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Santa Fe National Cemetery grounds maintenance contract - Attachment

General Information

Document Type:FILE
Posted Date:Jan 17, 2018
Category: Utilities and Housekeeping Services
Set Aside:N/A

Contracting Office Address

VA National Cemetery Administration Centralized Contracting Division - Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration


This acquisition is a Prospective 100% set aside for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) or Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB). If Two or more interested (SDVOSB) and/or (VOSB) respond, then the solicitation to acquire services described below, shall be 100% Set-aside to the appropriate VOSB or SDVOSB. If there are less than 2 interested veteran certified companies, this requirement shall be set aside to all small businesses. The NAICS Code is 812220 (Cemeteries and Crematories) $20.5 Million size standard. Please note: That this is not a request for quotes or proposals; this is a Pre-solicitation notice to inform all interested Small Businesses that the VA National Cemetery Administration, Pacific District as directed by the VA Santa Fe National Cemetery, is preparing to solicit the appropriate Set-Aside Proposal Depending on the interested Reponses on this Notice. Contract award will consist of One Base year and up to 4 one-year option; a total of five years (maximum if needed). A solicitation is currently not available. The intent of an awarded contract shall be Total Cemetery Grounds Maintenance services for the Santa Fe National Cemetery. Subject to all terms, conditions, provisions, and schedules of the contract; contractor shall furnish all equipment, parts, materials, supplies, labor, and supervision necessary and incidental to the work required. Technical and Past Performance is significantly Greater Than Price BACKGROUND: The VA National Cemeteries are a resting place for our nations heroes and as such, the standards for management, maintenance and appearance of these cemeteries have been established by the VA National Cemetery Administration (NCA) to reflect this nations concern and respect for those interred there. NCA mission is to honor veterans with a final resting place and lasting memorials that commemorate their service to our nation. National Cemeteries are National Shrines. The standards of maintenance and appearance at these cemeteries shall reflect this nations concern for those interred. Participation in this effort is strictly voluntary. All costs associated with responding to this Notice will be solely at the interested respondent s expense. The objective of this Notice is to allow industry the opportunity to provide comments to the VA NCA Pacific District. Review of the responses to the Notice will focus on the offeror s technical input and clarification of requirements. Notice Response Due Date: The VA NCA Pacific District will only entertain written communication; no verbal communions will be accepted. Please submit written information via e-mail to Joseph Mendoza, Contracting Officer, at joseph.mendoza1@va.gov no later than 22 January 2018 4:00 p.m. Pacific time. Response Contact: Respondents to this Notice shall designate a primary and one alternate point of contact within the company (Name, Address, Email, and Telephone). Clarification of Notice Responses: To fully comprehend the information contained within a response to this Notice, there may be a need to seek further clarification from those responding. This clarification may be requested in the form of brief verbal communication by telephone; written communication; electronic communication; or a request for a presentation of the response to a specific VA NCA Pacific District group or groups. The VA NCA Pacific District reserves the right to seek additional information from those respondents identified with unique solutions that are determined to be beneficial to the VA NCA Pacific District. DESCRIPTION / SPECIFICATIONS / WORK STATEMENT BACKGROUND The Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration, honors Veterans with a final resting place and lasting memorials that commemorate their service to our nation. There are approximately 134 National Cemeteries in 39 states that receive visitors, hold ceremonies and conduct committal services on an ongoing basis. National Cemeteries are National Shrines. Therefore, the standards for management, maintenance, appearance and operational procedures performed by the Contractor have been established by the National Cemetery Administration to reflect this Nations concern and respect for those interred there. Because of the special significance and attention our National Cemeteries receive from the public, strict adherence to the following specifications is essential. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE The Contractor shall provide all supervision, labor, equipment, materials and supplies necessary to provide Grounds Maintenance Services at Santa Fe National Cemetery, hereby known as the Cemetery. Specific locations, sizes and services required for the cemeteries are as follows: Cemetery Address Approx. Acreage Required Services Santa Fe National Cemetery 501 North Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 78.6 Developed Acres 50 Turf Acres Grounds Maintenance Services MAINTENANCE AREAS The physical area of the contract includes the cemetery proper, structures, paving, and landscaped grounds, maintenance areas, roadways, stormwater facilities, perimeter landscaped areas, forested lands, and all of its landscape elements. A portion of the cemetery may be under renovation by another contractor at any time; and specific grounds maintenance activities may be under separate contract with another vendor. CONTRACT OBJECTIVES To use an innovative and creative technical approach to manage the grounds maintenance operation at the Cemetery in order to maintain the high standards of appearance as a National Shrine, in accordance with the National Cemetery Administration National Shrine Commitment Operational Standards and Measures (Version 5.1 July 2014) and standard commercial practices. DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES The Contractor shall furnish all personnel, supervision, professional expertise, vehicles, tools, materials, services, equipment and quality control necessary to ensure that grounds maintenance is performed in a manner that will meet or exceed the requirements to maintain healthy grass and that presents a clean, neat, professional and aesthetic grounds appearance throughout the Cemetery in accordance with Work Statement/Specifications. Services include, but are not limited to, mowing, trimming, edging, pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicide application with fertilizers as noted, removal of trash, leaves and debris, as well as sweeping or blowing off grass from sidewalks, roads and headstones. Scheduling of services shall be coordinated with the Contracting Officer s Representative (COR) to avoid disruption of ongoing cemetery operations. All work will be done during normal Federal workdays during Cemetery workday hours. The exception is Memorial Day, which may be a workday for Federal employees, but not for the Contractor. No work will be allowed during special weekend activities. CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS & SPECIFICATIONS SERVICES PROVIDED: The Contractor shall