The Oregon Department of Transportation (hereafter referred to as ODOT) has outdone themselves, and not in a good way.
First off, if it really did cost $7500.00 a month for cleaning and maintenance –which I doubt– why did they not ever try to outsource the job to a private cleaning and maintenance service?
Even if the private cleaning service had to drive up from Salem or Portland they probably would have charged less even including transportation costs. Hell, even if they drove from Warm Springs (48 miles each way) it probably would have cost less to privatize the work.
If these people ever thought out of the box, I am sure that in this economy they could have found someone in the village of Government Camp–6 miles each way–to do the required work for much less (and the commute would have been massively shorter too).
I find the comment about ‘deterioration of the 50-year-old building’ to be rather disingenuous as you would think some of that $90,000.00 yearly tab for cleaning and ‘maintenance’ could have gone to dealing with that deterioration over the last 50 years.
Or perhaps the time and money that went into maintaining this page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Government-Camp-Rest-Area/217178974968410) would have been better spent by dealing with the deterioration.
I mean really a Facebook page for a public restroom? You can see how popular the page is (NOT) with 4 (yes just four) likes!!
Somebody at ODOT apparently has too much time on their hands or is intelligence-challenged or both.
Secondly, how will they deal with the “deposits” left alongside the road and behind the trees by desperate motorists? Urine isn’t that problematical (it can be smelly though) but feces are a different story.
Perhaps they could take a lesson from Bend, Oregon who pays 22,000.00 a year to clean up goose shit (it might be a bit cheaper to clean up a years worth of human feces since the goose shit carries a lot of nasty diseases requiring suiting up http://www.i-dont-think-so.com/?p=603)
The only bathrooms between Warm Springs, Oregon and Portland, Oregon are marked “restrooms for customers only”
Some enterprising private supplier from Rhododendron, Zig Zag, or Government Camp should install pay toilets, or even porta-potties, between Government Camp and Portland (in my opinion, the porta-potties would be an excellent way to get ODOT to reopen Government Camp, as the bad press from travelers along Highway 26 would be horrendous!). Pay toilets at 10 cents or 25 cents per use would still be cheaper than using the restaurants/gas stations/stores etc.
Third, closing a rest area that is very close (6 miles) to a well-known (and heavily used) wintertime resort right before ski season is remarkably short-sighted. Then again, this is the same state that has no problem paying $22,000.00 per year to clean up goose shit!