Contractor Skates Off Job, Bond Saves A Park

Many skaters in San Marcos, Texas were not pleased when a contractor that was supposed to construct a skate park in the city fled the skeleton of a potential park. Fortunately for the city and skaters a like a surety bond was in place incase something like this occurred.

A large crater in the ground with exposed grids of metal rebar was supposed to be a skate park including large bowl and pool-like concrete structures, but development on the park halted last year because the contractor “basically was not able to complete the job”, city Officials said. City attorney Michael Cosentino said San Marcos has made a claim on the performance bond while obtaining a replacement contractor to finish the job. Kristy Stark who is the public information specialist for the Capital Improvements Program, said the contractor never gave notice that the company wouldn’t be able to finish the job. Luckily, DAVCAR Engineering Services, the design engineer for the project, suggested that the city file a claim “due to the contractor’s unsatisfactory progress.” The claim was filed against the performance bond which was written by Western Surety Company.

When this contractor abandoned the skate park job, it demonstrated how important a surety bond can be regarding construction projects. If a performance bond wasn’t obtained for the job, the city would be stuck with the responsibility of funding the rest of the skate park or just be forced to forget the project altogether. Since a performance bond was in place guaranteeing the work, the surety who wrote the bond will finance the rest of the incomplete job; in turn the surety will put a claim out on the contractor who deserted the job. When a city gets stuck with the bill for an incomplete job because it wasn’t protected with a surety bond, so does the public within the Commonwealth being the city will most likely dip in to tax dollars to fund the rest of the job. The performance bond is protection not only for the obligee, which in this case is the city of San Marcos, but also the public within the city.

“The additional cost to complete the work is being borne by the bonding company, not the city. The bonding company is taking up the difference,” Cosentino said.

There are many questionable contractors and companies lurking around; it’s hard to know who will perform faithful work. A surety bond can help ease any worries when it comes to ensuring all sorts of services, including construction projects. The City of San Marcos played it safe; when in doubt, secure a bond simply because it will guarantee the services agreed upon.

Eric is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog. He has held a range of different roles within the surety industry, from agent assistant to bond issuer, which gives him a unique insider perspective on surety related topics.

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