NORTH OGDEN -- The city is looking at bids for maintenance to the city park.
The city has received bids for the work and council members Wade Bigler and Cheryl Stoker plan to sit on a committee with City Manager Ron Chandler, City Recorder Annette Spendlove and Community Services Director Tiffany Staheli to evaluate them.
Chandler said the city has received five bids.
The outside company would do lawn maintenance in the summer and snow removal at city parks in the winter.
If the city decides to indeed outsource the work, it may lay off at least two employees. It is in those employees' contracts to receive a substantial severance payment, according to officials.
The city would face severance payments to the employees to the tune of approximately $178,000.
The severance includes pay for the employees, some of whom have worked for the city for decades and can get pay for a certain number of weeks depending on how many years they have worked for the city.
"No one knows who made that law or why it is still there, but we have to abide by it," said City Councilman Brent Taylor.
Bigler said officials at one of the companies the city is thinking of contracting with said they would hire the North Ogden employees to work for them immediately, and he wondered if that would nullify the severance issue. City Manager Ron Chandler said it would not.
Privatizing services has been one of the requests made by some of the new council members. The parks department is the first to be looked at this closely. Some council members feel it would save the city money to not pay employee benefits and not have to replace equipment.
Chandler said the numbers need to be examined.
The committee will look at the bids and compare them to the current costs to the city.