Clerk: City not flush with cash for Youth Lodge bathrooms

The Kiwanis Youth Lodge, as pictured on Tuesday. The Payette City Council is discussing having the Payette Kiwanis Club deed the lodge over to the city in order to pay for remaining restroom remodeling at the property, so the lodge complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

PAYETTE — Even though the Kiwanis Youth Lodge in Kiwanis Park has seen plenty of work since the Payette Kiwanis Club and Payette city officials signed their agreement for its restoration in 2017, there remains one more task to be done before the public can use it: The bathrooms. The lodge’s old facilities were removed as part of the lodge’s renovation, as they did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

During the Payette City Council’s discussion during its regular meeting May 3 on funding this project, Councilor Ray Wickersham brought up a request he had previously made on behalf of the club, asking for help with its $10,000 price tag. Mayor Jeff Williams recalled conversations held between himself, Wickersham, city clerk Mary Cordova and deputy city clerk Bobbie Black.

“It’s Mary’s recommendation that we just close this out, get done with it and we figure out after we own it how to fund this,” said Williams.

According to Cordova, not much wiggle room exists in the current budget to chip in further funds until the city’s acquisition of the property is complete.

“I think the most practical way to do it is to actually have them … deed that building over to us, then it becomes a city building,” said Cordova. “We have funds already allocated in our budget to address situations with existing city buildings. You could wait until next fiscal year and actually budget it. If you want to donate the money to a local non-profit group, at this point we haven’t done that through a public hearing and I would suggest you go through that process if you want them to complete that project … We don’t have the money in our budget to just hand over.”

The Payette Street Department has invested labor in the project, with workers having poured concrete for the bathroom floors. However, according to department supervisor Jamie Couch, his team is four workers short at the moment, and thus unable to assist further with the project.

Wickersham said the club intended to save the city money by finishing the project before deeding the lodge over, noting the main labor costs are for an electrician and a plumber. He said the balance owed to the electrician is $6,000.

As this was not an action item on the meeting’s agenda, no action was taken on the request during this meeting.

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