Because the contract entailed cutting grass on public property, an open bid was not required before renewing the current contract the city has.
Councilman Francis Plaisance moved that the city renew its current contract with the current grass cutter for another 36 months. Councilman Francis Touchet said he had a problem doing so.
“Not that he hasn’t done a great job with the city, but to be fair to all involved, this needs to be opened up,” said Touchet. “I’m going to have a hard time to talk to someone who says ‘Why was this not opened up, so I had an opportunity to do so.”
Touchet suggested opening the bids to the public and made an alternate motion.
“This would give every single citizen in the City of Abbeville, or outside the city, an opportunity to possibly get this,” he said. “We don’t know what is out there. And no disrespect, our guy has done a great job, but to me, it’s still the fairness of having this open up and letting everyone have a crack at it.”
“But, we’re extremely satisfied with what we have,” rebuttaled Plaisance. “It’s kind of like the ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ thing.”
Plaisance said he had no problem with opening up bids for the newly added state right of ways, but he thought it best to not do so for the current city parks.
“I think we want good service and that’s what we’ve got,” he said.
Touchet said, although he respected what Plaisance was saying, he did not feel his suggestion was fair.
“I understand. There is someone who is doing an excellent job, he said. “Let’s explore. It may very well come back to him being the guy. It’s just giving every single person in the city to have divvies at this, whether it’s parks or it’s trees.
“I want to see what’s out there for the citizens that we represent,” he continued. “I think we owe it to them.”
Mayor Mark Piazza was required to break the tie for the motion to open bids, considering the vote was tied.
“I feel the contract we have now is doing an excellent job and I hope it does so in the future,” Piazza explained. “But we do have other grass cutting contractors in Abbeville and I think we have to give a fair opportunity to them.
“I also have a problem with not bidding out something that is such a great expense to the city,” he continued. “To just hand that to an individual without giving other people a chance. It just wouldn’t be prudent to our tax payers.”
The city is taking separate bids for the state right of ways and for city parks, excluding William’s Park. The bids can be brought to City Hall and are due on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. For more information, please call City Hall at (337) 893-8550.