Penticton continues to struggle with public washroom vandalism | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton continues to struggle with public washroom vandalism

Damage to Penticton's 200 block breezeway and washrooms.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / City of Penticton
March 06, 2020 - 5:00 PM

The deplorable state of the public washrooms is not a situation unique to Penticton.

Penticton's director of recreation facilities Bregje Kozak graphically illustrated her message to councillors this week with a number of photos depicting ongoing damage to most of the city’s public washroom facilities.

“This damage is not specific to Penticton, this is something that is happening everywhere,” she told council.

Kozak said the most damage was occurring in Okanagan Lake Park facilities, typically one of the busiest areas of the city. Damage has occurred to just about every washroom facility in the city, including washrooms at Lakawanna Park, Skaha Lake Park, the Yacht and Tennis Club building, and the 200 block washrooms.

“We’ve taken to welding steel bars on locked washrooms so vandals can’t get in overnight,” she said. Damage includes broken light fixtures, toilets and locks, and ripping apart light fixtures to salvage wiring. There is also drug use in the washrooms.

Kozak said stainless steel toilets were installed in the 200 block washrooms and, although expensive, had proven to be effective in deterring vandalism.

Councillor Judy Sentes said the issue was one of unending frustration to the public. She pondered revisiting how money is spent on washrooms, saying “sometimes the cost must be endured."

Council received the report and Kozak said staff would be coming back to council with possible solutions to the vandalism issues in the next few months.

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