Bids for seasonal mowing in Webster Parish have been opened.
On Thursday, Dec. 17, by 2:30 p.m., the Webster Parish Police Jury received three bids to take care of the parish’s mowing needs. They are:
- BLC Farms, bidding $120 per mile
- A.L.K. of Arkansas LLC, bidding $300 per mile
- Jackson Repair LLC, bidding $124.19 per mile.
Officials with the police jury office say these bids have not been verified by Parish Attorney Patrick Jackson to make sure they meet requirements set forth by the jury and by law.
Once Jackson and Public Works Director Teddy Holloway look over the bids, a recommendation will be put before the jury in January for approval.
Officials say the current contractor, Tom Bruton, did not place a bid. For the 2015 year, the police jury paid $150 per mile.
In November, District 3 Juror Daniel Thomas asked his fellow jurors to consider undertaking the mowing themselves.
“What I want is for the jurors to make an educated decision at the time that the mowing contract (comes due),” Thomas said at the time.
In a November committee meeting, Thomas passed around a handout showing figures of what it will cost the police jury to undertake the mowing, totaling roughly $360,000. This figure includes the cost of new tractors with side cutters, related equipment, fuel costs and temporary employees to mow for the 17-week mowing season.
Jurors brought up several factors on both sides of the issue, such as liability issues as well as the cost of employing temporary workers. The jury agreed to take bids for the 2016 mowing season and discuss the pros and cons of each.
The police jury has been outsourcing its mowing for eight years.