Police uniform contract stays in local hands

September 27, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN - Despite a less expensive offer, Hagerstown will continue to buy its police uniforms from a downtown shop.

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a package of expenditures that included an $18,988 contract with Hoffman Clothiers on North Potomac Street in Hagerstown for city police uniforms.

Howard Uniform Co. of Baltimore, the only other bidder, offered the uniforms for $17,567, or about 8 percent less.

In a memo recommending Hoffman Clothiers, which has had the contract for many years, Hagerstown Police Capt. John S. Moulton Jr. wrote that its location is more convenient.

"The other (and more significant) factor is Hoffman's status as a downtown business," Moulton wrote. "We are aware that downtown economic development is a priority for the Mayor and Council."


In an interview last week, Jim Baker, who owns Hoffman Clothiers, said his shop pays taxes locally and should get "a little bit of an edge."

In a separate interview last week, George Shamdasani, vice president of Howard Uniform Co., didn't object to the city's favoritism, but wondered why it sought outside bids if it was going to choose a local business.

The council approved the new contract without discussion.

Other expenditures in the package approved Tuesday included:

· $26,854 to Hughes Supply of Martinsburg, W.Va., for a bench for testing water meters.

· Up to $25,000 to Concrete Central of Hagerstown to install ramps making public alleys accessible for handicapped people. The money would come from a Community Development Block Grant. Concrete Central submitted the lower of two bids, according to a memo on the purchase.

· Up to $30,000 to Concrete Central of Hagerstown for repairing curbs and sidewalks damaged by trees. Concrete Central submitted the lowest of three bids, according to a memo on the purchase.

· $20,525 to Fayetteville Contractors of Fayetteville, Pa., to improve a 12-space residential parking lot in the 200 block of South Locust Street. Fayetteville Contractors submitted the lowest of four bids, according to a memo on the purchase.

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