McPherson mulling licensing contractors

By Chris Swick
December 03, 2015

McPherson City Commissioners discussed the possible licensing of contractors during a study session Monday.

City officials are looking into requiring licensing of the contractors that work within the city limits, with a proposal previously presented that would require testing to receive what is considered a reciprocal license, or one that is widely recognized without having to undergo testing in each state a contractor has to work within.

Bill Athey, City of McPherson lead building inspector, says he's consulted with local contractors about licensing and there have been really only two major concerns voiced.

“The older, more long-term contractors did not want to take a test,” Athey said. “They were concerned with that and I fully understand it. The second part of that was to being able to do commercial and residential [jobs] without the testing.”

Athey says he accommodated that by adding Class B Commercial and a Class C Residential license categories.

“Within these, we have restrictions where they would not be a reciprocal-type license, as there is no testing,” Athey said. “It would just be a matter of jurisdiction whether they want to accept this.”

Athey adds a the Class B license would have a caveat for those contractors with a verifiable two years of experience in McPherson. The Class B will give contractors the ability to do commercial construction projects, provided the projects are all one story.

“That's what it will restrict,” Athey said. “They can do full remodels on multi-story, but they cannot construct multi-story.

Input from the commission included enforcement, including building a fine structure into a possible ordinance should a contractor be found to be performing work in McPherson without a license should the policy be adopted.