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KSJD Local Newscast - June 4, 2024

Vandalism, drug use, and other undesirable activities at the public restroom in Cortez’s Veterans Park have led the city to close the aging facility. It will likely remain that way and eventually be torn down. Director of Parks and Recreation Creighton Wright told KSJD that for years there have been “significant issues” at that restroom, which is one of the city’s oldest. People have broken the doors, defecated on the floors, and damaged the toilets and urinals. Drug paraphernalia is often found inside the alcove. Part of the problem is that the restroom, which sits near the corner of Park Street and Montezuma Avenue, is hidden by trees and difficult to monitor. The stick-built facility is also tough to keep clean. It was traditionally closed for the winter near Labor Day and reopened around Memorial Day. But Wright took his concerns about it to the city’s Parks, Recreation and Forestry Advisory Board and they agreed it should not be opened this year. Several other restrooms are available for the public nearby, including in Centennial Park and Parque de Vida. Wright said a new restroom may be built in Veterans Park some day, but probably not any time soon, as the cost would be about $200,000.

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Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal, and was the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.