by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune
---- — Cass County commissioners passed an ordinance on first reading Monday that would require contractors to register with the county before doing work in unincorporated towns.
The proposed legislation states any person or business entering into a contract for “any type of construction, repair, remodeling, demolition or upgrade activity” must register with and follow regulations established by the county.
The introduction of the ordinance states its purpose stems from a desire to better maintain the safety, protection of property, environmental health and energy conservation principles outlined in the Indiana Building Code, which was adopted by the county.
“We’ve had calls and concerns in the past about contractors leaving sites and leaving them worse than how they started,” said Logansport-Cass County Planning Director Arin Shaver to commissioners Monday while introducing the ordinance.
To register, contractors and subcontractors must complete an application, part of which asks for proof of insurance in the areas of bodily injury, property damage, and workman’s compensation.
The Cass County building commissioner, currently Ray Staller, will maintain this registry.
Registration would last one year, with renewals due Jan. 1 of each year following the initial registration. General contractors would have to pay an annual fee of $50 and subcontractors would have to pay an annual fee of $25.
The ordinance states commissioners would have the authority to suspend contractors for “materially false statements of fact,” on their applications, fraudulent behavior, deceit and activities performed outside of the state building code.
Violators are subject to fines ranging from $250 to $1,000, the ordinance states.
The ordinance also gives the building commissioner the authority to order any work being performed by contractors who are not registered to cease.
Public utility companies and their subcontractors along with property owners and tenants working on their own properties are exempt from registration requirements, the ordinance also states.
The ordinance would only be enforced in Cass County’s unincorporated towns, as they are the only areas legislation gives the county building commissioner authority in.
The city of Logansport has a similar ordinance enforced by the Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety and city building commissioner.
Commissioners passed the ordinance Monday on first reading 2-1. Commissioner Ralph Anderson voted against the measure, explaining in an interview after the meeting he needed more time to consider it before making a final decision.
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or email@example.com. Follow him: @PharosMAK