Depoe Bay City Council voted to sunset the memorial bench program during a meeting Tuesday, Jan. 4. The council had previously placed a moratorium on the sale of benches for the bench program for six months.
“City staff supports the financial advisory committee’s recommendation to sunset the memorial bench program and only support the plaque project at the memorial wall,” the staff report states.
Mayor Kathy Short said moving forward, the council needs a motion to sunset the memorial bench program. With this, only a plague program would be allowed for the Memorial Wall with plaques made only of bronze be permitted for the memorial. Another option would be for those wishing to memorialize their loved ones, they would be given the option to donate to a Memorial Parks Fund.
Councilor Lindsy Bedingfield said she liked the idea of families having the option to upgrade their plaque.
“The new memorial wall is not complete yet, but it is anticipated the metal brackets will be installed by early spring,” the staff report states. “We would anticipate everything be ready for taking orders at that time – mid March.”
The council made a motion to sunset the memorial bench program and keep remaining funds in the parks budget, as of Jan. 4. The council passed the motion. Sunsetting the memorial bench program means there will not be any new memorial benches put out in the city.
The council discussed a motion to replace old plaques and maintain the benches. If a bench reaches its end of life, it will be deconstructed. Maintenance of the benches include power washing, addressing loose bolts and responding to any vandalism. The nickel plaques, some of them close to 20 years old, need replacement. About 8-10 have been replaced by the city so far and the rest will be replaced, all with bronze plaques.
The council agreed to continue the motion at the next council meeting.