Out of Town Contractors

By: Narina Crain
By: Narina Crain

With nearly $30 million worth of flood damage in Rockford, it's hard to find a contractor who is available these days. So families are looking outside the area, but now the city is turning some of them away.

City building inspectors have been catching "out of town" contractors making repairs in Rockford without the proper credentials this week. All mechanical contractors who work on Rockford buildings are required to have a city license and a permit. But most Chicago suburb mechanics aren't licensed in Rockford. The city building department gave them a warning that their work was not approved. Once contractors do get a permit, a city worker will inspect the repairs they make to homes or businesses. A spokesman for the building department says these inspections are necessary to keep mechanics and electricians accountable.

"In the worst case scenario equipment could be installed incorrectly. Which could at some point pose a significant danger to occupants in the building. I can't say that happens every time but it is a possibility," said Kevin Ciabatti, director of the Building Department.

Ciabatti recommends that home owners in Rockford ask mechanical contractors for documentation that they're licensed. Electricians are required to register with the city of Rockford and plumbers have to be licensed with the state.


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