CONWAY, Ark – The City of Conway disclosed that it will cost the city $116,428 to disassemble the 54ft artificial Christmas tree in downtown Conway.
Last week it was revealed that the original $130,000 contract for purchase and maintenance of the tree did not cover the cost of taking down the tree or installing it for future years.
“We are disappointed that the cost for taking down the tree is not included,” Jack Bell, chief of staff for the City of Conway tells us. “However when you consider the cost of installing a whole new tree it is not too bad. We have authorized an additional $1.50 tax on fast food to cover the cost.”
The contract for disassembly was awarded to the original tree contractor, Git Lit. The only other bid for disassembly was submitted from a group of citizens led by local businessman Cotton Rohrscheib.
Their official bid of $1.50, $75 in Toad Suck bucks, and a signed Cris Allen CD was rejected due to a city policy of accepting the highest bid. Cris Allen has submitted an official appeal on the grounds of the city undervaluing his autograph.
“We agreed to replace 100% of the failed bulbs on the tree, even the ones that are not our fault,” Get Lit Chief Operations Director Summer Hall said. “That costs our company an estimated $8.63 per year for a bag of bulbs from Home Depot. We go above and beyond to care for this tree, we simply cannot afford to take it down. The city is welcome to leave it up all year long if they do not want to pay the disassembly costs. We have no problem with that. Of course it voids the warranty on the tree, so we will no longer maintain it.”
The city also announced the signing of an additional contract with Git Lit to provide the special LED lighting on the city’s roundabouts. The contract is set at $980,000 following the 50% multiple contract discount. No other bids were accepted.