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Hudson City Council approves mowing bids

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Hudson Star Observer
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Hudson City Council approves mowing bids
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Hudson City Council on Monday night approved bids from two private contractors it expects to do the city's grass mowing in 2009.

The council accepted an $18,600 bid from Gruber Lawn Care on the mowing of all the city's parks.


The company owner, Jason Gruber, is an emergency medical technician for St. Croix EMS, Hudson's ambulance service. The phone book lists him as having a New Richmond address.

The council accepted three separate bids totaling $9,740 from Comstock & Sons of White Bear Lake, Minn., on the mowing of street right of ways, trails and building lawns.

The total of the bids from the two companies, $28,340, is nearly $33,000 less than what Public Works Director Tom Zeuli had determined was the city's annual mowing expense using seasonal city employees.

Alderperson Scot O'Malley qualified the city's reported cost of $61,264, saying $8,262 of it was depreciation on equipment.

Twenty-three contractors responded to the city's solicitation for mowing bids. The properties to be mowed were broken into a number of components, which made the bid selection process more complicated than usual.

"It was a little complex, but it was well received," Mayor Dean Knudson said of the process.

Council President Randy Morrissette II was the only one to vote against accepting the bids. Alderpersons O'Malley, Lee Wyland, Alan Burchill and Lori Bernard were in favor of going with private contractors. Alderperson Pam Brokaw was absent.

"We need to aggressively seek ways to lower our costs," Mayor Knudson said in recommending approval of the contractor bids in a Finance Committee meeting immediately preceding the council meeting.

The Finance Committee decided to keep the city's mowing equipment while it assesses how things go with the private contractors.

City Attorney Catherine Munkittrick said the companies still need to sign contracts agreeing to do the mowing for the prices they bid.

Randy Hanson
Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
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