[Vision2020] Moscow's downtown restroom plan advances

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Tue Nov 24 10:53:59 PST 2015

"'It better not overrun what's in the budget. I expect the council and staff to sit on this thing.' said Councilor Wayne Krauss . . . "

And when the downtown restroom is finally installed . . . where better to dedicate a bench to the Moscow City Council . . . Don't forget to flush.

Courtesy of today's (November 24, 2015) Moscow-Pullman Daily News with special thanks to a friend for bringing it to my attention (Thanks, NC).

Moscow's downtown restroom plan advances
Moscow project causing sticker shock for some on city council
The Moscow City Council Public Works-Finance Committee met Monday and recommended a four-toilet downtown public restroom design be considered by the entire council.
Some of the councilors were dismayed about the cost to build the structure as conceived by Design West - nearly $158,000. The estimate includes 1 percent of the total for art and a 5 percent overall contingency cushion.
"I've been a really big proponent of downtown restrooms; this is the fulfillment of a dream," said Councilor Walter Steed. "My problem is price."
A comparable-sized prefabricated model was estimated to cost even more at $163,000, but had a larger percentage of contingency budgeted: 10 percent.
Two smaller pre-fab structures were expected to cost less. A two-toilet restroom was estimated to cost about $91,600 and a single-user restroom more than $80,000. Both of these were budgeted with a 10 percent contingency as well.
Dwight Curtis, Parks and Recreation director, said he added the single-toilet - dubbed the "Ozark I" - into the group "just for kicks."
City Supervisor Gary Riedner said Friendship Square was the site of 45 different events in 2014 and that up to 10 toilets would be appropriate for the largest gatherings: the 26 Saturday Farmers Markets.
So far this year, the staff report noted, Friendship Square has been the site of 62 events.
It was determined increasing the number of toilets would require a changing room and an even higher price tag, so the goal was to not construct a structure with more than four toilets.
"It better not overrun what's in the budget. I expect the council and staff to sit on this thing." said Councilor Wayne Krauss, who referred to the cost as "distressing."
"You can build a starter home for that price."
If approved, it would be a custom-designed facility. And a custom design is what the advisory groups endorsed, including the Farmers Market, Historic Preservation and Parks and Recreation commissions and a special steering committee devoted to the restroom construction.
"Even if it runs a little over budget," said Mayor Bill Lambert, who was watching the proceeding from the audience and got up to address the committee. "Ten to 20 years from now, we won't have somebody say 'what were they thinking when they did this?' "
Having the restroom building near the heart of downtown requires it be attractive, representatives of the various commissions said.
"We like the idea of trying to match the brick buildings," said Nels Reese, vice-chair of the Historic Preservation Commission.
There are four historic buildings near the intersection of Fourth and Main streets, he said. and the element would attempt to match the color of the restroom's exterior bricks to them.
Steed pointed out the restrooms would be closer to and more visible from Jackson Street than from the downtown water fountain on Main Street. The structure is slated for construction in the Jackson Street parking lot and would require removal of several parking spots.
Reese said that argument was "trifling."
Riedner then explained the location was good for another reason: "The Moscow Urban Renewal Agency is looking to make the Jackson Street corridor look more urbanized."
Most businesses don't allow Farmers Market customers to use their restrooms. New Saint Andrews College has been opening up its facilities to the public during the markets, and it has cost them $5,200 each six-month season, Steed said.
That's been "extremely admirable," he said.
"Four (toilets) would take some of the pressure off," Riedner said. ""We're paying a premium, but we have only one shot to get it right."
Constructing the restrooms is near the top of the council's list of goals.
In other business, the committee:
Recommended changes to city rules about the discharge of Fat, Oil and Grease into the sewer system. While the rules would most often apply to the operation of food businesses, other sewer users who send large amounts of this goop through the sewer system could be asked to stop it or be subject to fines before being charged with a misdemeanor. The acronym FOG will be used to educate customers about what the stuff does to the city's sewer lines and treatment plant before fines are levied.
Decided to hold another workshop about an updated service contract with the Southeast Moscow Sewer District. No date for the workshop was announced.


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"There's room at the top they are telling you still.
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill,
If you want to be like the folks on the hill."

- John Lennon
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