Lake Shore Industries is a local architectural sign company where much of its work can be found in downtown Erie and along the Bayfront.
Recently, the owner, Robert Kaiser, noticed a historical marker that has been placed on State Street that he said should have been made by them.
Bids for the fabrication of these signs go through the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC).
“We had been doing this for quite a while, then all of a sudden, we didn’t get to do them anymore and I wondered why. When I called them, they said, ‘We sent you the bid but you never responded to the bid.’ Well that’s totally not true,” said Robert Kaiser, owner of Lake Shore Industries.
Kaiser disputed that they received the bid package.
“Had we got the bid, we would have honored the bid and we would have been about 25% cheaper than what the company is currently paying,” Kaiser added.
PHMC claimed that Lake Shore expressed interest a week after the bid closed. Howard Pollman, the director of external affairs, released a statement to us saying in part:
“The bid was extended three times. Lake Shore and other sign vendors were also notified of the opportunity via email. We responded to Lake Shore and informed them that the bid would not be reopened.”
Seeing their work around the region makes Kaiser and his employees proud and they believe that these products should continue to be made right here.
“It offended me because that marker should have been made here in town by local people who live in town that get to see what they done,” said Kaiser.
According to Kaiser, all of his employees are Erie residents and have been with the company for quite some time.
“Things that are purchased in Erie, Pennsylvania, should be made by people in Erie, Pennsylvania. I’m a strong believer of keeping your money local because everything that is done here supports our local economy,” said Kaiser.
Kaiser said that ultimately, it’s all about providing and saving history.