The federal government has given final approval to an $8.5 million maintenance contract at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
The U.S. Forest Service awarded South Carolina-based EnviroSmart the 5-year contract in August which prompted a protest by union workers contracted with Swift & Staley - the Kevil company which has conducted maintenance operations at the park since 2010.
Protesters argued that EnviroSmart was not equipped to handle operations at the 170,000 acre park, and that their bid was too low.
Swift and Staley continues operations at LBL with EnviroSmart set to take over after the first of the year.
Current contracted employees will be given first right of refusal for job openings with the new contractor at wage rates consistent with the Department of Labor Services Contract Act. That law requires contractors pay employees no less than the wage rates and fringe benefits found prevailing in the locality, or the rates contained in a predecessor contractor's collective bargaining agreement.