County takes steps to help cut down on possible scam artists coming to area

-A A +A

Registration system for contractors working on debris removal and home repairs would go through code enforcement

By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - Bullitt Countians have seen it before.

When disaster strikes, outsiders will come to the community chasing an opportunity to make a few dollars.

While most are legitimate, there are a few who may not be so honest.

In an attempt to at least get some information on those doing work inside the county, Bullitt County Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts, with the support of the magistrates, signed an executive order requiring all contractors dealing with home repair or debris removal over the next 90 days to receive a permit.

County attorney Walter A. Sholar said a registration process worked well when the tornado struck in 1997.

Consulting with the state attorney general’s office, Sholar said the county has the ability to set a time period for the registration. It would be for all contractors who are doing debris removal or home repair for a fee.

“I think it would help because there are a lot of companies coming into the county,” said Sholar.

“That needs to be done,” sheriff Donnie Tinnell said of the permit process. “There’s going to be fraud.”

Under the plan, those conducting work would be required to go to the code enforcement/planning office. The cities may also have the certificates available. The contractor would receive a red certificate to be displayed.

Tinnell said all the law enforcement officials would be able to see if contractors have the proper permit.

“It’s an idea that has merit,” said Sgt. Kenneth Bernardi of the Shepherdsville Police Department. He said the city would definitely check contractors in Shepherdsville.

Magistrate Eddie Bleemel was concerned about the person in the neighborhood who has a trailer and offers to haul away limbs for a small price and the requirement to get a permit.

Sholar said it would help residents know if the contractors are legitimate.

He said everyone is worried about residents, especially the elderly, being subject to scam artists.

Magistrate Joe Laswell said someone was in Fox Chase offering to haul the limbs to the edge of the road for $250 and then promising the city or county would be by in a few days to haul them away.

With the paperwork, Sholar said it will give the county a little information to go after people who don’t fulfill their promises.

In Mount Washington, mayor Joetta Calhoun said contractors will not be required to have a permit upfront. However, when they take their debris to the city’s collection site, paperwork would be filled out then.

The state Attorney General’s office has a hotline for anyone who feels they may be subject to fraud, price gouging or shoddy work. Call 1-888-432-9257 with any concerns.