Sarasota left without mowing contractor

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SARASOTA, FL. - For the next several weeks, the city of Sarasota has to maintain all public grassy areas, including medians and parks.

That is because the landscape maintenance company contracted by the city of Sarasota has decided to stop providing their service.

The city is calling it a breach of contract and the landscape company is saying they aren't being paid on time. So what does that mean now for city property that needs to be maintained in the meantime?

"I think it's a huge city. I think they do a beautiful job for the most part. There are a few streets that I have noticed where there is a lot of over grown branches," says Michelle Mindock.

The landscape company, Championship LLC, entered into a $117,000 contract with city in June of 2013 to maintain all the city landscaping. Last week, they sent a termination letter to the city, stating two reasons for backing out. The first reason was citing that they did not have communication with the appropriate people, and the second reason was they believed they were not getting paid in a timely manner.

However, 10 days prior, the city sent a warning letter to Championship LL detailing their failure to comply with filing reports, invoices and schedules in a timely manner, which they agreed to in their contract. The city gave them 30 days to correct the issue or face termination.

"They addressed the issues with the company and the company still chose to back out, then I think that the city still has the right to do what they need to do to keep the streets clean," says Sarasota resident, Enrika Bywaters.

The situation, however, gets more complicated. The city says they were made aware that Championship LLC was out mowing on Beneva Road late Thursday morning. “I'd really like to see it being taken care of I think it's really important and if they need a good lawn man they could call my guy-- he's wonderful,” says Christine Saunders.

At this time, trained Public Works employees will perform the maintenance and bill Championship LLC for the hours worked.

The city declined to go on camera, telling ABC 7 there could be potential litigation due to what they are calling a breach of contract.

ABC 7 also made several attempts to speak with the CEO of Championship LLC, but our calls have not been returned.