Miss. Law updates building codes

The Mississippi legislature has passed a new law that will require counties and cities to adopt more stringent standards for the construction of residential and commercial buildings, effective Aug. 1.

According to The Hattiesburg American, the legislation was not only inspired by a decade of natural disasters, but was also passed on the basis of standardizing minimum requirements to make homes more resistant to hurricanes.

The law will require stricter standards, but counties and cities will have the power to opt out of the state’s new law by passing a resolution saying so within 120 days of the provisions going into effect.

“The people of Mississippi deserve to be protected, and this legislation requires builders to fortify new buildings with materials that can stand up to Mother Nature,” said Donavan Brown, counsel for state government relations at Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. The association believes Mississippi has a need for stronger and safer structures.

But Forrest County District 4 Supervisor Rod Woullard disagreed with the new law.

“It was something that was done without our input,” Woullard said. “If we wanted a building code, we didn’t need the state to get one.”

The law would also require counties to form a county department of building inspection and code enforcement, a lucrative system which Woullard said would be expensive and go unfunded by the state government.