Buehler Park last had a permanent bathroom in 2004. It was built in the '60s, and over time the sandstone structure, water and sewer lines have deteriorated. As a result, portables toilets have been used in Buehler Park to fill the need for a new permanent bathroom, said City of Rolla Parks and Recreation Director Floyd Jernigan.
The last permanent bathroom at Buehler Park was added before the citizens passed the Prop P tax, so there was no funding available to replace the restroom, said Jernigan.
“Since then we have had a couple of open houses to garner that support, which was there because the citizens told us it was one of the things that they thought was important to use with those tax dollars,” said Jernigan. Jernigan addressed the Rolla City Council on Nov. 19 to ask for the approval of a bid for a new restroom facility at Buehler Park.
The bid would be part of the next phase of the Buehler Park Master Plan approved by the city council, said Jernigan. The bids came through CXT Inc., and the company still has the state bid, which is the reason why there was such a disparity in the three proposals, said Jernigan.
“The company pretty much does this pre-cast, and they will deliver the setup, so the amount we are asking for is for the building, as well as for the additional cost of the water, sewer and electric hook up we will be doing,” said Jernigan.
Jernigan recommended the council approve the Missouri state bid from CTX Inc. of Spokane, Washington, for $52,415, since the council had approved the same structure earlier in the year for Green Acres Park’s restroom. The other two bids from out of state came in at $100,000 and $137,000.
“The first thing we would prefer to do is actually have the Rolla Technical Institute students build it for us,” said Jernigan. “But unfortunately their trade class is currently tied up with another project they are doing right now building shade structure and storage units for us at the tennis courts at Ber Juan North Park.”
And since students from Rolla Technical Institute would not be able to work on a permanent restroom for Buehler Park until the next school year, the bid was recommended. Jernigan noted bathrooms are expensive. However, the Department of Natural Resources purchases the same style of bathroom units for State Parks and Conservation areas.
There is also the same style of bathroom done by CTX Inc. at the Doolittle I-44 exit, and the Parks and Advisory Commission reviewed and approved the proposal for the new restroom at their Oct. 10, 2018 meeting.
“This would be the same structure and same set up identical to Green Acres. The only difference between this bathroom and the one we have at Green Acres is there is a $2,000 additional cost that’s in that price for an external Americans with Disabilities Act water fountain that is attached to the building,” said Jernigan.
One question was raised at the Rolla City Council meeting by city council member Brian Woolley. Woolley asked why there weren’t local contractors who placed bids.
Woolley stated, “I see three bids on here all from out of state companies. Why are we not trying to find local companies to do this? I don’t understand why one of our numerous local contractors couldn’t do this, I mean they build houses they build commercial buildings; they can build a bathroom can’t they?”
Rolla Mayor Louis Magdits noted that nothing is stating the bid had to be awarded Nov. 19, so the city could ask for local proposals, however, Magdits didn’t think there would be much interest or it would be an expensive price tag.
“Your point is well taken, we don’t know until we ask. We will give the local market one chance in a reasonably short time frame and see what we come up with,” said Rolla Mayor Magdits.
Upon new information presented by Jernigan revealing that the state contract with CXT Inc. terminates on Dec. 3, pending renewal, the council unanimously voted to reconsider their motion to hold off on the bid until reaching out to local contractors. The new motion to award the bid to CXT Inc. for $52,415 unanimously passed.