City Puts Out Bid for Controversial Desiderio Park Bathroom Contract

Published : Monday, June 17, 2019 | 4:56 AM

The City of Pasadena has invited contractors to bid on the construction of a public bathroom in Desiderio Park, which while not unexpected is likely to stoke the smoldering embers of a debate about the potential negative fallout the facility could bring.

As part of the bid process, prospective contractors have been told them must join a mandatory pre-bid job walk of the proposed site on June 20 at 2 p.m.

Opposition to the restroom continues despite a series of testy public hearings throughout 2018.

“I wasn’t aware that they were putting it out to bid,” said neighborhood resident Vincent Martinelli. “What’s being communicated to me is that it is a foregone conclusion. I am still very opposed to the idea of a restroom in the park, under a bridge that people jump off near a playground for children.”

He noted that there was a recent suicide attempt in which a giant, inflatable pillow had to be erected on the parking lot beneath the bridge.

“That’s one of the things we told the City would happen, and it did,” observed Martinelli, who said he would inform neighbors of the planned, pre-bid walkthrough.

Avram Gold, vice president, West Pasadena Residents’ Association, said the group has been, and continues to be, in opposition to the restroom, “because we represent the neighborhood and nobody wants it.”

“We also think it’s aesthetically atrocious, where it would be placed, in the size it would be, especially directly underneath the bridge,” he said in a June 14 interview.

That said, it is the Association’s position that the restroom is a fait accompli. “So all we can do is say we hope it’s not as bad as we think it’s going to be,” Gold concluded.

The City Council approved the contract for the restroom facility in Jan. 2018. The structure is expected to cost in excess of $700,000.

Desiderio Neighborhood Park is located what formerly was a Federal U.S. Army Reserve Center. The structure will cover 875 square feet and rise 12’9”. It would be sited close to the park’s car lot and be oriented to the north with a pedestrian pathway along the north facade.

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