alberta Building Code. So the BIG question then is: is the Town of Taber imposing other costs on the building contractors?
I believe that the biggest concern is meeting the HIRF (High-Intensity Residential Fires) requirement which states that the response time to a fire has to be 10 minutes or less. If the fire department is unable to make it to a location in the allotted time, the builder will be required to mitigate the fire risk with other building products. Ten minutes can be added to the response time by installing fire retardant OSB at a cost of $680 for an average sized house. I don’t know what other requirements the Town of Taber puts on the housing builders to increase their building costs by $20,000 more to build in our town but it seems to me it is not the Alberta Building Code. If administration or council could explain this to me and the rest of the Taber taxpayers it would be greatly appreciated.
Waiting for your response,