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Stonington Borough bathroom project moving ahead

Stonington — With estimates placing the cost at about $350,000, borough officials are looking for both funding and ways to trim the price of the proposed public restrooms on Wadawanuck Square.

At a public information session 10 days ago, borough Warden Jeff Callahan said only two people opposed the project, saying they did not believe the borough should provide bathrooms for out-of-towners. Many borough business owners have long urged borough officials to create a public restroom for visitors, like those in Mystic, while 75% of borough residents in a recent survey favored the creation of public bathrooms.

The plan, developed by local architect Julia Leeming, calls for placing the building with two unisex bathrooms and a maintenance room behind the rear of the Stonington Free Library at the north end of the square. The design is meant to blend in with those of St. Mary Church, the library and the post office across the street.

Callahan said the next step is to determine how the borough will fund the project. While the borough is slated to received $260,000 in federal COVID-19 pandemic relief money, he said he does not want to use all of that on the restrooms. He said the town is looking for grants and has requested to include $50,000 for the project in its 2021-22 capital improvement budget.

In addition, he said borough officials are looking for ways to trim the cost by modifying aspects of the design. While this might delay the project, Callahan said he still hopes to open the restroom next fall.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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