Board of Directors Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 05/23/2018  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon the park and pathway maintenance service contract (C-2016-0001R);
FISCAL IMPACT:
The current value of the Service Agreement for park and pathway maintenance services is $2,421,510 which includes base level services for park and pathway maintenance, small and jumbo cul de sacs, Fire Station maintenance and all weather turf maintenance.  In addition to the base level of services, $306,889.02 was spent in 2017 on landscape renovations and enhancements, turf replacement and irrigation repairs. Funding for these services is allocated in various divisions in the Township's Budget: Park Operations, Town Center Operations, Aquatics, Recreation, Town Center and Fire Department.  The cost of a new contract, multiple contracts or to perform maintenance services in-house is not known at this time. 
BACKGROUND:
The Woodlands Township entered into a Service Agreement with Brickman Group, LTD.  for Park and Pathway Maintenance Services on January 1, 2016 for a period of three (3) years (Attachment A).  Brickman subsequently merged with Valley Crest and the company was  rebranded to Brightview.  The Initial Term of the Agreement is for three years ending on December 31, 2018. The agreement provides for an option  to extend the term for two, one year extensions, at the Township’s discretion. Within ninety (90) days before the expiration on the Initial Term (October 1, 2018),  the Township may give written notice to Brightview to extend the Agreement for an additional year or years.   If the Township delivers the Renewal Notice, the Parties shall within thirty (30) days use good faith efforts to negotiate the terms and conditions of the Renewal Term.  In the event the Parties are unable to agree upon the terms and conditions for the Renewal Term, the Agreement shall expire upon the expiration of the current Term.
 
This Executive Summary provides background information on Brighview’s adherence to the specifications and standards of the Agreement and options the Board has if the Agreement is not renewed and other related considerations relative to the Comprehensive Community Services Agreement and streetscape maintenance.  
 
The Woodlands was developed around its parks, trees and open spaces, therefore the Services Agreement for Park and Pathway Maintenance Services is a critical component of the success of the community maintenance program.  Subsequently, a great deal of time and effort is spent on the administration of this agreement by staff of the Parks and Recreation Department through responsibilities such as but not limited to: site inspections, insuring specifications and schedules are met, managing residents' comments, handling large user group needs and expectations and invoicing.  When Brightview was awarded the bid for park and pathway maintenance services, it was believed they would be able to handle the size and scope of the contract, as well as the Streetscape Maintenance Contract,  as they are the largest landscape company in the United States.. It was also expected they they would identify efficiencies in the overall community maintenance system as they would be providing maintenance services for both parks and pathways and streetscape maintenance. In 2015, Brightview was awarded the bid for park and pathway maintenance services  even though they did not submit the lowest bid.
 
Staff of the Parks and Recreation Department, Parks Operation Division meets with Brightview weekly to discuss issues related to the Agreement, service issues, schedules, upcoming events, action plans for renovations, etc.  Furthermore, staff is  in contact with Brightview staff on a daily basis for issues that need immediate attention. The Township's Park Superintendent, Town Center Superintendent, Natural Resource Supervisor, Landscape Forman and Irrigation Foreman, among others monitor the contractor's performance and compliance with the standards and specifications established in the Agreement.
  
In reviewing the scope of services in the park and pathway maintenance services agreement, it is believed that the scope might be better performed if services were divided into separate maintenance services which may have financial and service quality benefits.  Separating the current scope under one large contract into smaller scopes with potentially several contractors may result in improved service delivery and less cost to the Township.  The maintenance areas that could be separated are:
  • Park Maintenance 
  • Small and Jumbo Cul De Sac Island Maintenance
  • Pathway Maintenance
  • Sports Field Maintenance (Sports complexes and Tier A Fields) 
  • Other services such as Trash and Litter Removal and/or Janitorial
To determine which services can or should be separated out is dependent on the interaction between maintenance tasks. For example, cul de sac and pathway maintenance services largely do not interact with other park and pathway services, i.e. irrigation, mowing/fertilization schedules.   A second example would be all weather turf maintenance services. This service is currently sub contracted out by Brightview and is not dependent on other maintenance aspects.
 
