Mayor catches roofing contractors working without permits

Mayor catches roofing contractors working without permits

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Mayor Charles Lombardi was coming back from checking on a matter on Twins Lane last Thursday when he noticed a couple of vehicles with Massachusetts license plates at a home on Wenscott Lane.

The home was getting a new roof, said the mayor, and his “street sense” told him that the company doing the work probably hadn’t pulled a permit for the job. Upon approaching workers, he noticed that they were also doing a roof job at another home behind the first one he’d noticed.

While in the presence of the manager on the projects, he called the town’s inspections office and learned that no permit had been pulled for either job. He told the workers that they would need to stop their work, but they made the case that it might rain that night, so he allowed them to proceed as long as they came in by 9 a.m. the next day, Nov. 9, to pull permits for both homes.

The owner’s son assured Lombardi that they would come in for the necessary permits, said Lombardi, but they never showed up. He then notified Building Official Ben Nascenzi that he should issue a $500 fine for each of the projects done without a permit.

“We have a situation where people need to know you can’t come here and do what you want, and more importantly, disrespect the building code,” said Lombardi.

Permit fees are typically based on square footage, so the combined cost of the two permits in this case was probably about $300, said Lombardi. Now the owners will have to pay that amount plus $1,000, or a $1,300 gain for taxpayers.

North Providence has long had a particular issue with “hit-and-run” roof jobs where contractors come in from out of state and get the work done as quickly as possible without pulling the necessary permit from the code inspections office, said Lombardi. Putting four people on a job can get it done in less than a day, he said.

The area where the two new roofs were being put on is the same one where a tornado touched down last month and caused damage to a number of homes, said the mayor. Contractors from other states often come in and offer cheap fixes.

Last Saturday, Lombardi was checking repaving efforts on another street where a different contractor was putting a roof on a house. He stopped again when he saw the out-of-state plates and again learned that no permit had been pulled. That company was also cited, he said.

The mayor said he’s instructed local police, particularly on weekends when many of these jobs are being done, to stop when they see construction and ask for permits. If no permit is produced, the contractors are to be cited and required to get the permit, pay the fine, or both.


what is the purpose of these permits?

It should not be to create "gains for taxpayers."