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The Madras Redevelopment Commission funded 12 benches along Fourth and Fifth streets

HOLLY SCHOLZ/MADRAS PIONEER
 - The Madras Redevelopment Commission funded a dozen new wrought iron ornamental benches on Fourth and Fifth streets downtown.

Although the pandemic delayed the project, a dozen ornamental metal benches now adorn the streets of downtown Madras, offering walkers and shoppers a place to rest.

"The idea came from the First Thursday events where it was brought to our attention that folks were looking for places to sit and take a break as they were shopping between each store," said Madras Public Works Director Jeff Hurd.

So, the city approached the Madras Redevelopment Commission. Commissioners liked the idea and went through the process to get not only benches but trash cans installed downtown.

Madras Redevelopment Commission provided the $5,700 in funding for the 12 benches, just one of the many projects the commission funds to improve the Madras downtown district. Public Works Parks Department workers installed and anchored the benches below trees along Fourth and Fifth streets.

Madras Public Works Operations Manager Rick Rohach got a good deal on the Alderson Wrought Iron Tree Benches from August Grove Home Furnishings. The small, metal benches are curved and designed to encircle the base of trees.

"They were chosen so we could keep ADA access and still be comfortable and do as little damage to the trees," Rohach said.

Each ornamental bench has a 1,000-pound weight capacity.

"We picked them to be a little bit small so people wouldn't end up sleeping on them, to detour that, but a big enough size that people could use them to sit on when events were going on in downtown," Hurd said.

The Madras Redevelopment Commission, comprised of Madras business men and women, assists in meeting the city's economic development objectives through rehabilitation of older and historic structures, redevelopment of key sites, improving transportation and utility facilities in the renewal area, assisting with the construction of needed public facilities, and creating public amenities.

The commission's bench project also included installing trash cans in the downtown area last June, an additional $9,900.

Parks personnel will clean the benches on their daily rounds.

Hurd hopes the benches will give patrons a nice place to rest while shopping in downtown Madras.


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