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The new public restrooms are nearing completion at Veterans Park in Boulder.

The new restrooms at Veterans Park are nearing completion, and that brings up the issue of when they will be open to the public.

The Boulder City Council tossed around ideas at its July 20 meeting. 

Mayor Rusty Giulio was concerned that if they were open 24/7, they would be “torn all to heck.”

One idea was to have a key available, akin to the system that some gas stations use. 

Farmers Market Master Connie Grenz said the restrooms should be open during community events and that requiring organizers to seek out a key was a burden on city staff. Grenz said the bathrooms should be open at least during regular business hours. 

Council President Drew Dawson agreed that the bathrooms should be open during business hours, but the city also needs to be aware of the potential for vandalism. 

Jefferson County Commissioner Cory Kirsch suggested installing an exterior camera to cut down on nefarious activity. 

“If people know there’s a camera then nothing happens,” he said.

Council member Mike “Bear” Taylor suggested that staff open the restrooms from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m and then they could also be opened by event organizers at other times. 

Jefferson County Planner LaDana Hintz said the city had told the Montana Department of Commerce that the bathrooms would be open during the day, so they need to be open. 

The bathrooms were financed, in part, by a grant by the Department of Commerce, and are among the 15 projects devised through the Boulder Development Fund, which was funded by $500,000 from the state after the closing of the Montana Development Center. The bathrooms, which include a basement, cost $159,299. 

The City will compile the comments about the bathroom hours and return in August for further consideration. 

Additional business

•The City Council plans to enter into an agreement with Great West Engineering, which has offered to provide fee-based subdivision review services. Applicants would pay the fees for the review to alleviate the burden on the taxpayers, according to Hintz. 

The typical cost for a subdivision review ranges from $4,500 to $5,200, according to Hintz. 

•The City Council tabled the second reading of its community decay, beautification and upkeep ordinance in order to clean up some grammatical errors. The ordinance will return to the City Council in August. 

•Plans for the Boulder River Trail, now 90% complete, were also approved by the City Council, which allows Stahley Engineering to have the plans at 100% completion and ready for review at the August meeting. The plans, part of the 15 Boulder Development Fund projects, will give the city an advantage when it comes time to apply for construction grants. 

•The City Council plans to apply for a grant from the Elkhorn Foundation to complete the funding for the new informational kiosk to be placed at Veterans Park. After two $500 grants from the Boulder Area Chamber of Commerce and the Elkhorn Foundation, the city is short $667. An additional grant, if approved, from the Elkhorn Foundation would make up the difference and possibly allow for some additional funding for further enhancements, said Dawson. 

The steel and metal kiosk is fashioned after a similar version in Stevensville. The kiosk is part of Boulder Development Fund projects and $5,000 was set aside from the Boulder Development Fund to pay for its construction and installation, but it did require a match from the city.

•The City Council is considering an amendment to its water and sewer ordinance to include trailer parks. The amendment would require a public hearing. 

•A finance committee is being devised by the City Council which will include the mayor, a council member, the city’s accounting consultant, Mike Blakeley, CPA, and a member of the community. A statement of responsibility for the committee will be presented at the August meeting and before an ad is put in the newspaper for the community member position. 

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