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Sweet Home’s ‘Paint the Town’ project over for the year

By Benny Westcott
Of The New Era/Lebanon Local

Sweet Home’s “Paint the Town” project wrapped up for the year in its official capacity during the last weekend of August with volunteers painting downtown buildings.

“This is the last weekend that we had planned to move forward with so far,” said Kelcey Young, Sweet Home city manager.

Twenty-five businesses along Main and Long streets between 9th and 18th avenues have been painted through the project, with the city’s ultimate goal being 40 buildings. Young said that Fitzpatrick Painting and Construction is going to keep painting for a little bit longer.

Speedee Mart

“If we have enough volunteers who come forward and say, ‘Hey, we’d like to still do another weekend,’ we’ll go ahead and organize it,” she said. “We’d like to see all 40 buildings done. We’re not quite sure how far we can get. If we can even get to 30 I’m going to be very happy.”

Fitzpatrick Painting has sent crews out every week since the start of the project, donating over $200,000 in labor throughout the last six weeks. Paint has been supplied by Miller Paint. Young said over 200 volunteers have shown up.

“I’ve seen multiple families come back and bring their kids out and continue to paint,” she said. “It’s just been really neat, not only to see the town transforming, but to get to know the community and see the community working together.

“This has been incredible,” she continued. “I keep talking to people who will talk about what this means for them, what it means for their business, how excited they are to see this, that they have been in town for 15 years and how exciting it is to see this happening. I really feel like it’s another chance for the city. I think it’s going to be beautiful. I think it’s going to bring some tourists in.”

Steelhead Fitness

Steelhead Fitness owner Dave Bauer, whose building was painted through the project, said “You can see the difference. It’s been pretty amazing and exciting. We’ve had tons of compliments on our building since we got it painted. It’s exciting for us, and I know it’s exciting for the city.”

Young added “I think as you see Steelhead Fitness, it makes such an impact. That building is gorgeous now. It’s really exciting to go down Main Street to see that.”

She also “absolutely loves” the Sweet Home Feed and Supply building.

“Now when you’re coming into town you get that bright red pop of color, and it looks so cute and charming,” she noted.

She emphasized that the Paint the Town project is not all of the improvements the city has planned for its downtown corridor.

“We really hope that this is just the beginning,” she said, mentioning that the city is looking forward to opening a festival street, having murals painted next summer, and having art, art and wine, and story walks downtown.