Hikers tackle the Grand Hogback Trail System in February 2021.
Nature’s call took on new financial prominence last week when Rifle City Council unanimously approved adding a permanent outdoor toilet in its Grand Hogback Trail system.
During the December 7th City Council meeting, Councilor Clint Hostettler sought approval of UBC Precast’s $32,192 bid to purchase a toilet at the trailhead of the Grand Hogback trail.
The Grand Hogback Trailhead is home to an ongoing recreational project that, upon completion, will build 18 miles of singletrack mountain bike trails about 15 km north of Rifle. In August, the city approved a grant of $265,006 to build an additional 8.31 miles of trails.
The plan includes the construction of an outdoor pit toilet on site to be overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. However, the entire purchase of the toilet itself costs the city minimally, figures show.
Rifle Planning Director Patrick Waller said $30,000 of the $32,192 purchase is covered by a $160,000 non-motorized grant the city received from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The remaining $2,192 will be covered by the city’s Conservation Trust Fund, which is valued at approximately $195,000 at year-end.
Rife’s Conservation Trust Fund is supported by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. The company distributes money from state lottery proceeds to counties, municipalities and special districts to provide parks and recreational opportunities in their service plans, the agency’s website said.
Waller said in addition to UBC Precast’s offer, BLM approached two other toilet suppliers earlier this year. But the suppliers offered bids for toilet installation of $34,000 and $35,000, respectively.
Installing a pit toilet may come as sticker shock, but according to Idaho-based UBC Precast, these pit toilets are built to withstand the test of time and geological stress.
“They put them in pretty remote places,” Waller said. “I think it will take time.”
The pit toilet model to be installed in the Grand Hogback is called the Aspen 60. A UBC document states that the Aspen 60 is designed to withstand the most extreme conditions of wind, snow and seismic activity.
The structure itself – a vault – will be installed using UBC’s standard concrete mix, which achieves in excess of 500 psi. The structure is also built with heavy steel doors and windows.
City documents also state that two three-roll toilet paper dispensers will be added to the vault structure.