Another Public Bathroom in Downtown Dubuque?

by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Dubuque city leaders recently took some criticism for how much they spent building a downtown public restroom. Now people want the city to build another restroom just a few blocks away. The city is considering it.

Dubuque spent $375,000 to build the public restroom that sits at the corner of 5th and Bluff Streets.

Now, 13 blocks away, residents say the city needs to build a public restroom near Jackson Park.

All is calm as the thick snow covers Jackson Park. But Marcos Rubinstein is thinking about summer-time and the one thing he says this busy park is missing.

Rubinstein said, "There is no place for those kids to go to the restroom. "

Rubinstein, who's wife is a city parks and recreation commissoner, says he's been asking the city to build a public restroom in Jackson Park for almost a decade.

"We are not asking for something controversial. We're just asking for some basic social justice," said Rubinstein.

He re-ignited his plea for a public restroom in the park, when learned how much the city spent to build the restroom on 5th and Bluff Streets.

Rubinstein said, "I don't think we need such a sophisticated thing in this area. "

City Council Member Ric Jones defends the $375,000 price tag that came along with the Bluff Street Bathroom.

Jones said, "one criticism we hear is we could build a whole house for the cost of that. Well, yeah, you could, but not one that's all bathrooms and that's going to be vandal and weather proof for a long long time. "

Jones says something similar, but on a smaller scale, might be in order for Jackson Park.

"It's time for a conversation to happen and we'll see where that takes us," said Jones.
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