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Major Victory for Minnesota Builders and Developers

Last week's Minnesota Supreme Court decision that City of Woodbury cannot charge the Bailey Park developer for road improvements beyond his planned 183-home subdivision creates a landmark precedent for all Minnesota builders.




"The win is a huge and resounding victory for affordable housing throughout the state," said Minnesota Construction Law Services Attorney Bill Gschwind. "Fundamentally, it tells cities that they cannot force builders to pay fees that are not directly related to the projects being built."



MNCLS Contracts Already Contain New Deductibles Notice

If your construction company is using documents for insurance projects that Minnesota Construction Law Services drafted in the past few years, they already comply with the new Minnesota law on deductibles that took effect on August 1. Meanwhile, clients with very old MNCLS contract sets may contact the firm to add the clause at no cost.

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The new statutory provision requires contractors to state in their written estimates and contracts that they are legally barred from offering any inducement that may be construed as offsetting clients' out-of-pocket insurance deductibles. Although the prohibition is nothing new, the written notice requirement is.

MN Construction Law Services Adds Federal Litigation

Minnesota Construction Law Services continues to expand its litigation services with the admission of Attorney Courtney J. Ernston to the US District Court of Minnesota bar.

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Chief Judge John R. Tunheim swore Ms. Ernston in at the federal courthouse in St. Paul on July 25. She was joined by the firm's president and fellow attorney, Bill Gschwind.

Lead-Safe Regulations Again Up in the Air For Minnesota Renovators and Remodelers

The Minnesota Department of Health's initiative to replace the EPA's Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule with its own is delayed once again. In response to the Trump Administration's efforts to reduce federal regulatory burdens, Minnesota elected to take responsibility from the EPA for overseeing the RRP rule. The rule is meant to protect the public and contractors from the serious health hazards caused by disturbing lead paint when renovating pre-1978 buildings. 

Lack of Safety Committee Invites "Serious" OSHA Citation, higher Workers' Comp Rates For Minnesota Contractors

By law, any Minnesota company with at least 25 employees must have a joint labor-management safety and health committee that works to reduce workplace injuries and promote a safe work environment. Since 1995, the rule also has applied to smaller companies with lost-workday incidents that put them in the top 25 percent of Workers' Compensation insurance premium rates. 

The challenges of navigating MN Workforce Participation Goals

For large projects with significant public funding, it is reasonable for local officials and residents to expect tax dollars to be reinvested back into the community. Often, that payback comes in the form of special hiring requirements.

Since 1985, the State of Minnesota has had special hiring requirements for state-funded projects. But when bidding on billion-dollar construction projects, any special hiring requirements in place can be a hurdle for contractors considering entering a bid.

Gschwind Urges Minnesota Contractors to Be Heard on Pending Lead (Paint) Regs

At last night's dinner meeting, NARI members heard Bob Zak, a professional trainer with Zota Professional Training, describe Minnesota Department of Health's proposed state-run rule to replace the EPA RRP rule regulating the remodeling of pre-1978 homes. The state will enforce lead-safe compliance with a local rule administered by MDH. We also heard from Jason Myrlie, NARI past president, call for volunteers for NARI's new legislative affairs committee.

10 New Year's Resolutions to Grow Your Business in 2018

Many people make personal New Year's Resolutions. Some even keep them (no judgment). This year, consider making some resolutions for your business. Here are 10 suggestions, each designed to propel business growth in 2018. To succeed, business owners must avoid pitfalls that can cause costly setbacks while building new capabilities each year. I draw on my law degree to keep clients from falling. But my MBA education and construction equipment business ownership experience are what inform my business growth insights. I can't promise that these ideas will help you drop a few pounds, but they will improve your business health. Here's to a happy and prosperous 2018. Call me anytime at 651-484-4412. -- Bill Gschwind
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