I see that El Centro is soliciting bids for parks maintenance. Will the new contracts include weed abatement in our parks? All of our parks are overrun with weeds and they just keep mowing them down along with the grass. Most parks are 40 percent to 50 percent weeds. It looks OK from the street but as you walk into the park you see that grass is losing the battle for space. Any company with the experience to handle these large green areas should also have the expertise to control the spread of the weeds. And they should be required to do so. NOTE: E.C. school district, your fields are no better. Much tax money is spent on these parks; let’s make sure we get our money’s worth in these contracts. — Pulling the Weeds, El Centro
The simple answer is yes, there is weed abatement built in to the scope of work in the city’s bids, said Chris Legakes, El Centro parks supervisor.
The letter writer isn’t going to get much argument from Legakes. He, too, is concerned with the weeds and has noticed maintaining the parks hasn’t been as easy since the city stopped using prison crews a year ago. On top of that, a rainy winter has resulted in weeds sprouting abundantly.
Legakes said he has much higher expectations this time around for those who will win these city maintenance contracts. “I have been meeting with contractors as they feel the need to ask questions about the proposals,” he said.
He ultimately wants to see contractors use chemical weed agents that have zero down time for the parks. He said he been leery to use chemicals as every park is in constant use, and to use them would require closing that park.
Also, he said manual weed abatement, which means picking and pulling weeds by hand, just isn’t possible given personnel.
There are four contracts the parks department is looking at awarding. One contract is for larger parks and ball fields, one is for facilities and the grassy and green strips in city parking lots and two are for separate lighting and maintenance districts tied to separate housing subdivisions.
We did not speak with anyone at the school district, but we imagine it’s also a question of personnel, rain and seeds and likely funding.
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