JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Johnson City Board of Dwelling Standards and Review discussed the Haven of Mercy again at their monthly meeting.
On Thursday, the board voted to limit the building’s capacity to 35 after hearing from the architect on the project.
“There’s several different ways I understand you can estimate occupancy. Based on 35, based on those findings and the fire things… just so that we’re limiting risk to everyone in the building and we’re limiting risk to emergency responders that would be called upon to help in the case of an emergency,” said board member Gwen Hunter who made the motion. “I want that limitation to be made in effect until this building is completely safe for full occupancy and they have all their necessary permits and the certificate of occupancy or whatever the proper procedures are to ensure us of that.”
That number is half of the architect’s estimated occupancy of 70 based on shower and bathroom stalls. The architect, Carl Gutschow, and his team are about 75% of the way through their inspection period and improvement planning process.
“There are some hardware devices that need to be repaired. That is the subject of our efforts and the architects and engineers is to identify those things and put them on the documents which is what we are doing right now,” Gutschow said. “Some of the hardware is just wore out and it needs to be fixed or replaced and there are several fire extinguishers on each floor and they are properly labeled and identified and appear to have been tagged recently as operable and functional.”
He says if all goes as planned, all work could be completed within 90 days after plan review and permit submission.
The board also made clear that no heat, including gas or electricity, should be used for preparing food in the kitchen.
The board will discuss the property further and get another progress update at its next meeting on April 22.