Officials hold ribbon cutting ceremony; still undecided on open hours

by: ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Mayor Brent Dodrill cuts the ribbon for the new public restroom soon to open in the City Hall building.  (From left) City Manager Bill Elliott, Dana Heston (representing Steve Locke Construction), Jae Heidenreich of the Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office, Estacada Chamber of Commerce President Jordan Winthrop and City Councilors Sean Drinkwine and Rob Gaskill gather for the ceremony.An array city and county officials gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony for Estacada's new public restroom in the City Hall building on Thursday, Oct. 31.

Everyone was in a festive mood, and it wasn't just because it was Halloween.

“My first official ribbon cutting as Mayor... and it is for a bathroom. Huh!” Estacada Mayor Brent Dodrill joked in an email. “Don't get me wrong, this is a great event for Estacada, but I just find that a bit funny.”

Formerly, the restroom had been a small, little-used facility accessible only from inside City Hall.

But thanks to a $10,000 tourism development grant from the Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office, the plumbing was upgraded, the restroom was remodeled, new walls were installed along with a new door opening to the outside of the building.

The restroom is now only accessible from outside the City Hall building.

As soon as timed locks are installed, the restroom will be open to the public.

“The hours aren't completely decided yet,” said Melanie Wagner, assistant to the city manager.

She added that the restroom would probably open in daylight hours.

Jae Heidenreich of the Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office had nothing but praise for the Estacada Chamber of Commerce's efforts to open the public restroom.

“This was a result of (Chamber of Commerce Administrator) Connie (Redmond) listening to the business owners,” Heidenreich said.

Heidenreich indicated that local business owners had long called for a public restroom.

She added that the public restroom was a huge step in the right direction to increase bicycle tourism in the area.

“Two big wins as far as cycling for Estacada. It's one of the end points for the new Cascading Rivers Scenic Bike Route that will launch this spring. (Estacada) has also been chosen for one of two cities throughout the state to be a pilot for a bike-friendly business recognition program,” Heidenrich said.

“I think it's great that we have this bathroom,” Dodrill wrote in a later email. “It has taken a lot of people working together to make it happen... and it is good for Estacada.”

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