This year’s budget shortfalls won’t affect City Hall’s fondness for, well, T-shirts. Yesterday, the Baltimore Board of Estimates approved a $120,000 renewal of a contract for agencies to purchase T-shirts and other active wear.
The additional funds bring the total authorized amount for T-shirt purchases to more than $700,000 since February 2007.
The five members of the spending board, which include Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Comptroller Joan Pratt, voted unanimously to approve the expenditure.
The expenditure was one of the routine agenda items approved collectively by the board without comment.
The city contract is with Columbia-based Nightmare Graphics, and started in June 2009 with an initial award of $119,573. The award contained three one-year renewals, with a final renewal, from June 2012 to through June 2013, remaining.
Most of the funds are spent by the Department of Parks and Recreation, which hands out free T-shirts to youths participating in city camps and other park events, according to Robert Andelman, vice president of Nightmare Graphics.
Each T-shirt costs the city about $5.
The company also supplies the orange T-shirts for city sanitation workers, outfits Police Department officers in evidence control and communications, and provides polo shirts for Fire Department recruits at the training academy. (Uniforms for police and fire personnel come out of a separate budget.)
Andelman said the company is currently fulfilling an order for logo-inscribed shirts for rec center employees under a new city policy to make the workforce look more professional.
Nightmare Graphics has held the T-shirt contract since 2007 – winning $708,000 in authorized funds, according to city records – except for a short period in 2009 when another group underbid the company but failed to meet the terms of the contract.