Lake County Commissioners update Responsible Contractor Policy

In late April, Lake County Commissioners passed a resolution to update the county’s Responsible Contractor language. With 24 representatives from various union affiliates of the Cleveland Building and Construction Trade Council in attendance, the county commissioners unanimously passed the resolution.

Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary Dave Wondolowski commended his affiliated members from Lake County who worked together with the county commissioners.

CBCTC Executive Secretary Dave Wondolowski

“It’s extremely important for public entities to have these policies,” Wondolowski said. “When implemented correctly, (these policies) can protect the public authority from unscrupulous contractors who would potentially under-bid the project and then poorly perform.”

According to Dan Musacchio, President and Field Representative for Bricklayers Local 16 in Mentor, the process started when Lake County Commissioner John Hamercheck approached him about the Responsible Contractor language used by the City of Willoughby Hills.

After months of talk and then vetting by the county prosecutor’s office, the resolution was ready for a vote. The result, Musacchio said, is the implementation of a policy by Lake County Commissioners that benefits the taxpayers.

“This policy is about what’s good for the taxpayers. Without a doubt, the commissioners want the best contractors working on county projects,” said Musacchio.

Bricklayers Local 16 Field Representative Dan Musacchio

Bricklayers Local 16 Field Representative Dan Musacchio

One of the biggest changes to the policy involved lowering the implementation threshold. Previously, a county-funded project had to exceed $1 million to trigger the additional contractor requirements. Now, Responsible Contractor language kicks in for projects that exceed $50,000.

Effective April 26, the Responsible Contractors must comply with a 23-point list before being awarded a contract on any project above the new cost threshold.

The checklist requires contractors bidding on construction projects to furnish information such as a disclosure of all OSHA violations from the past five years, any unlawful intimidation or discrimination and litigation involving a claim for personal injury or wrongful death on the jobsite.

Contractors also must demonstrate financial responsibility, confirm they provide health insurance to their employees, identify if they participate in an apprenticeship program, document they have a substance abuse program and document a written safety and health program.

Bidders must disclose any Workers’ Compensation violations, Prevailing Wage violations, any previous performance bond cancelations and any family relationships with county elected, appointed or managerial employees.

Learn more about the importance of having a Responsible Contractors policy by clicking here.

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