Contractor bonds aim to protect Shorewood public improvements
By Clare Walters Correspondent February 15, 2013 8:07AM
Updated: March 18, 2013 6:46AM
Shorewood officials are doing damage control.
The village board Tuesday approved a new contractor requirement designed to protect public improvements from damage during construction activity.
As part of permitting requirements, contractors will be required to secure a $5,000 bond specifically to protect the village’s investment in its streets, sidewalks and alleyways.
Community Development Director Kimberly Jones said the measure comes on the heels of the village’s effort to finish off public improvements left incomplete in several subdivisions where developers or builders went bankrupt during the housing market crash.
As construction resumes within these subdivisions, village staff will conduct inspections of the public improvements before and after construction is completed.
“We will make sure the public improvements weren’t damaged in the process of construction,” she said. “This is common in other municipalities.”
The bond is a per-lot rate, but Jones said the village will work with multilot developers to reduce rates when warranted.
“In talking to the builders, they understand the need and the reasoning for (the bond),” she said.
Trustee Gary Fitzgerald asked if $5,000 was enough to cover the damage that potentially could be done.
Acting Village Administrator and Public Works Superintendent Roger Barrowman said the amount would be adequate.
“They’d have to tear up an awful lot to use up $5,000,” he said. “Could they? Yes. But, you’d hope we’re only talking about little curb marks. This was just a little extra insurance.”
While the new bond increases initial construction costs for developers within the village, the board also approved a measure to reduce its school impact fee.
Mayor Richard Chapman said a year ago the village board decided to temporarily cut its impact and building permit fees in order entice residential development. Approval of a resolution reducing the fee charged on behalf of the schools “was overlooked” at that time due to changes in personnel.
“It was already agreed to by schools to give us a three-year reduction on this,” he said.
The 50 percent reduction will expire April 1, 2016.