Mayor: New benches in Hillsboro designed to invite people to stop and enjoy the town


The 14 new metal benches that have been placed around Hillsboro’s uptown area are designed to create a more inviting atmosphere and encourage shoppers and visitors to stop and relax.

Mayor Drew Hastings said this week that before the benches were placed, the message the city was sending was, “Keep moving. Nothing to stop and see here.” Hastings said there was “literally nowhere for you to sit uptown.”

“What city have you ever seen that doesn’t have benches?” asked Hastings. “When two senior citizens run into each other who want to stop and talk, there was nowhere to sit and chat. I think it’s nice for people to be able to take a break and enjoy the town.”

The mayor said he disagrees with people who worry the benches will become home to “derelicts.”

“That’s like saying let’s don’t do new sidewalks because they attract skateboarders,” said Hastings. “We just have to enforce the law.”

Hastings said the large metal benches cost $700 each, paid for from the General Fund. They are nearly 7-feet wide and about 3-feet tall, with a seating area more than 2-feet deep. They were made locally by CFW Fabricating near Leesburg.

He said the street department placed the benches in random spots across the uptown area, but their final positions will be determined by a more defined plan.

He said he would like to see more benches placed near the county courthouse, which basically serves as the city’s town square. He said a few might be utilized in the space left by the demolition of the front of the Colony Theatre once the patch of land is rehabbed.

The mayor said the benches add to an ongoing effort to make the uptown area more attractive, along with new street lights, sidewalks and flowers. The recent state paving project of U.S. 62 though Hillsboro also helped beautify the city, said the mayor, and a similar project running the length of U.S 50 through the city is on tap for next year.

Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.

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Shown is one of 14 new benches recently placed around Hillsboro’s uptown area. This one is located in the 100 block of North High Street.
http://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2017/09/web1_bench.jpgShown is one of 14 new benches recently placed around Hillsboro’s uptown area. This one is located in the 100 block of North High Street.

By Gary Abernathy

gabernathy@timesgazette.com