Almost The End of the Road Bonds and the Dangers of Non-Returnables: Landscape Design  -- Landscape Discussion Forum and Review Almost The End of the Road Bonds and the Dangers of Non-Returnables: Landscape Design -- Landscape Discussion Forum

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 03-14-2001, 13:03 Post: 25504
Ted Kennedy



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 Almost The End of the Road Bonds and the Dangers of Non-Returnables

For everyone who thinks that they want to get into landscape design and landscaping, I have a warning. That is, never post bond for work with a state or municipality without doing some carefull investigation. I've just concluded the sale of my Case 580 Super L, my 10 ton Tag-Along, and both of my gear drive Cub Cadets. I also will not be renewing my dump truck lease. Why? Unknown to me, the city I posted $75K bond with, was in serious fiscal trouble, consequently, they are forcing all contractors to sue for return of their bonds. I had to let my help go. I was paid for my work, but they kept my bond, which had to be secured in order to do work. Seeing as money doesn't grow on trees. I had to come up with operating capital for the next year. My policy now is never to go for the big contracts again. I'm sure I'll get my money back (maybe even all of it), just not this year, and maybe not next year. Such is the way of business, fortunately, I still have enough assets to continue on. So for everyone with big plans, procede carefully.






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 03-14-2001, 13:19 Post: 25505
Bird Senter

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 Almost The End of the Road Bonds and the Dangers of Non-Returnables

Ted, I can certainly sympathize with you. I retired from big city employment, and all too often, I found that when the city required "bids" (supposedly to get the best price), the bids were much higher than an individual could simply walk in a place of business and purchase a product or service at full retail price. The reason? Most of the bidders knew how long it was going to take to get their money. And occasionally someone new came along and bid a reasonable price; only to learn the hard way. It was infuriating to me, and if I were a contractor, there's no way I'd bid on a government job unless I studied the contract VERY carefully, AND GOT PAID IN ADVANCE? Which ain't gonna happen, of course.






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 03-14-2001, 14:15 Post: 25510
Rick Cosman



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 Almost The End of the Road Bonds and the Dangers of Non-Returnables

Ted, This is the kind of story no one likes to hear. I admire your courage in sharing it with us and hope it gives you some comfort to do so. I'm sure getting your bond released would probably be of more comfort.I'm no bonding expert, but would like to ask... Since you have been paid, the work has been completed, and a final certification must have been issued by the City. That being the case, could you not indemnify your bonding company, since they don't have exposure on a completed and passed job, then have them reissue the bond with your indemnification until the city issue is resolved? If you completed the job and were finaled and paid isn't it fraud to hold your bond? The city manager may have liability personally if he authorized it. Sometimes the buearocrats will move in the right direction if they think they might have to answer personally for thier actions. Just my thoughts...and good luck, Rick Cosman






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 03-14-2001, 16:20 Post: 25513
Ted Kennedy



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 Almost The End of the Road Bonds and the Dangers of Non-Returnables

Rick, I will be paid, that is the key that keeps the insurance from paying out. When, is the question. The courts in my state allow municipal governments wide latitude in payouts if they can prove to the court that to do so will adversely affect the residents. My attorney, and those representing the thirty other contractors don't want us to muddy the waters with discussion so I'll have to leave things as they are. Thanks for the interest, good thing I still have my day job.






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 03-14-2001, 16:54 Post: 25515
Rob Wheeler



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 Almost The End of the Road Bonds and the Dangers of Non-Returnables

I'm sorry to hear about your circumstances, Ted.

Is this part of the mess in Waterbury?






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 03-15-2001, 09:02 Post: 25538
Murf

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 Almost The End of the Road Bonds and the Dangers of Non-Returnables

Ted, I can sympathize whole-heartedly, I too have had my share of grey-hair producing jobs. Probably most notable was the golf course owner, unknown to me, borrowed against MY equipment to obtain operating capital to finish the construction. It seems there is no 'register' for recording the ownership of such unlicensed equipment. He merely told his lender that he had PURCHASED it all from me, the lender registered liens against it to protect his 'loan'. When I found out the lender refused to release his security interest and further told me that I could not remove the equipment from that site. Luckily the nightwatchman was hired by the contractors on the job. It seems that he got sick in the middle of his shift one clear night and somebody took all the equipment away..... A police report and dealer records quickly convinced the lender and owner to work out an 'arrangement'. But, I have also had disgruntled customers merely refuse access to the site in order to green-mail a better price after a job was finished. Ted, your words should burn in the ears of all 'serious amateurs' who would like to make a little money with their equipment. Best of luck.






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