Who wants coins?
The city's new parking meters will be high-tech, officials predict.
How soon they're in place, however, will depend on city council. So will plans for a four-storey parking structure downtown - and "bullet-proof" biffies.
They're all proposals from city administration as council begins to draft a capital improvement program for 2014-17. They were outlined Monday, along with a series of service upgrades at parks across Lethbridge.
New "streetscaping" plans for 3 Avenue S. and 5 Street S., part of the "Heart of the City" scheme, were also reviewed briefly when council met as its finance committee.
Replacing about 1,500 coin-operated meters would cost about $2 million, council was told, but city manager Garth Sherwin predicted it would reduce vandalism. New designs would also be more user-friendly, but officials haven't decided which newer technology would work best in Lethbridge.
"We'll try to avoid coins," he added.
A proposed 376-stall parking structure, on the present "Bompass" site on 5 Avenue S., would cost $14.8 million, council was told. It could help downtown businesses and shoppers, officials say - and reduce the number of people parking in the London Road area and then walking to work.
While council voiced few doubts about that proposal, members seemed less convinced about the need to spend $380,000 on two stand-along washroom facilities. One would be placed on the Bompass lot, while another would be near the now-empty downtown fire station on 6 Avenue S.
Facilities slated for public use outdoors are designed to take abuse, they're not all that "bullet-proof," council was told. They'd also need heat in the winter, cleaning year-round, and they'd be locked overnight so they couldn't be used for commercial activities.
Further afield, officials told council they're recommending a change-room facility at the Sherring rugby and soccer complex, which now hosts tournaments during the season. They're also proposing washroom and concession stand upgrades at Lakeview Park, site of many minor baseball games.
On the city's westside, parks officials are also proposing washroom facilities for the large sport fields complex north of the Crossings branch library. They reported the library's washrooms are unable to meet the demand for facilities omitted when the parks construction project ran over-budget. They're also suggesting $1.1 million be spent for new picnic shelter and washroom amenities at Nicholas Sheran Park.
But although they provided an estimate - $750,000 - for a washroom and sewage lift system in Fairmont Lake Park, officials are not recommending it be built despite local residents' requests. Nowhere else in Lethbridge does the city provide those facilities in a strictly neighbourhood park, they told council.