Much ado about a loo: Location chosen for Vernon public washroom | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Much ado about a loo: Location chosen for Vernon public washroom

The Portland Loo is pictured in this undated file photo. Vernon city council unanimously voted to approve the installation of a public washroom, similar to the one pictured, at the corner of 30 Avenue and 35 Street.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/The Portland Loo
July 30, 2019 - 12:20 PM

VERNON - One year after Vernon city council first toyed with the idea of installing a public washroom downtown, a location for the loo has been decided, although not without some debate.

Council unanimously voted to approve the installation of a washroom at the corner of 30 Avenue and 35 Street, but not all agreed this was a good location.

"I think this is the wrong site," councillor Akbal Mund said. "Why are we bringing the bathrooms back to the downtown core?"

Coun. Mund said he thought the public washroom would be better placed near 25 Avenue or the Upper Room Mission. He said the washroom would attract people to come and congregate around it.

"The real issue was to eliminate all the people not using bathrooms and going where they want to," he said.

In the summer of 2018, the Activate Safety Taskforce proposed over 40 recommendations to mitigate the problems caused by antisocial behaviour within the downtown core. One of those recommendations was to install public washrooms.

Councillor Scott Anderson said he would support the washroom but agreed with some of Mund's concerns.

"Speaking for the Activate Safety Taskforce our intention was to present a bunch of solutions that were all part of an integrated pole and instead what we have done is pick and choose what we are going to do, and I'm not sure if this is still a good idea," Coun. Anderson said.

Councillor Dalvir Nahal also had reservations about the loo.

"I don't know if this is the right solution, we need to create a bathroom where there is no bathroom available," Nahal said. "Ultimately the goal is people don't come to work in the morning and find feces (on their property)."

Staff said the location was chosen because it was a busy place with lots of foot traffic.

The staff report on the washroom does not give a price, but it was earlier discussed at council the washrooms would cost approximately $75,000 plus installation. An earlier estimate for two public washrooms came in at $275,000.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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