Many cash-strapped communities around the country have turned to private outsourcing to reduce municipal landscape maintenance costs. The most recent example comes from Maine. The Westbrook City Council voted for preliminary approval of contracts with two local landscape contractor companies to provide landscape and mowing services to the city.
The Westbrook City Council approved a 3-year contract to Nature’s Design Landscaping of Westbrook to mow at Westbrook High School, and a separate 3-year contract to Knight Property Services. The council’s approval will become final after a second vote is held at a future meeting.
According to the city administrator, allowing outside companies to bid to mow city property both saves money and allows the Public Services Department to concentrate on other projects.
''This is a continuation of our move to outsource mowing and landscaping services, and the competitiveness of the private market for these services is underscored by the 13 (companies) that submitted bids,'' said Bryant. ''This service can be delivered much more cost-effectively by private contractors, and enables the Public Services Department to continue to meet the service needs of the city with fewer personnel.''
The contract with Knight Property Services is for $12,000 per year for the next three years. The Westbrook High School contract with Nature’s Design is for $9,400 for the first year, with the cost increasing to $9,800 per year for the final two years of the contract.