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City Contracts

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by oldturf, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. oldturf

    oldturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    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!
  2. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    Around here everything is done by the city workers.
  3. jsf343

    jsf343 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,786

    now that is an oxymoron, city WORKERS? :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
  4. Midwest Lawn Services

    Midwest Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    Maybe find a good lawyer?
  5. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    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.
  6. oldturf

    oldturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    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.
  7. qualitylawnmanagement

    qualitylawnmanagement LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,000

    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.
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    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.
  9. oldturf

    oldturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221


    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.
  10. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    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.

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