The Marion City Council reviewed a three-phase project for improvements at Central Park during its regular meeting Monday, April 29.
Councilor Todd Heitschmidt, addressing the city as a member of the park board, said decisions need to be made on how the park board should proceed.
“We are throwing the ball back into the council’s court in deciding a location (for a new restroom building) as we come up with more dollars of what this will cost,” he said.
Heitschmidt provided a history of why the gazebo and restrooms should be completed separately, with the final phase being security equipment.
The restroom replacement is considered Phase I of the project because of its deterioration and size.
Other reasons for moving it to the top of the priority list are because of the vandalized sinks and stools, a need to replace the deteriorating lift station, location, handicapped accessibility and providing year-round usage for park and out-of-town visitors.
The building chosen is about 26 feet by 26 feet and would have three stalls in both the men’s and women’s restroom, be handicapped accessible and was recommended by Darin Neufeld, EBH engineer.
According to Heitschmidt, the new building would cost $80,000, not including the expense of delivery.
Two possible locations would be on the east side of the park near the swing sets and along the driveway, or on the west side to the south of the fountain.
Councilor Jerry Kline said he wanted to see the locations before making a decision.
Following the council meeting, Mayor Mary Olson, Heitschmidt and Kline visited the park as part of a work session to view possible sites.
City Administrator Doug Kjellin said he would recommend the council apply to the city’s planning commission for a conditional-use permit.
“My recommendation would be to identify a location for the application and, as part of the planning commission’s operations, they will have a public hearing for consideration of the conditional use permit,” he said.
The second phase of the project would be replacing the gazebo.
The park board, by consensus, has agreed the current location is ideal for the replacement.
Considered Phase III is the security equipment to address vandalism issues.
In September 2011, the security equipment proposal was $22,000, which came from Terry Monasmith of Dark Horse Protection.