Duluth city administrator says office furniture purchase is for up to 21 staffers, not 10Councilor Garry Krause pulled a proposal to purchase $90,239 in office furniture for Duluth City Hall from the City Council’s consent agenda Thursday night, setting the stage for a debate on the matter Monday night.
By: Peter Passi, Duluth News Tribune
Councilor Garry Krause pulled a proposal to purchase $90,239 in office furniture for Duluth City Hall from the City Council’s consent agenda Thursday night, setting the stage for a debate on the matter Monday night.
The furniture will provide work accommodations for up to 21 people, said David Montgomery, chief administrative officer for the city of Duluth. He took exception to an article that appeared in Thursday’s News Tribune stating that the purchase would provide furnishings for 10 city staff members.
He said that initially eight Parks and Recreation staff members will be moving into the space, relocating from their current offices at the Central Hillside Community Center. They will be joined on the first floor of City Hall by a newly hired parking manager, a parking office staff member and a parking ticket processor.
Additionally, five parking monitors will be based out of that space. They will spend much of their time in the field but still need some basic office space for paperwork, Montgomery said. Rounding out the roster of people working out of the space, which formerly housed the police department, will be two seasonal workers for the park and rec department, two park hosts and a yet-to-be-hired volunteer coordinator for the city’s parks and libraries.
The proposed furnishings to be purchased include not only desks, chairs and cubicles, but a conference room set-up, cabinets, white boards and other items.
“We’re basically equipping an entire office,” Montgomery said.
If the City Council approves the order, the furniture would be purchased through state contract at a 75 percent discount.
“We do think this is cost-effective,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery said the city looked into the possibility of purchasing used office furnishings but found no local brokers.
“There are places in the Twin Cities, but it’s very expensive to move, and you quickly start to lose any price advantage,” he said.
Krause said he’d like the city to consider the possibility of buying equipment from a less expensive maker than Herman Miller.
Montgomery said there are distinct advantages to purchasing modular equipment compatible with other city furnishings. He said the label also tends to last longer.