Pulaski County is seeking bids for lawn care services. For the past year, the county has contracted mowing at certain county properties out to TK Lawn Services. Maintenance Director Jeff Johnston told the county commissioners last week that the company is willing to continue for another year at the same price.
However, Commissioner Mike McClure felt that while TK did a good job, it would be fairer to advertise the contract again, to give other companies a chance. “We had one unhappy person last year because they didn’t get their bid in on time,” McClure said. “That’s the only reason I brought it up. If it wouldn’t have been for that and he being a local mower here in town, I’d say go ahead.”
In the end, the commissioners directed Johnston to advertise a two-year contract, so they wouldn’t have to revisit the matter next year.
Meanwhile, Johnston disputed the idea that outsourcing lawn care was more expensive than having county employees do it. “The numbers actually speak for themselves,” he said. “Because we were able to contract this out, we were able to save approximately $40,000 in our first year, and we’re able to save $28,000 right off the top every year that we contract out with them because I didn’t have to replace an employee that left the county.”
The Maintenance Department has also hired an outside company to handle snow removal at certain county facilities. Johnston said he doesn’t have a good cost comparison for that yet, since there hasn’t been a full snow season since the contract was put in place. He suggested holding off on discussing the snow removal contract until the spring.