New ordinance will replace county testing
By Kitty Conley firstname.lastname@example.org July 24, 2012 1:36PM
Updated: July 24, 2012 1:36PM
CROWN POINT — The City Council’s Ordinance Committee heard last week the pros and cons of taking over all of the testing for contractors in the city.
A contractor holding a Lake County General Contractor’s license at the time of the ordinances passage will be able to apply for a city license without having to also take the city’s test. Current license holders will be able to renew their license every year, as long as they do so on time, without any gaps in time.
After that all contractors, specialty as well as general, will have to take the Crown Point test. That is the unanimous recommendation of the Ordinance Committee that will be going to the Aug. 6 City Council meeting for the full council’s vote.
Rich Hulen, the city’s full-time building inspector will be giving the test. Hulen said he would offer it every week.
Part of the idea is to cut down the time a contractor has to wait if taking the
general test at the county. That could cost that general contractor anywhere from 30 to 60 days before a test is completed and then the County License Board holds a meeting to approve the applicant’s test score and issue a license.
According to Chris Meyers, building department administrator, the testing will probably take place in the council chambers or in the city’s facility in the On Broadway building.
Councilman Bill Feder, D-at large, wanted to give the applicant as many as six tries to take the test and pass. Both Councilmen Bob Clemons, R-2nd, and Mark Schweitzer, R-at large, thought that was excessive.
Hulen said, “This will not guarantee they are quality contractors, just that they know what they should be doing.”
Another reason the Hulen is so much in favor of this new ordinance is that in order to get a license the contractor will have to post a bond and show proof of insurance for the people working on the site.
The new ordinance also gives authority to Hulen to issue citations to someone that does not hold a Crown Point city license as a contractor, and is caught doing work in the city. Previously he would have to call out the city police to come and issue the citation.
Then the appeals process was the next sticking point for Feder. He wanted all appeals to go to the Board of Public Works and Safety.
Others want to form a professional advisory Peer License Board to be the first stop in a dispute. This way people that are professionals in the building industry will be judging their peers.
The Peer License Board would have seven members, one council person, one Plan Commission member, the building administrator, and four peer members.