KENNEWICK — The Kennewick City Council didn't hesitate Tuesday about spending a quarter of a million dollars on remodeling the Toyota Center's bathrooms.
"I'm tired of having people tell me they have to leave that building to use a bathroom. It's gotten that bad," said Mayor Steve Young.
The council voted unanimously to spend up to $250,000 for a complete makeover of the facility's 12 restrooms.
"It will be a total reconstruction -- tiles, sinks, partitions, ceilings, all the way to the concrete walls," said Jeff Kossow, the city's director of economic development and planning.
Councilman Don Britain said $250,000 had him ready to say no, but he quickly changed his mind after getting a personal tour of the toilets Monday.
"This facility is for the public. It's like having guests come to visit. If the kitchen and bathroom are bad, they won't be back," Britain said.
The council approved a capital improvement plan in 2009 to provide ongoing upgrades for the Toyota Center. The bathroom makeover is part of an interlocal agreement between the city and the Kennewick Public Facilities District.
Kossow said the remodeling will occur this summer, which is during the hockey off season.
* The city manager was directed to prepare a report for the council on what would be required to create a metropolitan parks district as a potential funding source for the 2011-12 biennial budget.
* The city's newly redesigned website was demonstrated for the council. The site has easy-to-find hot links, frequently asked questions and a simplified menu bar across the top. First-time viewers can watch an introductory video featuring Mayor Steve Young and City Manager Bob Hammond. The address remains www.ci.kennewick.wa.us.
* The council approved a proposal from the city's Arts Commission to have an art studio from Seattle produce 20 mosaics to be installed this fall with a new pergola to be built at the Kennewick Senior Center. Each mosaic will be about 20-by-30 inches and depict flora and fauna from the Mid-Columbia. The cost for the mosaics is $27,000, and will be paid from the federal 2010 Community Development Block Grant to Kennewick.
* The council discussed during its workshop whether to change the boundaries of the Three Rivers Entertainment District and changing its name to more accurately reflect activities that would be represented there. City staff hope to have a subarea plan for the district completed within a year.
* John Trumbo: 509-582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org