PTC to hire in-house crew to help with landscaping

In an effort to improve its landscaping results, the Peachtree City Council approved a proposal Thursday that will move some of the work back in-house while hiring three contractors to supplement the new city personnel.

The plan involves the city hiring four full-time and two seasonal/temporary employees to handle landscaping along primary and secondary roads, along with city facilities and parks.

At the same time, the city would use three different companies to handle specific tasks being highway landscaping maintenance, right-of-way tree trimming on primary and secondary roads and landscaping for subdivision and city landscape islands.

The private companies would be paid a total of $278,000 and it will cost the city $170,000 for the new in-house crew and necessary equipment for the rest of this fiscal year. In 2015, the cost of the in-house crew will rise to $223,000, according to calculations by Community Services Director Jon Rorie.

The city’s landscaping results have suffered since it let go of its in-house landscaping staff and moved to contractors starting in 2009 as part of a budget-saving plan. The city laid off 23 landscaping and mowing employees in a bid to save upwards of $800,000.

Rorie categorized the results of the outsourced efforts as “marginal at best, with common complaints regarding how the city does not look as good as it used to.”

The city has 12 municipal facilities needing landscaping services along with 12 city parks that will be served by the new in-house staff, Rorie indicated. Those crews will also handle landscaping on the 37 primary roads including Peachtree Parkway, MacDuff Parkway, Kedron Drive and others.

The city also has to look after some 500 landscaped islands including subdivision entrances and areas such as the entryway to cart path tunnels, Rorie noted.

While the funding this year will come from the city’s healthy cash reserve account, the intent is not for the cost to lead to a tax increase in the future, according to Councilman Eric Imker. He suggested the city could shrink the capital outlay planned in a second round of facilities authority bonds and divert that money already plugged into the budget to be used for the enhanced landscaping.

“I think we’re going to see a marked improvement in city grounds and roads all around,” approaching where the city was when it outsourced the job in 2009, Imker said.
The motion to make the changes was unanimous.

Roadrunner
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Landscaping? PTC Has Been Landscaped The Last 2 Years??

That's news to me. PTC used to be so nice, so well kept, but not since the decision to outsource the landscaping. What's been happening since is rudementary yard maintenance at best. The islands at the end of northern Kedron @ Hwy 74 are a perfect example. Someone cut off at ground level all the nice Junipers but never replanted anything. It looks like a warehouse entrance now. Like most decisions to outsource, it was a bad one and also like most outsoucing mistakes the responsible parties for the most part are long gone leaving a new group to clean up the mess!

Husband and Fat...
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How much

How much had been spent on landscaping the last two years and the year prior to subcontracting it all out? This was never reported in the paper to provide comparisons.

moelarrycurly
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H&F gone up

every contract year since the outsource in 2009. I think it went up within at least one contract year, too, due to all the whining and moaning. As Imker said at the meeting, "we are approaching level of service from 2009 before the outsourcing". There were 2 goals for the outsourcing. Take advantage of the lower costs of using landscape companies and also when the long time employees were let go, the benefits package went with them. That was the bigger savings, as most were doing at that time. Now, we will see the rehiring start, year by year, with lower wages and no seniority. Probably more part-timers, too. The associated equipment will be needed, mowers, pruners, trimmers, trucks, etc. We just auctioned off what we had left over last year. Called long term planning.