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County may get free lawn service
Plan would let Kubota test mowing equipment
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Hall County Board of Commissioners work session

In their first session of 2012, commissioners will hear a proposal that could allow free lawn service for portions of county property.

When: 3 p.m. today

Where: 2nd Floor Commission Meeting Room of the Courthouse Annex, 116 Spring St. Southeast, Gainesville

A proposed agreement between Hall County and a tractor-manufacturing company could be cutting costs as well as grass for the county.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners will consider an agreement this week to allow Kubota, a Japanese tractor company with a manufacturing plant in Gainesville, to test equipment on certain county sites.

That testing would include mowing large portions of grass on county property that had previously been bush-hogged by county employees or contracted with a lawn service.

If approved, the agreement would save at least $30,000 in its first year.

Ken Rearden, Hall County Public Works and Utilities director, said Kubota would get three sites for testing equipment: the Spout Springs Water Reclamation Facility spray field, and Cherokee Bluffs and Williams Mill parks.

The innovative deal came when Tim Evans, vice president for economic development at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, learned chamber member Kubota was looking to test tractors and mowers closer to home.

"Kubota needed enough land to test on a regular basis. The county had land they were paying for maintenance that would be a good close fit," Evans said.

Evans said he called the county and asked if they needed the service.

Rearden said when he heard the message he thought, "Yeah. I got some big parks and some big spray fields that I'm pretty sure might be suitable for them."

Rearden said the county was paying $10,000 three times a year to cut grass at the Spout Springs spray field.

The deal will be introduced to the county at its first work session today. If the plan works well, Rearden said it could be expanded.

Evans called the tractor company "a great corporate citizen" that employs about 800 people in the region.

A representative from Kubota declined to comment for the story, citing concerns about protecting the company's competitive secrets about its testing.

 

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