Village, Neff Park to get new benches

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published July 14, 2021

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GROSSE POINTE CITY — New benches are being ordered for the Village and Neff Park.

The Grosse Pointe City Council discussed this at a meeting June 21 in the new City Council chambers — the first in-person meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic forced municipalities to move their meetings online. Public Services Director Pete Randazzo said the Main Street Grosse Pointe Board voted in June to use the $50,000 committed by the City for use in the Village to replace as many benches there as possible.

He said the City’s budget set aside funds to replace benches and garbage cans, as well, and both the City of Grosse Pointe Foundation and Grosse Pointe Boat Club have been raising money for replacement benches at the marina.

Working jointly, Randazzo said they researched companies to find benches that would make for good replacements, and they received three bids. By doing a bulk bench purchase, he said, they were able to get better prices per bench. Low bidder Keystone Ridge Designs Inc., of Butler, Pennsylvania, delivered a bid of $62,428 for 37 benches for the Village and 10 for Neff Park.

“Keystone Ridge offered the most cost-effective and best value per bench,” Randazzo said.

In addition, he said they had a better commemorative plaque design.

The commemorative plaques are “incorporated into the process” of making the benches, Randazzo said.

“So, if people want their name on a bench, they should donate now?” asked Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak.

Randazzo said yes. Otherwise, an entirely new bench would need to be ordered to honor a loved one.

“What are these benches made out of?” City Councilman Donald Parthum Jr. asked.

Randazzo said the ends are cast aluminum, and the slats are made out of steel. The old wooden benches the City had before are no longer produced, he said. The 6-foot-long benches are powder-coated in gloss black, Randazzo said.

The council voted unanimously in favor of the Keystone Ridge bid.

Randazzo said the current lead time on the benches from all the bidders “is about three months,” because these are “handcrafted” from raw materials.

For more information about purchasing a bench with a commemorative plaque, call the City at (313) 885-5800.

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