Drainage Contractor

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LICA’s View: New year, new opportunities

An evolving team means seeking new opportunities to collaborate.

May 31, 2017  By Bob Clark II

I speak for everyone at the Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA) when I wish the industry a happy and successful end to their spring work season. As a drainage contractor myself for nearly 30 years, I know all too well that spring can be a challenging time for anyone in the construction field.
You’ve been waiting all winter for the weather to break just long enough to start consistently delivering projects, yet you find yourself and your team constantly battling the rain. Keeping your people safe when it is wet and keeping your customers happy when it’s difficult to control your schedule requires constant focus and attention. If there are any readers who are not members of LICA or the Land Improvement Contractors of Ontario (LICO), please reach out. Our organizations are great for networking with others who face common challenges, and for connecting with industry experts on topics ranging from safety to environmental research to business management.

Over the winter, LICA held its national winter meeting in Las Vegas in the days leading up to the largest construction expo in the world: CONEXPO 2017. In addition to hosting our winter meeting, we also had a booth at the convention. This was a great opportunity for us to bring in new members from across the land improvement industry. The booth was in an excellent location and featured a new look. We had a large space with massive posters, professional lighting, furniture and greeters to help our contractor members cope with all the interest from passersby. The booth was a strong symbol of our world-class benefits and membership.

Although a lot has happened since the last issue of Drainage Contractor was published late last fall, some things remain constant. LICA continues to collaborate with like-minded associations, organizations, and universities to promote and develop the next generation of best management practices in agriculture and construction.

With a new administration in Washington, DC, comes new priorities and policies. In my opinion, the push for redefining waters of the United States (WOTUS) in relation to the Clean Water Act seems to be waning for now.  


As water quality and scarcity concerns grow across the planet, the challenges and opportunities for improvements on both issues continue to drive our collaboration and outreach efforts. Whether it’s advances in new technology or the continuing evolution of new products and services, the growing need for expanded collaboration is always a primary driver for LICA’s focus on moving forward.

One of LICA’s newest efforts is a collaboration of many parties. It’s called the Residential Septic Protection Plan and was officially rolled out on April 1. It can be used on new or existing septic systems. The program, in a nutshell, is a win-win-win. It’s a win for the homeowner who, for a minimal annual fee, gets on-site septic services and/or repairs, with coverage up to $10,000. It’s also a win for local LICA contractors who are exclusively authorized to make repairs on the warrantied systems. Finally, it’s a win for LICA’s local state chapters, which should anticipate new membership due to interest in participating in the program.

LICA’s leadership team is always evolving and is full of top-notch contractor-leaders from across the United States. Our future looks as bright as ever, and I think there are more opportunities to expand our network. I think our LICO friends in Canada would be a great fit. Both associations have similar memberships and we often share the same concerns and interests and deal with many of the same issues.

Maybe we can collaborate more in the future?

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