Park bathrooms again discussed in Sawmills

Feb. 18, 2014 @ 09:07 PM

Sawmills residents were back at Town Hall on Tuesday night to advocate for new restrooms at the town’s Veterans Park.

Five spoke in favor of building centrally located, permanent restrooms at the park, which currently has a small restroom at its far edge, about a quarter-mile from where most events are held, and portable toilets in a more central location. Two -- Aggie Woods, 90, and Kathy Soots, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease -- said the location of those restrooms makes it difficult for them to use the park.

“I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings or make anyone mad, but I just think it would be really good” to build new restrooms, Soots said.

In response, town council members largely repeated their statements from the Feb. 11 budget retreat: No one is against the bathrooms but they need more information about the cost, especially since the town does not own the park but leases it from Duke Energy. And Councilman Joe Wesson, who made the restrooms a major point in his campaign, repeated that some council members may be trying to “put off” a decision.

“Is that just another spin and put-off until the end of the budget period?” Wesson asked.

The town council also set a March 18 public hearing to discuss the town’s intent to apply for $2 million to $3 million in Community Development Block grants to expand sewer infrastructure in the town to at least "a chunk” of the number of households now without sewer service, Eckard said .

The town council also approved a resolution supporting the Western Piedmont Council of Governments’ application for the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership. Approval of that application would mean the metropolitan statistical area that includes Caldwell County would be designated as a “manufacturing community,” which would give the area preferred consideration for grants from a $1.3 billion pool from various agencies.