The proposed public restrooms are expected to assist with hosting events at Veteran's Park, located next to the Boulder City Hall.

The Boulder Development Fund Board is recommending that $52,503 of unused money from its other projects be allocated to the City Hall restrooms.

The funding allocation was discussed by the Board on May 6 and will go before the Boulder City Council for final consideration.

The leftover money comes from a group of 15 projects overseen by the Board, and funded from $500,000 provided to the City of Boulder by the state after the Montana Development Center was closed.

The unused funds will come from the following projects — the Boulder Downtown Master Plan ($0.17), Main Street improvements ($20,976), the facade improvement program ($19,675), the Boulder River Trail ($602), the MDC implementation ($7,500) and the I-15 Interchange project ($3,750).

This is the last opportunity to realign the funds for the various projects, said Tom Harrington,  board member and Jefferson Local Development Corporation co-manager.

At the same time, the estimated cost for the City Hall restroom project is showing a shortfall of $1,894 after the unused funds are applied, according to projections presented by Harrington.

The total cost for the restrooms is $155,299, according to Harrington. 

The line item that tipped the scales was having to move the Northwestern Energy gas line, which is estimated to cost $3,098, said Harrington.  

The existing gas line needs to be rerouted, said Boulder City Clerk Ellen Harne.

Drew Dawson, who chairs the BDFB as well as sits on the City Council, said that methods to address the shortfall hasn’t been formally addressed, but there are ways to cover it, such as using the revolving loan fund. 

Ultimately, that decision rests with the City Council, he said, adding later that the solutions to the shortfall are a “work in progress.” 

The revolving loan fund is one of the 15 projects under the Boulder Development Fund umbrella. It includes $100,000 set aside for small, low interest loans to help or attract new or existing businesses. When money is repaid, it is returned to the fund, but so far, no loans have been made. 

The City Hall project originally included expanding City Hall, upgrades to the Veterans Park and downtown lighting.  When grant funding from a different source was denied, the City Council, with the Department of Commerce’s approval, was able to reallocate the funds to the restrooms, which will be open to the public. 

It is thought that public restrooms will better facilitate events at the park, said Harrington in a phone interview on Thursday. 

The Board also recommended an amendment to the contract with Stahly Engineering to draw up construction plans for the Boulder River Trail at a cost of $10,873. The change order is a reduction from the original estimate of $11,475 and is part of the project’s original allocation of $34,752. The amendment does not include actual construction, but by having the plans in hand, it would give the city an advantage when competing for grants in the future to build the trail, said Harrington. 

The recommendation will also go to the City Council for final consideration. 

The Board is in the process of drafting a letter to the City Council as well as the Montana Department of Commerce to finalize the uncompleted projects, which must be done by Sept. 30. 

In addition to the City Hall project, other projects still in the works include the economic development package, which includes gateway signs and their installation and landscaping and a city website, temporary wayfaring signs, the facade improvement application projects, the MDC survey and the professional architectural report for the I-15 Interchange project. 

The revolving loan program, however, will remain available beyond Sept. 30. 

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