provide all supervision, labor, equipment, materials and supplies necessary to perform the following Grounds Maintenance Services at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. THE CONTRACTOR SHALL PROVIDE THE MANPOWER & RESOURCES NECESSARY TO PERFORM AND COMPLETE MULTIPLE JOBS SIMULTANEOUSLY. Services to be provided include the following: Cemetery Grounds Management Plan Turf Maintenance Pest Control Turf Maintenance Mowing, Trimming & Edging CEMETERY GROUNDS MANAGEMENT PLAN NCA STANDARDS All maintenance activities are included in a current Cemetery Grounds Management Plan. SCOPE Cemetery Grounds Management Plan: A maintenance plan developed by each national cemetery, which identifies required maintenance tasks and schedules for all grounds maintenance activities. Contractor shall develop a Cemetery Grounds Management Plan for the national cemetery based on all required grounds maintenance activities specified herein. Contractor shall update the Cemetery Grounds Management Plan on a monthly basis to reflect actual occurrence of maintenance activities. Submit an updated spread sheet to COR for review and approval. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS Within 30 days after Notice to Proceed, the Contractor shall submit a Cemetery Grounds Management Plan to the COR and Pacific District Agronomist for review and approval. The plan shall be developed on an electronic spread sheet, listing each task/activity specified herein, represented on a year-long time line beginning with the fiscal year (or date of award). The spread sheet shall clearly show the frequency of all tasks/activities on a daily, weekly, monthly basis throughout the fiscal year. A sample Grounds Management Plan spreadsheet may be obtained from the Pacific District Agronomist. The plan shall incorporate the activities outlined in the General Schedule for Herbicide/Fertilizer Applications. The plan shall incorporate a legend to indicate which specific products (i.e., manufacturer and product name) are proposed to be supplied with each application and the application rate in quantity of product and/or active ingredient (ai) per Acre or 1000 square-feet for herbicides, and fertilizer analysis with application rate and pounds of N:P:K per Acre or 1000 square-feet. The plan shall clearly show which herbicide applications are to use fertilizers as a carrier for the herbicide, and which are to be tank-mixed with fertilizers. The Contractor shall complete and maintain the Grounds Maintenance Checklists (Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Annually). The COR will provide training in the proper use of these documents as applicable to the contract. (See Attachment B.) TURF MAINTENANCE PEST CONTROL NCA STANDARDS Turf in burial areas and visually prominent areas are to be 90 percent weed free. Turf in all other areas is to be generally weed free. SCOPE Contractors shall be responsible for maintaining the turf area of the cemetery and the immediate area surroundings of the cemetery in a healthy condition by proper application of chemicals to control weeds and gopher pests. Turf in high visibility areas shall be at least 90 percent pest free. Conduct pest control in accordance with requirements as stated in NCA Handbook 3410 Integrated Pest Management Procedures for VA National Cemeteries. DEFINITIONS: Pest is defined as any plant or animal detrimental to humans or human concerns including weeds, fungi, molds, vertebrates, and invertebrates. An animal is any living thing that is not a human being or a plant. A pesticide is herbicide, insecticide, fungicide, and poisonous baits. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS Fertilizer: Fertilizer shall be applied based on the results and recommendations of Government-provided soil fertility test reports. Contractor shall apply fertilizer with three (3) of the post- emergent and/or pre-emergent herbicide applications in compliance with the General Schedule for Herbicide/Fertilizer Applications. Apply 5 pounds of actual Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year with 30% to 50% of the Nitrogen from controlled-release sources for both liquid and granular fertilizers. Apply 2.0 pounds of actual Nitrogen per 1000 square-feet with each application. Schedule the fertilizer/herbicide applications to coincide with the appropriate time of year to respond to need for both turf fertilization and weed control. Fertilizer shall be applied 3 times every year April/May, August/September and October/November as approved by the COR and the District Agronomist. Apply first application after initial heavy flush of spring growth has subsided. (Apply prior to Memorial Day and Veterans Day to green-up the lawn.) The fertilizer/herbicide shall be uniformly applied with an accurately calibrated spreader. When liquid fertilizer is tank-mixed with post-emergent herbicide, perform compatibility tests per manufacturer s written instructions prior to application. Pesticides: Contractor shall keep a record of all insecticides, herbicides, etc. applied and submit a copy to COR on the appropriate form within 5 working days of application along with all supporting SDS sheets for any chemicals used in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). (See Attachment D Pesticide Application Data Sheet ). The COR will train the Contractor in the proper use of this form. Records will show type, amount, application area, and weather conditions. Post signs along the perimeters of treated areas informing the public that a chemical has been applied (Date and Time of Application). Weed Control: Weed growth in turf shall be controlled by means of mowing, trimming and pesticide application or any other method approved by the COR. All personnel using such sprays shall be properly trained, and the person in charge shall be duly licensed by the State of New Mexico to use pesticides. Broadcast applications of pesticides for weeds shall be accomplished as specified in the General Schedule for Herbicide/Fertilizer Applications. Spot treatments of pesticides for weed control shall occur monthly during the growing season. Grass Weed Pre-Emergent: Contractor shall apply grass pre-emergent herbicide in granular form when treating for annual bluegrass, annual ryegrass, barnyardgrass, brome, cheatgrass, crabgrass, crowfoot grass, dallisgrass, goosegrass, green foxtail, hare barley, johnsongrass, junglerice, lovegrass, orchardgrass, rattail fescue, sandbur, smooth crabgrass, southern crabgrass, southwestern cupgrass, stinkgrass, swinecress, Texas panicum, wild cane, wild oat, witchgrass, yellow foxtail, etc. at manufactures recommended rate allowable for the South-West Rockies region and cool season turf grasses. One or more applications of pre-emergent herbicide will be applied with fertilizer as the carrier. Apply pre-emergent one to two weeks prior to the anticipated seed germination when soil temperatures register between 50 to 55 F for 3 consecutive days as approved by the COR. Pre-emergent must be applied with calibrated spreading equipment. Coordinate pre-emergent herbicide application with the Cemetery s spring turf overseeding schedule. Do not apply pre-emergent until grass has received at least two mowing, or as indicated on the herbicide manufacturer s printed instructions. The Contractor is solely responsible for damage to turf, headstones or any other structures caused as a result of any pre-emergent application or herbicidal treatment. Alternate between herbicide products containing benefin, bensulide, dithiopyr, pendimethalin, and prodiamine to reduce herbicide resistance. Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua) Control: To limit annual bluegrass germination during winter, apply pre-emergent herbicides listed above in late summer or early fall when soil temperatures drop below 70 F. Repeat application in early spring. In addition to the pre-emergent herbicide application, the Contractor shall apply post-emergent herbicide spot applications of ethofumesate, foramsulfuron, pronamide, sulfosulfuron, and trifloxysulfuron to young plants. Successful control will be measured as cemetery turf with less than 10 percent annual bluegrass weeds. Broadleaf Weed Control: Broadleaf herbicides shall be applied with calibrated measured spraying equipment (not a hose end sprayer). The chemical must address issues of various broadleaf weed types which include annual bursage, black medic, broadleaf dock, bull thistle, burclover, Canada thistle, Carolina geranium, carpet weed, catchweed bedstraw, chickweed, chicory, common mallow, corn speedwell, curly dock, dandelion, eclipta, diffuse knapweed, evening primrose, field bindweed, fleabane, groundsel, hairy bittercress, henbit, jimsonweed, kochia, ladysthumb, lambquarters, lanceleaf, London rocket, marestail, mayweed, morning glory, musk thistle, mustard, nettleleaf goosefoot, panicled willowweed, Pennsylvania smartweed, pineappleweed, pokeweed, prickly lettuce, prostrate knotweed, prostrate spurge, puncturevine, purslane, ragweed, red sorrel, redroot pigweed, rockpurslane, Russian knapweed, Russian thistle, scarlet pimpernel, sheep sorrel, shepherd s purse, sow thistle, spotted spurge, stinging nettle, sunflower, sweet clover, tansymustard, velvetleaf, Virginia pepperweed, white clover, white prairie aster, wild carrot, wood-sorrel, etc.. Applications shall be timely and at the proper dosage so that perennial weeds do not go to seed. One or more broadcast applications of post-emergent herbicide may be applied with fertilizer as the carrier pre-blended by the manufacturer. When fertilizer is tank-mixed with post-emergent herbicide perform compatibility tests per manufacturer s written instructions prior to application. Chemicals shall be broadcast and spot-applied to turf areas throughout the cemetery as appropriate for the degree of weed pressure. Use three-way herbicide products containing triclopyr; 2,4-D; and dicamba. Tank mix with MCPP or MCPA to increase spectrum of control. Grass Weed Control: Grass weed herbicides shall be applied with calibrated measured spraying equipment (not a hose end sprayer). Applications shall be timely and at the proper dosage so that grass weeds do not go to seed. Chemicals shall be broadcast and spot-applied to grass weeds in turf areas throughout the cemetery as appropriate for the degree of weed pressure. Alternate between herbicides products containing dithiopyr in the spring and pronamide in summer to reduce herbicide resistance. Tank mix with MSMA or fenoxapropto increase spectrum of control. Sedge Weed Control: Sedge weed herbicides shall be applied with calibrated measured spraying equipment (not a hose end sprayer). The chemical must address issues of various weeds which include green kyllinga, annual sedge, purple nutsedge, yellow nutsedge, and aquatic sedges. Applications shall be timely and at the proper dosage so that grass weeds do not go to seed. Chemicals shall be spot-applied throughout the cemetery where infestations are evident, particularly in moist and low-lying areas prone to poor drainage. Tank mix with adjuvant per manufacturer s printed instructions. Reapply 4 to 6 weeks per manufacturer s printed instructions. Alternate between herbicides products containing halosulfuron, imazosulfuron, and sulfosulfuron to reduce herbicide resistance. Gopher Control: The Contractor shall provide services to control gophers on the cemetery grounds. Control will be by means of extermination within burrows and be performed by licensed professionals permitted to exterminate the target pest. Explosives and shooting of animals will not be authorized. Comply with U.S. Fish and Wildlife laws and regulations, and state Fish and Game Code with regard to control of animal pests. Any gophers found dead outside of burrows shall be disposed of in accordance with Federal, State and local laws. The Contractor shall ensure that all gopher holes/ruts be filled with soil or other COR-approved material, tamped, re-graded and raked smooth so that mounds are not visible. Areas of repair include both turf and planting beds. When mowing, the Contractor shall mark off and avoid newly sodded/seeded areas until the turf is established. The Contractor shall: within 10 calendar days from start of the contract period conduct a complete inspection of the cemetery grounds and document all gopher damage using Attachment E Gopher Inspection Sheet or other COR-approved document. The Contractor shall provide this document to the COR upon completion of the inspection. Within 15 calendar days from the start of the contract period the Contractor shall have treated all areas of visible pest activity with appropriate control measures to reduce gopher populations to an acceptable level. With 20 calendar days from the start of the contract period the Contractor shall have correctly repaired the areas damaged from gopher activity. Approximately 30 days after the start of the contract period, and every 15 days thereafter as required, the COR will inspect the cemetery grounds to determine if the gopher damage has been reduced to an acceptable level. Also at that time, the COR will determine if the gopher damaged has been repaired to an acceptable level. (Acceptable is defined as 90% of gophers are eliminated). The Contractor shall inspect for gophers at a minimum two-times monthly and eradicate pests when activity is discovered. If any additional signs of gopher activity are found the Contractor shall apply treatments the day of discovery. The inspections shall be documented and reported to the COR on a bi-monthly basis. Pesticide Application: All application methods of shall be in strict accordance with manufacturer, Department of Environmental Protection and all federal, state and local laws. All applications shall be made in accordance with manufacturer s label instructions to ensure proper rate and timing of application. Prior to any application, the Contractor shall provide to COR, a copy of product label for each chemical used and appropriate supporting SDS sheets. The Contractor shall provide the COR with SDS sheets one (1) week in advance of any application. Contractor personnel applying turf applications shall possess a current, valid State of New Mexico commercial pesticide/herbicide application license. A copy of the license will be provided to the COR. The Contractor shall be responsible for any damage resulting from the application of any fertilizer, herbicide or pesticide treatments. Train employees on environmental issues such as ground water contamination, wetland protection, etc., and be consistent and fully compliant with all applicable Federal, State, County and City laws, ordinances, Right-to-Know laws, EPA guidelines, and regulations. Post appropriate signage, flags or markers in all treated areas for a period of 24 hours after a fertilizer and/or pesticide treatment has been