At the October 2020 Hamlet meeting, the Board voted to move our grounds keeping and snow removal contract to Yard Enhancement Services (YES). The board received and evaluated four proposals (including from our current landscaping company, Blade Runners). We evaluated each company based on the proposal details, references (and prior experience), and price.
Yard Enhancement Services (YES) provided the best overall proposal and comes with very solid references from a professional property management company with Reston based properties. TWC has also reported good experience with them at other properties they manage. Site visits to referenced properties indicated each had a professional, consistent appearance.
Over the recent years the Board has received feedback from many residents that the quality and consistency of groundskeeping is not meeting expectations. That along with other issues related to project management led us to seriously consider other companies. In the end, considering our recent experiences and the proposal for YES, we decided to make the change effective January 1, 2021. In addition to landscaping, YES will take over our snow contract effective November 1 of this year.
This new contract will increase our annual budget for grounds maintenance, but we believe YES’s strong proposal and references made them the best choice over the other options. When factoring in a couple of items which were “add-ons” for our current contract (including one of our fall cleanups), the increase is fairly minimal at about $4.00 per Hamlet property per month.
It should be noted that some of the concerns expressed over the condition of Hamlet grounds are out of the control of Blade Runners and were not a consideration for the board. For example, the increasing tree canopy and proliferation of wildlife, not under Blade Runner’s control, is leading to loss of ground cover and erosion. These challenges will continue regardless of the landscaping company.
However, we are looking for better consistency in grass maintenance, varied grounds management and faster responses to project needs.
Of course with a new contract and new contractor, expect some changes to how both landscaping and snow removal are handled. More information on both topics will be coming soon.