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How Much Did Fresno Pay for 63,000 Masks?



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The city of Fresno purchased nearly 63,000 face masks for about $137,000, documents reveal.

Last week, the Fresno City Council voted to mandate masks at all businesses, whether indoor or outdoor.

The city is also providing masks to its employees. Additionally, in May, Mayor Lee Brand announced the city was donating masks to businesses and the public.

Purchasing Details

Reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city purchased 62,900 masks for $137,035.40 from four different vendors.

The city bought 20,000 3-ply masks from White Horse Imports, LLC — a Fresno-based company — for 43 cents each. With tax, it came to $9,286.11 total.

William’s Imports Co., Inc. sold 6,000 KN95 masks for $3.25 each. With tax, the total was $21,055.71.

The name Peter Chang appears on both the White Horse Imports and William’s Imports invoices.

The city also bought another 30,000 KN95 masks — labeled on the invoice as FDA certified — from Onan Capital Inc for $3.15 each. The invoice did not show a tax, so the total was $94,500. Onan is listed as a medical supply company out of Nashville, Tennessee.

The final purchase order was for 4,800 Bella face masks, sold by Cintas Corp — a national company with an office in Fresno — at $2.20 each. With shipping and tax, the total came to $12,194.16.

According to the documents from the city, it appears on Cintas charged a shipping fee, $792.

The information came from a GV Wire℠ public records act request.

Most Conservative Councilmembers Approve

Photo of Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld in his office

“I fully support it. That’s what the CARES money is for. We obviously need the PPE.”Councilman Garry Bredefeld

Two of what can be considered the most conservative members of the Fresno City Council applauded the purchases.

“I fully support it. That’s what the CARES money is for. We obviously need the PPE,” said Garry Bredefeld, representing northeast Fresno.

Northwest Fresno councilman Mike Karbassi agreed.

“The City Manager did the right thing to purchase as many masks as possible. Despite the pandemic, the City has a responsibility to continue providing essential services to our hardworking, taxpaying residents,” Karbassi said via email. “Furthermore, we were able to distribute masks to local small businesses who were having a difficult time acquiring them. Proper masks ensure the safety of the public and the city’s essential workers.”

Bredefeld expects the purchases to be reimbursed with federal stimulus money through the CARES Act.

Prices Vary on Internet Comparison

The city purchased the masks in April and May. Current prices vary, but some appear to be lower.

For 3-ply masks, a listing on Amazon shows a 50-count box for 19 cents a mask.

Home Depot is selling a 50-pack box of 3-ply masks for $29.98, or 60 cents a unit.

KN95 mask prices vary greatly on the internet but tend to get cheaper in bulk. A current 50-pack on Amazon costs $129.99, or $2.60 a unit.

Bella masks, a softer-cloth style of mask, is offered at Office Depot for $12 per 10-pack, or $1.20 each.

View City’s Documents on Mask Purchases

Fresno mask purchases (Text)

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email