applied accompanied by a sign informing the public of the time and date of the chemical application. Remove all signs, flags and markers upon expiration of the 24-hour period. Turf applications shall be applied with appropriate calibrated spreading and spraying equipment. Liquid and pellet surface applications shall be uniformly distributed within the cemetery s defined area of coverage. Surface applications shall not be made where surface run-off is likely to occur or near a water source. Spot applications of herbicide shall be made with an appropriate non-staining marker dye compatible with the herbicide being applied. Use surfactants and adjuvants with herbicides to improve herbicidal activity or application characteristics when recommended by herbicide manufacturer. Complete each turf application within the Annual Application Date specified in the General Schedule for Herbicide/Fertilizer Applications, (weather permitting). Applications shall be provided in accordance with manufacturers label instructions to ensure proper rate of active ingredient (ai) and timing. Thirty (30) days after completion of the application, jointly inspect the pesticide application with the COR and assess results. In areas where results are less than acceptable* re-perform the application at no additional cost to the Government. (*Acceptable is defined as 90% of target pest species are eliminated). Take precautions to prevent damage to the cemetery, in any manner, including headstones, monuments, shrub and flower beds, trees and other structures during pest control operations. Current replacement costs for headstones, other cemetery structures or property damaged by the work under this contract will be deducted from the contract price. Do not use any pesticide or fertilizer in either granular or liquid form that will stain or discolor any headstones. Test products for staining/discoloration on discarded headstones prior to use in the cemetery sections. Notify the COR of all materials scheduled for use on turf before beginning any turf application. Clean cemetery structures, headstones, monuments, and roadways that are soiled or stained as a result of the application. Wash-down with water all soiled or stained structures, headstones, and monuments at the end of each workday. Do not use hazardous chemicals at any time on Government property. Bear all costs associated with washing and cleaning. Notify the COR of any such soiling or staining of structures prior to washing/cleaning. HERCIDE APPLICATION PROCEDURES: Apply herbicides in accordance with NCA Turf standards. Any deviation from this Schedule must be approved by the COR and the Pacific District Agronomist. The herbicide program, in general, will consist of two (2) pre-emergent herbicide applications; and three (3) post-emergent herbicide applications per entire contract year. These applications will be applied in such a manner as to bring about the total control of all broadleaf and grassy weeds in the improved turf areas of the cemetery. The table below serves as a guideline for when the herbicide applications will be made: General Schedule for Herbicide/Fertilizer Applications TURF APPLICATION ANNUAL APPLICATION DATE DESCRIPTION #1 Fall (or upon Award of Contract if weed pressure is high) 1 Post-emergent weed control broadcast-applied in liquid form tank-mixed with liquid fertilizer3 to control grass and broadleaf weeds. Fertilizer composition to be based upon Government-provided soil fertility report. #2 Late Winter/Early Spring2 (Before Memorial Day) Post-emergent weed control in liquid form tank-mixed with liquid fertilizer3 broadcast-applied to control grass and broadleaf weeds. #3 Early Spring/Mid Spring2 (After Memorial Day) Pre-Emergent herbicide broadcast-applied for control of grass and broadleaf weeds. Time application with soil temperature rising to 50 to 55 F for 3 consecutive days. #4 Early Summer/Mid Summer1 Post-emergent weed control broadcast-applied to control grass and broadleaf weeds. #5 Late Summer/Early Fall2 Pre-Emergent herbicide broadcast-applied with granular fertilizer3 for control of annual bluegrass and other grass and broadleaf weeds. Time application with soil temperature falling to 70 F. N/A Monthly as Needed Post-emergent weed control spot-applied in liquid form, to control grass and broadleaf weeds. 1 Exact timing based on level of weed pressure. Prior approval from COR required before application. 2 Exact timing based on soil temperature and weather conditions. Prior approval from COR required before application. 3 Apply fertilizers as a carrier or tank mixed with herbicide as indicated. Prior approval from COR required before application. The Contractor shall be responsible for any and all repeat, follow-up, and/or spot-spray herbicide applications, as needed between scheduled sprays, to control and maintain a generally weed free cemetery. These repeat, follow-up, and spot spray treatments will be provided at no additional cost to the Government. The herbicides used by the Contractor will be specifically labeled for control of weeds in the Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, and Turf-Type Tall Fescue blend, (also known as Park Blend ), turf located at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. The Cemetery turf is pre-dominantly Park Blend. The herbicide applications will be applied directly by or under the supervision of a current commercially licensed New Mexico Certified Pesticide Applicator. All applications will be performed as per the Rules and Regulations of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, the authority having jurisdiction over the contractor s applicator. The Contractor will contact the COR, in writing, for permission to spray at least three business days in advance of each and any application. The COR will coordinate each spray application with the Contractor. The Contractor will be responsible for the proper timing of each application so that the highest resulting weed control for that application will be attained. The COR will order each application as needed, and the Contractor will coordinate the application date and time with the COR. The Contractor will coordinate the application date and time with the COR within three business days of receiving the order. The Contractor is responsible for specifically following all label directions on the bag/container of herbicide at all times. This includes, but is not limited to, all safety, mixing, weather conditions, and application directions and information. The Contractor shall always mix and apply herbicide so as to provide optimum control of target weeds, according to label directions. The Contractor shall provide to the COR, in writing, a list of all herbicides, mixes, and related surfactants or other chemicals, along with the amount of product per acre, percentage of solution, and/or application rate per 1000 square feet (and/or per acre), prior to any and all applications being performed. The Contractor shall also provide the COR with a copy of the label for any and all herbicides and other chemicals or surfactants, prior to any and all applications being performed. The Contractor shall NOT begin any application without providing this information to the COR, and obtaining the approval of the COR to proceed. A written record of the application shall be delivered to the COR immediately following the application, whether completed or not, before leaving the