By Jessica Mathews /

Public bathrooms are set to be constructed in downtown Howell - hopefully in time for popular summer events and festivals.

At Monday night’s Council meeting, an agreement was approved between the City and Livingston County for an easement to erect a public restroom within the county parking lot on East Clinton Street by the historic courthouse. The easement to build and maintain the restrooms comes at no cost and was said to continue the collaborative partnership with the County.

A memo states a downtown bathroom has been an objective of the community for many years. During the East Clinton Street reconstruction work, underground utilities to support the project were installed in the location of the easement. Additionally, the Downtown Development Authority has approved the expense and the bathroom will be ordered to meet anticipated timelines.

Mayor Bob Ellis said it’s been something people have wanted for years and they’ve been fortunate enough to get everything worked out. He told WHMI the DDA board recently approved a $100,000 contract to get the bathrooms constructed. They’ll be in the same location where the porta-potties were for concerts downtown next to the county parking lot by the courthouse.

The DDA had two options for bathroom fixtures - stainless steel and porcelain. Ellis noted the stainless steel option would have resulted in several months of delay in getting the facility constructed and it probably wouldn’t have been ready until the end of summer so they decided to go with the porcelain fixtures. He said the cost of stainless steel was $40,000 more and potentially more durable in the case of any vandalism but it was also more expensive to fix if something breaks because parts aren’t readily available.

If all goes as planned, construction could start in the spring and be finished in early summer.