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Columbia County contemplating new enterprise license for pool contractors

Tuesday 17th July 2018

Messages 12 at 11

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW / WAGT) – The Wart family has been going back and forth with Columbia County and insurance for months, desperately trying to get their money back, but they encountered a couple of roadblocks.

Today, the Board of Commissioners approved the wart’s application, bringing it one step closer to getting its money back.

Lisa and Brandon Wart have been trying to get their money for a job they haven’t done since January. After a storm damaged their pool liner, they paid Michael Egan of Egan Pools to fix it. Now that their pool is waterless and full of green goosebumps, they say Egan cashed that check and never heard from him again.

“$ 3,280.” That’s how much the warts invested in a never-ending project.

They have been trying to get their money back since going through a lengthy, confusing process.

“Well, we started in January, and really, Columbia County didn’t know anything about the process or how to go through it, so we just learned it all together,” Lisa Wart led News 12 down the timeline.

Pool companies must have $ 5,000 insurance to do business in Columbia County. This reimbursement would cover the warts.

But, as News 12 learned, you aren’t the only family to fall victim to this scam.

“If the bond company had paid the $ 5,000 to this couple, it could mean anyone else who is a victim of the same pool company may not get that money back because there was no money left from the insurance company or the bond company,” explained Scott Johnson, Columbia County Administrator.

The only other option – take it to court.

“I think the most important thing to get out of this is that Columbia County is learning how to stop a person from fraudulently doing business in Columbia County. This will in the long run save anyone else who has gotten into our plight.” said Johnson.

Unfortunately, companies need to have thousands of dollars worth of insurance, but not per job. If this family gets paid, other families are likely to have to take their case to court.

The new pool entrepreneur business license won’t help the current victims, but will require companies to take an extra step and obtain a business license. This allows the Commission to revoke its ability to do business in Columbia County in future situations like this one.