Councilors OK buying shade structure, reject bid for bathrooms at Seely Lane park

Plans for a new park in Scappoose are coming along, but the price tag for restrooms could stall the project slightly.

Scappoose city councilors approved the purchase of a $64,605 wood frame pavilion Monday evening for a new public park on Seely Lane, slated to begin development this summer. A restroom facility is also in the plans, but councilors balked at a $125,000 cost estimate for a prefabricated cinder block structure.

Many of the park's amenities will be paid for with money from a $450,000 Local Government grant the city received.

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Scappoose Mayor Scott Burge (left) listens as City Councilor Megan Greisen shares her concerns over cost estimates for a restroom at a new park on Seely Lane slated to be developed this summer. To her right, Councilors Patrick Kessi and Josh Poling listen. Estimates for a small restroom facility ranged from $23,000 for a kit to construct stalls on site, with toilets and fixtures purchased separately, to $125,000 for a premade concrete structure, including all fixtures and toilets. City staff recommended the most expensive option, saying concrete block would provide the most longevity.

"Staff feels that this option, with the split face concrete block construction, has the best chance of standing the test of time, holding its aesthetic appeal and being the most resistant to vandalism," a staff report states.

But councilors couldn't justify spending roughly a third of what a new home costs on a two-stall restroom for a park.

"My husband used to be in construction and he was just blown away by the cost of this — $125,000 for a cinder block structure," Councilor Megan Greisen said. "A cinder block at the Home Depot is about $2.50. I know there's a lot of features and things we want in this park and if $125,000 is taken for a restroom, there's not a lot of [money] for other things out of the grant."

The rest of the council concurred, asking if a different structure could be designed by a local company for cheaper.

"Would you pay $700 a square foot for a rest facility?" Councilor Joel Haugen asked of fellow councilor, Patrick Kessi, a developer with experience in construction costs.

Kessi agreed the price seemed high.

City staff cautioned that having a restroom facility engineered on site could be more costly.

"Please understand that what we do when we go out to bid is look for companies on the state bid list," City Manager Michael Sykes said.

Mayor Scott Burge suggested city staff solicit bids from local companies.

"If we can find someone local who can do it, I'd rather keep the money in the local economy, rather than sending it out for something that's pre-made," Burge noted.

Staff agreed to research other options and the City Council is expected to review more bids in the coming weeks.

Other park features, like benches, may have to be phased in later as more

funds become available, staff noted.

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