by Jonathan Weaver
East Franklin Township supervisors have finalized plans for an ADA-compliant restroom through a grant.
Earlier this month, supervisors approved a $4,520 bid from a local contractor, Simon Cochran Construction, to prepare cement around the site of a new handicapped-accessible restroom facility near the Heritage Park pavilion near the West Hills Primary School site.
East Franklin Township will provide materials.
The construction bid was the lowest through the state’s cooperating purchasing program, COSTARS.
The price for a new Cortez restroom building is more than $52,000, but local officials received a $25,000 grant from the state before the remainder is matched by the municipality.
According to specifications, the building with two skylights includes an ADA drinking fountain, electric hand dryers and timed electric locks as part of its security system.
Officials hope the building is in place by October.
Supervisor Chair Barry Peters was glad the project is finally underway.
“We were going to build, but we’re going to get this already pre-constructed. All we got to do is set it in,” Peters said.
Supervisor David Stewart acknowledged the difficulty senior citizens or handicapped children might have if renting the pavilion without the sidewalk.
Officials had to order other construction materials – including a crane to unload the 20-ton self-contained bathroom from the state of Texas.
Supervisors said previous bids were too expensive for the work estimated.
In May 2015, supervisors met informally with County Planning and Development Community Division Director Jennifer Bellas about the 2011 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant to build a unisex restroom at the Heritage Park pavilion.
At that time, bidding to see overall costs was held off as not to disturb summer rentals at the pavilion and officials were not receiving enough quotes for materials.
In June 2014, Township Engineer Ken Howard said that DCNR would like more drawings made of plumbing and electrical work (at a cost of $1,100) before the grant is finalized.
Supervisors can match the funding with labor or material cost during the next three years.
East Franklin Township has had a lease agreement on the space for nearly 20 years.