TRACY (CBS13) — For more than a month, Tracy City Hall has been fielding angry calls from residents over medians and public spaces that overgrown and dried up.
The city said it had a contract dispute with Sycamore Landscaping in Livermore over cleaning and maintaining Tracy’s green aesthetics.
“The invoices they sent to the city were not correct, so the city was taking time to review those invoices,” said Public Works Director David Ferguson.
Ferguson said Sycamore Landscaping stopped working on April 23 and the city terminated its contract on May 28. Calls to the listed number for Sycamore Landscaping were not answered. Tracy residents said they quickly noticed the deterioration of service.
“Once everything started getting drier, I mean, you can see everything drying out,” said homeowner Rachelle Gonsalves. “Not watering as much of course. Then they weren’t trimming things as much as they should’ve been.”
“Oh yeah, if you look up at the median on this one it’s always overgrown,” said homeowner Dawn Ortega. “I think animals are hunkering in there.”
Public Works recently dedicated 10 percent of its staff to take care of the problem. “However, you won’t see a change, because the water has to take effect on the grass that dried up a little bit,” said Ferguson.
Ferguson said Tracy’s plants and shrubs are native to the valley and handle the drought well.
Starting July 1, XL Landscape Development from Sacramento, will start work in Tracy temporarily. The cost is $50,000, but Ferguson said it’s not a financial impact to the city since it comes out of the cost of the Sycamore Landscaping contract.
Tracy City Hall said it’s going to spend the summer looking for a permanent landscaper.