Elkins Fire Department Chief Tom Meader wants Elkins City Council to reconsider an ordinance that was shot down in 2008. Meader asked the Public Safety Committee on Wednesday to begin considering an ordinance that will require certain businesses to obtain key lock box systems that can grant his department to buildings after hours.
"I want council to revisit the key secure box ordinance," he said. "We want to require any commercial building that has a fire alarm or a sprinkler system to have one."
Meader said the ordinance that was considered in 2008 required all commercial buildings to have a box on location. He said the box is placed on the outside of the building and that only the fire department would have access.
"Instead of waiting for a key holder or damaging the door, we can gain access," he said.
Meader said during the June 29 storm that ripped through the area and the power fluctuations caused a lot of alarms systems to go off. He said in some situations, the fire department had to wait an extended period of time before a key holder would arrive to shut down the system. He said many of the department's trucks are equipped with the capability to store the keys in a secure location.
"The systems could even help the police department," Meader said.
Committee member and Councilman Van Broughton, 2nd Ward, made a motion and Public Safety Committee Chairman and Councilman Jim Bibey, 5th Ward, seconded to send the measure to the Elkins Rules and Ordinance Committee.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, several local Brownie Girl Scouts presented a letter to the committee concerning cigarette use and litter in the Elkins City Park. The group asked the committee to consider an ordinance to prevent the use of tobacco products in the park.
"We try to keep the parks as clean and safe as possible," Bibey told the young children. "We need input like this from the citizens of Elkins so we can make good decisions."
Bibey also informed the group that the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission already has passed a rule forbidding tobacco use in the parks and new signs will soon be installed.
The committee recommended that the Rules and Ordinance Committee consider an ordinance so the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission and Elkins Police Department can better enforce the rule.
Contact Anthony Gaynor by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.