QUESTION: How much did the county spend to erect an 8-foot iron fence around the Confederate memorial at the northern approach to Alamance County’s historic courthouse? Did the county shop around before it selected a contractor to put up the fence?
ANSWER: According to the county’s finance department, the county paid the Seegars Fence Company of Durham $32,100 to install the 8-foot-high Impasse II Gauntlet Ameristar steel fence, which went up around the memorial earlier this month.
The county had initially contacted Seegars last year to obtain quotes for two different models of Ameristar fence. The company responded on August 6 with an offer to furnish and install the Impasse II Gauntlet for $23,114. Seegars also submitted a second offer of $17,644 for Ameristar’s Montage II Invincible steel fence – which, like the Gauntlet, stands 8 feet high and includes a 4-foot wide gate. In each case, these quotes were based on an estimated circumference of 96 feet.
In addition to Seegars, the county also contacted two local fence companies to obtain quotes on comparable products. On August 13, Fence Pro in Graham responded with an offer to furnish and install 96 linear feet of the Impasse II Gauntlet for $21,000. The county also received a quote on August 13 from the Alamance Fence Company in Burlington, which offered to erect another Ameristar model – the Aegis II Invincible ornamental fence – at a cost of $23,415 for 100 linear feet.
The county ultimately chose to do business with Seegars, although it wasn’t able to clinch the deal until February, when it obtained the permission of Graham’s historic resources commission to put up the proposed fence. But the circumstances appear to have changed somewhat by the time that the county had the commission’s approval in hand.
All of the quotes that the county obtained last summer included the caveat that installation expenses would go up if workers encountered unanticipated obstacles such as pavement or rock. Seegars apparently ran into just such a complication, which required the company to swap out the 3-inch 12-gauge posts in its original contract for a set of 4-inch 11-gauge posts. The result of this switch is spelled out a purchase order that the county issued on February 12 for Seegars to furnish and raise the proposed fence at a total cost of $32,100.