After almost two years of what the Siesta Key Village Maintenance Corp. and Sarasota County Commission deemed unsatisfactory care, the Village is getting a new maintenance crew — and perhaps a little more attention.
On Tuesday, the County Commission approved a $129,041.50 annual contract with Buccaneer Landscape Management Inc.
The new maintenance company is set to start in mid-September, said Mark Smith, a director of Siesta Key Village Maintenance Corp., the organization that oversees the maintenance and upkeep of the Village.
Maintenance in the Village is more than just garbage collection and landscaping. The company is in change of “hardscape” maintenance and repairing items such as benches, water fountains and the gazebo.
The former maintenance company, Championship, ended its services Aug. 20. The county has agreed on a short-term contract to fill the void between companies for basic trash maintenance, Smith said. The county will use $7,500 of the district reserve fund for the stop-gap maintenance.
Championship was on a one-year contract with the option of two renewal years, but the Siesta Key Village Maintenance Corp. decided not to extend the contract.
“Their performance had steadily declined last year,” Smith said. He told the commission that the company was not equipped to address all the maintenance needs of the Village.
The catalyst for the decision not to extend the contract was an incident in late 2012. A drunk driver knocked over a light pole, and it took Championship almost a year to replace it, Smith said.
The contract for a new maintenance company went out for bid in June. Buccaneer was the only bidder.
“It was the high bid and the low bid,” Smith said. However, he thinks the company’s $129,041 contract is a reasonable price to pay.
Championship’s contract was $97,417, but it was hired when the economy was slower, and the new company will be offering more services, Smith said.
“I’m optimistic they’ll do a great job and the Village will maintain a resort-like quality,” Smith said.
“I hope it works out really well,” said Commissioner Nora Patterson, who moved to approve the contract.