Lebanon begins construction projects for new amenities

The city of Lebanon has two construction projects on tap, new public restrooms downtown and a new welcome center with restrooms at the Miller Ecological Park.

The downtown restrooms project was announced last year, the plan was to use about $171,000 of a State Capital Improvement Grant that Lebanon received. The new restroom would be located on city-owned property on Mechanic Street near Bicentennial Park.

City Manager Scott Brunka said the downtown public restrooms project was originally bid out in February, but the low bid came in at $533,000.

When the project was let out for bids a second time with the two projects combined, the lowest bid came in at $639,800, he said. The two buildings were bid together to reduce costs and meet material lead times, grant deadlines and increasing construction costs.

Council awarded the contract to Leo J. Brielmaier Co. to construct both projects. In addition to approving the contract, council also appropriated an additional $325,000 from the general fund for the projects.

In addition, the city will use about $175,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds for both projects, he said.

There are no public restroom facilities in downtown Lebanon for visitors and guests, and the city provides public access to the city building from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays nine months of the year. The city has a part-time employee at the building to address facility security concerns.

Brunka said the downtown public restrooms are a short-term recommendation of the Downtown Master Plan and, also a recommendation of the recent Parks Master Plan Update.

He said the Welcome Center at the Miller Ecological Park is needed as the 100-acre park is served by a single portable toilet.

Brunka said the park has seen significant increase in use over the years and the restroom/shelter near the front of the park was also a recommendation of the Parks Master Plan.

In addition to using American Rescue Plan Act funds that Lebanon received from the federal government, the city and the Warren County Foundation collaborated to raise $120,000 in private donations to help support construction of a Welcome Center.

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