Plans for New Downtown Public Restroom Underway
Part of the First United Methodist Church (FUMC) new Park Project includes a public, handicap-accessible restroom for the downtown area. The location of the restroom will be on the North West side of Park, currently the parking lot of FUMC.
The Paris Main Street Board is working together with Brad Archer, Bobby Smallwood, Paul Denney, City Staff and FUMC as a partnership to make this possible.
Cheri Bedford, Main Street Coordinator, said, “A public handicap accessible restroom has been a desired goal for the Main Street Board and downtown stakeholders, and is definitely a much needed amenity. The idea has been tossed around for years, and many locations and ideas thrown around. The location we have is a great starting point, and we are very excited about it. We were very pleased to partner with the church on their project. We know it will be a great addition in and of itself, but when partnered with a park and the people it will draw, it will make the downtown experience that much better.”
Ms. Bedford adds, “This project is going to be built by the community. We are working on a community vision. As downtown continues to flourish, maybe we can add another restroom in another location.”
Local architect, Paul Denney has drawn up the plans for the restroom as an in-kind service.
The estimate to build the restroom is $45,000. Cheri Bedford explains, “this is a big goal, but we feel as if we will meet it with everyone’s help. Main Street welcomes private donations and is already receiving donations for the restroom. Many great creative events are being planned to fundraise. Movies in the park raised $3000. Separate donations that have already come in are close to $1200 from a few downtown businesses and individuals. It has been amazing to see the outpouring of support from the community for our big fundraiser 6 (square)’d is Sept 6th at the Gibraltar. The PDA is promoting the Antique fair in October as a fundraiser.”
The hope is to have the funds in place to begin construction on the restroom when FUMC begins groundbreaking on the park.