The City of Dallas Center, including the Mayor, members of the City Council and other community leaders gathered on Tuesday morning to celebrate the grand opening of the new bathroom at the trail head for the Raccoon River Valley Trail at the corner of 14th and Walnut Streets in the downtown area.


Bob King says that the restrooms were specifically designed to be vandal proof and are planned to be open year around with “floor heat that will be turned on to keep the water flowing throughout the winter.”


The bathrooms were designed by City Engineer, Bob Veenstra, Public Restroom Company built the restroom off site, and Brian Slaughter of Concrete and More installed the cement foundation and walkways. City crews installed the plumbing.


To make the bathroom a possibility, Dallas Center got help from six organizations. They received a $75,000 Iowa REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) Grant, $45,335 from the Burnett Charitable Trust through the Parks and Recreation Board of Dallas Center, $18,200 from Grow Greene County and the Dallas County Foundation, $10,000 from the Wellmark Foundation, $3,500 from Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and $500 from MidAmerican Energy Company.


King said that, by his estimate, the bathrooms have already had more than 2,000 visitors since they opened in late August. He reached this estimate by reading the water meters before and after 10 random bikers and walkers used the facilities, and basing it off of their average usage of water.


“We will collect this data throughout the year and correlate it to weather and special events in town as part of the final report to the Dallas County Foundation,” King said in an email.


People from the supporting organizations were on hand to celebrate the occaision with the city and were honored by Dallas Center Mayor, Michael Kidd.


Mary Werch from the Dallas Center Parks and Recreation Board, Vicki Lage, Linda Nelson, Butch Niebuhr and Teresa Wichtendahl from Dallas County Foundation, Mike Elam from Delta Dental of Iowa were all on hand and were recognized by the Mayor. They each received a rose, provided by Lori’s Blooming Flowers.


There was also a representative from the Wellmark Foundation.