NHS requests $60K forgivable loan for public toilets. Does anyone give a shit about those $100K public toilets at the Archer House?

Archer House - front entrance Archer House - rear entrance Archer House - lobby level restrooms 
On the agenda at tonight’s City Council meeting:

The Northfield Historical Society (NHS) is adding an elevator to the building that will allow for ADA access to all three levels of the building. This project will also include the addition of six (6) ADA compliant restrooms that will be open to the public. The demand for more public restrooms is particularly important during community events in the Downtown Business District… The Northfield Historical Society’s request to the City is for $60,000.00 from the Master Development/TIF District #4 Fund. The overall project budget is currently budgeted for $700,000.00. The restroom phase of the project will cost $175,000. This project is scheduled to be completed by January 2011.

The Archer House, which got $100,000 last year for public restrooms as part of its renovation, still has not put up any exterior signs alerting the public to their availability.

The owner of the Archer House, Brett Reese, is co-chair of the NHS Next Level Campaign, and will be speaking to the Council tonight on the NHS request.

I support the loan but I think the Council should stipulate that NHS publicize the existence of the public restrooms on the exterior of the Scriver Building, and, retroactively, the Archer House.


  1. Griff-
    I was wondering when you were going to pick up on our request. Currently NHS is listed on all of the way-finding signs in downtown as having public restroom, this will not change. We are already planning on putting signage on the building stating that there are public restrooms in the building. We will finally be able to handle the “flow” of traffic for restrooms.

    February 15, 2011
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    Hayes, will the restrooms only be available when NHS is open?

    Part of the rationale for the public money for Archer House restrooms was that they’d be much more accessible than the restrooms at the library since the hotel is open/staffed 24×7.

    February 15, 2011
  3. Yes, right now that is the plan, but that could change in a year or so. Just today we also talked about expanding our hours to 9:30-6:00 Monday – Saturday and 1-4 on Sunday year round. Now that is in the early discussion phase and I hope it happens. In addition, as you know, we are open anytime there is something going on in Downtown.

    February 15, 2011
  4. Kathie Galotti said:

    My, Griff, what a classy headline for this thread!

    February 15, 2011
  5. Nathan White said:

    The real scandal here Griff is that the Archer House bathrooms lack diaper decks! I’d prefer not to have to change any more diapers in the lobby … I’d imagine the Archer House feels the same way. Let’s make sure sizable public investments benefit our youngest citizens and their parents. 🙂

    February 15, 2011
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    Nate, I would dearly love to get a photo of you changing a diaper in the lobby of the Archer House.

    February 16, 2011
  7. Griff Wigley said:

    Um, well, ‘classy’ has never been one of my strong suits, Kathie… as my dear wife will attest!

    February 16, 2011
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    Hayes (or anyone else), can you give us a summary of last night’s Council discussion (decision?) about toilets?

    February 16, 2011
  9. I sure can Griff. Last night the council voted to proceed with negotiating an agreement with NHS for $60K for the restrooms. The two main concerns that were brought up were the hours and the signage. As I stated at the meeting, we are looking at increasing our hours of operations and there will be signage on the building.

    February 16, 2011
  10. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, Hayes. Was there any discussion/decision about the lack of signage at the Archer House?

    February 16, 2011
  11. There was, and as they were talking about it I told Brett he needs to get the signage up. He then emailed Todd at the Archer House, to get some signage up. But the Council did not take any official action to make the Archer House put the signage up. My gut tells me that there will be signage up soon.

    February 16, 2011
  12. Griff Wigley said:

    ‘Twas good to hear support from Patrick Ganey, Eric Zwiefel, and Mary Rossing for signage to be written into the agreement/contact.

    February 16, 2011
  13. Such Language for a title We could clean it up : After all WWJD

    February 18, 2011
  14. Anne Sawyer said:

    I like to think that Jesus has a sense of humor and might find the title to be amusing… But that’s just my opinion. 😉

    February 18, 2011
  15. Griff Wigley said:


    We’ve had JuneBug, Taste of Northfield, Vintage Band Festival, Outlaw Run, DJJD, and Winter Walk since those Archer House restrooms have been available (June 2010) and the Streetscape wayfinding signs around downtown STILL have not been updated.

    What’s taking so freakin’ long?

    February 19, 2011
  16. Griff:

    Thanks for stating that we have had 1 year of events in Northfield.
    The way-finding sign issue has been discussed at some Streetscape meeting and, it was my understanding that the signs would be updated.

    After talking with some other folks at the Archer House, they said it was their understanding that the signs were to be updated.

    So my answer to you Griff is check with City staff.

    February 21, 2011
  17. Griff:

    I believe we have already made that request, however, if I can make it to the next meeting I will bring it back up and make the request. Also, Ross has been attending those meeting so if I cannot attend, he might be persuaded to make the request again.

    February 21, 2011
  18. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks much, Hayes.

    Is the list of Streetscape Taskforce members accurate? I thought David Ludescher resigned many moons ago.

    * Dan Bergeson
    * Todd Byhre
    * Steve Edwins
    * Krin Finger
    * Tim Freeland
    * Joe Grundhoefer
    * David Ludescher
    * Ann Mosey
    * Helen Preddy
    * Hayes Scriven
    * Bob Will

    February 22, 2011
  19. That is not a current list. Many of those people have not attended the meeting for many many moons.

    February 22, 2011
  20. Griff Wigley said:

    Hayes, maybe the city staff could be asked to update the Streetscape website, too.

    I clicked back to last August on the meetings and didn’t see any agendas, packets, or minutes.

    February 22, 2011

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