COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The City of Columbus is getting a little outside help to spruce up one of its most visible traffic corridors.
It took a tie-breaker vote from Mayor Keith Gaskin, but the city will be contracting with a landscaping firm to install plants in the medians that run up Highway 45 from around 8th Avenue and north toward Leigh Mall.
Evergreen Landscaping will be responsible for acquiring the plants and planting them.
Columbus Public Works employees will maintain the beds.
The city and Neel Schaffer worked with the Mississippi Department of Transportation to select plants that are suited to the harsh conditions along a busy road.
In the past, the life expectancy of plants in the median beds has been short. Under the contract, these new plantings will have a one-year warranty.
“The debate with the Council last night was whether it was more cost-efficient to outsource this than have it done internally, where we’re driving all the way down to Lucedale to pick up plants and bring ’em back, and where there’ll be no warranty on them. And then having our staff plant them. The Council voted last night, with me breaking the tie, to outsource it this time as we move forward,” said Gaskin.
The cost for the project will be $68,000.
Gaskin pointed out that throughout the city there are 78 flower beds, but there has never been a comprehensive plan for planting and upkeep.
Budgets for them have varied from $15,000 to $30,000 a year.
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