$84,000 To Purchse 5 Lawn Mowers to Test Feasibility of In-House Seasonal Landscape Program

From: Newton White [mailto:NWhite0@cfl.rr.com] 

Sent: Friday, March 21, 2014 9:42 AM
To: Kisela, Greg; City Council
Subject: Mowing and mowers

Mr. Kisela,
On the next meeting agenda their are items rejecting the mowing bids an to authorize purchase of additional mowers.
The use of temporary labor is a prudent move as the work is seasonal, and not a long term career position.
I am concerned with the purchase of the additional 5 mowers at about $84,000.  Should after the evaluation the city determine to not do the work in house will the equipment be surplus?  They are asked for as additional to the current fleet, and if not needed, would be surplus in 6 months when we would loose in the sale. Is their a better outlook on this? Is their a lease rent option?
I do want to see a real life experience in terms of performance and cost for the city to do its work in house. I feel that their should be a way for our governments to work efficiently doing maintenance work such as this. When it is contracted out we must consider the city is paying the cost of the work performed, a profit for the contractor, the cities oversite and administration of the contract, and bidding process.
Newton White


I understand your concern. Two of the five mowers are programmed to be purchased in the FY 2015 fleet plan so we would be buying them early.    The other three would be additional mowers. We would not surplus these additional newer  mowers at the end of six months as we have much older mowers for surplus.  We have looked for vendors who would rent us these mowers but haven’t identified any at this point.    If you know of any vendor please advise.    Long term I would prefer not to perform this work in-house as I believe the  private sector should be able to do it more efficiently than we do.
Greg Kisela
City Manager


3 thoughts on “$84,000 To Purchse 5 Lawn Mowers to Test Feasibility of In-House Seasonal Landscape Program

  • March 23, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Hey Newton:
    26 lawn mowers were mandated for this project via the recent (2) failed public bids. Now somehow only 5 mowers will be required by City staff to complete the same tasks? Were those original bid requirements set up to fail and/or inflate the bid? . And why?
    The Council should consider having the Manager re-advertise for this Seasonal Landscape Program, and have the Public Works Department submit a separate in-house bid to the Council in competition to those Landscape Contractors bids.
    The Public Works Department bid for the project should include all in-house cost for the Seasonal Landscape Program (Salaries; Benefits; Equipment & Supplies).. Supervision cost of the project is required either way and thus would be excluded.
    A little competition could result in a more efficient Public Works Department, or perhaps the use of sharper pencils on the bids by the landscape contractors.

  • March 23, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    I strongly disagree with Mr. Kisela. City Council keeps chanting we want the City to look like it used to 10 years ago. 10 years ago Port Orange was undoubtedly the most beautiful City in Volusia County. Mr. Pike ran the Public Works Department and most work was done in house and outside contractors were regulated and treated with respect. We were the most beautiful City for many years.
    The old recipe worked great. It is the new team of dysfunctional managers that landed us here. If we contract everything out there won’t be much need for managers. Take a look back when the medians were meticulous and the City buildings were clean and attractive. Run a little time line and it is very clear to see when our level of services deteriorated.

  • March 24, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Thank you, I understand that the city would always keep the best equipment and surplus the “more used” and that if no rental lease is available…
    On the bright side serendipity has brought the opportunity for the city to test and gather knowledge on the mowing and costs of in-house vs outsource. Let’s not miss this opportunity to improve our bid specifications and know what the city can and cannot do efficiently.
    In the information I collected form Palm Coast about their medians, they were proud of having saved a substantial amount by doing the work in house vs contractor. When I toured the county departments they had identified that some tasks were better done in house while other facets were best contracted both in quality and cost.
    Please make the best of this opportunity, it may well lead to both better results and cost savings.
    Newton White


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.