Small Maine Towns Get Statewide Code in July

Towns in Maine with 4,000 or more inhabitants must begin enforcing Maine's new statewide building code, the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code, starting on July 1, if they have not already done so, reports the Kennebec Journal (" 34 towns across Maine to enforce new building code," by Ben McCanna). "The code has been a long time in the making," the paper reports. "It was originally passed by the state Legislature in 2008, then it was reworked in 2011. Towns with populations greater than 4,000 are required to adopt it -- 89 municipalities in all. Fifty-five of those communities have already adopted the code. The 34 holdouts have until July 1." Not surprisingly, some local voices have spoken up in opposition to the code, objecting to the cost of compliance. Skowhegan Selectman Newell Graf commented, "Personally, I think it's pretty restrictive. I think it's going to result in a lot of extra work for our code officers, and that cost has to be borne somewhere. In the economy we have, are you going to pass that on to the consumer? And if you do, will it stifle building?" Assistant State Fire Marshal Richard McCarthy countered, "It's making the builder's job easier, because it's just one code. It's not 50 different codes throughout the state of Maine."