■ By Tom Jones / Contributed
In a continuing assessment of the city tree trimming program, the Hemet City Council received an updated review of Hemet’s program and delivery options from acting City Manager Christopher Lopez.
Specifically, the council in a January meeting had asked city staff to explore the practices of neighboring cities of comparable size. They eventually learned that the majority of these cities contracted out the bulk of the work, besides emergency projects, rather than having it done by city employees.
In his report, Lopez noted that the primary reasons for such an approach were reduced city liability and the cost and resources needed for equipment purchase and maintenance. These would be functions typically assumed by the contractor. However, it was noted that many of the neighboring cities which are often younger than Hemet have trees and shrubs that are mature and, thus, larger and more challenging. The council voted unanimously to direct the staff to investigate and develop a request for proposals for the work. The decision was delayed for final approval of the switch until a specific proposal is before them.