Fire hydrants get an artistic touch in Hamilton

The city has partnered with the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities, ViaQuest Inc. and the InsideOut Studio to clean and paint fire hydrants in the downtown and Second Ward.

InsideOut is a program of the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities and provides opportunities for adults with disabilities to produce, market and earn an income from the sale of their artwork.

“We have partnered with the city and the utility department to paint the fire hydrants in the downtown business district. Artists have started painting the first of five sample designs. Keep your eyes on the fun new designs,” said Wendy Planika spokeswoman for the board.

This fire hydrant art project is a pilot program starting with the five hydrants downtown that will be artistically painted and more than 20 fire hydrants re-painted standard yellow in the Second Ward.

The artists from InsideOut Studio will paint the five fire hydrants downtown, and according to Fire Chief Steve Dawson, this is a win-win project for the city and the artists. It is also a project that has been met with approval by the fire department in terms of safety guidelines.

“They approached us about the project and I was open to the idea of improving the downtown area and what the project is about,” Dawson said. “I just put the stipulation in that I wanted proper reflective material on the hydrants that they are painting and we just wanted to do five hydrants. So it would not hinder our operations.”

Dawson said the project is “all good,” and he will continue to monitor the project for safety reasons.

City officials said the north side of High Street between River Front Plaza and North Third Street will have sidewalk restrictions until 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, for fire hydrant painting.

Pedestrians will be able to use the sidewalk on the north side of High Street during the cleaning and painting activities. Parking spaces on the north side of High Street in the vicinity of the fire hydrants may be restricted in order to provide a safe work zone.

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