The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 9, 2013

Neosho City Council advances updates to building codes

Changes needed to keep insurance rating, building inspector says

By Roger McKinney
Globe Staff Writer

NEOSHO, Mo. — The Neosho City Council on Tuesday night gave initial approval to changes in city building, electrical, plumbing and other codes that have become out of date.

The council also discussed a vacant building on the square. The structure’s roof has collapsed.

City building inspector John Harrington told council members that a review of city codes by authorities with the International Organization for Standardization, usually referred to as ISO, determined that the 2003 building code and the 2002 electrical code were out of date. Harrington said the city’s insurance rating would be jeopardized if the city didn’t take action to update the codes. He said the organization has given the city a year to correct the situation before issuing a ruling.

Among the changes he noted were that any new home with an attached garage would have to have a carbon monoxide detector inside the home.

Harrington said energy efficiency is becoming more of a focus of building codes. He said new construction will require programmable thermostats, and at least half the lighting would have to be compact fluorescent or light-emitting diode.

The council gave initial approval to adopting the 2009 international building and fire code, international mechanical code, international residential building code, international plumbing code, international property maintenance code, international energy conservation code, and international fuel gas code. The vote included adopting the 2008 national electric code.

Harrington said 2012 versions of the codes are available, but the organization requires only that cities be within the past two updates.

Mayor Richard Davidson said the 2012 codes include even more restrictions.

“We’re behind the times,” Davidson said. “We should’ve done this a few years ago.”

Questioned by Councilman Steve Hart, Harrington said the new codes would apply to any new construction that requires a building permit, including homes and building additions. If owners don’t plan any changes to their homes or buildings, they won’t be required to meet the new codes.

Final action on the code updates is expected at the Jan. 22 meeting.

Council members also asked Harrington about the vacant McGinty Building on the square. It is in disrepair, and the roof recently collapsed. Harrington said he has been in touch with the owner, who has agreed to get a roof on the building within a few weeks. He said the owner has been made aware of the condition of the building in the past.

Davidson said that while other buildings on the square have been restored, the poor condition of the McGinty Building causes it to stand out.

$660 for tourism

on Tuesday approved a $660 disbursement from the city’s hotel and motel tax to the Neosho-Newton County Tourism Council to produce brochures and maps promoting attractions in the city and county.