Allen Turkow: Costly benches

05/23/2014 12:00 AM

02/15/2015 11:21 AM

Costly benches

I attended the recent public workshop about the downtown Cary park and streetscape project. The town square was pretty impressive, but for $5 million I would have expected nothing less. I mean, you could build 10 $500,000 homes with fountains for that amount of money.

The one issue I had with the streetscape design for Academy Street is the benches shaped like musical instruments. I talked to a representative at the meeting who said they have never done this type of bench before. He said he was going back to the drawing board to eliminate any protruding edges that could break off. That’s troubling.

I asked how they are going to protect the granite surface for chips and scratches. He said a hard coat sealer is applied. My next question was: “How often do you have to reseal it?” He said every four or five years. He wasn’t too convincing.

I don’t believe we should spend $100,000 for 12 of these benches. They don’t even have backs, so they won’t be very comfortable. If the Town Council approves this costly design, it needs to have an air-tight warranty for a design that has never been proven.

When will the bleeding stop on this downtown project?

Allen Turkow


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