August 13, 2014

Contractor licensing to be enforced in city

By Annette Tait
Recent storm damage has brought a flurry of clean-up activity to trim old branches and remove dead or dangerous trees. City residents are hiring help to accomplish these tasks, including contractors who don’t have businesses in Center.
Mike Schutt feels that city residents should be assured that the people they hire will perform their work safely and correctly. He expressed his concerns about contractor licensing and reliability to the city council at last week’s meeting.
“Why don’t they need to get a business license and show proof of insurance?” Schutt asked. “It protects everyone who’s having work done.”
Schutt noted that a person can show up on a resident’s doorstep promising to do the work and stand behind it, but not follow-through. Changes in the state due to oil field activity have also brought an increase in the number of fly-by-night businesses.
“They can say anything they want and be gone tomorrow,” he said, noting that improperly trimmed trees can cause significant damage. Schutt explained that he had seen instances where branches weren’t removed that should have been, and other cases where improperly trimmed trees were in danger of falling under wet and/or windy conditions.
“These days, you can have $100,000 damage [to a building] in no time,” Schutt said.
Properly trained professionals have business licenses, which require proof of insurance to obtain. A licensed, insured contractor will be available to respond if there is an issue at a later date, and will be responsible for any damages that were a direct result of the work the contractor did or negligence on the contractor’s part.

The Weather Network