Two properties in historic downtown Benton got a fresh coat of paint on Sunday, as part of a partnership between the City, volunteers and local business owners. The city initially gathers a group of community-minded people, who then set about ways to create improvements to make the area even more special than it already is.
It was going to be a hot August day with a heat index in the triple-digits, so volunteer painters gathered at sunrise in old clothes, with paint, brushes, tape and drop cloths. That’s how it goes for every improvement project done by the Downtown Arts and Beautification Group (DAB Group), and also, each time, we hope someone brings a paint sprayer. It makes the work go so much faster.
This time we had two sprayers, but three colors to paint. If you didn’t know, it takes about 30 minutes to clean out your sprayer between colors. One sprayer wasn’t working at first and needed a part from the hardware store. Meanwhile, the paint brushes kept moving on the small sections, with some volunteers starting early and leaving for other responsibilities, and others showing up later to take up the slack.
We also had a lift, thanks to Riggs Outdoor, and some scaffolding, thanks to Shawn Hipskind. There’s no way we could have done the top parts of the buildings without those.
It took all day and workers were hot, sweaty, tired and thirsty. Lindsay Jordan, Arteja Stamps, Jake Carson, Amanda Sturgell, Tom Farmer, Tina Coston, Scott Rea, Valarie Flora, Sonia Meyer, David Bishop, Jennifer Donnor, and Shelli Poole all volunteered their time to get the job done.
Business owner Mack McManus stopped by to see the work on the properties he owns at the southwest corner of Sevier and Market Streets – Rea’s Mens Store, Relics Tattoo, and Shampoochie’s Dog Grooming. Steve Lux and Drew Martin of the Republican committee on the southeast corner were there to open doors to the building so workers could get a reprieve from the heat and use the facilities.
The following photos follow the process of painting these two buildings. If you’d like to help in future projects, there are opportunities coming soon. Follow the Downtown Arts and Beautification Group (DAB Group) to stay updated.
•The businesses on the southwest corner – Rhea’s, Relics and Shampoochie’s. This project began on another day and we finished up today.
•The Republican Headquarters in Saline County had primer done by a commercial company earlier in the week, and the committee chose a bold red and blue color scheme.
Help is needed to paint the Republican building in historic downtown Benton at 125 N. Market St. The Downtown Arts and Beautification Group (DAB) has scheduled the work to begin the morning of Sunday, August 9th. DAB will also be finishing the top section of Rhea’s building, directly across the street.
They already have paint (paid for by the Republican Committee) a lift for the high spots (thanks to Riggs Outdoor) and Mayor Tom Farmer has loaned the group one paint sprayer. The specific need is for someone to come with a second paint sprayer, or allow the group borrow one for the day. If you can help with this, call Tina at 501-313-7225.
Here are the locations on the map: