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Hayden Arts Commission working on community bench project

by MATTHEW STEPHENS
Staff Writer | February 12, 2024 1:00 AM

HAYDEN — A community bench program organized by the Hayden Arts Commission is continuing to move forward. 

In order to get the needed benches, funding needs to be allocated through the Hayden Urban Renewal Agency, and some funding may be matched.

Commissioners unanimously voted last week to seek up to $25,000 to purchase nine benches that will be delivered to the city primed and ready for artwork to either be wrapped or painted.

"I think we should order them so they will be delivered blank and ready for our artists," said Vice-Chair Matthew Edwards.  "That way the benches can either be wrapped or painted as soon as possible after we get them."

There is not an established theme for the artwork, as that will be determined at a later time.

Commissioner Stephanie Saterfiel suggested having one of the benches painted as an old wooden boat to highlight the history of the lake and boating in the area.

During the discussion, commissioners had a variety of bench designs to choose from, but pricing and bench size were factored into their decision.

"Some of these designs are cost prohibitive," said Commissioner Davalu Cummings. "I suggest we stick with the more affordable options."

Three of the chosen benches cost $4,530 each. Three others will cost $4,267 apiece.  

Two other benches of a more unique chosen design will cost $4,624.  The most expensive bench is also the largest and has a covered top. That design carries a $6,862 price tag.  

The largest bench will stand out as a statement piece according to Hayden City Clerk Abbi Sanchez.

"It would be a peacemaker and give some character to help differentiate us from other communities," Sanchez said. 

The total cost of the proposed benches sits at $42,501, but with the cost match from the city, the commission only needs half that funding for the project.  

The commission is also looking into some art easements available to them. Saterfiel suggested placing some of the benches in those areas so they can cover multiple bases.

"We might as well try to knock out two birds with one stone," Saterfiel said.

The commission will seek approval from the City Council on their recommendations when the council meets Tuesday.