Speakout!

December 14, 2005

We want your opinions

THE ISSUE:

Last month, a five-alarm fire tore through three buildings on Main Street in Annapolis' historic district. One building was destroyed; two are considered salvageable. None had sprinklers, which is not unusual on Main Street, where, city officials say, only 19 of 76 commercial buildings have sprinklers. Experts say historic buildings are particularly vulnerable to fire because most were built before modern fire-safety standards were established. The city has established a low-cost loan fund to help downtown property owners pay for sprinklers, but only a handful have applied.

YOUR VIEW:

What, if any, taxpayer-financed help should be provided to outfit historic buildings with sprinklers? Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by tomorrow. Please keep your response short and include your name, address and daytime phone number. A selection of responses will be published Sunday.

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