Hilliard's city planning, projects and services committee on March 26 forwarded to city council without a recommendation an ordinance regarding contractor registration requirements.

Hilliard's city planning, projects and services committee on March 26 forwarded to city council without a recommendation an ordinance regarding contractor registration requirements.

The ordinance would repeal one chapter of the city's codified ordinances and amend another chapter with regard to contractors. It would also repeal a section pertaining to sewer layer licensing and amend a chapter on fees.

Clyde Seidle, public service director, said the changes were housekeeping in nature.

"We had some ambiguities in which type of contractors were registered," Seidle said. "We also had some provisions where they said they were licensed, and we really don't license contractors, so there's a repeal of areas where we identify that."

Seidle said some municipalities require contractors to be licensed and bonded.

"We don't test anybody," he said.

The legislation defines contractors as "various skilled trades-people, individually or as a business enterprise, (who) provide services to homeowners and businesses in the city." The amended chapter defines four types of contractors - demolition, general, home improvement and sewer builder, layer or tapper. Contractors can work on homes or commercial businesses, Seidle said.

The city's building department requires all contractors to register with the city and provide evidence of liability insurance coverage prior to working within Hilliard. This "helps to filter out unqualified or unscrupulous contractors from providing services to the city's residents and businesses," the legislation states.

Seidle said that contractors "may not have to get a permit if they're doing work in owner-occupied, single-family residences, but they still have to be registered."

The amended chapters of the city code would require all contractors to register yearly with the city at a fee of $75. There were two different registration fees in the old language, $50 and $75, and Seidle said raising it to $75 "really covered the effort by our staff to receive those, process them, and then provide a list of contractors that are registered when called upon by a resident ... we don't provide recommendations, we just provide them a list of people."

Seidle said the increased fee is still less than most surrounding communities.

Committee member Joseph Erb asked how many contractors currently pay the $50 registration fee, and Seidle said, "it's going to be quite a few of them."

"My concern is ... how many companies are going to have a higher cost of doing business just to operate in the city," Erb said. He asked that the ordinance be forwarded on to council without a recommendation.

Committee member Nathan Painter, who asked for further clarification in the code's language, said city council will hear the first reading of the ordinance April 9.