Thursday, August 18

City of Tempe Provides Landscaping Referrals to Residents

The city of Tempe, Arizona is providing relief for its residents through landscaping discounts.

Azfamily.com reports that the city government has negotiated a referral program for its residents. Known as the “Tempe Landscape Referral” program, the initiative offers residents discounted rates for three local landscaping companies. The discounts can save residents up to 25% from what they would pay otherwise for basic landscaping services.

“The City uses its, basically, bulk purchasing ability to get you the best rate possible,” said city council member Kolby Granville. “You contract with them, they do the work. You pay on a monthly basis: $35 a month for the front yard and $70 a month during the summer months.”

The three landscaping companies — Artistic Land Management , Inc., J.A. Desert Greens Custom Lawn Care, and Somerset Landscape Maintenance — were vetted by the City Council and will all offer the same rates. Technically, the companies are not contracted by the city. For its part, the city abdicates any responsibility over the quality of rendered services, and it will not handle any billing or company disputes.

“They don’t have to go out and get a bunch of different bids from a bunch of different landscapers. It’s just the three. Call them, and it’s done. We come [to] do the service; it’s all taken care of,” said Joe Shill of Somerset Landscape Maintenance.

The referral program is being welcomed by landscapers and residents alike. Jose Hernandez of Artistic Land Management is happy with the program.

“We’re definitely hoping to pick up some more business and employ some more people,” he said.

A Tempe resident, Steve (his last name was not provided), expresses his satisfaction with Tempe Landscape Referral.

“It’s a good idea in the respect that the price is fair,” he said.

Granville and other city officials rebuke the claims made by some residents that the program is simply meant to indirectly tax Tempe residents with citations and other fines for failing to upkeep front lawns and backyards.

“Our goal is never to cite people. Our goal is just to make a livable community,” Granville said. “We want a place where people drive the streets and say, ‘I’d live there,’ and I think if we can create an environment where people can do that as cheaply, cost-effectively and safely as possible, I think that’s a great idea.”

Many cities and towns require some level of lawn upkeep with fines and citations used to enforce it. One reason this is done is to make residents “presentable.”

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