Learning center restroom faces minor setback

ST. MARYS – Due to the high cost of purchasing a pre-engineered public restroom facility from Oregon, the Elk County Conservation District is pursuing other alternatives for the West Creek Wetland Learning Center."I have met with the [Elk County] commissioners and the planning commission a few times over the past few weeks to discuss the project," said District Manager Steve Putt. "We have kind of decided to take a step back."Initially, Conservation District officials had discussed purchasing the facility from Romtec, a company based out of Roseburg, Ore., that specializes in the manufacturing and installation of complete engineered buildings such as public restrooms, concession and multipurpose facilities, park pavilions, shelters and control buildings."They are basically one of the main manufacturers of these types of facilities, but they are quite expensive and they have to be shipped in," Putt said.According to Putt, shipping costs would total about $5,000.In an effort to save money, Putt, the Elk County commissioners and planning commission officials agreed to consider purchasing the main components of the structure such as the toilet, holding tanks, hand sanitizers, and other items, and hire a local contractor to build the structure."This is the avenue we are looking at now," Putt said. "We have to run some of those ideas by DCNR [Department of Conservation and Natural Resources] to make sure that is OK with the grant and also look at the possibility of whether we have to bid the project out or not."It's still moving forward, we are just trying different avenues to see if we can bring that cost down a little bit and hopefully give some work to some local contractors as opposed to ordering something from Oregon and having it shipped here."Pick up a copy of the Monday, July 2, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.