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oldturf
04-27-2007, 05:25 PM
This is the first year of a four year contract with the city to mow 400 acres
of parks amounting supposedly to $600,000.00 over the four year term.
The city is having buget problems and is shorting our mowing to make up for
it. The Parks dept. knows that it is costing more for them to mow than it
does to have the contractors to do it, but the money comes out of a
different budget. This all boils down to me getting shorted by $20,000.00
so far after spending over $100,000.00 in new equipment. It is legal for them
to do so in the contract but they have not done this in previous years so maybe it won't happen again. They say that I will still get $130,000.00
worth this year, unless it totally dries up, then I am dead. Just blowing off steam and cussing the City. Do other cities operate their mowing contracts
in this manner? Hope to start mowing in earnest next week. Wish me luck!

grandview (2006)
04-27-2007, 05:40 PM
Around here everything is done by the city workers.

jsf343
04-28-2007, 06:55 PM
Around here everything is done by the city workers.

now that is an oxymoron, city WORKERS? :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Midwest Lawn Services
04-28-2007, 08:51 PM
Maybe find a good lawyer?

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
04-28-2007, 09:17 PM
We are bidding on a large property for the county right now. Its actually the 2nd time bidding for it since the guy in charge of it told everyone different info so the first bids were all messed up but you can read that in another thread I've done called "Help on Couty Bid". If it's in the contract that sucks for you since your pretty much stuck. But try to look on the bright side, they didn't cancel your contract after you purchased the equipment, be thankful for that.

oldturf
04-28-2007, 10:20 PM
If they cancel on me I am dead. I truly don't think that they will do that
but you never know with city contracts. It is a chance that you take. I do have enough other contracts that I can probably make it but I don't want to try. I keep making these horrendous payments and hanging on. I will endeavor
to persevere.

qualitylawnmanagement
04-29-2007, 10:08 PM
Are city does the same thing here. I plan to go get one next year. My buddy does the same thing also. His contract also contains bored ups, clean ups, and mowing.

LwnmwrMan22
05-01-2007, 10:57 PM
If they cancel on me I am dead. I truly don't think that they will do that
but you never know with city contracts. It is a chance that you take. I do have enough other contracts that I can probably make it but I don't want to try. I keep making these horrendous payments and hanging on. I will endeavor
to persevere.

You're getting hosed, plain and simple.

Either that, or your situation isn't what you say it is.

First, they should have never dictated that you have a certain piece of equipment, rather that you have the equipment to handle the job.

That Toro 455 I had, I bet that $14k I was looking to get out of it, that price is probably looking pretty good???

If it would have been me, as soon as the city required that I have a certain piece of equipment, I would have said no thanks, because now you're in the situation that you're in now.

The school district I mow and township I mow, they are not concerned as to what equipment is being run, as long as the grass is being mowed.

The city here has now contacted me about mowing next year, which I'll be picking up the contract.

Personally, I'll put the ball in both courts. You got yourself into a situation, where if the money wasn't there, you're out, possibly out of business. I'll blame the city, because how can a city be run and not realize that the money isn't there??

If it were me, I'd be getting a fairly high buck attorney, because you know the city has one. And then hope there's no loophole in that contract that you didn't see when you signed.

oldturf
05-02-2007, 12:17 AM
Yes LWNMWRMAN

I would have preferred to spend less money and I didn't have to bid on the
city jobs, but with their past history it seamed worthwhile. As far as them having no right to dictate the machine requirement, they can dictate what
they want because they can get all the quotes that they want to come in.
These contracts are for four and five years and are potentially very profitable
if all goes well. The contracts are worded very much in the cities favor and it is true that I did not have to get involved. But I chase the supposedly big
bucks and that means taking some chances and I accept that. I just need to b*&ch about it some when things go wrong. Human nature I guess. But I have
the big 580D now and it is a real machine, so I guess I will just bite the bullet and hang in there. I finally got the first purchase order to start this next monday so let the $$$$ roll. I still want a 4100 to go along with this 580D.
I just like big toys.

turf hokie
05-02-2007, 06:48 AM
Sometimes a municipality will specify certain pieces of equipment because they have a specific contractor in mind. It is their way of bidding it publicly but knowing who will more than likely get the contract.

Sounds like you may not have been who they had in mind originally and someone may be putting up a stink and they are playing games. Who knows.
Good luck.

800wildcat
05-23-2007, 01:35 PM
Better than my city. They don't even know (or at least claim not to) how many hours they spend mowing or their cost. So I can tell them I'll do it cheaper but they have no way to know how much or if I'm just feeding them a line. And their tax money comes in regardless so they're not too motivated to make a change.

corey77
05-26-2007, 05:57 PM
I have been invited to bid on 5 schools in my home town the jantiors do it now thay mow and trim when thay can I went and walked the schools the grass is about 8 inches high around the building and light polls I have been them mowing the schools thay have a old bolens garden tractos from the 1980s

AintNoFun
05-26-2007, 09:26 PM
this is very true and one of best ways townships get to play favorites.. i know someone in heavy truck sales. from what he tells me the townships will spec out the trucks with only options that one company could possibly have, so there goes the rest of the bidders right off the bat.. so if the mack dealer is kicking up a lot of money to the political parties and they have a 20k front axle and everyone is 17 or 18k the bids get written that the truck must have a 20k axle..


