Penticton reducing operating hours for public washrooms in wake of vandalism - InfoNews

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Penticton reducing operating hours for public washrooms in wake of vandalism

The City of Penticton's public washrooms will be subject to reduced hours as city staff attempt to deal with chronic vandalism issues.
June 04, 2019 - 2:37 PM

PENTICTON - The public washrooms in Penticton have barely opened for the summer season and already the City is closing some and reducing the hours of operation of others in the wake of a seemingly endless spree of vandalism and misuse.

The City's director of recreation and culture Bregje Kozak presented a report to council today, June 4, on the state of public washrooms.

“Since we opened our washrooms in May, we’ve almost daily been in the facilities cleaning up, repainting, covering up graffiti, replacing hinges, fixing doors, that type of thing,” she said.

Kozak said the City has spent eight hours a week making repairs, which does not include bylaw officers' time or the cleaning contractor’s time.

Her presentation to council included photos of walls covered in graffiti, drug paraphernalia, damaged partitions and the filthy messes left behind.

Council voted unanimously to approve the following reduction in operating hours for the City’s public washroom facilities:

  • Washrooms in the 200 block of Main Street be closed except for Saturday market and special occasions
  • Regular public washrooms, which are open from 7 a.m until dusk, would operate one hour less daily and close one hour prior to dusk
  • All unisex or single stall facilities at Lackawanna, Gyro, Okanagan Lake and Rotary Parks to be closed completely, male and female washrooms to remain open.

“This is something we are going to try and see if it makes a difference,” Kozak said.

Coun. Jake Kimberley called the move “unfortunate,” noting it was a minority of people causing a lot of trouble for the community as a whole.

Coun. Frank Regehr called the damage “offensive” and asked if any of the offenders had been caught.

“We’re not aware this year of an RCMP file being made on these things, but last year we definitely did. They know who these individuals are, but as you’ve heard the Superintendent say before, I think they get a slap on the wrist and they are back on the street,” Kozak replied.

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