Archive for July, 2013

Performance Bonds Rescue Olney Maryland Library Project

Written by JoAnn Smith on July 26th, 2013. Posted in Latest News, Maryland, Performance Bonds, Surety Bond Blog

     olney library, performance bonds
Performance Bonds save Olney Library Project
It is a good thing that having 100% performance bond coverage was part of the deal when Milestone Construction Services was hired for the renovations on the Olney Library in Maryland. The project, one of two in Montgomery County that were bid and won by the Sterling, Virginia company, has been plagued by delays for months. As reported in an earlier post regarding the use of performance bonds to continue several stalled construction projects, Milestone began to get into cash flow problems earlier this year. At the time, it was thought that pulling the performance bonds to keep sub-contractors payments up to date would allow Stirling to get back on its feet and perhaps even finish the contract on time. Now the company has announced that it is closing all operations in the region and will only continue working out of its Virginia office.

Performance Bond Company Steps In

Although Milestone has said publicly that it intends to complete the project, the surety company that provided the performance bond has already announced they will be meeting with sub-contractors to get payments completed and schedules reviewed. The surety company says they have the background to take on the project and will do so to ensure completion. The County met with the surety company earlier this month to review responsibilities and contracts. Once the meeting with sub-contractors is completed, the surety company says they will have a better picture of exactly where the progress of the renovation has been left and what remains to be done. They will then meet and report to the Montgomery County officials with a plan in place to complete the library renovations by the scheduled fall re-opening.

Wheaton Rescue Building

A second project in the same region has also been halted. This is the construction of the Wheaton Rescue Squad Building. The volunteers for the Wheaton Rescue Squad, and not Montgomery County, are the contracting authorities for this project. But the county has been in communication with the volunteers as well as offering support and assistance as that project is also reassessed. There is no word at this time what the plan will be to move forward with the building’s completion.

For All Your Surety Bond Needs

Looking at your next construction project? Whether it is large or small, private or public, surety bonds are bound to be a part of the process. Whether you are looking for licensing bonds as you start up your business, bid bonds to guarantee the bid process or performance bonds to secure your sub-contractors BuySurety has the surety bond you need. Talk to our reliable customer service reps today and find out just how easy it is to get the surety bonds you need, quickly and with a minimum of fuss.

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Michigan Wind Farm to Maintain Performance Bond

Written by JoAnn Smith on July 18th, 2013. Posted in Michigan, Performance Bonds, Surety Bond Blog

     michigan wind farm, performance bonds
Michigan wind farms required to have performance bonds.
July 18, 2013 – When Exelon came before Michigan’s Huron County Board of Commissioners they had a very specific change in mind regarding their agreement with the board on the decommissioning fund for their Harvest II Wind Farm. They were hoping to change the details of their contractual agreement regarding the performance bonds they had posted. The question remained, would they be able to argue successfully that a letter of credit with an A Rated bank would be seen as an acceptable substitute. The bottom line was – no. The Board of Commissioners felt there were a number of good reasons for not allowing this change.

Financial Scrutiny is Key

The decommissioning fund is a critical part of the overall plan that the county approved for the wind farm run by Exelon. Because there is a specific lifespan for the technology, something needs to be set in place at the beginning of the project to ensure that the tax-holders are not left holding the bill when it is time to remove a non-working windmill. That is the purpose of the decommission fund in the form of a $1 million performance bond. It would ensure from the start that the company had the funds set aside to take care of decommissioning the windmills when they reached the end of their expected life. Regardless of whether the company remains solvent throughout the lifetime of the wind farm, that performance bond will still be there to take care of this when the time comes. The surety bond company, in fact, guarantees it. But a letter of credit would put the holder of it in line with other creditors should Exelon run into financial trouble somewhere down the line. This, the Huron County Board of Commissioners decided, was not an acceptable financial risk to take on behalf of the taxpayers.

The Security of Surety Bonds

The fact that the commissioners felt more comfortable with a surety performance bond is really not that surprising. Surety bonds are used in a wide variety of industries as a financial guarantee. They are often viewed as less risky than other forms of financial insurance because there is a third party involved who guarantees the surety bond. In this particular instance even the Huron County Building and Zoning Office Director was not in favor of making the change. He felt strongly that the fact that the surety bond company had been willing to back up the surety bond was a sign that they felt Exelon was in good financial shape. Having a signed Letter of Credit from a bank that the company already had a relationship with was not going to give him the same reassurance as the performance bond.

