DFA plans restrooms for Barrett’s Landing

Published 8:24 am Wednesday, September 30, 2009

FRANKLIN­—The Downtown Franklin Association wants to make Barrett’s Landing more attractive to patrons by constructing a new building that will house restrooms to replace the portable toilets that are currently rented for events.

“It’s a healthier environment, and it also improves the overall appearance of Barrett’s Landing,” said Dan Howe, the DFA’s manager. He said that the building will be constructed very close to where portable toilets are placed during events and it will not affect any of the green park space.

Howe and Victor Story, DFA president, presented their plans to build the new facility, which will also house multipurpose and storage space, to the City Council on Monday night.

The total cost of the project is expected to be $108,536.47, according to Howe. However, the DFA is requesting in-kind services from the city to cover $23,309.99 of that cost. Story noted that the amount the DFA spends on renting portable toilets and storage space works out to about $737 a month, and he said that the new building could be financed with payments of $741 a month.

“It’s a win-win situation,” he said. “It’ll be a good asset to the city.”

Story said that the building will be vandal and wet flood proof, a design that allows floodwaters to pass through a building without causing significant damage.

“Basically, if we know a flood is coming, we can go over there, open the doors and let it go,” he said.

According to Taylor Williams, the city attorney, there are questions about how the land for the building could be deeded or leased to the DFA.

“It’s not a simple task,” he said.

The DFA asked the city to waive certain fees associated with the building construction.

Mayor Jim Councill said that the DFA is an extension of the city, and he supported waiving fees.

“I view the Downtown Franklin Association like I do the volunteer fire department. Except for Dan (Howe) and Geri (Lankford), it’s made up of volunteers that love downtown,” he said.

Vice Mayor Raystine Johnson voiced concern that waiving a fee for the DFA might set a precedent, however, Fleming didn’t see it as a problem.

“I don’t see this as a huge precedent, I see it as a variance, and I see it helping to get a project started with no commitment,” Fleming said. “They can’t go anywhere without this first step.”

The City Council voted unanimously to waive the $175 fee for the DFA to submit the building’s site plan to the Office of Community Development.