by Lisa Tome
Amish builders made quick work of barn construction on Biggs Highway in the area of the produce stand near Old Bayview last week.
And we may be seeing more construction from the Amish because Cecil has an ever growing Amish population. Locally, 20 of Cecil's 29 dairy farms are now Amish-owned.
But according to Patrick Conway, Chief of Cecil's Department of Permits and Inspections, the plain people don't have to comply with all the laws. Because their homes don't have electricity, they are exempt from the state's sprinkler mandate for new home construction.
Conway said that was written into the state building code. "We are still an agricultural area. We don't do anything special for the Amish. There are some exemptions in the building code based on religious beliefs. Most of their homes don't have electricity so they are not required to have sprinklers," said Conway.
He said that dealing with Amish customers in the building department, isn't different than dealing with anyone else. "They abide by all the laws. They are good to work with. They hold the (MHIC) building licenses and they do what they're supposed to do," said Conway. "They pay all taxes and fees and are excellent to work with. They comply with all the requirements."