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The Community Park bathroom is nearly 50 years old and as the city's population has grown, so has use of the facility.

Councilor Christopher Bangs brought bathrooms to the forefront of the discussion during the Jan. 5 Canby City Council meeting.

The public restrooms at Community Park, he said, are turning 50 years old next year and are long overdue for an update. They're still sporting stainless steel, seatless toilets and an outdated septic system that is upstream of the input for Canby Utility's water treatment plant.

Bangs noted that over the summer, thousands of people were using the park and its facilities, while others were opting for the bushes, as evidenced by trails of toilet paper near the riverbank.

FILE PHOTO - The Canby City Council is going to take a look at the park bathroom situation, beginning with the nearly 50-year-old facilities at Community Park.

When the facilities were first built, Canby had a population of about 4,000 people. The two-toilet facilities can no longer support the city's population of parkgoers.

"It's otherwise a beautiful park with big, shady trees and a lovely river, so it makes sense the park is so popular," Bangs said. But, he added, he and his wife "used to hope and pray that the kids wouldn't use the potty" while visiting the park.

Bangs asked that the council direct city staff to create a proposal outlining what it would take to repair or replace the facilities at the park.

Mayor Brian Hodson agreed and questioned whether the city had a replacement or maintenance plan to look at lifespan and replacement timelines for its existing facilities. Councilor Greg Parker said he, too, was concerned about building new facilities without a maintenance plan in place.

Parker said he often talks to parkgoers and the number one topic they bring up is the restrooms. He added that he would like the city to look into replacing the current septic system with plumbing.

"To the extent that the city administrator can identify funds and put this out to bid in this fiscal year, I think we're making better use of taxpayer money," Parker said. "To delay on any public works project is only to increase its cost" due to inflation, he said.

Council members agreed they would like to see a few options from city staff regarding repair or replacement costs and review future maintenance plans for new facilities.

"That park is going to be heavily used again this summer and I think the sooner we can get started on replacing the bathrooms, the better off we'll be," Councilor Sarah Spoon said. "We might as well do it correctly so they can last another 50 years."

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