County in search of mowing contractor after terminating previous contract

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    Shelia Mader | TIMES

    For the last several years, the county has battled with various contractors about the mowing for the right of ways in Jackson County. In 2018, the county contracted with Jeff Speed after negotiations with Goodwill Industries could not be reached.
    There were issues early on but when Hurricane Michael ravaged through Jackson County, the work became even more controversial. In August, the Board requested Speed appear before the commission in the afternoon session of a budget hearing. He complied and stated that he would send daily reports to interim road and bridge superintendent Carrie Williams. To date, that has not been done. County administrator Wilanne Daniels told the Board in Tuesday’s meeting all attempts by her to contact Speed have gone unanswered.
    Commissioner Eric Hill said enough was enough and requested the surety bond insurers be notified that Speed was in breach of his contract, as well as notifying Speed his contract was terminated.
    Mowing has been an ongoing issue in Jackson County for months. Residents have continually voiced their concerns in meetings and with phone calls to commissioners after the right-of-ways near their homes and businesses went untouched for months.​
    The county says they received two bids but they came in too high for what they can pay. As a result, they are looking into ways to bring the cost down.​​​
    “A couple of options discussed this morning at the board meeting included contacting the lowest bidder of the two companies who did submit bids recently to see if they might be willing to mow on perhaps a three month period or six month period like a shorter time frame than an annual contract,” said Kristie Cloud, Executive Assistant and Jackson County Public Information Officer.
    The county will be holding a special meeting on Friday at 10 a.m. in the county office to hopefully find a solution. They invite the public to come and share their input as well.​

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