School Districts question?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jeffh1988, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. jeffh1988

    jeffh1988 LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Messages: 112

    Just curious if anyone has run into this, but i went to talk to the local school district today about putting together a bid for all the schools and was told that they were not planning on bidding the schools out. A local guy has had the schools for about three or four years and i asked if he had a contract and they said no. It just seems weird to me that goverment funded schools can go without re-bidding every couple years. I could understand a two or three year contract but just keeping a guy on with no reason rubbed me the wrong way. It seems our school district is too lazy to rebid the property and could be getting shafted year after year by the same guy which equals tax money going to waste. Even if i bid and get beat i would feel better than not getting the opportunity. Sorry for going on and on but i would like to hear from anyone who may know the legalities of government bids.

  2. AJ Lawnscapes

    AJ Lawnscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    Go to a school board meeting instead of directly to the school principle/superintendant.
  3. wheels910

    wheels910 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    In the town I grew up in, it was all about who you knew and what your last name was. Also, who was on the school board. I'm sure most everybody here knows what I'm talking about.

    You show great initative seeking them out, sometimes you just won't have the right name.

    Run for the school board, then bid it out to your "friend". Could be the current setup.

    Stick to street pounding and it will pay off. My dad always said, "Whoever is more stubborn will get the better end of the deal."

  4. jeffh1988

    jeffh1988 LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Messages: 112

    Great thought oon the school board meeting. I hadn't thought of that but will be attending tommorrow night. I also know where you are coming from on the who you know thing. I live in a small town and its ALL about who you know so i haven't given up i know the superintendent very well and haven't talked to him yet.

  5. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    We wanted to quote some municipal work in our local town. We were told that they were happy with the current provider, his prices and his work. We didn't raise a stink but several years went by and council changed and decided to retrnder the work. Three companies bid the work, original company, new guy and us. We were within pennies of the original company bid, new guy was quite a bit lower but didn't have proper insurance. We ended up getting the contract and had it for 5 or so years. They never rebid it but decided to lower our prices one year then when we complained they decided to buy their own equipment and hired students to run it. They are now payng much more than what we were charging and are paying for upkeep and transportion on top.
    Sometimes the reason they chose not to rebid or retender is the costs of doing so. Newspaper ads, bid packages, insurance and equipment checks, meetings and then all the paperwork involved. Sometimes it's just cheaper to stay with what you have. The savings with a new company might not be that much especially if they don't do the job correctly or properly. Do you want your customers to ask you to rebid their job every year or two? Just a few things to think about.
  6. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I've been doing the school district that I maintain now since 2001.

    Each time I've had the contract renewed for 2 years, after the first 2 year contract.

    Each time it's up for renewal, I go in to the board meeting the winter BEFORE the last year of the contract, so this last February, I went in and asked to renew the contract for an additional 2 years (2009, 2010) including the year I was still under contract for (2008).

    The business manager said they have multiple other companies that would like to bid the property, many she would not approve of from the start, but that there were a handful that she felt could handle the contract as I do.

    I presented myself to the board, (I get multiple calls per year from board members / school staff on how great the properties look), and made my case that we were looking at buying some new equipment to help maintain the schools, but since there was only one year left on the contract, we would like to have the contract renewed with a 5% increase.

    Since the contract is under $50k, they do not have to publish it in the paper, nor do they legally have to rebid the contract. The board unanimously voted to renew, no questions asked.

    It's what you do with any property. You always try to get any property you have to renew, before it comes up for renewal. You don't let others have the opportunity to have a chance at it.

    Just like you said, there was another guy that was cheaper, but he didn't have the proper insurance. Insurance in itself isn't that expensive, so if they really wanted to go cheaper, I'm sure the other guy could have come up with the extra money for the additional insurance.

    Now you've lost an account to someone that most likely hasn't had an account this large, since he already doesn't have the required insurance, and the school is taking on someone that most likely doesn't have the experience.

    The school doesn't want to deal with someone that's not able to maintain the property, so that's why they stick with who they already have.
  7. jb mows

    jb mows LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    :laugh:I bid two small school dist this spring the first one I was high on the second one I low balled well I got a letter stating I did not get the bid. So I was kind a little suspicus because I bid well below anybody I knew personaly would . A week later i was talking to a guy who was at the school bored meeting and he told that they opened 5 bids and read them then took a vote then in the bus sevice bids they found two more lawncare bids one of them being mine it was the low bid but they did not want to re-vote so they piad a higher price and it still looks like crap. you just never know with public officals. oh yeah it was a $350 differance in the price of contract guess I know where to bid next time:drinkup:
  8. Mike Blevins

    Mike Blevins LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,392

    I was contacted about mowing the schools here. 6 Schools and school board office. The lady told me that the old guy had quit and they wanted me to put in a bid. Long story short I was way over what they "expected". These are low bid properties in my area. So many lawncare companies wanting to make a "name" for themselves mowing way to cheap. Most commercial stuff here is just bid so low I don't even try to touch it.
  9. Turf Dawg

    Turf Dawg LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,719

    Here in Texas that would not work. The schools can only give a one year contract with the option to renew for up to two more years. So after 3 years they have to open it up to the bidding process again.
  10. Lbilawncare

    Lbilawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,120

    The problem with School Districts and Park Districts is that the bids are all opened and read aloud so each time they are bid they get a lower price. There are guys in my town mowing parks for $15 an acre and less, they can have them.

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