Howell – Howell City governments recently approved an agreement with Livingston County that will provide public restrooms in downtown, stopping decades of visitors trying to find a nearby business that is willing to allow them to use their premises.
“I think the downtown baths were needed for a while. We have a lot of visitors. We do a lot of activities in the area of our State Street, which is our festival street. This is where we try to hold most of our activities, ”said Howell Mayor Erwin Suida. – Every Sunday there is a farmers’ market. Every Friday summer, the Livingston Arts Council holds its concerts in the courthouse … so these bathrooms will absolutely help people feel downtown when they come to these events and visit. ”
As a result of a 6-0 vote on Feb. 14, Howell City Council approved an easement agreement with Livingston County that would allow the construction of restrooms on East Clinton Street in downtown.
Suida said that in anticipation of new bathrooms during the reconstruction of East Clinton Street at the site of the easement were conducted underground communications.
“If we introduce new communications, we will look at empty areas. “We’re going to look at houses that stand on double plots, and we’re actually going to run utilities along the way to accommodate those empty plots or plots that aren’t built up, so in the future, if someone develops, they won’t open a beautiful road to connect to our system, ”he explained. “We did a very similar thing with the bathrooms. When we were doing Clinton Street, we managed our utilities for this bathroom because it’s one of the few places you can sit waiting for that potential. In fact, there was already sewerage and water supply. ”
The Howell City Center Development Office is expected to fund the project cost of $ 100,070. The facility will include porcelain fixtures and will be completed in late spring. The city considered stainless steel fixtures, but the cost was about $ 40,000 more.
In addition, according to Suida, it is expected that the toilets will have automatic locks and a security system for round-the-clock surveillance of the facility.
“We will have checks during the day and our police will check them in the evening, but they will be automatically set to open and close at a certain time,” Suida said.
He added that employees of parks and cemeteries, which are currently emptying their garbage cans, will also check the bathroom daily to make sure they are clean, have supplies and are ready to work.
Suida said he was excited about the construction of the city center. Business owners in the area share similar sentiments, including Dairy Queen CEO Ginny Anderson, who said it is unusual to see long queues at the restroom in her business when events take place downtown.
“I am very excited. Our bathroom is close to the reception desk, so they have to go here, “she said.” They go right to the counter where our receptionist has to get to the bathroom. We’re actually losing business because of this because we get a long queue to our bathroom door and a lot of people think it’s a queue for ice cream. ”
Similarly, farm market master Howell Colin Monroe agreed that it would be good to have permanent toilets, as she has to rent portable toilets for the market every week.
“I take care of all these houses because I don’t want to put pressure on local businesses,” she said. [of businesses] around there are bathrooms that people can enjoy, so I always supply them to my sellers and my customers when they come to market. It would be nice to have that, ”Monroe said.
Howell Chamber of Commerce President Janelle Best said the restrooms will allow people to visit the city and not worry about them leaving faster than they would like.
“It really only improves what we do downtown in terms of the different activities we all organize, and it really supports in a positive way,” Best said. “I think the long-term retention of downtown people will also support our downtown merchants, our downtown restaurants and just make Howell a better place to work, live and play.”