City hopes new pressure tank will solve Bancroft restroom problems

       A project to improve water pressure to Bancroft Park's restrooms will begin in early spring, according to City Parks Maintenance Manager Kurt Schroeder.
       Crews will install a “pressure tank” that the city hopes will end a current problem in which the water flow cannot keep up with repeated flushes in both the men's and women's restrooms, he explained.
       “We have a problem when tourist buses come in,” he pointed out.
       Schroeder could not predict how effective the repair will be. Even with a tank to improve pressure, there is a concern that the water line is too narrow (just ¾ inch in diameter) and that its galvanized metal may have attracted deposits that restrict its flow even more.
       In past years, during major events like Territory Days, the Bancroft restrooms have had to be closed. Otherwise, they are open year-round (during the daytime) and during smaller events such as the Farmers Market or concerts in the bandshell, Schroeder said.
       “The new tank will help, but will it do enough to allow the restrooms to accommodate big events?” he asked. “We'll see how it goes (after the repair).”
       What would “truly be in our best interest,” he said, would be to “re-plumb the whole thing.” This would mean not only new pipes, but an efficient redesign of the restroom layout, he said. Such work would probably not include new sanitary lines, because they seem to be working properly, Schroeder said.
       He has not worked up a cost estimate for a Bancroft restroom renovation, but said he may do so in time for the 2006 City Parks budget proposal to City Council, depending on how effective the pressure-tank work is.
       Bancroft's restroom shortcomings were the subject of complaint at the Jan. 4 monthly meeting of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group. Board members charged that the city has neglected the problem. Favoritism was even implied, with one member suggesting that the city had renovated Acacia Park's restrooms while turning a blind eye to Bancroft's. (Actually, this is inaccurate, according to Schroeder, who said Acacia's restrooms haven't been open on a regular basis since City Police took over their control in the past year or so.)
       “I have heard the complaints (about Bancroft),” Schroeder said. “I know this little park gets used. It definitely got bumped up the priority ladder.”
       He was unsure of the Bancroft restrooms' age. City records state the park itself was constructed in 1926, but not whether the bandshell (which the restrooms are part of) went in at the same time.

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