Grass Valley OKs Measure E funds for pre-fab bathrooms
January 9, 2019
When proponents of Measure E were working to get the sales tax passed in Grass Valley last summer, they pointed to major projects funded by an earlier sales tax, Measure N, including the paving of Brunswick Road, the purchase of two fire engines and two new police vehicles.
Measure E, supporters said, would fund additional police officers and firefighters, new sidewalks and curb ramps, and park improvements.
On Tuesday, some of those Measure E funds were approved for a vital, but often overlooked, need: park bathrooms. The city council agreed the purchase of two prefabricated restrooms at a cost of $142,000 each.
One will go to Memorial Park to replace an existing restroom near the tennis courts and the other will replace the existing restroom at Minnie Park. The turnkey structures include two restrooms, each with a baby changing station, and two drinking fountains with a bottle filler, and the cost covers installation.
"This is really something we need to do," said Council Member Ben Aguilar, who added that as a parent of a young child, he uses the local parks frequently and doesn't like having to access the restrooms there.
Council Member Howard Levine called the current condition of the park restrooms "dismal," and asked if city staff had considered adding one of the prefab bathroom structures to downtown Grass Valley.
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"Besides parking, that is the biggest complaint we get," noted Mayor Lisa Swarthout, a downtown merchant.
City Manager Tim Kiser told the council a downtown restroom was being discussed and was a top priority. The council unanimously approved the purchase.
Kiser also discussed a potential option for shared-use facilities with the Grass Valley School District for shared field space and the possible construction of an all-weather turf field at Lyman Gilmore Middle School. That was an informational item only and the council took no action.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.