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Mount Pleasant to Contract for Lawn Mowing of Parks

Savings expected for village due to fewer seasonal employees and less equipment to be purchased.

Monday night, the Mount Pleasant Village Board approved awarding a $23,256, one-year contract with Lakeshore Lawn Service for general turf mowing and trimming in the village in 2013.

The company was the lowest, responsible  bidder of five for the project, according to trustees. The highest bid was $44,300. The contract includes mowing and trimming in the village parks and public areas but does not include mowing the village’s future ball fields and other miscellaneous mowing of the highway department.

Lakeshore is currently the lawn contractor for the Civic Campus, according to Brennan Kane, Deputy Director of Planning and Development.

Village staff recommended approving the contract because of the potential savings to the village due to fewer seasonal employees and less equipment to be purchased.

The contracting of a private vendor does not eliminate the need for seasonal employees; however, the village estimates that they would only need two or three seasonal employees as opposed to the five currently budgeted for 2013.

In the 2013 budget, the village allotted $43,212 for five part-time employees, including health insurance. With the change, the village will be saving about $20,000 in the general operating budget but will need to keep at least two employees, costing about $14,000, Kane said.

The village expects more significant savings in capital outlays needed to maintain the parks. The Parks Department is facing several significant capital purchases – including a zero-turn mower, two other mowers, a dump truck and a heavy-duty pick-up truck – that could be deferred with the hiring of a private contractor. The zero-turn mower was budgeted to cost the village $12,000 in 2013 and now won’t be needed. The other capital expenses were estimated by the vilalge to cost a total of $97,000.

Village Board Trustee Sonny Havn voted against approving the contract, saying he wanted more definite numbers from village staff about the potential savings.

Village Board Trustee Gary Feest encouraged village staff to track the numbers so they can determine if they want to go forward in 2014.

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