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Businesses concerned with building, fire codes

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Three local business owners are expressing their concerns about the recent adoption of the international building and fire codes that will be implemented on October 1.  International Real Estate Group president Pete Sgro contends lawmakers failed to comply with Public Law 25-173, passed a decade ago, that amended the Administrative Adjudication Act requiring an economic impact statement before they adopted changes to the codes.

Said Sgro, "This is nothing more than to enrich a few handful of people at the expense of every single one of the people of Guam I find it appalling. Appalling that a lawmaker would proceed down the road and continue to proceed down the road and ignore an act where 14 other senators sponsored it."

Tanota Partners president Al Ysrael says the only people that benefit from the IBC are engineers, consultants and architects who will now have to be hired extensively to interpret and modify building plans.  "They're the only ones that have been adamant about the adoption of this law.  The senators have ignored the consumers and it's the consumers that are primarily involved," he said.

Ysrael adds the new codes will equate to at least an increase in construction costs of at least 40%, which would have a severe impact on small companies like the Micronesian Self-Help Housing Corporation. President Carlos Camacho says they're hoping lawmakers will go back and read the entire code and determine the impacts it will have on consumers.

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