A tour

Morehead City Communications Manager Alizé Proisy provides a tour Thursday of the new public restroom facilities at Katherine Davis Park on the waterfront. (Dylan Ray photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — Construction on a permanent restroom facility at Katherine Davis Park is underway and officials hope to be finished by the N.C. Seafood Festival in October.

That was the word from Public Services Director Daniel Williams, who gave an update on the park project during the city council meeting Tuesday at the municipal building on S. 8th Street. He said the goal to complete the restrooms by the Seafood Festival, which is held the first weekend in October, is ambitious, but doable.

“My goal, before the Seafood Festival, is to get those in, get them operational so that we can have them for the Seafood Festival,” he said.

The permanent facility will include four female and four male restroom stalls, and it replaces a “temporary” structure that has been in place for several years with only one stall per gender. Once the permanent restrooms are complete, the temporary structure will be removed.

The city is considering installing security cameras on the exterior of the new restroom facility to discourage visitors from vandalizing or otherwise damaging the restrooms. City Manager Ryan Eggleston said it is unfortunately common for public restrooms to be damaged by visitors, but cameras may help keep people in line.

“(It’s) just to capture the faces of folks going in and going out,” he said. “We’re getting public safety’s eyes on them.”

Mr. Eggleston added while the restrooms are still under construction, the Morehead City Police Department has helped keep an eye on the area to prevent theft or damage to any construction equipment.  

In addition, there are plans in the works to construct six diagonal off-street parking spaces on 6th Street, adjacent to Katherine Davis Park. Mr. Williams said the goal is to finish those by October, as well.

There are other minor updates also planned for Katherine Davis Park, but plans have been scaled back from what was initially discussed when the city first acquired the park. The city bought the approximately 1.7-acre open space park at 601 Arendell St. from the state in 2016 for about $2.6 million with ideas of adding a playground, gazebo and more.

Last year, the city considered applying for a state Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant to help pay for improvements, but ultimately decided against it because of some of the terms of grant. For now, the park will remain primarily open space, with room for possible future additions, such as picnic tables and other minor fixtures.

In May, the city installed an 80-foot-tall flagpole at the park surrounded by a memorial and six benches honoring the country’s armed forces and first responders. There is one bench for each of the five branches of the military and the Coast Guard, plus one bench dedicated to first responders.

A brief flag dedication ceremony was held before Memorial Day to raise the large flag that now flies over downtown Morehead City. A full park dedication is expected to be held later in the year.

Contact Elise Clouser at elise@thenewstimes.com; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.

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