ND city requires contractors to have licensesBISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Contractors working in one North Dakota city must obtain a city license as of Jan. 1, and the building inspector said he hopes it will help protect people from builders who do shoddy work, charge high prices and then skip town.
By: Associated Press, The Jamestown Sun
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Contractors working in one North Dakota city must obtain a city license as of Jan. 1, and the building inspector said he hopes it will help protect people from builders who do shoddy work, charge high prices and then skip town.
Steven Williams, who also is in charge of enforcing building codes, said he persuaded the Waterford City council to require contractors to register and get a city license so he can keep track of who is working in town and how to contact them.
The Bismarck Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/V8vCyB ) that the new ordinance takes effect Jan. 1. A city license will cost $50, and working without one can bring a $250 fine.
Williams said most contractors are reliable, but the region's oil boom has attracted some who are not.
"A lot of them think, 'It's a small town, out of the way and I can do what I want.' Here, they have to know about frost, wind, snow loads, and some aren't educated or prepared to do the kind of work that has to be done here," Williams said.
The building inspector said he has seen problems with a roofing contractor whose work is seriously leaking and some elderly residents who paid a lot of money for sewer and water work that's not functional and was done by an uncertified plumber.
He said he can use the city licenses to check with the secretary of state, where contractors are required to register if they do $2,000 worth of labor in the state.
"I'll try to get a roll call and see who's here," Williams said.
Williams said he has been letting contactors know about the upcoming deadline. Most are in favor of licensing and agree something must be done, he said.
With so much building going on, it's difficult for residents to find contractors for home or commercial projects, Williams said. They are often forced to pay double what they might have previously paid just to get the job done, he said.
He added that he recently stopped a contractor who was charging five times the going price of a shingling job.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com