After years of waiting – for what Mayor Pat Hale said was good reason – the city is moving forward with completing a public restrooms project downtown.

Council voted Jan. 3 to award the bid for the project to renovate restrooms in the old Municipal Building, now home to Tipp Monroe Community Services, to Heyne Construction of Minster.

The company was one of five that submitted bids for the project.

Heyne’s bid was the second lowest. It was recommended to council because the lowest bid was rejected due to the company not bidding prevailing wage for the work and failing to include two required affidavits with the bid.

Council agreed to accept the Heyne base bid plus an alternate for tile in the restrooms for a total $93,985.

The project is expected to start in early February and projected for completion by the end of June.

City Manager Tim Eggleston said the project had been in the city’s capital improvement plan for a number of years and kept getting pushed forward.

He said the current-building tenants (Community Services) would prefer the closing of the restrooms each day by 10 p.m. unless a special event was underway downtown.

Hale said the project vote was 10 years in the making. “We are finally going to get some toilets downtown,” he said.

With the recession, a number of projects ended up “pushed back over the years,” Hale said.

The Downtown Tipp City Partnership sees the project as a positive for downtown, said Heather Dorsten (DTCP) director

“Not all of the downtown businesses have public restrooms so I believe this will be a very nice addition to our downtown as well as a benefit to the bicyclists who come through town and need a facility,” she said.

Dorsten said she has discussed the possibility of adding a bike rack outside the restroom location to further assist bicyclists.

“We appreciate the city continuing to invest in the downtown retail and dining district and making it a more helpful to visitors,” she said.