Sometimes a municipality will specify certain pieces of equipment because they have a specific contractor in mind. It is their way of bidding it publicly but knowing who will more than likely get the contract.

Sounds like you may not have been who they had in mind originally and someone may be putting up a stink and they are playing games. Who knows.
Good luck.

Mowingman
05-26-2007, 10:45 PM
I have mowed under various contracts for our city, for about 11 years. They have wording in the contracts that lets them change the mowing schedule pretty much whenever they want. They can even end the contract early and rebid it. We just take a chance that they leave it alone. The last 2 years, due to a drought, the mowing has been cut nearly in half. This year we should be ok, as we are getting rain. I have found that it all kind of equals out if you stick with it long enough. There is usually extra work thrown in sometime that helps make up for the shortage in other years.
Also, you never have to go looking for your money. The city always pays what it owes. That really means a lot to me. I hate trying to collect from deadbeat property owners.
All in all, I really like doing the city contracts.

oldturf
05-27-2007, 10:31 PM
Well I am finally getting some money from the city, I hope. I just submitted a little over $8,000 in invoices that they are supposed to pay in two days with
credit card. The only problem has been that they held us off on mowing for so long that the parks are so overgrown,(18 inchs and more) that it is terrable
mowing. I tried to get them to let me brush hog them down to about 4 inch just to get them knocked down, and pay me for that, then I would go back and mow to inspection and get paid again. This would have allowed me to just about break even in these horrible conditions, but no, they required mowing to spec on the first mowing and not cutting any slack. It has been a job but I am done with the first round, so hopefully this next go round will be better. I will admit that the city did at least send their crews in a knock down 7of the thirty parks to help me catch up, so I guess they are not all bad. I should now start invoicing about $4,700 a week from now on through the season and may heal some wounds unless we get a drought and have to quit mowing again. This is as bad as farming! Live and learn.









4

Accu-cut Lawn Care
06-24-2007, 01:53 PM
[QUOTE=oldturf;1843892]Well I am finally getting some money from the city, I hope. I just submitted a little over $8,000 in invoices that they are supposed to pay in two days with
credit card. The only problem has been that they held us off on mowing for so long that the parks are so overgrown,(18 inchs and more) that it is terrable
mowing. I tried to get them to let me brush hog them down to about 4 inch just to get them knocked down, and pay me for that, then I would go back and mow to inspection and get paid again. This would have allowed me to just about break even in these horrible conditions, but no, they required mowing to spec on the first mowing and not cutting any slack. It has been a job but I am done with the first round, so hopefully this next go round will be better. I will admit that the city did at least send their crews in a knock down 7of the thirty parks to help me catch up, so I guess they are not all bad. I should now start invoicing about $4,700 a week from now on through the season and may heal some wounds unless we get a drought and have to quit mowing again. This is as bad as farming! Live and learn.














IF i were you, I'd start looking into a new line of work...or some new accounts. I don't think that you are telling the whole story here. The city is mowing the parks themselves to help you? That doesn't make any sense. I've done city and park contracts...and if city mowers were on my grass, it would have meant that I wasn't doing my job.

oldturf
07-07-2007, 12:27 PM
Try starting 3 cycles later than you are supposed to. Then start mowing with the expectation that the city was at least keeping the grass knocked down,
only to find grass 2 ft. tall. Then instead of letting us knock it down and then mow to inspection, I had to mow to inspection from the start. This all happened at the same time we are having record rainfall and can't even get in
the parks a lot of the time. We are fighting floods and city budgets but, the
city is not complaining about my work! I bend over backwards to satisfy any
customer that I have. I work for two other towns, not nearly as big as this city, and they appreciate the work we do. Around here the state and the city are way, way behind on mowing as is everyone because of all this water.
I know this will not last and am looking forward to normal weather patterns.
Our farmers could not get their wheat out of the fields, our construction workers and their companies are suffering as well as all their support business.
We will continue on and survive, but I don't need someone from another state
who has no idea what they are talking about, telling me that I am not doing my job.

humble1
02-09-2008, 09:00 PM
This is the first year of a four year contract with the city to mow 400 acres
of parks amounting supposedly to $600,000.00 over the four year term.
The city is having buget problems and is shorting our mowing to make up for
it. The Parks dept. knows that it is costing more for them to mow than it
does to have the contractors to do it, but the money comes out of a
different budget. This all boils down to me getting shorted by $20,000.00
so far after spending over $100,000.00 in new equipment. It is legal for them
to do so in the contract but they have not done this in previous years so maybe it won't happen again. They say that I will still get $130,000.00
worth this year, unless it totally dries up, then I am dead. Just blowing off steam and cussing the City. Do other cities operate their mowing contracts
in this manner? Hope to start mowing in earnest next week. Wish me luck!

Over that kind of cake, i might drop some cash on a good lawyer, if you had a contract you had a contract, could you mow half of the amount because you felt like it? Hell no they would hold your feet to the fire. GOOD LUCK

retrodog
02-09-2008, 09:12 PM
Yeah, we do some city contracts. We got some new ones this year that can be for 3 years unless the city wants to rebid. I have to be careful what equipment I get because I don't know if I'll be using it next year. Its kinda hard not to though, because 2 yards are 40 acres, 1 is 25, along with some 5 to 15 acre parks. The only way it would work for me a new rig is a 3 year payment, then I would prolly be in the same situation as you..lol