Abbotsford council has approved the spending of $250,000 to build two pit washrooms at Albert Dyck Park.
Council approved at its executive committee meeting on March 8 to spend $237,500 from development cost charges for park improvements and $12,500 in general capital reserves.
A staff report indicates that Albert Dyck Park was the highest ranked washroom project in the city because it is one of the most heavily used parks and has been using Porta Potties for years.
“With the increased park use, these Porta Potties have not been able to keep up to the large crowds, often resulting in overflowing and unusable facilities at peak times,” the report states.
The project was initially linked to the receipt of a federal infrastructure grant.
The original timeline for the grant announcement was this spring, but staff recently learned the date has now been moved to late 2021.
Staff sought approval from council to move the project ahead in time for this summer, while the city awaits words on the grant application for other washrooms and shelters.
Moving Albert Dyck Park off the list means that another project – DeLair Park – can now be added to the grant application, council was told.
Geoff Paynton, the city’s director of parks and facilities, said the project will cost $250,000 because the two washrooms must be “bulletproof, vandal-proof and as sturdy as possible.”
He said large holding tanks have to be built underneath, requiring “lots of dirt” to be removed.
As well, a retaining wall needs to be built along the side of the trail “so the toilets don’t fall into the side of the lake,” Paynton said.