McMinnville officials have approved a contract with Tennessee for mowing and litter pick-up along state routes within the city limits.
“For several years, we have done all the state right of way mowing inside the city limits,” said McMinnville Public Works director Bill Brock. “We have found we do a better job than what the state gets in its contract with a private company.”
According to Brock, the grass along state routes would only be mowed twice a year under a contract with a private company in comparison to the city’s six times or more.
“You can imagine how high grass gets up if you only mow twice a year. It gets pretty bad,” said Brock. “We have been doing this for many years now. We get paid for six mowing cycles. No matter if we mow it 12 times, we get paid for six times. We will probably mow it more than six times.”
The state pays the city $33,204 for the mowing season and an additional $18,500 for litter pick-up.
“We do litter pick-up on Saturdays, if you’ve ever noticed the DUI offenders,” said Brock. “We have one guy with them. We get paid a little over $18,500 for that every year. We get free help from offenders and we pay the one guy. I think it’s a win-win situation for the city. ”
Vice Mayor Ben Newman questioned the amount. “Is that the price they’ve been paying us?”
Brock added, “That’s the same price they’ve been paying for years. They won’t go up.”
“But, the cost for gas goes up,” said Newman.
“I agree with you totally,” said Brock. “I will give you some numbers to call.”
Street and Sanitation Committee members Aldermen Rick Barnes, chairman, Billy Wood and Jimmy Bonner approved the contract.