A positive of breaking out the contract into separate service areas would be the  potential to receive bids from smaller, local or regional landscape companies, some of which may not have the overhead cost of larger national firms.  By structuring the bids as  pathway maintenance only or cul de sac maintenance only, it may actually drive the cost down as it would provide opportunity for more landscape maintenance firms the ability to compete.    Disadvantages with using multiple vendors could be  the increased effort for communication required and supervision needed with multiple landscape companies and potential confusion for residents on who is working in the park system.
 
If the Township elected to rebid at this time, the process for moving forward would be as follows: 
  • Develop specifications which separates the current scope of services into six areas/potential contracts: parks, sportfields, cul de sacs, pathways, all weather turf & miscellaneous (trash & litter/janitorial) 
  • Solicit Invitation for Bids which provides the Township's option to combine any, all or none of the service areas into one or multiple contracts;
  • Conduct a cost - benefit analysis on performing the same scope of services in-house;
  • Present the submitted bids and the cost-benefit analysis to the Board of Directors for consideration.
A tentative timeline for this process has been developed based on the potential for new contractor(s) providing services January 1, 2019:
  • Release Bids- June 
  • Bids Due- July / August
  • Consideration of Bids & Cost Benefit Analysis 
  • Notice to current contractor - Renewal or Non-Renewal 
  • Contractor(s) prepare for Contract Effective Date/Transition
  • Contractor(s) Start- January 1, 2019
In addition to these considerations regarding the provision of park and pathway maintenance services, it is important to note that the Comprehensive Community Services Agreement (CCSA) between the Township and The Woodlands Land Development Company, L.P. (TWLDC) expires December 31, 2019.  The CCSA includes Streetscape Maintenance Services, which per the Agreement, are to be provided or caused to be provided by TWLDC. The current sub-contractor to TWLDC providing the actual streetscape services is Brightview. The CCSA can be extended through Mutual Extension.  The Township has the right to initiate discussions for the purpose of negotiating the potential Mutual Extension by providing written notice to TWLDC on or one (1) year prior to the Termination Date or on or before December 31, 2018.  Considering this, if the Board is contemplating exercising  the Mutual Extension negotiation, it may be prudent to consider issuing a Renewal Notice to Brightview for the Park and Pathway Maintenance Services Contract for one (1) year so that during 2019 the Board can determine if and how to move forward with the CCSA  and whether to include or not include streetscape maintenance in an extended CCSA. This decision may have some affect on how the park and pathway services scope of services is structured and how the services are best provided. 

The process and timeline for moving this scenario forward:
  • Board authorizes  Renewal Notice to Brightview for Park and Pathway Services by June 21, 2018
  • Board considers Renewal Terms and Conditions and/or Amendments with Brightview before August 1, 2018 
  • Board considers Mutual Extension Notice to TWLDC regarding the CCSA before December 31, 2018 
  • Board determines Extension terms of CCSA, park and pathway maintenance services bids, and cost benefit analysis before June 1, 2019
Township staff met with the management team at Brightview on May 11, 2018 to review the status of the Agreement and the concerns outlined in this memo.  Attached is their response (Attachment C), dated May 15, 2018  which outlines management changes and potential refinements and/or reduction in the scope of services that would be provided by Brightview, if the Agreement were to be renewed.      
 
Considering the timing of the CCSA, the Incorporation Planning Study and BrightView's response, staff recommends to Renew the Park and Pathway Maintenance Services Agreement (C-2016-0001) with Brightview for a period of one year; with the understanding the scope of services of the contract may be amended/reduced upon a review of the opportunities outlined by Brighview that would improve Brightview's ability to provide the expected quality service levels.  Such amendment to the contact will require Board approval and may involve reducing the scope of services and the contract value amount   and selecting another contractor(s) through a competitive bid process for those services. Staff will return to the Board in July with any potential amendment to the park and pathway maintenance services and invitation for bids for the maintenance services that may be removed from the contract with BrighView and contracted with other companies. 
RECOMMENDATION:
Renew the Park and Pathway Maintenance Services Agreement (C-2016-0001) for a period of one year and direct staff to return to the Board in July with recommendations on a potential amendment to the contract that improves Brightview's ability to provide quality service through a  reduction in the scope of services; and provide draft Invitation to Bids for the park and pathway services to be transferred to other park and pathway contracts  through a competitive bid process. 
Attachments
Attachment A - Park and Pathway Maintenance Services Agreement
Attachment B - Current Value of Park and Pathway Maintenance Services Contract
Attachment C- Brightview response to Township Brightview contract


    

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