Heights City Council: Local Bid Accepted, Possible Street Renaming, Water Plant Study, Teamsters Contract Passed

Andrew Trzaska | February 25, 2013

Muskegon Heights plans to stick with a company within its borders for lawn services in 2013.

Tommaine Lawn Service of Muskegon Heights will perform the city’s lawn care and maintenance for the coming year for city parks, including Rowan Park, Mona Lake Park and two others around the city.  They were the lowest bidder, coming in at $23,940.00 for the 2013 season.

Mona View cemetery used to be included under the parks agreement but recently was split off, leaving only four major city parks.

City Manager Natasha Henderson stated that this year’s bid actually came in lower than last year’s bid from the company. On a question from councilman Vernonell Smith, she also noted that no quality issues were raised regarding the company’s previous work

The city’s lawn maintenance budget has shrunk in the past decade as the city has slashed its budget across the board.  The need to bid out lawn services has grown as public works, recreation and other departments have seen staffing cuts.

Council members Willie Watson and Keith Guy were absent from Monday’s meeting.

Also notable at Monday’s meeting:

  • The council unanimously approved a new contract between the city and the Teamsters union, local 214 for its Department of Public Works employees.  One notable change in this year’s contract was the change in employee contribution to health care premiums, which rose to 20% of total costs. Other labor contracts coming up for renewal are ones with the clerical as well as technical supervisory units.
  • Henderson indicated that a draft of a recent valuation study covering the city’s water filtration plant and land has arrived for council to review. The plan will be finalized in the coming weeks, and is expected to move forward discussions of the future of the plant now that its two largest customers are set to leave in a few short years to join Muskegon’s water system.
  • Representatives from Muskegon Heights Alumni Association attended Monday’s meeting asking to change rename a segment of road after two Muskegon Heights High School alumni.  They would like to see Hume Street from Sixth to Sanford to be renamed “Burton Street”, after both MC and Ed Burton, who played basketball for the Muskegon Heights Tigers.  Mayor Darrell Paige stated that city staff would review the proposal.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst