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City takes over landscape duties
city in landscape business.jpg
McMinnville’s landscape management crew was at Riverfront Park on Friday beautifying around the park’s new bathrooms. Pictured, from left, are Waylon Fincher, John Austin and Hank Patton. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

The city of McMinnville has entered the landscape business to continue to beautify Court Square. 

An offer of $3,000 was made by city government on a contract for Warren County Courthouse grounds mowing for 2020. Bids received were considered by the county Financial Management Committee on Thursday.

“Can they do this?” asked Director of Schools Bobby Cox, questioning the legality of the city submitting a bid.

County Executive Jimmy Haley replied, “Yes.”

Discussions regarding a deal between the two governments started in early 2019 with the county’s Building and Grounds Committee approving a negotiated contract with the city for mowing. The city’s Streets and Sanitation Committee met and made an offer of $3,000. However, that process was halted due to a legal requirement by the county to bid out projects. 

The city’s bid of $3,000 was one of two received and was $3,880 lower than a local landscape company. McMinnville Lawn and Garden offered $6,880 for the courthouse grounds contract. Also, that business was the sole bidder of $5,310 on a second contract for county building grounds mowing for 2020. 

Committee members unanimously approved the bid of $3,000 from the city of McMinnville for courthouse grounds maintenance and $5,310 from McMinnville Lawn and Garden on county buildings grounds mowing.

Warren County government owns the property inside the sidewalk surrounding the courthouse. The city of McMinnville owns and maintains outside that sidewalk. Because of that, the landscape appearance of downtown can vary. 

Hank Patton, landscape manager for the city, was delighted to learn his crew’s job responsibility has been expanded.  

“I’m happy that we get the opportunity to do this,” said Patton. “We want more continuity in downtown when it comes to landscape management. This is something we’ve wanted to do for years. I don’t mind one bit to include that area into our maintenance schedule.” 

Patton and his crew were at Riverfront Park on Friday beautifying the area around the city’s recently completed bathrooms.