KIMBALL, Tenn. — City leaders have chosen a contractor for Kimball's mowing needs, but it isn't the company that submitted the lowest bid.
The Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously last week to approve Exteriorscapes LLC in Jasper, Tenn., for its mowing service at $780 per week or $24,180 over the length of the contract.
RNA Maintenance in Dunlap, Tenn., had the lowest bid at $650 per week.
Board members had to decide if the city should spend an extra $130 per week for 31 weeks to use a contractor based in Marion County.
"It certainly must be considered," Mayor David Jackson said. "We don't necessarily have to take the lowest bid."
Over the term of the contract, Kimball will spend an additional $4,030 to use Exteriorscapes instead of RNA.
Alderman Mark Payne made the motion to accept the local company's bid because he said it was important to keep the town's money in the county whenever possible.
"It might be the wrong move, but it's hard to keep our money local," he said. "Chances are [Exteriorscapes] is going to spend the majority of that money here in this county. If not in Kimball, it will be spent, at least, in this county."
The only other local bidder was $500 more per week than Exteriorscapes, Alderman Johnny Sisk said.
Jackson said he met with all four bidders for the contract two weeks ago to go over the job and to examine particular areas that have been added to the contract this year.
The contract covered weekly mowing between April 1 and Oct. 31.
Besides mowing all of the city-owned property around town, this year the contract includes the baseball fields, soccer fields, and other areas around Kimball Park between April 1 and May 15, officials said.
"There is more mowing this year than what we've been doing," Jackson said.
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.