Contractor Paid For Job Wasn't Licensed, Work Not Finished

A contractor getting hammered by the city of Council Bluffs faces a fine, but says he didn't know better.

“He didn't finish.” Homeowner Bob Watson says he should have insulated himself from an unlicensed contractor. “I think you should check with the city and make sure they're a licensed contractor, which I didn't do.” Now he's left with an open house that a licensed contractor will bid to finish.

“The wind has tore it apart, that all has to be replaced,” said licensed contractor Ed Bickle. Watson signed a contract with John Burroughs, who doesn't show up on Council Bluffs’ licensed contractors' list.

“We have no knowledge of what competency or what qualifications he has to be a roofing and siding contractor,” said Council Bluffs Chief Building Official Steve Carmichael, who issued two $850 citations to the unlicensed contractor for two projects. “There's no proof he's qualified to do any work.”

The city requires that contractors pass a minimum competency test and carry $1 million in liability insurance. The unlicensed contractor left behind some material Bickle might be able to use and save Watson some money.

Bickle said he mistakenly allowed Burroughs to work under his permit. “It was my fault for allowing it to get to this point, but I'm going to make it right on this house.”

Watson said he paid Burroughs about $2,000, believing the job and paper work would be done right. “I feel very deceived. I just want my property done.”

The job will be completed by a licensed contractor.

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