That inspection and subsequent rating is used by insurance companies to determine the fire risk and used in calculating property insurance. The protections are rated from one to 10, with the lower scores representing the best fire coverage.
Sumiton currently has a rating of four, the lowest in the county. The city installed new fire hydrants and has looked at the possiblity of installing more in order to attempt to attain a rating of three.
In order to receive the insurance break, the residence or business must be within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant. Unlike in the past, the fire department was required to provide a GPS location of each fire hydrant so ISO can calculate the distance from a hydrant by satellite. Waid warned that change may mean some residents see a higher insurance rate, even if the city received the lower rating.
The other thing that does work against the city’s ISO rating is the presence of two buildings that are deemed “high fire risk” by ISO — T.D.’s Outlet and Sumiton Church of God. Waid recommeneded the council consider, in the future, implementing a building code requirement that would force new, larger businesses to install a sprinkler system to lower the risk. Walmart and Walgreens have these systems, and ISO does not consider them a risk.
The city will receive official word on their ranking within the next 180 days.
In other business:
•The council approved the purchase of a quarter-page advertisement in the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County’s Magazine.
•Accepted the resignation of police officer Richard Ingle.
•The Sumiton-area Business Alliance will meet Thursday night at 6 p.m. to discuss business owner rights in relation to new state gun laws.
•The council discussed plans for the annual Frog Festival this Saturday. Traffic for setup of the event will go up State Street and turn either left or right onto Main Street. No vehicles will be able to enter the festival area on Main Street, they must come up State Street.