A&M benchLaura Anderson with A&M Home Services approached the Plymouth Board of Public Works and Safety Monday evening seeking permission to donate several park benches in the downtown area with advertising on the backs.

Anderson listed several locations for the benches including in front of the City Building, at the corner of Michigan and Jefferson Streets at the Bellmart BP and Mary B’s Pizzeria, Plymouth Library, the Post Office, Treats Squire, Chamber of Commerce and the Museum.

Councilman Jeff Houin had a concern with both the placement of the benches in the street right-of-way and advertising signs in the right-of-way.  He questions whether it might be a zoning issue. He also wondered if individual property owners should be asked if they were in favor of a bench in front of the business.

City Attorney Sean Surrisi agreed with Houin of the zoning issues although he thought the board would have jurisdiction over the location of benches in front of businesses.  He did say input from a property owner might be advisable.  He said some of the locations might need approval from INDOT because they may sit in the state’s right-of-way.

Councilman Duane Culp said he received a phone call from a concerned business in the downtown.  He said about 25 years ago there were some benches downtown and within 2 months people would sit on the backs of the benches and throw their trash on the sidewalk and he got tired of picking it up all the time.  The business owner was not in favor of the idea.  He also said he did like the idea of other business advertising in front of his business.

While A&M is willing to purchase, install and maintain the benches the Board of Public Works and Safety had some reservations.

Anderson said the company isn’t really interested in offering the benches without the advertising aspect of the benches.  She did say they were willing to allow some of the benches to other businesses for advertising.

Councilman Bill Walters said, “I think the proposal has a lot of merit, but I do think there’s a lot of questions. I’m in favor of tabling the request at this time to allow for more investigation into some of the questions that were brought up and how they would be handled.”

The Board of Public Works and Safety tabled the request.