Council addresses late start to grass cutting season photo

Chatham-Kent is getting to work on overgrown and neglected grass throughout the municipality after a late start to the season.

Council approved one-year contracts with a handful of landscape companies to maintain municipal land for the 2022 grass-cutting season.

At the March 7, 2022 council meeting, council approved extending the expired 5-year contract for an additional year for the season. However, some of the existing contractors declined.

“We negotiated with the all the contractors we had currently in place from the previous contract and a fair amount of them were not able to perform the duties we were looking for,” said Acting General Manager of Infrastructure and Engineering Services Chris Thibert. “We were not able to negotiate the terms of the contract. We were forced to go back out for tender and get some contracts drawn up in a fairly timely manner recognizing the time sensitivity of the grass.”

Noting that fields and sports fields are priorities, Councillor Anthony Ceccacci drew attention to cemeteries being neglected.

“I know a lot of families have concerns about our cemeteries being maintained,” said Ceccacci. “I just want to make sure there is going to be a process to catch up and parcels like the cemeteries and sports fields are going take center stage.”

Thibert said the municipality had contractors lined up for cemetery sites across the community. He said crews would be out Tuesday following the meeting to perform one or two cuts to get the properties back to an acceptable length.

Towards the end of Monday’s meeting, Ceccacci brought forward a notice of motion recommending one division to be in charge of all grass cutting throughout the municipality.

The motion will be up for consideration at the May 30 council meeting.