People who use the walking/jogging trail and municipal golf course on the north end of town will not only have a couple of extra miles to add to their exercise regimen, but they will also have access to upgraded restroom facilities.
The El Dorado City Council Finance Committee voted earlier this month to include $35,000 in the proposed 2018 city budget to improve two restrooms that serve the walking trail and Lions Club Municipal Golf Course.
Robert Edmonds, director of public works, asked the finance committee on Dec. 12 to approve the $35,000 for the 2018 Department of Public Works’ budget.
The committee has been meeting regularly to develop a 2018 city budget proposal to present to the full city council for approval.
Edmonds said there had been several requests “to do something” to keep the restrooms open during the day and night and during the wintertime.
With plans to extend the 2.25 mile walking trail, which has become a popular recreation spot in the city, it would benefit both walkers and golfers to have restrooms facilities they can comfortably use, city officials have said.
The El Dorado Parks and Playgrounds Commission and Lions Club personnel have previously discussed the matter.
Alderman Billy Blann made similar statements on Dec. 12, saying, “I think we need to do that. That’s for golfers and walkers.”
Edmonds said the $35,000 would cover costs to run power to both restrooms and add lighting indoors and outdoors.
The power source will also heat the restrooms — which would be welcome change, particularly with recent temperatures dropping into the 30s and 40s.
“They’re open now, and we want to keep them open all the time,” Blann said.
One of the restrooms lies on the northeast side of the golf course near the Back Nine, and it does not have potable water.
Edmonds previously said it is going to be a challenge to run a water line to the facility, explaining that the commodes operate off the recycled-water, commonly called gray water, irrigation system that serves the Lions Club and the El Dorado Golf and Country Club golf courses and the El Dorado School District soccer fields.
He said the city is researching options to extend a water line to the restroom, address concerns about freezing and make sure the project is cost effective.
The city has started work to lengthen the walking trail by another 2.5 miles.
The trail wraps around Lions Club, the soccer fields and Union County Fairgrounds.
A northward extension will add just under a mile to the existing trail, starting on the northeast side of the trail and stretching toward the north wastewater treatment plant of the El Dorado Water Utilities before looping back south to tie into the existing trail on the northeast side of the Lion Club property.
A longer loop will head south along 19th to Champagnolle, east toward U.S. 167 and north to reconnect to the existing trail.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.