Outdoor $724,000 restroom gains support from split City Council

DHS Councilor Opposes $724,000 Restroom

Existing restroom facility

DESERT HOT SPRINGS — Saying he was “flabbergasted” at the price tag of $724,350 for an outdoor restroom facility to replace the crumbling one at Guy J. Tedesco Park, City Council member Russell Betts was the lone dissenter in awarding a construction contract to the lowest bidder, Abboud Diamond
Construction Inc.

Abboud Diamond Construction Inc.’s bid was for $658,500, with a 10% contingency amount of $65,850, which brings the total project budget to $724,350.

It was one of five companies bidding for the project. Bids ranged from $658,000 to $792,000.

During the past years, the city of Desert Hot Springs has had a large increase in vandalism, security issues, and proper functionality of the restroom facility at Tedesco Park. While the restroom facility is currently operational, the continuing issues with vandalism, over-use, ADA accessibility, and failing infrastructure components require the city to close the restrooms for frequent repairs, according to city staff. City staff looked into options of upgrades, improvements, and/or replacements. Based on the existing conditions, total costs, and ultimate life expectancy of the structure, the restroom replacement option was determined to be the best alternative.

DHS Councilor Opposes $724,000 Restroom

City Councilor Russell Betts

“I am not comfortable voting to approve $724,000 for a park restroom,” Betts said. He said the best solution was to revisit the issue so they could get a “reasonable price.”

“This is not reasonable,” Betts said. “It’s way too much money.”

Gardner argued that much of the money used for the project — $537,935 — will come Community Development Block Grant money.

Just because a huge portion of the money will come from CDBG funds doesn’t make a $724,000 restroom the right thing to do, Betts maintained.

“This is a project that’s been a long time coming and at the top of my list for a long time,” Councilmember Gary Gardner said. He said the current facility is “completely unacceptable,” and that the new restroom facility will be a “great enhancement” to the park.

He added that he hopes the city can get it “moving as fast as we can.”


Image Sources

  • Russell Betts: City of Desert Hot Springs
  • 2023-Tedesco-Bathroom-800×568-: City of Desert Hot Springs