CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The state is looking to pay tens of thousands of dollars to private contractors to cut trees, remove stumps, clear snow and do yard work at the Capitol and other Charleston-area state offices.
The state has a 12-person grounds crew, but a spokeswoman said officials are looking to hire private contractors to help them.
A pending tree and stump removal contract is the latest effort to have outside companies help keep up appearances at the Capitol and other state offices in Charleston.
The state wants to get rid of seven trees and 17 stumps on the Capitol grounds. The form of the bid request indicates the state expected to spend at least $25,000 on the work. Officials opened two bids on Tuesday.
Department of Administration spokeswoman Diane Holley-Brown said the state's own grounds crews are certified with "basic training for the use of chainsaws and other equipment for minor tree pruning; however, because of the complexity and the equipment necessary to complete this extensive amount of work, it is outside the scope of what would be performed within the General Services Division."
The bid request is looking for a contractor that can remove 17 stumps and seven trees, including a Bradford pear with broken limbs, two dead white pines, a decaying crabapple tree, a sugar maple and a diseased red oak.
The state bought a $284,000 bucket truck several years ago. Holley-Brown says the state uses it only for lighting issues and other work.
The $12,000 low bid for the tree and stump project was from Ohio-based Davey Tree Co. The company has an office in Winfield.
Charleston-based Advanced Tree and Lawn Care said it could do the work for $31,500.
The tree removal contract isn't the only grounds crew contract, however.