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Dolores supports plan for downtown restroom as cost jumps

The town of Dolores is proposing to build a bathroom at Flanders Park, facing Colorado Highway 145. The design is by Connie Giles Architecture. (Courtesy town of Dolores)
Flanders Park location is needed to handle events, board says

Cost estimates for a proposed public bathroom at Flanders Park in Dolores were higher than expected, but the Town Board agreed to move forward with the project.

The bathroom is planned for the southwest corner of the park and is needed to accommodate public events and the traveling public. It would face Colorado Highway 145 and be open year-round.

The town budgeted an estimated $160,000 for the project, which includes successfully applying for a $150,000 grant from Colorado Department of Transportation and a $10,000 town match.

Building inspector David Doudy reported increased construction costs have pushed the bathroom estimate to $230,000.

“Prices keep going up,” he said, adding contractors are guaranteeing prices for only a few days.

The restroom design is already as small as practically possible. Doudy said cutting the $12,000 in-floor heating system for a less expensive option would cut costs, but the in-floor system is preferred because wall-mounted units tend to be stolen.

The board agreed to apply for the CDOT grant and will consider budget cuts elsewhere to cover the estimated additional $70,000. The project is contingent on a successful grant application.

“I want to see this project done. Flanders Park sees a lot of use, and there is a need for a restroom,” said Board Trustee Tracy Murphy.

She said local businesses have reported that during town events their bathrooms are overwhelmed.

Town Manager Ken Charles suggested funds could be cut from various budgeted items to cover the increased restroom costs. Another option could be to use funds from the American Rescue Plan.

Suggested cuts include: bear containers ($8,000); pavilion repair ($5,000); community garden water line ($2,500); Joe Rowell Park Master Plan ($15,000); Town Hall maintenance ($10,00, reduced from $14,000); special project contributions ($5,000); tree trimming ($3,500); administrative education ($2,000, reduced from $5,000); administrative consulting ($7,500); land surveyor costs ($2,500); resident sidewalk/gutter cost share ($4,000, reduced from $8,000).