A three year contract for mowing of 34 separate sites of city property for $89,928 a year by was approved by the Hastings City Council by a 7-1 vote with Councilman Don Smith absent.
The “no” vote came from Councilman Don Bowers after he questioned Department of Public Services Director Lee Hays’ recommendation to give the work to B&L when PMT Preservation of Hastings bid $79,680.
Hays said he knows B&L Outdoor Services has the manpower and equipment to do the large effort, the company has done quality work for the city in the past and he was not sure that PMT Preservation had the manpower or equipment to do the mowing of the amount of city property the contract calls for. City Manager Jeff Mansfield said in the past, problems have come up when companies bid on jobs that they were not equipped to complete. “Sometimes, they just don’t realize the scope of the work,” he said.
In public comment, Kelly Brown, owner of PMT Preservation, told the council its bidding process was flawed, adding that neither he or any other official of his company was given the chance to talk to Hays to make their case. He said Hays did not check his references and did not engage him in any conversation.
“With $30,000 (difference) over three years, we should have been able to make a pitch to the person who takes bids,” he said. “We didn’t got a fair shake.”
Also, after a brief closed session, the council voted to ratify contracts with the Fire Department’s Association and also DPS members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The new three year pact calls for raises of one percent each of the first two years, a two percent increase in the third year and some language clarification. //
The council also approved an amendment to the City of Hastings Barry County Airport budget to allow a donation to pay for a $767,000 extension of a runway. The move shifted figures around, but, “is essentially a wash,” Mansfield said. The document will now go to the Barry County Commission for its approval.