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County finds money to keep park restrooms open

Restrooms will be available at Spokane County parks all this summer despite budget cuts that threatened service at seven parks.

Parks Director Doug Chase told county commissioners this week that it won’t be necessary to close restrooms at the Liberty Lake Off Road Vehicle Park or Gleneden, Brentwood, Sontag and Fish Lake parks.

And portable toilets will be provided at Bear Lake and Pine River parks, where water-flush systems increase vault-pumping costs.

Marshall Farnell, the county’s chief executive officer, said in an interview that he asked Chase to transfer money from his capital budget to keep the restrooms open this summer.

Chase said the estimated cost is $15,500, down from $22,600. The saving is based on reducing the number of portable toilets and cleaning regular restrooms only once a week.

Portable toilets would be cleaned three times a week.

The plan includes a small allowance for extra work if a restroom is too messy to wait a week for maintenance. However, Chase said it may be necessary to keep restrooms open weekends only if too many extra cleanings are required.

Commissioner Mark Richard suggested posting signs to give “kind of an advance notice” of that possibility.