cemetery on the day of any application. The written record will show the name of the company and the names and titles of the company s staff that performed the application. The written record will show all areas treated, the chemicals used, and the temperature and the average wind speed during the time of application. All contractor personnel shall be properly clothed and wearing proper safety equipment during any and all applications. All mixing of chemicals and filling of tanks shall be performed off site or only in an appropriate area of the cemetery as determined and directed by the COR. Performance of work will not impede nor disturb any burial or memorial service, or burial operation at any time. As a general rule of thumb work should not take place within 1000 feetof a committal shelter during a service, or during a ceremony in the cemetery. The Contractor will coordinate with the COR any watering requirements to activate chemicals, as needed. The Cemetery will schedule and perform this watering requirement. TURF MAINTENANCE MOWING, TRIMMING & EDGING NCA STANDARDS Visually prominent areas in the cemetery are properly trimmed and edged. SCOPE Turf shall be maintained at a height within one-inch range of that which is professionally recommended for the turfgrass type appropriate for the geographic region. Optimally, the height is no more than half an inch above that range. Turf surrounding a headstone shall be trimmed to the recommended height. There shall be no signs of grass burns caused by mowers. There shall be no signs of turf being scalped by string trimmers. The Contractor shall be responsible for mowing, trimming and edging all improved turf within the cemetery and any improved turf outside perimeter enclosure walls and fences. This encompasses approximately 50 acres of turf grass within the developed area of the cemetery. All improved turf shall be maintained in the same manner as a high quality residential lawn under contract from a professional lawn maintenance service. Areas scheduled for mowing under this contract include burial areas, specialty areas, and non-burial areas. DEFINITIONS BURIAL AREAS include all burial sections of established turf with gravesites including columbarium areas; all developed land within and directly surrounding the burial areas, including turf, walks, planter beds, drainage ditches, and tree/shrubs. SPECIALTY AREAS include visually prominent areas, specifically: (1) Main Entrance/Cortege; (2) Public Information/Assembly Areas; (3) Flag Pole Assembly Areas; (4) Public Gathering Areas; (5) Committal Shelters; (6) Administration/Maintenance Building Grounds; (7) Memorial Walkways; and (8) All Developed Land, including (but not all inclusive) turf, walks, beds, planter beds, drainage ditches, tree/shrub, roads, and plazas within and directly surrounding the specialty areas. NON-BURIAL AREAS are defined as unoccupied burial sections including areas in front of and between these sections and all developed land to borders and wetlands, including drainage ditches. UNIMPROVED/NATIVE TURF AREAS are defined as all undeveloped land to cemetery borders and wetlands, including drainage ditches. EQUIPMENT Use rotary mowers with rear discharge mulching decks for mowing. Riding mowers may be used if they are not operated within 2 inches of headstones, monuments, tree trunks or other vertical elements unless directed to do so by the COR. Thirty-inch (30 ) deck or smaller commercial walk-behind mowers shall be used to mow along curb edges, small spaces, and areas too steep to mow with riding mowers. Sixty-inch (60 ) minimum and Seventy-two-inch (72 ) maximum deck mowers shall be used to mow aisles between upright headstones within burial sections. Wheel paths of mowers shall not align on return passes within aisles to avoid creating ruts in the turf area. Mowers with decks larger than Seventy-two inches (72 ) must be comprised of multiple contour cutting units. Commercial-grade power trimmers and power edgers will be used to trim grass from around headstones, monuments, curblines, walkways, etc. Power trimmers shall be equipped with scalp-protectors. Use bicycle-handled stick string trimmers for mowing around all headstones and other structures to avoid operator fatigue resulting in unsatisfactory results. No metal blades will be used to trim around flat markers. The Contractor shall use trimmers with a plastic blade attachment to cleanly trim edges around all flat markers, or as otherwise approved by the COR to provide a clean, neat edge around each flat marker. Care must be taken not to chip flat markers with blades. Cutting blades on mowing and trimming equipment must be sharpened every 20 hours of use, at the minimum so that grass tips are cleanly cut, and not torn or damaged. Cutting heights of all mowing equipment shall be set according to heights specified below. The height of grass is what is measured to get correct cutting height. Mowing equipment shall be properly maintained such that mowed areas are free of scalping, rutting, bruising, and uneven and rough cutting. Use of cutting equipment that is out of adjustment, thereby causing streaks or irregularities, uneven cutting, plowing, or gouging of the soil is not permitted. After cutting, grass will have a uniform height. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS Turf shall be cut to maintain heights as set forth below: Cutting Height - Inches Turf Grass Species 3.0 to 3.5 Cool Season Turfgrass Maintain turf in burial and public areas at a height within one inch range of that which is professionally recommended for the grass type by the New Mexico State University Agricultural Extension. Optimally, the height should be no more than half an inch above that range. For example, the height of Perennial Ryegrass/Turf-Type Tall Fescue/Kentucky Bluegrass blend (aka Park Blend) should be between 2.0 and 3.5 inches. In no circumstances shall the turf be allowed to grow taller than 4.0 inches or to be cut lower than 3.0 inches. Turf that is cut lower than 2.0 inches shall be repaired by the Contractor through complete turf renovation at no additional cost to the Government. Do not remove more than 1/3 of the grass leaf surface at any one mowing. Be familiar with and utilize different mowing patterns. Changing direction and patterns reduces turf wear providing a cleaner cut, and avoids creating tire ruts in the turf areas. Vary mower wheel width patterns and mowing patterns after each mowing to prevent and avoid wheel rutting from occurring. Clean mowing and trimming equipment prior to entering the cemetery grounds. No equipment will be cleaned on cemetery property. This will minimize the possibility of introducing weed contaminates to cemetery turf from areas outside the cemetery grounds. Contact the COR to inspect the equipment prior to unloading. Clean mowing and trimming equipment prior to moving equipment from a turf area known to contain weed infestation to a turf area free of that weed infestation. This will minimize the spreading the weed infestations within the cemetery grounds. Contact the COR to inspect the equipment prior to proceeding from turf area to the next. Take the utmost care not to damage headstones, floral or commemorative items, structures, survey monuments, irrigation equipment, etc., while performing mowing, trimming and edging services. Repair or replace all damaged items caused by the Contractor to the satisfaction of