LUBBOCK,TX -- The City Council voted 5 - 2 Thursday evening against a proposed ordinance to raise the minimum requirements roofing companies must meet to operate in Lubbock.
Under current laws, roofing contractors are required to obtain permits and proof of fiscal responsibility in either the form of a $20,000 bond or proof of at least $100,000 of liability insurance.
The proposal would have raised the minimum liability insurance to $300,000 for personal properties and up to $1,000,000 for commercial properties.
The backup information related to Thursday’s council agenda said, “State-licensed contractors, such as plumbers, electricians, and HVAC contractors are already required by their licensing agencies to maintain a minimum $300,000 liability policy.”
However, roofing contractors are not held to the same statewide standards and any such regulation would fall to the city.
Councilwoman Karen Gibson proposed the increased requirements as a way to reduce fraud and abuse from fly-by-night companies. However, Mayor Glen Robertson had concerns that the ordinance would go too far and could put legitimate small roofing companies out of business.
And some small business owners like Leroy Henry were concerned as well.
"Say you have a son and he's been a roofer or carpenter for 15 years," Henry said. "He's really good at it-he wants to go out on his own, he doesn't want to work for somebody else for 10 dollars an hour and he wants to start off on his own...we're gonna make it hard for that guy to get in business."
"The smartest thing," Henry said "is if you're gonna hire somebody, know somebody who knows them already, who has already done business with them. that way you've got some kind of track record to listen to."
* Updated Thursday evening to reflect City Council vote against the proposed increase.