Lakewood Ranch Herald

Protest heard over Lakewood Ranch landscape contract

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Hearing officer Chip Rice heard more than five hours of testimony today in the Garden Leaders’ protest of a $932,796 landscape maintenance contract awarded to Down to Earth lawn care.

Garden Leaders, which previously held the contract, attempted to show that the contract was improperly awarded.

But all five Lakewood Ranch staff members who served on the bid evaluation committee said under oath they received no pressure or instructions from any supervisor or district official to select one bidder over another.

Furthermore, members of the committee said they completed their evaluations separately and did not know how the others had voted until results were tabulated.

The protest was filed in December against District 1 (Summerfield-Riverwalk), District 4 (Greenbrook) and District 5 (Country Club).

Rice said he will issue his findings in about one month.

For more, see Wednesday’s Bradenton Herald.