the COR at no additional cost to the Government. Remove all trash and debris within the cemetery grounds in conjunction with each mowing/trimming cycle. Remove and replace all floral and commemorative items, such as fresh cut flowers, wreaths, (and artificial flowers, and potted plants when allowed), to their proper gravesite during the course of performing mowing and trimming services. Remove floral and commemorative items in accordance with the Floral Policy. (See Trash and Debris Removal.) Newly seeded and/or sodded turf will be present at newly interred gravesites, second interment gravesites, and renovated gravesite locations. New seedlings and/or sod must be hand mowed until it is fully established to the point where riding mowers will not cause damage to the turf. Mow around trees in a manner that prevents ringing pattern around the tree and associated damage to turf. Trim un-mowed grass around headstones, section markers, monuments, and other vertical surfaces to keep the grass at the height standard for mown turf without scalping between stones or around stones. Scalped turf between headstones shall be repaired through complete turf renovation at no additional cost the Government. Clean headstones, section markers, walkways, curbs, concrete bases, and roads of grass clippings and leaves after mowing, weed-eating, edging, and trimming. Blowing clippings back into turf areas will be acceptable. Do not blow or sweep grass clippings into planting beds and mulched areas. PROCEDURE Frequency of Mowing, Trimming, & Debris Removal: Mow, trim and remove clippings once every seven (7) days during the active growing season (April through October) for all improved turf in the developed cemetery. During periods of active growth, and after dethatching operations, mowing may be required twice weekly as directed by the COR. Complete trimming around headstones and debris removal in conjunction with each mowing cycle. A mowing cycle will not be considered complete until all trimming and debris removal operations are accomplished, unless otherwise directed by the COR. Weather Conditions: There may be periods of excessive rainfall when the Contractor cannot access areas for mowing due to excessive wetness. The COR has the authority to stop work if weather conditions are such that work that day will do more damage than good to the Cemetery grounds. During these periods, the Contractor will be expected to ensure the grass is cut in less than a week s time once grass is suitable for mowing. Mowing Timing: Do not mow wet turf. Coordinate irrigation schedule so irrigation does not occur during the evening or morning prior to mowing. Do not mow turf under a layer of frost. The COR will determine when the frost has subsided enough to proceed. Mowing cycle shall be completed by Friday of each week. Mowing Patterns: Cross-cut, the turf between headstones every other mowing cycle. Cut turf aisles between headstones in the opposite direction from the preceding mowing cycle. Mowing Speed: Do not operate mowers at speeds that will leave tire marks when making sharp turns. In no case shall mowers be operated at speeds exceeding the manufacturer s indicated speed for safe operation, or at speeds which cause damage to cemetery property. Mower/Trimmer Maintenance: Mower and trimmer maintenance shall be conducted in the designated maintenance yard, including refueling of equipment. Do not refuel equipment in cemetery burial sections. Mowing: Cut turf within the cemetery burial sections at recommended height unless otherwise specified by the COR. Use rotary mowers with rear discharge mulching decks for mowing. The design of the mowing decks and speed of the mowing shall be such that scalping is avoided. At no time is freshly mowed grass to be blown onto headstones. Areas will be mowed first, followed by the trimming operations. Trimming: All turf areas that cannot be maintained by traditional mowing equipment shall be trimmed at the same height of the mown grass. These areas may include the base of headstones, flat markers, trees, planting beds, monuments, curbs/curbing, section markers, buildings, walls, fences, signs, other vertical surfaces or any other structures. Take great care to avoid contact with headstones, markers, monuments, building walls, trees, shrubs, flowers, any other desirable plant materials, and any other structure than can be damaged by contact with the trimming device s cutting instrument. Scalping of the turf around a marker/headstone is unacceptable. Trimming will be accomplished free of scalping, rutting, bruising, and uneven and rough cutting. Streaks or irregularities, uneven cutting, plowing, or gouging of the soil is unacceptable. Flat Marker Edging: Trim turf around flat markers at 90 degrees (perpendicular to the face of the marker) to remove all grass/vegetation that is growing around or over the entire outside perimeter of the flat grave markers. The depth of the vertical cut at the edge of the flat markers shall be 1 inch minimum and the width of the cut shall not exceed 1/2 inch. There shall be a clean and neat vertical edge left around each flat marker. Metal blades shall not be used for flat marker edging. Edging: Edge turf at streets, curbs, walkways, tree wells, permanent building/structure lines, and planting beds inside and outside cemetery grounds. Edging shall provide a clear zone 1/2-inch wide by 2 to 3 inches deep with all vegetation removed from joints and cracks. Avoid damaging pavement. Remove debris from edging from the site on the same day as the edging event. Use stick edgers with metal blades or as approved by the COR. Edging events will be completed as ordered by the COR. Removal of Turf Clippings: Immediately remove or disperse windrows and mats of grass clipping deposited on the turf to avoid turf damage. Remove clippings deposited on headstones and other monuments, section markers, concrete bases, roads, walks, plazas, beds, tree basins, or other non-turf grass areas the same day as the mowing event that produced them. Remove clippings deposited on sidewalks or at public visitor areas including the Committal Shelter(s) at same time mowing work is occurring. In specialty areas, collect clippings in bag attachments to the mowers, when directed by the COR. Clearly visible clumps of grass clippings and/or windrows of clippings, as a result of infrequent mowing, shall immediately be removed and disposed of at no additional cost to the Government. Removal of Grass Clippings and Soil: Immediately remove grass and/or soil splatter deposited onto headstones, section markers, and other structures the same day as the mowing and/or trimming event that produced them. Cleaning of headstones and structures soiled by mowing and trimming activities is incidental to the work and shall be performed at no additional cost to the Government. Trash and Debris Removal: Debris and Trash is considered to be any item, material, or foreign object not permanently attached to or planted within the Cemetery grounds and boundaries. Items include, but are not limited to, fallen twigs and branches that are under ten (10) inches (25.40 cm) in diameter, paper products, cigarette butts, gum, glass and metal products, plastic and any other synthetic items, loose rock and stone over three (3) inches (7.62 cm) in diameter that are not the apparent result of an interment. Also included is the material found within the trash receptacles located throughout