NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—At the New Brunswick City Council meeting on December 2, the Council approved the purchase of ten chairs for the New Brunswick Police department (NBPD), amounting to a total of $2,976.60.
According to officials, the $297 chairs were purchased through a "state contract," after a public bidding process.
"State contract means that the state went out to bid for that item, and we can buy the items from them," said Business Administrator Thomas Loughlin III.
Questioned by New Brunswick Today about the purchase, Council President Kevin Egan said, "If you're going to be sitting in a chair all day, some of those chairs–They're like $300 to about $350 a piece–'cause I know from building some buildings, that the office furniture can be quite a bit of money."
But a police official clarified that the chairs won't actually be behind the desks of police officers or civilian employees.
"They're going in the conference room [at police headquarters]," said Captain Miller.
It's unclear how often the chairs will be used or for how long they will be in use on any given day.
According to the website of the vendor the chairs are being purchased from, Global Industy, Inc., there are 36 different chairs classified as "executive chairs," ranging in price from $250.95 to $279.95.
Shipping for these chairs ranges from $0 to $38 per chair. Global Industry offers free shipping on select "executive chairs."
Meanwhile, chairs outside of the "executive" classification are available for as low as $81.95, according to the site.
Taking into account $19.24 shipping per chair, this would have amounted to $1,011.90 for ten chairs, just over a third the amount the city decided to spend on the "executive" chairs.