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Sarasota News Leader June 21, 2013 Hines suggested that Anderson keep track of the costs the county is absorbing for its mowing crews' work — including fuel expenses — so the totals could be compared to bids from firms in the future. That should give staff a better idea, Hines said, about whether a vendor could handle the work for the amount of money it proposed being paid. Page 33 "We would have the option to do that in any zone," Anderson added. "Why is it different?" Commissioner Christine Robinson asked of the language in the recommended contract for JLC. "Because it's $200,000 more," Patterson interjected, referring to JLC's bid. "It's possible that we're paying too little," Pat- Anderson pointed out, for example, that the terson noted. Jackson bid was $60 per acre per cycle. "It is prudent for us to investigate [less expensive In the past, Anderson responded, he underoptions]," he added. JLC's bid of $120 an acre stood the county had paid about $90 per acre. "is certainly above our budget." The average expense with the most recent bids, he noted, is about $85 per acre. While JLC representatives seemed willing to take on the contract for 10 months with the A FURTHER KINK potential of not being able to renew it, AnThen Barbetta pointed to another problem: derson conceded, "They were not particularly Anderson's recommendation to hire JLC pleased with that possibility." Hauling for the remaining 10 months of the Anderson then pointed out that the commiscontract year included a stipulation that JLC sion could direct staff not to seek new bids would have to bid again for the work at the for the North Urban Zone before the contract end of that period if it wished to keep the con- expired as long as JLC was performing the tract. However, Barbetta noted, the contracts work well. awarded to the other firms in April had given "Frankly, if they're doing a crackerjack job, I them two automatic one-year extensions. might not [want to solicit new bids] at the end "These guys are going to come in and bail us of 10 months to rock the boat," Patterson said. out for 10 months,' Barbetta said of JLC, "and we're telling them even though the previous She made a motion to award the bid to JLC bidder had two more years, 'We're not going Hauling with the same option for two years of automatic renewal as the other bidders reto give you two more years.'" ceived in April. Anderson replied that the County Commission would have the option of renewing the con- Barbetta seconded the motion. "I know we tract for each of the two succeeding years. have to look for the lowest price," he said, However, he said, the language about the re- "but it hasn't worked out too well in this zone. bidding was included to enable staff to deter- Each time we find it, we find somebody who can't perform." % mine whether another firm would bid less.

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