Milwaukee’s new police uniforms could come at a significant price, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The only supplier that made City Hall’s first cut, Goldfish Uniforms, submitted the highest-cost bid by $340,000, a 33 percent premium compared with one of its main competitors. Goldfish, for example, would charge the city $72 for each pair of navy-blue uniform pants, compared with the $53 or $59 bid by two competitors. The contract calls for 9,000 pairs over several years. The apparent low bidder, current supplier Badger Uniforms, was disqualified along with another contender, Lark Uniform, because they did not propose a subcontract with a disadvantaged business.
Goldfish, a century-old local company, is a city-certified “emerging business enterprise” deemed financially disadvantaged. City officials say they cannot specify how any particular certified business meets the program’s criteria, due to privacy concerns. Said Linda Robison, general manager of Badger: “All it’s going to do is jack up the prices,” she said. “Unfortunately, the taxpayers are the ones who are going to have to pay for it.”