A sigh of relief - some Downtown portapotties return

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May 26, 2003 // UPDATED 10:50 am - April 30, 2007
By: Scott Russell & David Brauer
Scott Russell & David Brauer

Joggers and tourists can breathe a sigh of relief: Downtown won\'t be portapotty-free this summer, after the Minneapolis Park and Recreation board restored money for five chemical toilets.

The board voted May 7 to return one toilet to each of five Downtown sites:

  • Loring Park;

  • Mill Ruins Park (Stone Arch bridge and West River Road);

  • Riverside Park (just east of Mill Ruins);

  • Stone Arch bridge landing across from Downtown; and

  • West River Parkway across from Boom Island.

    Portapotties on Boom Island and Nicollet Island will not be replaced.

    The Downtown sites have contained multiple toilets, but budget cuts forced the park board to scale back. Board members originally proposed cutting all chemical toilets earlier this year, but public criticism saved some. The board also restored money for wading pools and its Showmobile portable stage.

    \"The cuts to the wading pools and the chemical toilets had a major impact on the citizens,\" said Park Board President Bob Fine. \"The volume of calls the commissioners have been receiving is high.\"

    All told, the add-backs will cost $110,000. Board members did not specify where the additional funds would come from.

    \"We may realize more long-term savings on the hiring freeze, and we still do not know the final amount of the cuts we will receive from local government aid,\" said Superintendent Mary Merrill Anderson.

    The Park Board will begin its 2004 budget deliberations after the current legislative special session ends and it gets its final state aid numbers.