County Gives Riverside Firm $1.5M Contract For Fire Hazard Weed Abatement

San Bernardino County has entered into a $1.5 million contract with a Riverside company to mow and disk weeds that present a fire hazard.
With the wet winter and the resultant growth in vegetation that is now browning in the summer heat, the county board of supervisors last week at the recommendation of Tom Hudson, the director of the county’s land use services department, authorized the county purchasing agent to issue a purchase order with AB Landscaping, in an amount originally slated not to exceed $1,500,000, for the period of July 30, 2017, through June 30, 2022 for on-call fire hazard weed abatement.
In a presentation made to the board of supervisors made on Hudson’s behalf, Andy Wingert, the county’ chief code enforcement officer, said, “The land use services division provides fire/weed hazard abatement services through the fire hazard abatement program in the mountain, desert, and valley regions. The hazard abatement program process begins when hazard abatement program conducts inspections of properties to determine whether hazardous fire conditions exist. Mountain region parcels are inspected once per year during the summer. Desert and valley regions are inspected twice per year, during the spring and fall. When hazardous conditions are identified, the owner is notified and given 30 days to abate the hazard. After 30 days the property is re-inspected and, if the property is not in compliance at that time, the hazard abatement program brings the property into compliance by abating the hazard. These abatement services are performed by county employees or contractors, and the property owner is billed for labor and administrative costs related to these services. The impacts
of these efforts are two-fold: reduction of fire hazards to provide defensible space around properties and structures; increased safety for community members, firefighters, and other first-responders.”
On April 11, 2017, a request for bids was made by way of the county’s electronic procurement network, known as ePro, seeking proposals from qualified vendors to provide fire hazard abatement services on an as-needed basis. The request for qualifications was sent to all vendors within the ePro system with a vendor code that aligned with the services being requested. The sole bidder was AB Landscaping at 17150 Frankland Lane in Riverside, which had, according to Wingert, “performed satisfactorily for fire hazard abatement program during the last contract cycle.”

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