Newton Schools renews grounds contract

COVINGTON -- The Newton County School System will change companies for some of its lawn care services this school year, but it still plans to save money by continuing its privatized lawn care services.

Last week, the Newton County Board of Education approved a nearly $300,000 contract with CMC Lawn Maintenance Inc. of Covington for lawn care and maintenance of school grounds for the next year.

NCSS Deputy Superintendent of Operations Dennis Carpenter said the company has provided "phenomenal" service over the past year since NCSS decided to privatize its lawn care services to save about $250,000 per year.

"They've been impressive," Carpenter said, adding that the company has caused no problems and works closely with the schedule.

Last year, NCSS also employed TruGreen Land Care of Norcross for athletic fields care and maintenance but Carpenter said now CMC will handle all of the grounds care, including the athletic fields, because of problems with TruGreen. He said the system had to send a letter of demand for incomplete services earlier this year and now the system has decided not to request that its contract be renewed.

This year, NCSS plans to pay $292,284.96 for grounds and athletic fields care with CMC Lawn Maintenance. This is about $11,000 more this school year than last because of the addition of the new Flint Hill Elementary School, which adds to more acreage being mowed, landscaping to be taken care of and trees and bushes to maintain, Carpenter said.