Privatization of Municipal Lawn Maintenance

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AdamCByrd, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. AdamCByrd

    AdamCByrd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52


    My name is Adam and I am about to make the transition from being a full-time military officer to being a civilian. My ultimate goal is to be self-employed -- ya'll already know about all the reasons why people do that.

    My question is this: have any of you ever successfully initiated the privatization of any of the public services of a small town? Have any of you ever convinced a small city government that you can perform some of their jobs (mowing public properties, tree-trimming, limb/leaf removal, etc.) better and cheaper at the same time?

    I've read a that a lot of towns / cities are going that way for a dozen reasons.

    I'd sure like to talk to anyone that has.

    Thanks for your time!

    Adam B.
    Ft Polk, Lousiana
  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    They do that here for some things in Phoenix. So far not grounds care. Scottsdale has done it for right of ways and then took it back over again. Big city government is slow to change anything from the status quo that I have seen. They usually can get better deals on equipment and fuel so it would be hard to compete against them. You might have better luck with a smaller town because it would put less people out of work.
  3. DKinWA

    DKinWA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    We explored this concept relative to some other types of municipal work and found the results varied significantly. In some situations, it's worked very well and created substantial savings. Unfortunately, there were also many examples of it working against the municipality. Ultimately, the're so many variables it's difficult to predict the results. For instance, many small cities have employees that perform multiple tasks that vary by season and time of year. In some cases, it may be cheaper to have one person plow snow in the winter and mowing/tree trimming in the summer and doing other needed tasks in between. Small municipalities such as ours even hire work study students to assist with grounds keeping which is at little or no cost to our city. Obviously, if you're trying to compete with work study help, you'd have to work really cheap to make it worth their time.

    BTW, don't forget municipalities are required to bid work out and can't just hire anyone. You may spend a lot of time convincing them to privatize the work only to find someone submits a lower bid and you've invested a lot of time for nothing. Good luck.
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Budget-wise for the town I would think would be #1...sure limits the surprises.

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