Pelham moves forward with city newsletter

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham residents soon could begin receiving a Pelham city newsletter every other month after the City Council voted during its Feb. 18 meeting to authorize Mayor Gary Waters to negotiate a newsletter contract with a local company.

During the meeting, the council agreed to authorize Waters to negotiate a contract with the Helena-based Meridian Graphics company, which is owned by Dave Smith.

Smith previously produced the Helena city newsletter, and produced the Pelham newsletter from 1994-2008. After 2008, Smith produced the bi-monthly, independent Pelham City News publication.

The City Council still must vote to approve the newsletter contract before the agreement is finalized. If the council approves the agreement, Meridian Graphics would produce and mail a city newsletter to every business and household in Pelham every other month for the next year.

Pelham residents previously received a city newsletter every month.

“In a perfect world, we would like to keep it monthly,” said Councilman Maurice Mercer. “But we also want to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.”

Meridian Graphics was one of five companies to respond to Pelham’s recent request for proposals for the city newsletter.

According to the request for proposals, all entities interested in producing the city newsletter must be able to design, produce editorial content and mail the publication to about 11,500 residences and businesses six times per year.

Through the request for proposals, the city asked interested companies to estimate their cost of producing, designing and mailing the publication.

Meridian Graphics submitted a proposal of $5,409.27 per issue, which was about $1,300 less per issue than the next lowest bidder. If the council approves the contract with the company, Meridian Graphics would receive funds from the city to produce and mail the publication, said City Clerk Marsha Yates.

According to city guidelines, the city newsletter can consist of no more than 45 percent advertisements, and the company producing the newsletter is allowed to keep all advertising revenue generated through the publication.