The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority has chosen Geograph Industries, Inc. “a third-generation sign fabricator from Harrison, Ohio” to repair peeling wayfinding signs, according to an announcement this afternoon.
“Geograph was one of three fabricators who met with representatives of the Partnership on Wayfinding and Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to discuss their respective responses to a request for proposal issued by BCTDA,” the announcement notes. “Each of the three companies presented repair options that were within the remaining $207,000 that was part of the original amount allocated for the project.”
The wayfinding signs, part of an ambitious $1.5 million (in hotel tax funds) project, began peeling shortly after their installation this spring. The TDA is currently involved in a legal battle with Reading, Pa.-based L & H Signs for breach of contract.
However, there’s a new wrinkle: The announcement notes that the backs of the signs have now begun to peel, requiring additional money (also from remaining project funds and hotel tax dollars) to finish the repairs, which Geograph is expected to complete by the end of October at a total cost of $279,864.
There’s been much local outcry not just over the signs, but over the TDA not selecting a local company. The TDA claims no local sign-makers made a competitive bid for either the initial project or the repairs. By state law, the TDA must select the lowest competitive bid for a project.
— David Forbes, senior news reporter