Public restrooms delayed

Vernon Coun. Brian Quiring doesn't want the public to go through the summer months without proper restroom facilities downtown.

"What's the status on the installation of the Portland Loo?" Quiring asked city staff at the regular meeting of council on Monday.

The Portland Loo is the recognized standard in vandalism-resistant restroom facilities. So much so that municipalities from across North America are putting in orders.

City staff told Quiring that the units are back-ordered but they are looking at other sources. There's a nine-month delay, staff said.

After repeated complaints of messes left behind in alleys and downtown properties from business owners — and complaints from support agencies citing lack of available facilities for the street-entrenched population — council approved the purchase of the Loos last year.

Waiting another nine months does not sit with Quiring.

"We need a contingency plan. We can't deal with the summer again," Quiring said.

"Either we're renting Johnny On The Spots or putting six of them up downtown. We talked about this a year ago. We had it in the Activate Safety Task Force recommendations, we approved it, we budgeted for it, I'm not going to wait. Either we rent a mobile that we move around... but, we need to deal with this."

Quiring requested options for contingency be presented to council at the next regular meeting.

"I'm also experiencing some pretty grossness behind my building. I'm tired of it," Quiring said.

City staff said they would bring something back to the next meeting for council to look at the options.

Coun. Scott Anderson then quipped, "I would have trouble if I had to wait nine months."

Anderson also noted that any interim solution would need to be researched for durability.

"I understand the bathrooms we have right now have been vandalized yet again, so we have to be careful about what we are using for interim solutions," Anderson said.

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