Proposals to install a chain-link fence around its field hockey field could cost the Northern Lehigh School District much less than anticipated.

A total of 12 companies turned in bids to the district on Wednesday, with Abel Fencing of Leola, Lancaster County, submitting the apparent low bid of $11,759.

That bid was $1,041 less than the next lowest bid of $12,800 submitted by Sillettco Fence, Inc., of Slatington.

Other companies that bid were D. P. Fence, $14,640; Arbor Fence Co., $14,890; Amity Fence Inc., $15,290; A.B.E. Fence, $15,775; Promax Fence System, $16,595; New Holland Chain Link, LLC, $16,680; New York State Fence, Inc., $17,180; Fye Fencing, $17,700; Rutkoski Fencing, $17,950; and American Fence, $24,210.

Greg Derr, director of support services and transportation, said the bids were significantly lower than the district had anticipated to erect the 4-foot-high fence.

"I never expected 12 (bids)," Derr said. "We originally estimated $20,000, and (the apparent low bid) is almost half that."

Derr said the bids will be reviewed. He said a bid award could be made when the school board meets at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7.

In September, Derr said the district could save money on specifications for the fence through its current working relationship with D'Huy Engineers, who is in charge of the Slatington Elementary renovation project.

At that time, he said the field will be used for the spring soccer season this year, as well as for the girls soccer season in the spring of 2010-11.