LAKE JACKSON — City Council nixed part of a mowing contract and decided to pursue a legal response to drivers who cause a wake when they drive through flooded streets.

The city went with a relatively new company that had lower prices to provide mowing services this year, Parks and Recreation Director Jeremy Bubnick said at Monday’s council meeting.

The council rescinded the highway portion of the mowing contract with Calvary Group for $89,016, according to the council packet.

The company might have “bitten off more than they can chew” considering the newness of the company, Bubnick said.

City staff has been “coaching on quality issues” on smaller areas of town, but they decided the company’s equipment will not be acceptable for the highway portion of the contract going forward, he said. The contract began Oct. 1.

Bubnick recommended council re-award the mowing bid to Yellowstone Landscape for $102,939, which was the next-lowest bid.

Councilman Vinay Singhania asked what the penalty would be for Calvary Group. The only penalty is losing that portion of the contract, Bubnick said.

If the company repeatedly proved to be unreliable, it could be placed on a no-bid list for the city, City Attorney Sherri Russell said.

The city has another mowing contract with Southern Oaks for $219,436, according to meeting documents. Calvary Group’s contract was for $223,660, so $134,644 of the contract remains, meeting documents show.

Singhania opposed the motion to re-award the bid.

Also at Monday’s meeting, council considered an ordinance to prohibit wakes from vehicles during flood events in residential areas.

Singhania brought up at a previous council meeting that some people drove quickly through floodwaters during Tropical Storm Imelda, pushing water into garages of homes. The city uses streets as part of its drainage system, so people driving too quickly causes nearby residents grief, Singhania said.

Russell typically creates temporary guidelines during flooding events, but council can consider a permanent ordinance, City Manager Bill Yenne said.

“I think Sherri can draft something to fix our city,” Singhania said.

When asked how it could be enforced, Assistant Police Chief Chris Anderson said the department tries to work on prevention by placing temporary signs and posting to social media, but police can investigate a picture of a vehicle causing wake.

Ideally, the department could have officers waiting on the other side of the water, but sending out officers could create more wake and is only done when necessary, Anderson said.

Russell will get an ordinance drafted for council’s consideration, hopefully before the next flood, she said.

Maddy McCarty is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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