The Mount Airy Tourism Development Authority approved further preliminary work on a presentation for city commissioners about options to add restrooms to the Blackmon Amphitheatre.
City Engineer Mitch Williams told authority members the code governing the number of restrooms for the facility was based on seating capacity and that the Mount Airy Public Library, which has three ladies and three men’s bathrooms, serves as the main facility for the amphitheatre.
He said permanent seating for the 350-feet of benches, allowing for 18 inches a person amounts to 233 persons, which by code, requires no more than the bathrooms currently at the library. Commissioner Shirley Brinkley said the city has been opening its three men’s and two women’s restrooms for use by amphitheatre patrons but said the city is considering closing them because of abuse to the facilities.
Williams priced a precast building with one men’s and one women’s bathroom between $62,000 to $72,000. He said the proposed restrooms would be similar to the ones at Veterans Park. The price for a structure with two stalls for each gender was estimated at more than $100,000.
Brinkley suggested the group signal their support to the city for the project before the next redevelopment retreat in February by looking at the budget to see what the TDA could afford and drafting a formal presentation.
The group members agreed the restroom expansion must consider the future “brick and mortar” project and decide on restrooms providing two or three bathrooms for each gender, which ever is more economical in light of a separate proposed seating expansion to the facility
The authority also approved a change to its by laws, updating the original 1998 two-page document. Authority director Jessica Roberts told the group the May 2013 balance lists a total assets at $2,33,486.67 with $184,267.52 in the North Carolina Management Trust account earning interest. Roberts also reported occupancy taxes in the month of May were up 8.24 percent from the previous May and up 20.34 percent compared to the previous June. Her report indicated 6,874 visitors in June were greeted and tracked with 7,883 visitors in July.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-415-4739 or on Twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.