In an effort to get the best deal, the Washington City Council rejected a proposal for new light pole banners downtown.
The Downtown Washington Inc. Design Committee put together a proposal for the council at Monday’s administration/operations meeting to purchase 104 banners for the downtown area. The only problem was, in the council’s eyes, the project was not sent out to bid.
The proposal had a price of $84 per banner. Councilman Jeff Mohesky said the cost, based on a quick look around, was expensive.
“I thought 84 bucks was kind of high,” Mohesky said. “Just what I see right here, we can get the same thing for $55.”
Bryan Bogue, chairman of the Downtown Washington Inc. Design Committee, said the project never went out for bid. “We did not go out for bid on this, we did a lot of price shopping,” Bogue said. “We did not actually put anything out for bid. We didn’t know if that was our place or something that had to be done by the city.”
Also in the proposal was the purchase of 50 pole brackets with flexible arms. Bogue said the brackets would be spring-loaded and able to withstand a large truck clipping the banner.
The brackets in the proposal were priced at $71.06 a set.
Mohesky said he wasn’t trying to nickel and dime the project, but he found spring-loaded brackets for $59.
Bogue said he agreed about the brackets.
“Those probably can be purchased a little cheaper,” he said.
Bogue said he was already considering looking for less expensive brackets.
The vendor, Downtown Decorations, was chosen because Bogue said the design committee was familiar with their work.
“The reason we chose this particular company was they exhibit a lot at the national meetings we go to,” Bogue said. “There are a few (companies) that do (banners) and they were the lesser cost of those.”
Another reason Bogue said he proposed going with Downtown Decorations is because of durability issues.
“We’ve had a lot of problems in the past with banners ... they have not lasted like we thought they should,” Bogue said.
The banners in the proposal are coated with UV protection and are constructed with UV treated thread and have a three-year warranty.
“It was one of very few companies that had more than a year warranty,” Bogue said. “And the company thinks they’ll last much longer.”
The council agreed it would like to purchase new banners, but would like to make sure it’s getting the best deal.
“We go out to bid on everything else, I think we’ve got to do due process on this,” Councilman Jeff Patke said.
The council instructed Bogue to develop a spec sheet for the project and directed city staff to seek bids.
The delay in the project while seeking bids won’t prevent new 175th Anniversary banners from going up. The 175th Anniversary committee agreed to purchase 40 banners from the same vendor.
Bogue said those banners have already been paid for by the committee and are expected in by May 14. Once in, Bogue said the banners would be mounted on polls that already have brackets.