City offers information regarding storm damage contractors
From the city of Wisconsin Rapids
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – With the recent storm damage experienced by residents and property owners within the city, the following information is provided in an attempt to minimize issues experienced during repair of any damage.
Building permits required
A building permit is required for any repairs that exceed $500. This is for property owner protection and code compliance. Permits should be applied for by the contractor performing the work.
The only exception is that a building permit can be applied for by a homeowner if the homeowner certifies that the homeowner is performing the repairs on their own. There are some exceptions for repairs to electrical services made necessary by the storm, an overview of those exceptions can be found on the city’s website on the Community Development Department page or https://www.wirapids.org/uploads/1/0/3/3/103347874/electrical_service_repair_q_a.pdf
Permits must be obtained from the Community Development Department on the second floor of City Hall, 444 West Grand Ave., Wisconsin Rapids or 715-421-8228. Forms are also available online at http://www.wirapids.org/licenses-and-permits and can be mailed in, or dropped off at the office.
Please be advised that if the homeowner hires a contractor to perform work which is being completed under a building permit requested by the homeowner, and the contractor is not bonded or insured as required under state law or city ordinance, the following consequences might occur:
The owner may be held liable for any bodily inquiry to or death of others or for any damage to the property of others that arises out of the work performed under the building permit or is caused by any negligence by the contractor that occurs in connection with the work performed under the building permit.
The owner may not be able to collect from the contractor damages for any loss sustained by the owner because of a violation by the contractor of the municipal or state code, because of any bodily injury to or death of others or damage to the property of others that arises out of the work performed under the building permit, or because of any bodily injury to or death of others or damage to the property of others that is caused by any negligence by the contractor that occurs in connection with the work performed under the building permit.
All contractors must be state licensed
Any contractor working on a home must be licensed through the State of Wisconsin as a Dwelling Contractor and a Dwelling Contractor Qualifier. As part of the building permit process, the city will determine whether the contractor is licensed before a permit is issued.
Use caution when choosing a contractor
The city encourages homeowners to fully investigate each prospective business, including requesting a dwelling contractor license, transient merchant permit if applicable, references, insurance coverage, and warranty information.
Use extreme caution prior to signing anything without prior consultation. The type of damage sustained may vary greatly, but whenever possible, please be sure to take the time and check with the City or other resources to research any contractors you are not already familiar with.
Some companies may need transient merchant permits
Any business that has not been located in Wood County, Wisconsin, for at least one year, and is going door-to-door offering estimates or services, leaves materials or leaflets at your residence, or calls you on the telephone, unsolicited, must be registered with the city of Wisconsin Rapids as a Transient Merchant.
The registration of any businesses with the city of Wisconsin Rapids does not imply endorsement of these businesses by the city. The city makes no warranties, guarantees, or representations regarding these businesses, their services, or their merchandise. They have simply fulfilled a registration requirement with the city.
A transient merchant permit may take up to 30 days to be issued; merchants that have current state contractor licenses or that are already registered through the city’s building permit system will see a shorter processing time.
Transient Merchant permits can be obtained from the Wisconsin Rapids City Clerk, 444 West Grand Ave., Wisconsin Rapids or 715-421-8200.
Residents should be aware that non-local businesses may be contracting or affiliating with local businesses, and thus will be representing themselves as being “local”. Some of these arrangements do not require the non-local business to register as a transient merchant with the city.
To inquire if a merchant is registered, call 715-421-8200. To report a suspicious or violating merchant, call 715-423-4444. For building permits or to verify if a contractor is licensed, call 715-421-8228.