Second time a charm for county in lawn maintenance re-bidding

GEORGETOWN – This time, the second time was a charm.

Mowing and property maintenance at the Delaware Coastal Airport and the county’s industrial and business parks will cost the county much less than previously thought following a successful re-bidding process.

Sussex County Engineer Hans Medlarz announced the bidding results at the April 24 county council meeting.

Hans Medlarz

“Pleased to say the price went down. We had a more competitive bidding environment. And we have a good result,” said Mr. Medlarz.

With unanimous approval, council approved the county engineering department’s recommendation to award two base bids to Cutting Edge Lawn Care Services, Inc., for slightly more than $350,000 over the five-year contract. A third base bid of $39,500 was awarded to Layaou Landscaping, also for five years.

County council in March had rejected results of an initial bidding process, which drew just one bid.

With greater interest the second time around, nine contractors attended the pre-bid meeting and ultimately proposals from seven bidders were opened on April 12, Mr. Medlarz said.

“It worked again for us to re-advertise,” said Mr. Medlarz. “I would like to warn you, it does not always work to get a better, more competitive price. But in this case, it did.”

“I think the bidders had a better understanding what was required. They had a better chance to evaluate, especially the airport mowing, and really give us a much more competitive price,” said Mr. Medlarz.

Proposals are for a one-year site maintenance agreement with the option to renew annually based on satisfactory performance for up to five years for the Delaware Coastal Airport, Industrial Park and Business Park.

“The contract is to be renewed on an annual basis based on performance. So, the engineering department will evaluate. If the performance is adequate, we will extend the contract. If not, we will re-advertise and come back to you,” said Mr. Medlarz. “The only reason we are asking for a five-year award is so we don’t have to come back for reauthorization. We use it for budgetary purposes.”

Partial funding for the contract has been approved in the fiscal year 2019 budget. Funding for subsequent years will be budgeted accordingly.

“How much money did we save on this deal?” asked county councilman Samuel Wilson Jr.

“We saved a couple hundred thousand dollars over a five-year contract,” said Mr. Medlarz.

“That’s pretty good savings,” replied Mr. Wilson.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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