Landscaper gives up fight against county

The owner of a Grand Junction landscape maintenance company is giving up her fight against Mesa County after county officials rejected a pair of protests she filed in light of failing to land a bid to provide landscape services.

Grand Mesa Landscape Maintenance owner Deb Wieker accused the county of not following its own bidding policies but said she was reluctant to spend the $15,000 she estimated it would take to file a lawsuit.

“Mesa County can sleep wonderfully at night knowing they make rules and have regulations and requirements on their bids and for whatever reason they choose, they can ignore them,” Wieker said.

Grand Mesa, LiquiGreen and Deep Creek Lawns all submitted bids to aerate, mow, fertilize and spray the grass at 19 county properties in 2012. LiquiGreen came in with the lowest bid at $70,269, followed by Grand Mesa at $84,352 and Deep Creek at $147,120.

After the county opened the bids, Wieker notified the county she had mistakenly doubled some of the dollar amounts listed in Grand Mesa’s bid. She also claimed that LiquiGreen and Deep Creek’s bids were nonresponsive, noting they failed to submit proof of licensure.

Commissioners last month turned away Wieker’s request to rebid the contract after county staff advised that the county merely requested — rather than required — the landscape companies to provide proof that they’re licensed to apply pesticide. Wieker disagreed, noting the county’s request for proposals on landscape maintenance contains the word “required.”

In a second protest she filed, Wieker noted the county could save more than $3,700 by awarding bids based on the lowest prices offered for each property. She noted LiquiGreen had the lowest bid on 10 properties, Grand Mesa the lowest on six and Deep Creek the lowest on three.

County Attorney Lyle Decant said he declined to forward Wieker’s appeal onto the commissioners because it repeated arguments she made directly to the commissioners.

“We took the position that the documents she sent in was simply an argument of evidence presented to the board,” Dechant said.

The county is expected to award the 2012 contract to LiquiGreen next month.


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