Although the meeting is not a public hearing, President Bud Church said it will allow new commissioners a chance to express their views and get all of the facts.
"A number of people requested it be brought back up, including the new commissioners," Church said. "We'll see if we can get a vote, whether it's up or down, so we're not in limbo anymore."
The commissioners originally held a public hearing Sept. 21, during which homeowners, firefighters, real estate agents and Fire Marshal Jeff McMahon expressed strong views on the issue. A motion to exempt all county homebuilding from the rule failed to win a majority of votes, and a proposal that well-water properties be allowed to forgo the sprinklers also failed. As a result, the rule is scheduled to take effect next year if commissioners take no further action.
Newly elected commissioners Jim Bunting Jr. and Merrill Lockfaw Jr. have expressed opposition to the legislation, saying if it were to be brought up, they would vote against it.
Several of the municipalities in Worcester County have also addressed the issue. So far, Pocomoke City has opted out; Berlin amended the law so new single-family homes will be free from the mandate; and Ocean City and Snow Hill have yet to take a vote.**
** If my memory is correct Ocean City has already voted in favor for the new state law requiring sprinklers.