The Warrensburg City Council adopted a fire prevention code Monday night by a 3-2 vote.

The Council heard comments from several individuals, all of them against the ordinance, citing excessive costs to install a sprinkler system.

Part of the ordinance would require businesses that serve alcohol with more than a 300-person occupancy to comply by having a working sprinkler system.

Most estimates for a new system ranged from $140,000 to over $147,000, according to some speakers. Business affected include American Legion Post 131, Elks Lodge 873, Bodie's on Pine Street, Players and The Warehouse on Pine Street.

After hearing all the presentations, the Council agreed to delete subsection 11103.5.1.1: “Where alcoholic beverages are consumed in a group A-2 occupancy having an occupant load of 300 or more, the fire area containing the Group A-2 occupancy shall be equipped with an automatic sprinkler system.”

Those casting yes votes included Bryan Jacobs, Robin Allen and Danielle Johnston. Those casting no votes included Casey Lund and Bob Watts.

Watts noted during the discussion that “we need to differentiate between a nightclub and a restaurant. It's on our plate, and we need to address it.”

There was some talking of deleting Chapter 11 altogether. But City Counselor Doug Harris strongly urged the Ccouncil not to do that, adding that it's a health and safety regulation, referring to the International Existing Building Codes.

The overall ordinance was adopted by the same 3-2 vote margin.

Randy Kirby