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B.E. OKs $44,900 mowing bid

By Staff | Apr 13, 2009

When the grass finally turns green and starts to grow in Blue Earth this spring, one company is going to have a big job ahead of them.

For the first time ever, the City of Blue Earth is going to hire out the mowing of the property it owns.

The City Council voted last Monday night to award the mowing contract to Schrader Enterprises of Wells. Their bid of $44,900 was half of the highest bid, $89,499 from J and J Lawn Service.

One other bid was received, which was for $54,779 from Customized Landscaping.

The city has done its own mowing of property for years, owning their own equipment and hiring personnel to do the work.

The council had requested the bids to see if the mowing could be contracted out at a lesser expense than doing it themselves.

City Administrator Kathy Bailey indicated that the savings to the city appear to be substantial, calling it at least a $10,000 savings.

The contract for mowing covers a total of 116.5 acres of land the city owns. Among the parcels are ball fields, parks, Leland Parkway, and grass areas around structures such as sewage lift stations.

“It is a substantial amount of property,” Bailey says. “There are 22 different listings on the request for quotes.”

In addition, Schrader Enterprises will mow half-lots in the city at a charge of $40 per hour. Bailey says this is property privately owned which doesn’t get mowed. The city mows it and charges the cost to the owner.

“This is a pass-through expense and doesn’t actually cost the city,” she says.

Schrader Enterprises also does the mowing of city property in Winnebago.

In other business, the council voted to renew a liquor license for Parrott Bay Bar in Blue Earth, but not without a lot of discussion.

Councilman Dick Maher wanted contingencies placed on the license, in view of problems related to the bar. He referred to noise and litter complaints, as well as some legal issues.

“We can’t just approve it and assume all of these complaints are going to go away,” he says.

Councilman Rick Scholtes felt if one bar was going to be looked at, all of them should be, in order to keep things fair and equal.

Parrott Bay had not requested a liquor license renewal at the time the others were granted earlier this year. Their current license is due to expire April 15.

In the end, the council unanimously voted to renew the license, but also to request the owner and Police Chief Dean Vereide to attend the next council meeting to discuss the issues involved with the complaints.

“We need to address these concerns,” Maher says.