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The ‘indestructible loo’ is up for a vote

Courtesy photo The “indestructible" Portland Loo could soon be installed in Downtown Medford.

An “indestructible loo” in the downtown and a $2.58 million program to remove lead paint from homes will be coming to Medford soon if the City Council approves nine grants Thursday.

One of the grants is for $100,000 to install the underground pipes needed for a stainless steel bathroom that would be purchased and installed for $120,000 by the Rogue Valley Transportation District.

“They are paying for the unit and the installation,” said Ryan Martin, Medford’s chief financial officer and deputy city manager.

The Portland Loo, touted as indestructible, would be installed at the bus station on Front Street and offer round-the-clock relief for weary travelers who arrive on Greyhound buses late at night.

Outdoor toilets have been vandalized in Medford previously, and portable potties have been tipped over. The police station is a few blocks from the location where the loo is slated to be installed, near the corner of Ninth and Front streets.

The indestructible loo, as it is called by the city, is wheelchair accessible, with a curved steel door on the front side.

Portland provided the inspiration for The Portland Loo, which was designed after the city saw an increase in its homeless population.

If Medford City Council approves a $200,000 grant, that money would be leveraged to secure other federal grants totaling $2.58 million to remove lead-based paint from homes.

The program would be administered by Habitat for Humanity and other local partners, and the cleanup work would comply with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The largest single grant proposed for council consideration will be $216,500 for vegetation removal along the Bear Creek Greenway. This is part of an ongoing effort by the city to remove blackberries and other non-native vegetation, as well as to minimize the danger from fires.

Fagone Field could get $82,500 in new LED lights.

A community court pilot program could get $50,000.

A grant to the Downtown Medford Association of $50,000 could help pay for an executive director to help promote the city.

To study new urban renewal districts, the council will consider a $20,000 grant to see where revitalization efforts make the most sense.

Improvements to the Bear Creek Park trail system are in another $15,000 grant that is up for consideration.

Reach freelance writer Damian Mann at dmannnews@gmail.com.