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and my guy didn’t know about sprinkler systems. He certainly wasn’t going to go offering one. His first response was to stand firm: “Not my fault, I did everything I was asked to do, and that ship has sailed”. Sorry, wrong answer. Ignorantia legis neminem excusat, or in English, not knowing the law is no excuse. Unfortunately, the law of the land says that if code cop is right and his predecessor was a buffoon, this regulatory blunder has indeed become your problem. If your Certificate of Occupancy was issued based on a faulty application of the building or fire codes or even misinterpretation by an official that signed it, your cherished C.O. can probably be revoked. The offer of sixteen weeks to come into compliance, as impossible as this seems, could actually be considered gracious.

What should you do? First, don’t do or say anything that’s going to jeopardize your TTB license. Second, close out this meeting as graciously as possible, find a quiet place and dial up your legal counsel. You’re going to need help as the adage “you can’t fight city hall” is accurate. If these folks stick to their position your war chest is going to be smaller than their bottomless one. Get some help and take the highest road available. Demonstrate that the steps you took when starting this business were upfront and above board. Show them that you did what was asked of you and remind everyone of that. Use your good behavior as a tool towards additional time… two years instead of sixteen weeks for example. In most cases, after the initial bad feelings pass, an agreement of some

reasonableness can be reached. Finally, words of wisdom from someone that’s done this for a long time: When you’re in the midst of permitting your new project and some official offers you something that you know is just not right or seems to miss something that you know is required, do what your mother always told you; be honest and speak up. Don’t accept what appears to be a wonderful gift. Like the arrival of free GNS that you never ordered; it's probably not going to end well.

Shawn Bergeron is an NFPA and ICC certified fire protection specialist and building official with Bergeron Technical Services in North Conway, New Hampshire. For more information or assistance call (603) 356-0022 or visit www. bergerontechnical.com. They will be happy to help you with your distillery no matter how near or far.

Unfortunately, the law of the land says that if code cop is right and his predecessor was a buffoon, this regulatory blunder has indeed become your problem.

Cooper’s Select Barrels Our Cooper’s Select barrel uses 18-month seasoned staves, a process that changes the oak chemistry, adding complexity and softness to the palate. Learn more about our Cooper’s Select barrel by visiting our website.

www.iscbarrels.com Chad Spalding • 270.699.1557 chad.spalding@independentstavecompany.com

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Artisan Spirit: Winter 2017  
Artisan Spirit: Winter 2017  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.