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June 2020
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Pepsi or Coke at the park?

Rec. Department vendor contract up for renewal

Vending Machine

photo/Angela Reinhardt

Pepsi has been the drink vendor for the Pickens County Recreation Department for three years. Coke was the department’s vendor for the five years prior. This is one of several vending machines they provide at the Pickens Community Center and at Roper Park. 

The Pickens County Recreation department is considering annual contract proposals from Coke and Pepsi, both of which want to provide drinks and vending machines for their 2019/2020 season. 

Recreation Director Brian Jones presented proposals to commissioners at their June work session, who will make their decision at the regular meeting. 

Pepsi has offered to give the rec department $5,000 to secure the one-year contract, and will also give 30 percent on vending machine sales. Pepsi is proposing to increase vending machine sales from $1.50 to $1.75 for all 20 oz. beverages.

Coke is proposing to provide two scoreboards with maintenance for one of the ball fields, or $6,000 for the contract. They propose to give 35 percent of vending machine sales to the rec department. Coke will keep vending machine sales at $1.50. 

The rec center received $5,000 last year as part of the current contract. 

“This is money that is outside of our regular budget and we can use it on special projects,” Jones said. “Last year we were able to upgrade the playground equipment.”

Pepsi currently provides five vending machines; two at the rec center, one at the pool, and two near the fields. Last year the rec department generated over $15,000 total sales from Pepsi products. 

Pepsi’s proposal includes a required fundraiser “truck sale,” which under the Coke proposal is optional. For the fundraiser, teams sell cases of Pepsi products. Money from those sales goes to support the rec center and the team that sells the most gets money towards their team party.  

“The problem with truck sales is that people say they can go to Kroger and get 5 for $10, and I understand that but you’re paying the money to Kroger, but you’re helping out the rec department when you do truck sales,” he said.