February 24th, 2020

Common sense needed on sprinkler subsidy

By Letter to the Editor on February 14, 2020.

Re: “Sprinkler subsidy suggested for Coulee Ridge fire-response issue,” Feb. 11

Coun. Kris Samraj is the only one who got this right by saying a unequivocal “no.”

The following points are worth contemplating.

l. Guess what? The precedence has been set. Cottonwood, a recent development, also was outside the fire response time. The City of Medicine Hat demanded all houses built had to have sprinklers. This was $2,500 per house and was added to the cost of the house and was paid for by the purchaser. Easily handled, no problems, no asking for handouts.

2. Residential taxes are being increased by 20% over four years. Very tough on many home owners and renters.With any common sense, how can you expect people living in $200,000 houses that are scratching by (some whose house is being repoed because the economy and job market stinks), to subsidize people building new houses up to $2 million? Think about it. That is ludicrous! If you can afford a million-dollar plus house, surely you can afford to pay the cost of sprinklers.

3. Coun. Jim Turner’s comment about new homes costing more than existing homes does not hold water. New houses have always cost more.

When existing houses in the Hat cost $8,000-$10,000 new houses cost $12,000-$15,000. Why? Well, in a new house you get new shingles, new furnace, new hot water tank, new kitchen cabinets, new plumbing fixtures, etc. New everything. Buyers of an existing house realize they will likely be plowing many thousands of dollars into their purchase to make it “their home.” Costly repairs within a short time is not unusual.

4. By providing a $2,500 subsidy per house, will the city not being paying most of the cost of sprinklers? Over-engineering at it’s finest.

5. Will the city morally or ethically be then paying all the residences of Cottonwood $2,500 to compensate them?

This is a no-brainer. It should never have been brought before council. If common sense prevails a “no” vote is the only logical answer.

PS. I was in real estate when you could buy a house for $6,000-$8,000 so I know of what I speak.

John MacLaren

Medicine Hat

Share this story:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.