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Tuesday December 1st, 2015

Posted at 11:00am

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The City of Windsor’s Parks operation division is looking to add five full-time employees and bring back work in-house currently provided by a contractor.

Those employees would be responsible for maintaining and cutting the grass on the E.C. Row, 244 vacant and transitional lots and 118.5 km of ditches.

The staffing increase will require $359,294 for wages and fringe, $5,000 for clothing, and also require $68,400 annual fleet rental rates for three crew cab trucks.

Currently the work is performed by contractors at a cost of $423,014. The city says that this savings plus an additional $9,680 from the surplus in the vandalism maintenance account will be used to cover the new staff costs.

The five new tractor operator positions adds 10,400 hours annually to the parks workforce.  Cutting the grass three times a year will require approximately 3,850 staffing hours. The 5,550 remaining workforce hours will then be available for staff to perform other work such as maintenance on sports fields, boulevards, trails & playground equipment, snow removal, tree trimming in parks, and so forth.

The extra work hours would also allow the division to assist Public Works in spring clean-up efforts, and the Forestry and Horticulture divisions during the non-peak season of Fall with tree planting and bulb planting.

They city also says that the Ministry of Labour Occupational Health and Safety Act and construction regulations outlines provisions for traffic control and worker protection, and that in the past, hired grass contractors have been removed from the jobsite by Parks Management and the Ministry for not following proper safety protocol on right of ways.

The budget report says the Parks department feels grass cutting budget dollars could be better spent on hiring staff that could do this work as well as work on other workload pressures.

The budget goes before council on December 21st.

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