COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Columbus Mayor Keith Gaskin was playing the role of tie-breaker at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.
But the end result was a return to the status quo. At issue was a proposal to maintain the areas around the exits on Highway 82.
MDOT cuts them about twice a year. Columbus Public Works maintains them in between those cuttings.
The council advertised for proposals to privatize that job. S and S Landscaping in Columbus came in with a low bid of $75,000 a year on a three-year contract.
The council had tabled the issue at the last meeting. City Engineer Kevin Stafford presented the bid. Council members asked Public Works Director Casey Bush’s opinion. He said for his crews to continue doing it and move to a proposed Ward system in the department, he would need to add an eight-man crew and at least one new tractor and bush hog.
Councilman Rusty Greene made a motion to accept the S and S bid. Councilwoman Ethel Stewart made a substitute motion to reject the bid and return it to public works. This sparked more discussion, and another substitute motion to table the matter again.
The vote on that motion tied. Gaskin broke the tie in favor of not tabling, prompting a vote on Stewart’s motion to reject. That vote ended in a tie, with the Mayor breaking the tie to defeat it. Councilman Green’s original motion to accept the bid was next. That vote died on a 4-2 vote, so the city is back to square one.
But that wasn’t all. A proposal for a beautification project along the Highway 45 medians was also on the agenda. After a similar discussion, Councilman Pierre Beard asked Public Works Director Bush what his recommendation was. Bush said to take the bid for planting, about $68,000, with public works performing the maintenance. Beard made the motion which also resulted in a tie vote. Gaskin broke the tie in favor of accepting the proposal.
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