(Click “Like” to become a fan of the Palm Coast Observer.)
In hopes of saving money, Palm Coast officials agreed Tuesday to bring a majority of the city’s lawn maintenance work in-house.
Currently, the city has a contract agreement with Fox Landscaping Inc., which was agreed to about five years ago.
Earlier this year, in February, the City Council via a 4-1 vote extended its contract with Fox Landscaping for the first of two one-year extensions. City Councilman Bill McGuire was the lone no vote, stating at the time that he thought the city could do the work cheaper by bringing the work in-house.
Streets Superintendent Tony Capela presented another plan to the City Council this week. According to Capela’s presentation, the city would hire seven new employees.
Annual labor, equipment and landscaping costs would be about $408,430, plus an additional $150,000 for initial equipment investment, totaling $558,430 for the first year.
Fox’s contact will expire in May, according to the city. Then, the money to begin the work in-house would be represented in next fiscal year’s budget.
According to Capela’s presentation, the total annual labor cost would be $324,845.
Equipment would need to be purchased, too, such as four pickups, three mower trailers, four mowers and other miscellaneous items totaling about $83,585 per year.
The money for the pickup trucks and the trailers will come from cash from the city’s fleet fund, City Manager Jim Landon said.
Mayor Jon Netts said hiring another crew could be beneficial to the city in times of natural disasters, emergencies and special events.
“Even if it was a breakeven, you’re ahead of the game because you have seven more employees that you can redeploy during down time and times of emergency,” Netts said.
City Councilman Jason DeLorenzo said earlier this year that the prices Capela presented were consistent with Fox’s contract. In a follow-up interview Wednesday, DeLorenzo stood by what he said earlier this year.
“If it’s cost-effective to bring it in, then I don’t really have a problem with it,” DeLorenzo said. “But without going out for bid, I don’t know that we are going to realize those savings because it’s a different time then when that contract was signed — which is four years old.”
DeLorenzo didn’t have much support in taking the contract out to bid, though, and the city will take over the landscaping work.
Currently 2 Responses
- I think these number can't be right... Think about it... A truck that can pull a trailer and safely carry people would cost how much? Now multiply by 4. A trailer that can safely carry a mower and all the equipment necessary for a days labor would cost how much? Now multiply that by 4 and ad to your original total. A mower, trimmers, tools, fuel, cones, safety equipment, edgers and miscellaneous would cost how much? Now... well you get the picture.
My numbers are very conservative and here they are:
Total: $32,000 times 4? $128,000
(And if the city follows previous practice they will not buy what they need, they will buy a F250 Crew Cab that will cost $40k instead of $25k... which would make that number $188,000... That would make the startup costs more than double the original estimate.)
And why is it we can't know what the city is currently paying to the landscaper?
- If it can save money for the city than that's what they should do. We all have had to make changes in our lifestyles. My husband hasn't had a raise in 3 yrs, not even a cost of living.
25 Pig Roast & Membership Drive
2:00 pm - 6:00 am
25 Jam Session in the Park
25 NAACP Meeting
6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Cuddle up: Moose lodges donate dolls for children
This spring, Palm Coast Moose Lodge 2577 donated a box of 12 Tommy Moose dolls to bring comfort to children in times of stress, uncertainty or anxiety.
High School students donate to breast cancer patients
The Flagler Palm Coast High School Future Business Leaders of America class donated $580 to Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation’s breast cancer fund, which provides screening mammograms, diagnostic studies and education to local qualified women who are uninsured and seeking assistance.
Florida Hospital Flagler gives $2,000 in scholarships
Florida Hospital Flagler's medical staff donated $2,000 in scholarships to four graduating high school students.