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County buys supplies in bulk to save money

September 07, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Washington County might not buy Charmin, but for a government that tears through 48,000 rolls of toilet paper a year, the price fits the budget.

The county will spend $11,125 this fiscal year on toilet paper, which is enough to buy 500 cases.

At 96 rolls per case and 1,000 sheets per roll, that's 48 million sheets of one-ply toilet paper the county estimates it will use in a year.

The county typically buys some items in bulk to save money, such as paper towels, copier paper and other daily supplies.

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"We are also government, too," said Karen Luther, the county's purchasing agent. "We don't always buy the Cadillac."

Washington County Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell said the quality of the county's toilet paper might have something to do with the quantity it purchases.

"Maybe that's why we have to buy 48,000 rolls," Wivell said.

As for paper towels, the County Commissioners have agreed to spend $8,160 on 800 cases of multifold paper towels at approximately 4,000 sheets per case.

That's about 3.2 million paper towel sheets the county anticipates it will use in a year.

Luther said the company supplying the paper towels packages either 4,000 or 4,008 sheets per case, and the county doesn't know which number of sheets per case it will receive.

The price, however, will remain the same.

"We're not going to squabble over eight paper towels," Luther said.

The commissioners also agreed to buy 150 rolls of paper towels for $85. But the number is so small compared to the number of multifold paper towels and toilet paper the county plans to use that Luther said it's not clear which departments still use the rolls.

"They're not even worth talking about," Luther said of the rolls.

The paper supplies go to all county buildings, the Washington County Detention Center and parks.

In addition, the county plans to use millions of sheets of copier paper this fiscal year, which ends on June 30.

Luther said the copier paper, which comes in three sizes, costs about $15,000 per year.

She anticipates the county will use at least 2.5 million sheets of 81/2-inch by 11-inch size paper, 500,000 sheets of 81/2-inch by 14-inch paper and 250,000 sheets of 81/2-inch by 11-inch hole-punched paper.

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