the Cemetery grounds. Contractor shall empty trash within trash receptacles and provide new COR-approved plastic trash liners with each mow/trim/edge cycle. Contractor is responsible for collection and disposal. Contractor shall collect and dispose of all debris and trash at time of before and after each mowing and trimming event within the cemetery. The Contractor shall provide commercial waste collection and removal service with a licensed waste management company for all waste generated by this contract. Waste collection frequency shall be sufficient to contain the entire volume of waste generated without stockpiling material outside of containers. Separate all recyclable and non-recyclable waste collected as follows: Green waste (i.e., grass clippings, plant debris, etc.) will be deposited in a trash receptacle/dumpster provided by the Contractor. Recyclable waste shall be deposited in a trash receptacle/dumpster provided by the Government. Non-recyclable waste shall be deposited in a trash receptacle/dumpster provided by the Government. Damage to Government Property: Contractor Mowing, trimming and edging operations shall not damage headstones, markers, floral or commemorative items, structures, survey monuments, irrigation equipment, plants, turf, etc. The Contractor shall repair or replace all damaged items caused by the contractor to the satisfaction of the COR at no additional cost to the Government. Contractor is responsible for removal and replacement of all lawn, shrubs and trees due to damage by the Contractor. Contractor shall provide replacement plants and shall be of the same type and size. The cemetery is responsible for plants damaged by the cemetery or third parties, storms, flood or frost damage and trees beyond their normal life span. Memorial Day: Complete mowing, trimming, edging & debris removal work no later than close of business on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day to allow sufficient time for the placement of personal floral arrangements on individual graves and for the preparation of Memorial Day services at the cemetery. Contact Grounds Foreman one week before event for final schedule. Veterans Day: Complete mowing, trimming, edging & debris removal work for Veterans Day no later than two (2) work days prior to the scheduled holiday. Contact Grounds Foreman one week before event for final schedule. Inspection: The COR will inspect mowing, trimming and edging a minimum of once a week. GENERAL CONDITIONS CONTRACTOR RESPONSIBILITIES QUALITY CONTROL The Contractor shall submit a Quality Control Plan for Contracting Officer and COR acceptance within 14 calendar days after contract award. Any changes thereafter must also be provided to Contracting Officer and COR for acceptance. The Contractor shall develop, submit for Contracting Officer and COR acceptance, and maintain a quality control program to ensure grounds maintenance services are performed in accordance with the requirements of this contract. The Contractor shall develop and implement procedures to identify, prevent, and ensure non-recurrence of defective services. As a minimum the Contractor shall develop quality control procedures addressing the areas identified in paragraph 2. The Contractor shall provide at least one (1) full time person dedicated to quality control. CONTRACTOR S QUALITY CONTROL PLAN (QCP): The Contractor shall establish and maintain a complete Quality Control Plan (QCP) to ensure that the requirements of this contract are provided as specified. This QCP will be forwarded to the Contracting Officer (CO) along with the requested initial proposal and may be revised as necessary during the life of the contract, with concurrence of the COR and Contracting Officer. The CO will review the QCP and list any needed clarifications, and return to Contractor for response, if necessary. The Contractor s QCP shall include at a minimum: An inspection plan covering all services required by this contract. The inspection plan must specify the areas to be inspected on either a scheduled or unscheduled basis, how often inspections will be accomplished and documented, or the title of the individual(s) who will perform the inspections. The methods for identifying and preventing deficiencies in the quality of service performed, before the level of performance becomes unacceptable; procedures for preventing non-recurrence of defective services; and organizational functions noting intermediate supervisory responsibilities and overall management responsibilities for ensuring total acceptable performance. An example of an on-site inspection record conducted by the Contractor, with any necessary corrective actions notated on this record. The Government reserves the right to request copies of any and/or each inspection. A description of either active or established internal policy and procedures for updating equipment, and any procedures that may affect performance of this contract. On-site records identifying the character, physical capabilities, certifications and ongoing training of each employee performing services under this contract. A log to account for all requests for immediate service. The log shall indicate the date and time of services, and description of results and completion of these services. On-site records of any complaints or problems, with procedures taken to allow for corrections and/or elimination before effects caused interruption of performance of contract. QUALITY ASSURANCE: The COR will evaluate the Contractors performance. The COR will evaluate the Contractors performance through on-site inspections, evaluation of the Contractors quality control program and receipt of complaints from cemetery personnel. The COR may inspect each task as completed or increase the number of quality control inspections if called for by repeated failures discovered during inspections or repeated customer complaints. Likewise, the COR may decrease the number of quality control inspections if performance dictates. The COR will also receive and investigate complaints from various customers visiting the cemetery. The Contractor shall be responsible for initialing validated visitor complaints. The COR shall make final determination of the validity of visitor complaint(s). INSPECTION OF CEMETERY FACILITIES: The Contractor will perform a weekly inspection. During this inspection the appearance of the Cemetery will be observed, and any deficiencies noted within the scope of the contract will be corrected as soon as practicable. Items that need correcting outside the scope of the contract will be reported to the COR or his/her representative. The Contractor will be required to submit inspection reports and work accomplished to the COR weekly. The inspection forms will be provided to the Contractor by the COR. (See Work Summary and Progress Report, Attachment C.) RECORD KEEPING AND REPORTING The Contractor s Superintendent shall report on a daily basis to the COR at the main office of the cemetery and log in. This DAILY check-in is mandatory and shall be at a time agreed upon by the COR and the Contractor Superintendent. The purpose of the DAILY meeting is to coordinate and establish the daily work schedule to ensure that no work is being performed at the immediate site of a scheduled interment or ceremony, and to submit the required written reports to the COR. These Daily meetings are for the Contractor Superintendent to ask questions and