Florida landscaper’s client issues ultimatum: Improve quickly

Updated Mar 28, 2016
Photo: YourObserver.comPhoto: YourObserver.com

The landscaping company that maintains the Tara Preserve Community Development District (CDD) in Florida has received an ultimatum to improve in a month or the district will be taking its business elsewhere.

West Bay Landscaping was hired back in March 2014 after the CDD tried to find a cost-effective alternative to its previous landscape maintenance company, Florida Landscape Pros, who had worked for them for 10 years, according to YourObserver.com.

West Bay Landscaping bid $140,060 for its first year, making it $30,000 less than any other potential contract.

However, since signing the contract the board has received multiple complaints from residents about the state of the landscaping. During a community workshop in January, a number of residents showed up to protest the lack of improvement.

According to a 2014 story in the Bradenton Herald, resident Darby Conner said after the company was hired that it generally took a week of “disruption and various stages of incompletion to finish what was basically done in one day” by the previous company.

The workshops were held in an attempt to develop a “big picture” of what is expected of the landscapers and what everyone can live with.

CDD Chairman John Schmidt talked to the landscaping company representative yesterday at the board meeting about the residents’ complaints concerning the current condition of the landscaping.

“I came across a many number of locations that you yourself said, wait a month and it will look great,” Schmidt told the landscape contractor. “We gave you six months, and I am not happy at all.”

Before suggesting to the board that CDD should start putting out bids for a new company to take over when West Bay’s contract expires, Schmidt is giving the company 30 days to show improvement.

He plans to take a walking tour with the landscaper to point out the areas that he and residents feel have been neglected. Schmidt said that landscape maintenance is a big issue as it currently consumes more than 35 percent of the district’s budget.

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