Looks like more port-o-lets for downtown facilities
Glenwood Springs City Council addressed the lack of public restrooms available for residents and tourists in the heart of downtown at its Thursday meeting.
Well, sort of.
Currently, the city and Garfield County provide two, 24-hour-a-day port-o-lets in the area. Both are located on Seventh street, but neither includes baby-changing stations.
The only other public restroom options available in the downtown area include those found inside City Hall and its nearby county offices, those in the Glenwood Springs Library, and those at the White River National Forest administration offices. None of those restrooms become available until 8 a.m., at the earliest, and all shut down by 5 p.m.
With that being said, downtown businesses have seen a growing number of people entering their establishments with no intention of purchasing anything but rather in need of their restroom facilities. That has prompted some business owners to put signs in their windows which read, “Business bathrooms are for customers only.”
The ongoing issue started when the original downtown public restroom facilities were removed due to the Grand Avenue bridge construction. At Thursday’s Council meeting, members reviewed options, which would hopefully alleviate business owners’ concerns, particularly with the summer season looming.
Mountain Waste and Recycling proposed installing a temporary restroom trailer downtown, which would remain in place for 18 months and, if serviced three times a week, would cost $45,000. If serviced five times a week the price tag would increase to $47,160, and if serviced daily would rise to $52,560.
The two plastic ADA port-o-lets on Seventh Street, which in 2017 were serviced only three days a week, cost $320 a month or roughly $3,840 annually.
Another suggested idea included the permanent installation of a Portland Loo — a stainless steel, open-air, single stall bathroom unit. Initial pricing ranged between $95,000 and $100,000 for one unit and, if approved, would be installed on the north side of Seventh Street, adjacent to the under -ridge location. The Portland Loo would be usable approximately 95 percent of the year.
The dialogue, however, quickly changed from cost issues to location. Council members and the public voiced concerns about the restrooms blocking the view of the river, and not fitting the décor of Glenwood Springs’ downtown.
While everyone seemed in agreement that the downtown needs a permanent public restroom, how to go about getting one still remained unanswered as no vote was made.
Instead, Glenwood Springs residents and tourists will likely see more port-o-lets over the summer.
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Basalt hired a consultant to come up with a plan for the first major renovations since Arbaney Pool was constructed in the mid-1990s. The council will take its first look at the plan tonight.