A family-owned daily newspaper serving Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming since 1949

Why the new requirement on bonding for contractors?

May 19, 2017 - Dan Brossman, Lander

Editor:

The Wyoming Association of Municipalities has convinced some city councils in Wyoming that all carpenter contractors doing work in Wyoming communities must have insurance and bonding in order to work. More government control.

The requirement to carry insurance and bonding places an undue financial burden on the already struggling construction industry. It is a like a tax that is not necessary.

Good contractors will survive because of the good work they do. Bad contractors will not survive because of their bad work. A reputation for honesty and dependability will quickly spread through a community, as will a reputation for dishonesty and undependability.

Why does the Wyoming Association of Municipalities not recommend insuring and bonding for auto mechanics, excavation companies, insurance companies, Realtors, liquor outlets and all other businesses in the communities? Cities should control all business activities to protect consumers against fraud, unsafe business environments, customer safety, and equity in protection of consumers. There should be consistency in how cities regulate businesses.

Why, after 150 years does the issue of insurance and bonding of construction contractors hit the fan? Have there been problems in the past? Is the purpose for the requirement to protect some company or person, or is there something to be gained by some company or person?

Before a city accepts the lowest bid on a proposed project, proper investigation of the history and reputation of the lowest bidder should precede acceptance of the lowest bid. Due diligence in making sure the lowest bidder is an acceptable, reliable bidder would avoid a lot of problems, and make unnecessary the need for the contractor to carry insurance or be bonded.

Who will ultimately pay for the additional cost of required insurance and bonding? Grandma's new sun porch will cost more, as will all other work performed by construction contractors. As usual, consumers will ultimately bear the cost forced on service providers by government entities -- the cities.

Finally, how will the requirement for insurance and bonding be enforced? Will cities need to hire additional building inspectors? Who will pay for that? The residents of the city, of course.

In the end, we the people will face additional @257;nancial burden, either through higher construction costs or through additional fees levied by the cities to pay for additional employees. Perhaps cities should go into the insurance business to generate more revenue?

In any case, all the citizens of cities and towns in Wyoming must be concerned about the nearly communistic in@258;uence of the Wyoming Association of Municipalities, an organization on one voted for.
 

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