The Denison City Council recently approved two contracts with Stephen Fulenchek and SF Landscaping, valued at nearly $293,000, for mowing and maintenance services for city properties for 2019. The two agreements come four months after the council voted to reject a single bid previously received for the city’s mowing contract and reopen the bidding process.

“Since that time, we have split that contract in two,” Parks and Recreation and Cemeteries Superintendent Chip Egger said.

The contract approvals come following a decision by the council to reject the single $383,000 bid, submitted by Fulenchek. Egger said the bid came back higher than the city anticipated for the services and led to the city’s decision to put the contract out to bid again.

City Manager Jud Rex said Denison elected to break the contract into two pieces based on requests from contractors who were only interested in a portion of the mowing services contract. By splitting this in two, city officials felt the council could attract additional bidders and competition, resulting in lower bids and savings to the city.

The city approved a $224,600 contract with Fulenchek for the city’s mowing and maintenance needs. The second contract, valued at $68,260, focused on the city’s utility mowing, which typically includes smaller parcels, Egger said.

During the second bidding phase, the city handed out six packets for the mowing and maintenance mowing contract and received three bids. Likewise, the city distributed seven packets for the utility mowing contract and received three bids.

Between the two contracts, Denison ultimately saved more than $90,000 compared to the single mowing contract, Egger said.

Denison Mayor Janet Gott recused herself from the discussions and vote on the item, noting that Fulenchek is married to her niece. The council ultimately approved the contracts unanimously with little discussion.