Letter: Mandating sprinklers too expensive for the benefit
I agree with the initial premises of the letter from the fire chief from Spring Lake Park, Mr. Zikmund. The state outlined the reasons for the delay of the enactment of the new codes and it said nothing specifically about sprinklers. It focused on economic reasons.
No one wants anyone to die from a fire. We all appreciate the efforts of firefighters. I have deposited many a bill in the fireman's boot, during fund drives. But I do not want to be forced to drop in $300 to $400 a year into that boot. Do the math. If Mr. Zikmund spent $4,000 on his sprinkler system, and assuming he has a 6 percent mortgage, he will be paying more than $240 a year on interest for that sprinkler system. Adding costs of maintenance, testing, depreciation and increased real estate taxes, you can see how the cost of a sprinkler system approaches $400 a year. Assuming nothing freezes.
If you received your real estate tax notice with a $400 increase you would be questioning your elected officials. Especially since it does not go to pay for the event center, a Babe rehab, streetlights, or other desperately needed government projects. What benefits do we receive? Certainly we would save a few lives. But at what cost to the public? It would be a far better investment, in my opinion, to spend that money saving lives by supporting drug treatment clinics and homeless ministries.