Mowing

Line-of-sight issues like the one at an intersection that includes a county road have generated complaints this spring and summer.

With the Jackson County administration office and county commissioners receiving multiple calls a day from frustrated people asking when the right-of-way near their home or business will be mowed, the local government has taken a step to alleviate the problem.

The board is advertising for mowing contractors to work under a year-long contract with options to renew for up to two more years. The county may select multiple contractors or just one, according to the bid invitation. The workload includes more than 1,110 miles of county right-of-way.

County officials said in press release announcing the bid project that the current mowing contractor “has been inundated with problems in recent months, from the difficulty of storm debris in the right-of-way to equipment failures. Although the mowing cycle has been affected by storm-related issues that the county has never faced before, the County Commissioners are aware of the ongoing problems and concerns regarding mowing.”

The bid invitation states that “The Jackson County Board of County Commissioners is seeking qualified vendors to respond to this request for proposals to provide mowing and cleanup services for + 1100 miles of Jackson County right-of-ways. This will be a one (1) year contract with the option to renew for two (2) additional one (1) year periods. The County reserves the right to divide the required work and award multiple contracts.”

The deadline to submit sealed bids is August 29, 2019 at 2 p.m., and the bids received will be opened as soon as the deadline closes. For more information on the bid requirements, visit www.jacksoncountyfl.net/purchasing.

The bid documents include the particulars of what constitutes a cutting cycle and what would be required of the contractor in each cycle, described as a period of 25 working days.

The contractor will be required to provide routine mowing services for grassed or vegetated roadsides and other right-of-way areas with conventional high production style mowing equipment and the periodic mowing of other (difficult) areas (defined as narrow right-of-ways, behind guardrails, headwalls, driveway culverts, signs and mailbox posts) that require the use of specialized equipment, including hand labor or small machine mowing.

The county will also require any winning contractor to agree on paper that the company will make amends if it can be verified that it caused any damages with its equipment or by its actions.

The contractor will be required to promptly repair or pay the cost of repair of any damage it caused to signs, culverts, mailboxes, guardrails, fences, roads, or other improvements owned or maintained by the county or others, the bid documents state.

A cycle will be considered completed when the contractor has achieved litter pickup, mowing and weed eating on all the designated roads on the list for which the company is responsible.

The bid document also specifies that the contractor will deal with an assigned mowing project by mowing it end-to-end, rather than in piecemeal fashion.

On the initial cutting cycle, mowing is to start at either or both ends of the project and proceed continuously toward the opposite geographical end, the document states. Subsequent cycles are to follow the same pattern unless the Jackson County Road and Bridge superintendent authorizes a change.

The bidding document also demands completion of one cycle before another can begin, but does allow for some flexibility in cases where weather or other recognized circumstances make that an unreasonable requirement.

Each cutting is to be completed in its entirety prior to beginning another cycle but when weather or other recognized circumstances prevent the mowing of an area, the Road and Bridge superintendent may have the company cut these areas when possible as part of the cycle without penalty for exceeding the time allowed. Grassed areas that are normally mowed which are saturated with standing water to the point where equipment may not be used without excessive damage to the turf, it will not be mowed until such conditions have abated, the document states, and will be mowed at subsequent cycles when conditions allow and as directed by the department superintendent. No deduction will be made from the pay for any one area not so cut, unless it exceeds a mile in length. If it does involve more than a mile, the superintendent has the power to determine appropriate deductions in pay.

By seeking multiple bids, the County hopes to acquire enough options to be able to effectively tackle the ongoing mowing issues, county staff said in a press release about the matter.

The county has also established an email address where Jackson County citizens can send information regarding areas of concern involving debris and/or mowing. The address is: debris@jacksoncountyfl.com.

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