The Mobile City Council voted Tuesday on the issue of whether to allow the administration to hire private companies so grass can mowed more often.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson proposed the idea to get high grass and weeds cut on a more timely basis.
But, the head of a city employees group spoke against the idea.
Stimpson had proposed the city hire private companies to mow right of ways on major thoroughfares during times of the year when grass grows quickly.
He told city council members Tuesday that the city doesn’t have the number of employees and equipment necessary to do the job at this time of the year.
Stimpson said, “The need at hand is only from about June to the end of September, so, it is a capacity problem. The staff that we have to maintain the city throughout the rest of the year we feel is right, but we’ve got to supplement for this period of time, and we think it’s the most economical way to do it.”
City employees would mow the grass in the other areas, and the results of the plan would be examined after a trial period.
YOUNG: HIRE MORE WORKERS
But, Wesley Young, president of the City of Mobile United Public Service Workers, told the council it would be a better idea to buy more equipment and hire more workers.
Young said, “You have to understand the grass is not going to stop growing next summer, the summer after that. It’s going to be the same way it is now. Are we going to continue to spend $100,000 for the next five years? That will be a half million dollars. Or, we can just add three employees, add three tractors, and let the employees do the job.”
The proposals on the agenda Tuesday were to pay two companies more than $102 thousand dollars to mow right of ways on major thoroughfares once a week.
Council Member C.J. Small announced he would abstain from voting.
Small said, “I do support this resolution to a certain degree, but, what I do not support is that these properties be cut every seven days.”
The council approved the agreements with the two companies 5 to 0, with Small abstaining, and Council President Gina Gregory away at a conference.
Stimpson has said, currently, major thoroughfares are cut every three weeks.