The purchase of a new perimeter fence at the Washington Fairgrounds amphitheater was approved Monday, May 6, by the city council.

An ordinance was approved with a 7-0 vote to enter into a contract with Washington Fence Company.

Councilman Steve Sullentrup, owner of the fence company, abstained from voting.

The cost of the ornamental perimeter fencing is $99,400. The council also approved $5,600 for temporary construction fence panels. The total contract is $105,000, which is over the budgeted amount of $100,000.

The fences will be purchased with funds from the city’s half-cent capital improvement sales tax.

According to Wayne Dunker, parks director, during capital improvement sales tax discussions, it was determined that a perimeter amphitheater fence and a fence to define the paying crowd was needed at the main stage. The fence could be rented by groups that use the stage year-round and benefit the Washington Town & Country Fair and other user groups. 

Dunker added that historically, groups were required to install a temporary fence for crowd control, at their cost, just west of the stage. The cost of renting a temporary crowd control fence and having it installed on site was a deterrent for some groups.

The city received two bids for the work. The high bid, $158,350, was submitted by Diamond Fence LLC, Jefferson City.

According to Mark Piontek, city counselor, because Sullentrup, Washington Fence Company owner, is a councilman and the bid was over $500, state law prohibits him from doing business with the city unless his bid is the lowest bid.