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Updated 8 hours ago
Plum business owners and borough officials are questioning what happened to a promotional map they paid for as far back as 2014 but hasn't been delivered.
PRINT — the McMurray-based firm that has cashed the checks business owners wrote for $455 or $915 to become sponsors of the map project — has yet to provide answers why it hasn't produced the map that includes advertisements and a municipal directory.
“This is the first time in my almost 30 years of doing this where I've run into this type of problem with these kind of publications,” borough Manager Michael Thomas said.
While the borough was not directly involved soliciting advertisements, it served as a liaison for PRINT, collecting checks for the company and early on allowing its saleswoman to use an office in the municipal building. A sponsorship letter issued by the company in fall 2014 directed businesses to return invoices, ad copy and payments to the borough. The letter did not include a date when the 14,000 maps would be delivered.
“We were trying to be a good business to support the borough's request to be in it, which is what the letter conveyed to us,” said Karen Saich, who paid $455 to advertise her Plum pressure-washing business, It's All Clean. Her check was cashed in December 2014, she said. The following spring she started asking questions about the project, but got few answers. She said the saleswoman who started the project is no longer with the company and PRINT owner Brenda Wilson has not responded to her inquiries.
PRINT has a track record, having produced promotional maps for Baldwin, Stowe, Hamilton and West Brandywine townships since it started business in 1992.
Linda Formica, West Brandywine secretary treasurer, said their 2010 municipal directory and map project took about a year to complete.
Wilson did not return repeated phone calls, answer emails or respond to a fax requesting comment sent to company listings on its website. A post office box in McMurray is the only address listed for the company that bills itself online as a public relations publishing firm. The saleswoman involved in the project did not return phone calls, but contacted the borough to say she no longer worked for the company.
Thomas said Plum contacted PRINT multiple times in the past 18 months with limited responses and no answers as to when the map will be produced. He said in a correspondence with Wilson, she said the problem was the borough did not offer enough help selling sponsorships — which Thomas said was not Plum's responsibility.
Now, the borough is contacting businesses to find out which contributed to the project before it takes further steps to resolve the problem.
“Our goal right now is to find out who bought what and for how much,” said Thomas. “That's really it at this point. I have no idea if 15 people are out of money or if 50 people are out money. Based on the info we get back, we'll determine what our next step is.”
“The borough's position is either give everybody their money back or print the publication,” he said.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer.
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