Unified bench design planned

Posted on October 9th in News


Group looking at 18 possible sites for more benches

by Lindy Steeves
Burns Times-Herald


New benches adorn the sidewalk outside the Harney County Community Center. (Photo by Lindy Steeves)

New benches adorn the sidewalk outside the Harney County Community Center. (Photo by Lindy Steeves)

The Main Street program and the Community Enhancement Team (CET) have teamed up to restore and reinvigorate “Main Street” (North Broadway Avenue) in Burns.

One of the newest ideas from the CET is a unified bench design that business owners and community members alike could sponsor in having built. Upon sponsorship, the name (or names) of those who donated money would be engraved upon the top of the bench.

An example of the benches can be seen in front of the Community Center. Another set of the benches, donated by the Basque community, will be implemented in the Arrowhead Plaza when the ground and sod are ready.

Pete Runnels, member of the CET, said, “We would like to have people help purchase a part, a full one, they can do it in memory of someone, they can do it as a memorial, they can do it for their business, they can do it for whatever. Or if they want to remain anonymous, just make a donation, and we’re willing to do that too.”

“We’re looking at going from the movie theater all the way up to the Broadway Deli block. We think we’ve found places for 18 benches,” Runnels said.

The designer of the benches, originally from Harney County, now lives in Sisters, and has taken on the task of making every bench ordered.

“He remains committed to Harney County, and wants to help out,” Runnels said.

The goal of the Main Street program is to bring uniformity to North Broadway. They hope to maintain the authenticity and assets of Harney County, while still creating a sense of unity throughout Burns. The benches are the first project of many that are planned as part of the Main Street program. The goal of the benches (and other projects) is to give travelers and tourists a place to stop when driving through Burns. This would bring additional business to local vendors.

The cost to purchase a bench is $500, and it can be split among as many parties as needed. The message along the top of the bench can be anything from the donator’s name, to a simple greeting or welcome to visitors.

Checks can be made to the the Harney County Opportunity Team, 484 N. Broadway, Burns, OR 97720.

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