A sea of contractors currently operating unlicensed may soon be asked to meet new requirements in East Hampton Town.
Currently, electricians and plumbers require licensing, but a host of subcontractors, including landscapers, fence companies and others are able to operate without paying a fee.
But that could soon change, with all contractors expected to require licensing. The board vetted issues, including whether one fee should be charged per company, with unlimited stickers, or if there should be a fee per sticker for each vehicle.
Stickers should be easily identifiable, perhaps shaped like a house, Councilwoman Theresa Quigley said, so a client can know immediately if a contractor is licensed. The unique stickers, she added, would address the need for an educational component for the public.
Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson said he would like to see the licensing process started in the first quarter of the year, rather than in the busy summer months when the clerk’s office is swamped with requests for beach and transfer station stickers.
Town Clerk Carol Brennan said she would like to see contractors hand in applications in November or December, so they can be set to go by January 1. She suggested the town mirror the policy currently in place for licensing taxis, where each business, rather than vehicle, is licensed, with a lower price for each sticker.
The fee for licensing is still under discussion; Town Attorney John Jilnicki suggested the fee be set by town board resolution so it can be changed.
Individuals building their own homes do not have to be licensed. Jilnicki added only subcontractors will be subject to the new regs.
In order to be licensed, he added, subcontractors will need to show proof of insurance and will have to show proof of experience.
“This is long overdue,” Wilkinson said.
Councilwoman Theresa Quigley agreed. “If you want to work in town, let’s have a level playing field. That’s the concept that led to this.”