Performance Bonds Guarantee

If you are looking at a project or undertaking that requires financial guarantees, you might want to consider using a surety bond. Regardless of whether you need a Bid Bond for that upcoming bid on a project, a Payment Bond to guarantee payment to your subcontractors or a Performance Bond tied to your contractual obligations, BuySurety can provide it. We’ve been providing solid surety bonds to a variety of industries since 1998.  Why not contact us today and find out just how easy it is to work with BuySurety for all your surety bond needs.

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Ohio May Be a Little Less Wild in January With Help from Surety Bonds

Written by JoAnn Smith on July 12th, 2013. Posted in License and Permit Bonds, Ohio

     surety bonds for exotic animals
Surety bonds will be required to keep exotic animals like tigers.
Think your neighbor has too many pets? How about if one of them is a giant python or a tiger? In Ohio, come January, that neighbor will need to get a permit and post a surety bond if they want to continue to have an “exotic pet” on their property. This may sound like small potatoes to you, but it has a few folks in Ohio quite riled up. Personally, I don’t know just how riled up I want a neighbor to be, if they have tigers in their backyard.

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

It all started from one incident back in 2011 when an owner of a menagerie of wild animals got so depressed that he set all his animals loose and then committed suicide. This was no small collection he set loose on his neighbors. He released over 50 animals that included bears, tigers and even lions. Yes Dorothy, we aren’t in Kansas anymore. But it was no laughing matter. In the end law enforcement were forced to stalk and kill 48 animals, many of them quite dangerous. As a result of this incident, a law has been passed that requires anyone who harbors an exotic animal to register each individual animal, pay a permit fee for them and post a surety bond. These “wildlife shelter” permits cost the owners $250 for up to three animals and $1,000 for up to 15 animals. In addition the surety bond that is posted will range from $200,000 to $1 million, depending on the number and type of animals.

Ohio Law Includes New Restrictions

Many owners of exotic animal collections are up in arms over these new restrictions, set to become law on January 1st. It will not only require licensing permits and surety bonds, it will ban private owners from acquiring, selling and breeding these animals after January 1st. If you get permits you can keep what you have, but you can’t have more, even if it happens from animals doing what they do naturally. A lawsuit has been filed by seven animal owners who say the restrictions infringe on their constitutional rights and amounts to seizure of property. They claim the new restrictions are more stringent than those placed on zoos and target exotic animal owners unfairly. It remains to be seen where the case will go, it is currently pending a hearing in the 6th U.S. District Court of Appeals. Need to get your own menagerie of exotic pets bonded? Believe it or not, many states require surety bonds and permits to keep exotic animals if you are not a registered zoo. We can help you out by identifying your license and permit bond needs for your area. Contact BuySurety today and know for sure!

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Performance Bonds Continue To Ensure Completion Of Projects

Written by JoAnn Smith on July 4th, 2013. Posted in Maryland, North Carolina, Performance Bonds, Surety Bond Blog, Texas, Vermont

     performance bond, surety bond, surety bonds
Government projects aided by performance bonds
Performance bonds continue to play a role in the country’s economic recovery plan. While there are signs of improvement, these steps are small. Across the country municipal improvement plans vital to turning this economy around are struggling. When local construction firms fail, it has been the role of the surety companies to step into the breach. We have been covering a number of such stories here in our surety blog, including the impact Texas contractor Ballenger’s failure has had on several construction projects. In Vermont the completion of the State Office Building renovation and fire station was completed after the failure of Baybutt Construction. In North Carolina, performance bonds ensured the completion of badly needed road and bridge upgrades when the local construction firm found they were unable to complete the projects.

Problems in Maryland

In Montgomery County, Maryland the same kind of problem has popped up once again. Two county projects that had been scheduled for completion this fall have run into trouble. One is the renovation and upgrading of the Olney Library. Like many region’s the upgrade of the library was a key community development. The other project was to be the construction of a new home for the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad. Both of these projects were put on hold when local contractor Milestone Construction notified the county that they would be shutting down the business at the end of the year. They do not appear to be able to meet their obligations for the completion of these projects. In fact, even though in the past the company had a good reputation for completion on time, there had lately been complaints of late work and non-payment or slow payment of sub-contractors.

Performance Bonds Will Complete Project

Luckily, the construction company had fulfilled their obligation in providing performance bonds to cover the entire cost of the project. County officials have confirmed that the surety bond holder has already stepped in to ensure the completion of the project. There may be a short delay as the bond is put in place. The City Council was assured, however, that it was just a short delay and that plans were already underway to continue work with the subcontractors already established for the two projects. Looking for the best price for surety performance bonds for your next project? BuySurety can quickly give you a quote for performance bonds, bid bonds or any other surety bond you may need. Contact us today for a rate quote on any surety bond at a rate you will be happy with.

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