12/19/12 — Bathrooms plan at park sent back to square one

View Archive

Bathrooms plan at park sent back to square one

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on December 19, 2012 1:46 PM

The long-debated location of a bathroom building at Stoney Creek Park will stretch into another year after the Goldsboro City Council sent Parks and Recreation Director Scott Barnard back to the drawing board Monday night.

The bathroom building will be paid for with a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant the city received in May 2011, but the location of that building, plus two picnic shelters, has been a contentious one among citizens, council members and the former members of a non-profit integral in acquiring the grant.

Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Allen grilled Barnard during Monday's work session, asking about the accessibility of the picnic shelters and bathroom, all drawn up to be placed along the park's lots closest to Randolph Street.

Barnard's map showed one shelter north of Mulberry Street and one south of Mulberry Street, with the bathroom facility between the two.

Allen didn't like the prospect of families having to walk so far with their picnic effects in tow, suggesting that patrons would be tempted to drive over the curb for better access.

Allen said he would like to see the southernmost shelter moved north of Mulberry Street as well, although floodplain restrictions would make it a tight fit.

Allen was also concerned about the flipping of the bathroom and shelter from an earlier drawing that showed the southernmost structure would be the bathroom. He suggested that a picnic shelter could be more intrusive to residents who live near it than a bathroom.

That bathroom location move was pushed through last summer as the Stoney Creek Park Alliance sought to move the bathroom away from residents due to complaints by some of its members that it would contribute to crime. The resident living nearest to the bathroom location had no problem with it.

The Alliance wasn't concerned that its location would require an extra sewer and water hookup -- a costly expenditure that would take funds away from other projects in the park.

The existence of the water and sewer conduits was another factor that led to the bathroom's location, Barnard said, as his proposed location wouldn't require a new hookup.

Allen still said he felt more should be done, asking Barnard to examine the prospect of putting both shelters north of Mulberry Street and to reach out to residents in the area to ensure they're aware of the possibility of a shelter -- not a bathroom -- being built close near Walnut Street.

"Why don't you just go back and look at it again?" he asked.

Barnard said he has the materials to begin construction of the facilities as soon as a location is selected, but that approval won't come until 2013 since the measure was pulled from the consent agenda.

Items approved by consent Monday included the following:

* The authorization of installment financing to fund an information technology update

* The purchase of a compost mixer and truck chassis from Greensboro-based White's International Trucks for $161,969

* The authorization of the city manager to contract with an architectural firm for the design of the new W.A. Foster Recreation Center

* Advisory board and commission appointments

* Monthly departmental reports.