R.I. rules on contractors - Soundings Online

R.I. rules on contractors

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Independent marine contractors who were nearly barred from doing business at Rhode Island’s largest marina say they have been cleared by the state to continue to service their customers.

Independent marine contractors who were nearly barred from doing business at Rhode Island’s largest marina say they have been cleared by the state to continue to service their customers.

The state attorney general’s office has upheld a policy issued in 1987 by its antitrust unit, according to local news reports. The directive says it is illegal for marina operations in Rhode Island to “prohibit independent contractors from working at slips, moorings or outside storage areas, which does not involve risk to the health or safety of nearby boats or persons within the marina.” Marinas also cannot “require a person renting either slip, mooring or outside storage space to have repair work performed by the marina’s mechanics.”

The issue came to the forefront in June when Bassett Boats posted a regulation prohibiting boat owners at Greenwich Bay Marinas from using outside services.

Bassett, based in Springfield, Mass., leases space at Greenwich Bay and has a contract to provide exclusive services to boat owners using the facilities. Greenwich Bay Marinas has more than 1,100 slips at its three facilities.

The owners of Nicholson Marine Services and Just Service, independent repair companies in Rhode Island, complained to the state attorney general’s office. Nicholson co-owner Lauren Nicholson say her company relied heavily on business from boat owners docked at Greenwich Bay Marinas, and would have lost 80 percent of its customers.