October 23, 2014

Omer changes library bathroom renovation plans

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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OMER — If bids come back favorably, the Omer city council may move forward with renovations to the Omer Little Eagle’s Nest Library women’s bathroom in the next few months.

The council the planned renovations to the library bathrooms during its meeting July 24. The council wants to set them up so they are handicapped accessible and meet the standards set in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the initial plan and bidding process, both the men’s and women’s room would be renovated.

Berry said the bathrooms would include a new sink and handicapped accessible toilet. The city received a $5,000 grant from the Iosco-Arenac District Library usable for the renovations as long as they begin before Nov. 1. Another $3,000 was added from the library fund.

However, Berry said to work on both the men’s and women’s bathrooms this year, they would have to remove the second toilet in the women’s room. To keep it, the bathroom would need additional renovations and plumbing to account for the space needed for ADA standards.

Cook said the second women’s toilet is vital to prevent lineups during meetings and events. The men’s room would lose a urinal during renovations, but would still have one in addition to the toilet.

The council agreed to rebid the renovations for just the women’s room. The men’s room would get its renovations next year under this proposed plan, though Berry said the city would need to get additional permits to get the job done.

“We would need to get a builder permit and a plumber,” Berry said. If the city went forward with the original plans, neither of those would be necessary, he added.

Renovations would not affect bathroom accessibility for the upcoming concert being hosted at the neighboring Omer Library Park Aug. 16. Mayor Alice Sproule said she wanted to open access to the bathrooms provided doors to the other parts of the building, such as city hall, are locked. Work would not begin on the bathroom until after the concert, she said.

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