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City of Russell Clarifies Contractor Licensing Ordinance

City of Russell LogoIn light of some recent misinformation regarding an ordinance passed in September, City of Russell officials would like to inform citizens of the facts of the ordinance.

Earlier in the year, locally licensed contractors were sent information about proposed changes to the contractor licensing requirements.

After input from local contractors and discussion at several public meetings, an ordinance was prepared that regulated the issuance of contractor licenses and the qualifications for such licenses, setting the types of contractor licenses and license fees.

In September, Ordinance 1899 was adopted that changed contractor licensing from annual to biennial, changed licensing fees, requires contractors to provide proof of sufficient training and education prior to receiving a license from the city, and requires contractors to receive 12 hours of continuing education every two years. The proof of sufficient training and education is established through an independent appraisal or competency through several options for each trade.

Ordinance 1899 did not take away a property owner's ability to work on their own property.

Since 1993, any bona fide owner of a residential or commercial structure, including the usual accessory structures, is exempt from the contractor licensing requirements and may be granted a building permit to improve said structure provided he or she personally purchases and installs all materials used, and further provided, all work shall be inspected and approved by the City.

The City welcomes and encourages anyone with questions about this ordinance, or any city project, to stop in the city building at 133 West 8th or call 785-483-6311. The City wants to ensure citizens are informed correctly.

City ordinances are available at the city building or online at www.russellcity.org under the Government tab.

(Information courtesy City of Russell.)

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