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The Downtown Improvement District is weighing the pros and cons of having an enhanced level of maintenance service along Main Street. File photo.
Siesta Key Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 6 years ago

DID frustrated by pricey maintenance bids

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

The Downtown Improvement District Board of Directors has approximately $50,000 budgeted for downtown maintenance costs.

But the request the board of directors put forward for an enhanced level of service contract came back with two offers: one for $232,000 a year and one for $361,000.

DID Operations Manager John Moran told the board at its Tuesday, Nov. 15, meeting the DID should take time to review a list of services provided by city staff to see if the board can work with the Public Works Department to get a better level of service for a cheaper price.

“You could have a dedicated employee or employees in the Public Works Department who could be monitored and supervised by you,” Moran said. “That’s another option available to you.”

DID Chairman Ernie Ritz said it was an idea to consider, adding the DID needs to consider drastically cutting its enhanced level of service list (see sidebar below).

“We can find a cheaper sidewalk cleaner and maintain additional plants that we plant downtown,” Ritz said. “Short of that, I’m not sure why we should do anything else.”

Moran noted that the DID has $50,000 budgeted for maintenance costs that could be used for enhanced landscaping and more frequent trash pickups.

“What if we gave the city our $50,000 and they can utilize a city employee or two to help with our landscaping needs?” Ritz asked.

Senior planner Steve Stancel said it “certainly makes sense for the city to be the supervisor of this.”

“But you need to determine a minimum maintenance list you can agree upon, before we can discuss whether Public Works can do it for what additional cost,” Stancel said.

Public Works Manager Doug Jeffcoat told the board at its Nov. 1 meeting he would work with the DID to formulate a plan.

“Currently, we don’t perform the level of service you want,” Jeffcoat said. “For instance, we don’t even prune palm trees anymore unless they are a danger.”

Jeffcoat told the board he was willing to attend a future workshop with city staff and the DID to discuss the possibility of his department performing more duties at an extra cost.

Ritz was happy to hear the possibilities.

“We certainly aren’t going to spend the kind of money it appears it would take to achieve our entire wish list,” Ritz said.

DID Enhanced Services
The Downtown Improvement District is seeking bids for enhanced levels of services it expects downtown. The scope of work includes a landscape contractor service that:
• Controls and monitors all aspects of the DID area’s landscaping
• Patrols all landscape beds for debris
• Fertilizes plants, trees and shrubs
• Sprays for insects
• Trims and prunes all trees and bushes
• Edges plant beds and walking areas
• Mows no fewer than 38 times per year
• Keeps all areas free of weeds
• Replaces annual flowers four times a year
• Monitors and maintains the irrigation system regularly
• Maintains DID lighting and twinkle lights
• Pressure washes trash receptacles at least twice a year
• Refills dog station bags
• Sweeps and blows the sidewalks regularly
• Hand waters all annual beds and pots
• Mulches plant beds constantly to maintain a 2-inch layer of mulch
• Cleans benches and planter walls
• Maintains written records of all activities and provides bi-weekly reporting of work and invoices to the DID board

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