The City of Galion received notification this week it was awarded a NatureWorks Grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. $19,777 in grant funding, the total amount allotted to Crawford County in this grant cycle, will be put toward replacing a restroom in Heise Park. The grant will pay for about one-third of the project cost, estimated to be $65,000.
The existing restroom near the Veteran’s Memorial was installed in 1960 and was most recently renovated in 1996. It will be fully replaced with a new, prefabricated restroom building. The City chose this project because a Park Satisfaction Survey was launched in September of 2016. Respondents were asked to rank a series of projects by importance, and “more or updated restrooms” was the second-highest rated project, with 194 people rating it a ten.
After inspecting the restroom at Heise Park, the city decided it was not cost effective to simply upgrade it. There is currently one toilet for each gender, both of which are unenclosed. This is not sufficient to meet the volume of park visitors, nor the standards that the public expects from park restrooms. The new facility will have two toilets for the women’s side and one toilet and one urinal for the men’s side. Toilets will be enclosed in a stall and the building will be electrified.
Grant applications were scored based on purpose and need, ability to provide a local match, ability to maintain the new facility, public participation, and previous grant history. NatureWorks projects are limited to land acquisition to develop or expand park facilities; or development projects such as restrooms, camping facilities, recreation courts, and trails.
The city used a 2016 NatureWorks grant to replace the restroom at South Park, which opened this summer. The replacement restroom at Heise Park will look similar.