Lebanon considering building a public restroom downtown

Sometime in 2022, a new pubic restroom could be constructed on city-owned property on Mechanic Street in downtown Lebanon near Bicentennial Park.

City Manager Scott Brunka said the city is considering using about $175,000 of a State Capital Improvement Grant to construct the facility that would contain four individual restrooms and one or two covered areas.

He said the Lebanon City Building is open for public restroom use from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays beginning in late March through December. In addition, Brunka said the city pays a part-time staff member to be present when the building is open.

“We have lots of people that use the (City Building) restrooms,” Brunka said.

Brunka said the total cost of the project is about $300,000 and that design work could begin this year with construction scheduled for 2022. He said the city received two state grants for the restroom project and the other is being used for the parking expansion at the Lebanon Sports Complex.

The city has a proposal from Elevar Design Group to provide the architectural schematic design phase through construction documents services. Brunka estimated the cost to design the proposed structure would be about $15,000.

He said the project was recommended in the Downtown Master Plan, largely due to feedback received from the downtown merchants. The purpose of this new building is to elevate the amenities and aesthetics of the downtown. The building would be sensitive to the relationship between the structure and its highly visible location on Mechanic Street, he said.

Brunka said neighboring property owners had not been contacted about the project.

Mayor Amy Brewer spoke in support of the proposal, but made it clear she wants it to look like it fits in with downtown.

“I absolutely want it to look like it fits in. Its got to look like the rest of downtown,” Brewer said.

Councilman Doug Shope raised concerns about safety.

“We need to make sure we work on a safety plan to fight human trafficking,” he said.

Council agreed to have legislation to be prepared for the project for consideration at an upcoming meeting.

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