SPEARFISH, SD – As summer comes into full swing, citizens may see employees of businesses going door-to-door offering services, especially related to repairs and replacements of people’s homes, vehicles, and property. All these businesses are required to have a peddler’s permit from the City, which helps to protect residents against fraud, unfair competition, and intrusion into the privacy of their homes.
Citizens are encouraged to ask peddlers, solicitors, and transient merchants who knock on their door to display their peddler’s permit to ensure they are a legitimate, insured business and to avoid being scammed.
In addition, as repairs and replacements are completed, City inspectors will be stopping by job sites to check proof of contractor’s licenses. A City of Spearfish Contractor license is required for all roofing contractors, including the sub-contractors that are actually performing the work. Contractors may apply for a license at https://www.cityofspearfish.com/FormCenter/Building-Services-13/Contractors-License-59.
In addition, building permits are required for duplexes, apartments, and all commercial buildings.
When removing and replacing similar material on single-family dwellings, townhouses, detached garages, or sheds, such as replacing damaged asphalt shingles with new asphalt shingles, a building permit is not required.
Those performing work on roofs should be aware that the City has adopted the International Residential Code, which requires an ice and water shield from the lowest edges of all roof surfaces to a point not less than 24 inches inside the exterior wall line of the building.
For more information, visit the Spearfish Building Services website at https://www.cityofspearfish.com/174/Building-Services.
Businesses advertising their services must follow the City’s sign ordinance. Signs advertising services are limited to a maximum of one sign per lot when posted in the public right-of-way, and there is a minimum spacing of 50 feet required between signs. A sign may be displayed for up to seven days within one month, and any person posting a sign must have the landowner’s permission before posting the sign. For more information about the City’s sign ordinance, visit https://www.cityofspearfish.com/323/Signs.
Residents seeking services are encouraged to take the following precautions provided by the South Dakota Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office before hiring a business to perform repair or construction services:
- Ask for a price quote, in advance, in writing.
- Question the contractor about a permanent address and telephone number, and do not assume that if the information they provide is local, they are a local business. (Transient vendors often have business cards printed with local mailing services or motel addresses and telephone numbers.)
- Ask for a list of local references and check them before making a decision.
- Ask if the contractor has worker's compensation and general liability insurance. If vendors are not properly insured, homeowners may be liable for accidents that occur on their property.
- Be careful about paying for work in advance; before making final payments, make sure transient vendors have paid their local suppliers or you may be held liable for unpaid materials.
- Make sure you are completely satisfied with the work before paying the bill, and do not pay more for the job than originally quoted unless you have given written approval for the additional work or cost.
- Ask the contractor for an excise tax license. To verify if the license is valid, call the Department's toll-free helpline at (800) 829-9188.
If citizens have doubts about a business or think they have been the victim of a scam, they should call the Spearfish Police Department at 642-1300. They can also contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office at (800) 300-1986 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Without tips from the public, law enforcement officials may not be able to catch illegal vendors before they move on to the next community.