ensure he/she understands the off-limit areas, which may vary depending on the event. The Contractor Superintendent can thus assign tasks accordingly throughout the rest of the Cemetery so that productive use of labor and equipment is assured, and downtime is avoided. If the Contractor Superintendent fails to re-direct employees away from an event in a timely fashion, the COR may then assist in doing so. The Contractor Superintendent or his designee shall provide the COR the following documentation: The Contractor Superintendent shall provide WEEKLY and DAILY work schedules to the COR. The contractor is required to schedule all required services and is further required to comply with his schedule except for delays beyond his control. Such delays shall be coordinated through the COR. The work schedule shall include deficient work identified by contractors quality control inspections and not yet corrected. The contractor shall submit the WEEKLY schedule every Friday by 3:00 P.M. indicating the work to be performed during the following week and the DAILY schedule shall be submitted on a daily basis by 8:00 A.M. indicating work being performed on that day. The Contractor Superintendent shall provide weekly an accurate written report identifying all work that took place within the previous seven calendar days. The contractor shall document services performed, indicate the location where work was to be performed, and provide information to the COR as required. A list of scheduled ceremonies will be provided to the Contractor Superintendent the week prior to the scheduled events, and a list of scheduled funerals will be provided daily. The Contractor Superintendent shall be solely responsible for ensuring that no contract work causes any funeral, ceremony, procession or visitation to be delayed, altered, or otherwise impacted in such a way that the dignity or security of the event is compromised. The Contractor shall be solely responsible for staying abreast of all such upcoming events and when in doubt, he/she must ask the COR. The Contractor s performance and progress on this contract shall be measured weekly based on how timely, accurately, and adequately he/she accomplishes and completes the weekly work scheduled and as needed to systematically accomplish the contract work over the duration of the project. In instances where the COR determines that the work is behind schedule, he will notify the Contracting Officer and the Contractor shall increase workforce and/or hours of operation at no additional cost to the Government in order to achieve completion of the contract work within the specified timeframe. STANDARDS OF EMPLOYEE CONDUCT Contractor and contractor personnel shall be required to adhere to the following standards of dress and conduct while performing work in the National Cemetery. These standards and regulations are enforceable under Title 38, Chapter I, Part 1, Section 1.218 Security and Law Enforcement at VA Facilities, (pursuant to U.S.C. 901). Contractors employees shall be required to wear uniform shirts and hats displaying the name of the company and the employees name. Contractor s employees shall be fully clothed at all times, to include long slacks or pants and shirt, buttoned up from neck to waist. Clothing shall be clean each day. Any soiled clothing should be cemetery work-related that day. T-shirts and/or tank tops as outer garments are prohibited. Garments displaying a message or slogan other than the Contractor s business attire are prohibited. Other clothing in question shall require the Director s written approval. Shoes/boots will have no holes or loose soles. Steel-toed shoes will be required in accordance with OSHA. All required uniforms and personal protective equipment will be provided by the Contractor to contractor personnel. Contractor employees will maintain personal hygiene. Contractor personnel shall show proper reverence during committal service. Contractor personnel shall not engage in loud or boisterous behavior, use profane or abusive language nor use personal radios. Contractor employees shall exercise courtesy and respect while within the cemetery. If inquiries are received from visitors they are to assist visitor to the best of their ability. Due to the sensitive mission of the Cemetery, the work could occasionally involve contact with and/or exposure to grieving individuals. Contractor personnel shall exercise and exhibit absolute decorum, composure and stability at all times and refer such individuals to Cemetery Staff. Public restrooms at NCA are for visitors only. Breaks and lunch periods shall be taken at areas designated by the COR, not in the field. Contractor personnel shall neither eat nor drink beverages, except water or non-alcoholic drinks, while in work area, nor in site of committal shelter during a service. Use of intoxicating beverages, any tobacco products, and drugs/legalized marijuana is strictly prohibited. The only designated smoking area for the Cemetery is located by the Contractor s maintenance area or other area as designated by the COR. All other areas are designated as NO SMOKING. MAINTENANCE DURING CEMETERY FUNCTIONS Contractor personnel shall not operate motorized equipment or conduct other commercial activities within the designated area during interment services. The COR will set the designated area. The COR or his/her representative shall furnish the Contractor with a schedule of all interments and/or ceremonies no later than the close of business of the day prior to the scheduled interment, and a minimum of three (3) days before any ceremonial events. HANDLING OF MARKERS AND HEADSTONES Every action by contractor personnel at a national cemetery must be performed with the special care, reverence, dignity, and respect that acknowledge the cemetery as the final resting place that commemorates the service and sacrifice that service members, Veterans and their families made for our Nation. Critically important is the awareness required of the Contractor employees of the remains buried in the grounds where the work is performed. The utmost care must be given to these remains and the headstones and flat grave markers that mark those gravesites and memorialize the service of individuals. Contractor personnel cannot walk, stand, lean, sit or jump on headstones or markers, nor shall the wheels/tracks of any Contractor vehicle ever drive over them. No tools, equipment or other items will be placed or leaned on headstones, markers or monuments. Contractor shall be responsible for replacing damaged headstones and markers and for restoring turf damaged during performance of this work. Additionally, should any activity result in the exposure and/or damage to any remains, container for remains (i.e., casket or urn), or outer burial container, the Contractor must contact the COR, Director/Assistant Director, or Contracting Officer (CO) for guidance. Any doubts as to proper procedures shall be brought to the attention of the COR, Director/Assistant Director, or CO for guidance or resolution. The Contractor is required to discuss this guidance with their employees and have each employee sign a statement of compliance and deliver the signed statement to the COR before work may begin.

Original Point of Contact

POC Joseph Mendoza

Place of Performance

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Link: FBO.gov Permalink
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