I had to send you my comments regarding the June 12 article in the Star concerning the fire protection water issue surrounding the proposed Holiday Inn Express hotel owned by Mr. Patel on Highway 41.
The developers earlier responded to Madera County Fire Marshal Deborah Keenan that he felt the water storage requirements were unnecessary, clearly establishing his disregard for public safety. He even threatened to take his project to Mariposa County.
The California State Building Code and the California Fire Code are in place to protect life and property and the county Fire Marshal is required to enforce those regulations. That threat was the same as the school yard bully threatening to take his ball and go home if the game rules are not to his liking.
Oakhurst can certainly benefit from the money spent by the occupants of the new hotels, but public safety must be kept paramount in the building process. All Mr. Patel needs to do is look south on Highway 41 to the Oakhurst Lodge to see what can happen if adequate water supply is not immediately available.
I commend Madera County Fire Marshal Deborah Keenan for her position and tenacity to reach an acceptable solution to the fire service water supply that was a stumbling block for the project.
I also commend Mr. Patel on his realization that public safety must be a primary consideration for a project of this size and his agreeing to provide an adequate water supply for the fire protection system.
Don Cohn, Ahwahnee