by Adam Gruenewald
After raising over $11,000 for the Wilkommen Park restrooms from area organizations, members of the Parks and Recreation are opening up requests to the community at large.
Parks and Recreation Commission member Lori Trocke acknowledged the year-long efforts of the commission and that members remain focused on getting the project done and funds acquired.
“We are committed to providing a permanent bathroom facility for that park,” said Trocke.
As reported previously, NYA City Council members approved $119,500 towards the restroom project on April 24, in a motion that was later clarified on May 8 when the contract with Shanahan Construction was officially approved.
The intent is still to have the restrooms project completed by July 14.
Of the total cost, the City of NYA will use $40,000 out of the Capital Equipment Improvement Fund and $40,000 will come from the Parks Dedication Fund, which totals about $90,000 and comes from housing developers for the use of parks throughout the entire community, to support the project, according to City Administrator Steve Helget.
While council approved spending additional funds, Trocke said the Parks and Rec Commission is intent on funding the remaining $39,500 from donations and project modifications, according to Trocke.
Thus far, the Parks and Recreation Commission has sought and received $1,000 from the West Carver Lions, $5,000 from both the Legion and VFW and have yet to hear back from the NYA Lions, Stiftungsfest Committee and Young America Baseball Association.
“We’ve said that we’re prepared to go out to civic organizations and we’ve done that,” said Trocke. “We’re not close to closing the gap, we have quite a ways to go so that’s why we’re opening it up to others.”
As discussed at length with council, there are still items that can be modified with Pat Shanahan of Shanahan Construction to save on cost, which the Parks and Recreation Commission will work on and identify.
“We’re starting,” said Trocke. “We may have to trim costs if we can’t completely close the gap and we’re too far from it. If we feel we have to trim, we will do that.”
While the building will structurally remain the same, among the potential considerations are adjusting a water heater for the building, adjusting a concrete strip in front of the building to asphalt matching the hard surface path leading to the bathroom from the existing path, modifying the flooring in terms of an epoxy non-slick and durable floor cover or even downsizing the overall size of the building. Those potential modifications, especially the overall downsizing of the building, would be brought before members of the NYA City Council.
“Those are the things our contractor (Shanahan) is researching right now,” said Helget. “Those are some of the considerations at this point.”
“It’s pretty bare bones as it is,” said Trocke. “There are some areas we can trim a little here and a little there and we’ll do that if we have to.”
Helget added that because of the clarified intent of council to make the project happen, more funds could come from the city.
“We’re going to work on taking care of that gap,” said Helget. “Worst-case scenario we would go back to the council on how they want to finance the rest of the project.”
That commitment of the Parks and Recreation Commission hasn’t changed in over a year, according to Helget, as commission members remain focused on the restrooms project as their top priority of annual goals.
“They’ve been fairly passionate about this project since the beginning,” said Helget. “They want to see it through and want to see it completed.”
Trocke stressed that individuals, families and other organizations and businesses are encouraged to support the restrooms project.
“We want to throw a wider net so we don’t have to do those things,” she said. “We can put everything in the way it was originally designed to be.”
Donations, in any amount, can be dropped off at the City Office anytime during regular business hours. Donors should designate on their donation that the funds should be used towards the “Wilkommen Bathroom Rebuild Project.”
All donors will be recognized on a plaque that will be placed on the outside of the new bathroom building as well as in future project updates published on the City of NYA website and the NYA Times. When making a donation, donors should let the city know who the donation is from, and the information can be on the plaque and in future project updates.
The NYA City Council will next meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 12.
Follow Adam Gruenewald on Twitter @adamgruenewald.