Love is in the air around Dayton after the city council voted unanimously Monday, July 18, to approve locating the newly constructed Love Lock Fence at the Dayton Community Center.
The project was initially presented to city leaders in January 2021, hoping to expand on the many art projects that have gone up across the city in recent years.
Susan Simmons with the Dayton Enhancement Committee is excited and hopes it will bring many people together in the community and continue throughout the future. She believes it will be another great attraction, along with the murals, star statues, and many other beautiful features that tourists will visit in the town of Dayton.
“On our committee, we’re all volunteers, and we really do strive to make Dayton a nicer place. This is going to be great. Really it’s beautiful, and it’s going to bring people here to look at it and to put a lock on there,” said Simmons.
Kimmie Wood of Liberty built the structure and was on hand to discuss the project and describe the fence to council. Coming in at 6’ foot high and 26’ wide, the structure made entirely of carbon steel has been galvanized, is estimated to weigh in at around 500 lbs, and is designed to take on the weight of the many locks anticipated to go on the fence.
“It’s going to bring a lot of attention to it. I feel like it is going to be something that’s going to draw a lot of people in from all over,” said Wood.
When originally proposed, the fence was going to be placed at the Dayton Police Department on HWY 321, but some issues required the project to be relocated.
Recently Simmons approached council on behalf of the enhancement committee about locating the fence at one of the front entrances to the community center. Still, council asked her to look into other areas. At that time, the group looked at the possibility of a location in the downtown area or some of the city’s parks; however, they came back with another site at the entrance to the community center on Cleveland Street.
There was a lengthy discussion about the proposed location and possible issues with easements near the powerlines to the north of the community center.
“I support the project; I do not support the location,” said Councilman Andy Conner.
After more deliberation and the discussion of possible placements of the fence council identified a spot at the northwest corner of the building that faced the parking lot and decided to approve the project.
According to City Manager Steve Floyd, work to install the project should begin within the week, and the enhancement committee is planning an unveiling ceremony in the near future.
The project was funded by a grant from the Dayton Community Development Corporation to the Dayton Enhancement Committee for public art.