By Jack King
Clovis city commissioners voted 6-2 Thursday to introduce an ordinance adopting the International family of building codes for all construction purposes, except for electrical work, where the National Electrical Code will be used.
The ordinance will not receive final approval for another 30 days.
The commission made the decision despite an appeal from Lisa Martinez, director of the state Construction Industries Division, who attended the commission meeting.
Martinez said CID has developed a blended set of building codes including the International Building Code, International Residential Code, Uniform Plumbing Code, Uniform Mechanical Code, the National Electrical Code and the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 54 code for installation of natural gas.
The Construction Industries Commission, which oversees the division, will hold public meetings on its proposed code, aiming for adoption by Dec. 19. Martinez urged the commission not to join some other political entities in the state in adopting a building code different from the state’s, so that New Mexico can maintain a unified, statewide code.
She also said if Clovis adopts a different building code, the state will no longer be able to provide it with an electrical inspector, as it now does, nor will it be able to prosecute any out-of-state, unlicensed building contractors doing work in this area.
But, Assistant City Manager Joe Thomas said, since Clovis would be using the same electrical code as the state, there should be no reason the state couldn’t continue to provide an electrical inspector. Richards said two different state statutes give the city authority to adopt its own building codes, so long as they are at least as stringent as the state’s; and City Commissioner Kevin Duncan noted that, if any part of Clovis’ building code was not stringent enough, the city could modify it.
Commissioners Isidro Garcia and Gloria Wicker voted against the amendment.
“If we’re going to have to amend our codes anyway, why not wait until the state adopts its codes? It’s only two months away. What’s the rush?” Garcia asked.
“I’d like to see what the state wants to do. Also, I’d like a better explanation of the disagreement between those who want the ‘I’ codes and the state,” Wicker said.