The City Parks and Recreation Department is providing $10,000 in seed money for a pilot project with the Composite Recycling Technology Center to build a first-of-its-kind park bench.
Park benches have to be pretty durable, so this seems at least like a seed of a good idea - even though the whole "tax dollars from the Parks Department to try putting on a show" angle is, of course, classic Port Angeles and very suspect. (What, the City hasn't got any "clean" economic development dollars? Nathan's getting stingy in his old age? What?)
Ah, but this is still Port Angeles we're talking about, where success is not exactly King. And this is the taxpayer-funded boondoggle called the CRTC that we're talking about, after all. So what does their track record look like?
CTRC Chief Operations Officer Dave Walter said that, if successful, production of benches...could add 10 jobs to the fledgling nonprofit's employee roster, almost doubling its current staff list. Walter said it would be the CRTC's second manufactured product, following the recent production startup of a $99 pickleball paddle, about 100 of which have been sold...
A whole 100 pickleball paddles? Wow! They must have someone running off to the Post Office or UPS for shipping every day! Well, every week. Okay, okay, once a month. But still "about 100" is a lot more than "about a dozen" so...
We all know Port Angeles is already capable
of supplying at least half of what you see here...
Needless to say, pickleball paddles are also lighter than, say, a park bench. Which would keep said shipping costs down. I know from my experience trying to get the City to put one bench in Jessie Webster Park how expensive (regular) benches are, and how many standards they have to meet - and how many roadblocks the City itself kept putting up rather than putting up a bench.
My point being, any new composite benches will have to overcome the distance/shipping/expensive hurdle, the headaches of meeting all sorts of (varied) codes and standards, as well as just the general bureaucratic inertia and fear of doing something new or different that is endemic in City Halls across the country.
In other words, though this at first glance might seem like a good idea, I suspect it has a low chance of hitting the field, and is instead more likely to just get...Benched.