Pandemic creating backlog of license applications for Nassau businesses and contractors
The pandemic has created a huge backlog of license applications for businesses and contractors in Nassau County.
Some say they have been waiting a year or more for licenses they applied and paid for, but still have not received.
A licensed contractor for more than a decade, Tony Chan, of Smithtown, has lost patience with the Nassau County office of Consumer Affairs.
He says he's waited 17 months to get his contractor's license in Nassau County and paid his $700 fee. But in that time he says all he gets is the run-around and bureaucratic red tape from the department. Now he says he's losing money hand over fist.
"I have four jobs that were inquired. Unfortunately, now it had to be turned down and that is costing me roughly about $450-500,000," Chan says.
Chan complained to county legislators who say there are nearly 800 new contractor applications and nearly 5,000 renewals at Consumer Affairs that have taken months to complete - a number that the county disputes.
"Now the idea that it's taking them up to a year for a simple renewal application process to receive a new permit is simply unacceptable," says county Legislator Steven Rhoads.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran says much of the license delays at Consumer Affairs are due to COVID-19 workplace slowdowns. But she says any delays are unacceptable and promises things are going to be changing.
"We have a plan, we have a team, we're bringing in personnel from other departments to help the team at the office of Consumer Affairs to get through this backlog and I have directed them to get through this in a matter of weeks," Curran says.
Rhoads, however, says he's not holding his breath.
"If the administration thinks that they can wrap this up in a couple of weeks, I am somewhat skeptical," Roads says. "You are talking about a tremendous backlog, but my hope is that she is able to do that."
Meantime, Chan says he'll continue to wait with the hope that he will get his license sooner than later.
"I don't care what kind of excuse they can throw at me. I'm just so frustrated," he says.
Republican legislators say they would like to increase the number of staff members at the Nassau County Department of Consumer Affairs and plan to discuss the possibility at an upcoming hearing.