Okanogan County is seeking a pared-down design for new bathrooms at the county fairgrounds, after an earlier plan was shelved for being too expensive.
The request specifies a 30-by-40-foot bathroom with six stalls for women and four for men, plus two urinals, with access for disabled individuals. Plans are for construction to begin by July.
The previous design would also have included shower and laundry facilities for campers. The sole bid to build that version came in at more than twice the original estimate, so the commissioners decided to downsize the design, according to Laleña Johns, clerk of the board.
Last year, the county’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee questioned the county commissioners’ decision to provide $93,000 to the fairgrounds from the tax collected on lodging, which is intended to promote overnight tourism.
The lodging committee said the fairgrounds representatives had not demonstrated that the project would provide a significant return on investment. They also said the funding was disproportionate, as all other applicants for their tourism-promotions grants shared a total of $95,000.
The county’s request for proposals does not include a budget. The fairgrounds also have a $50,000 grant for the bathroom construction from the Washington State Department of Agriculture.