Vernon to spend $275K on two public washrooms downtown

The Portland Loo. The $140K toilet is coming to Vernon sometime soon.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/The Portland Loo

VERNON - Vernon is looking to spend $275,000 on two downtown public toilets.

The plan is to spend the cash on two single-occupancy public toilets, which will be open 24 hours a day seven days a week, according to a document from City of Vernon procurement services. The stainless steel toilets are resistant to vandalism and painted with an anti-graffiti coating.

The toilets are an "innovative and tested design" that have "proven effective in similar adverse conditions," states the notice of intent.

Business owners in downtown Vernon have long complained about cleaning up human feces and urine from outside their businesses – an issue attributed to the city's street entrenched population.

The idea to install more public washrooms came from the Activate Safety Task Force, who presented 40 recommendations to the City last summer.

However, Coun. Scott Anderson said as some of those recommendations were watered down or scrapped altogether, the toilets may not be as effective as planned.

"Those recommendations were to be taken as a whole as a package," Anderson said. "I wouldn't say it was pointless, but it won't have the effect it was intended to."

As for the price tag, Anderson admitted it was steep.

"Most toilets attract illegal behaviour, we need toilets that allow the police to look inside without impacting privacy, and the Portland Loo seems to be the only one that achieves that," he said.

The $275,000 price tag is an estimated cost, that doesn't include installation. Unlike the majority of the City's purchases, the proposal to buy the toilets has not gone to tender, as the City has found no suitable alternative available.

The locations where the toilets will be placed have not yet been finalized.


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