Courtenay council has directed staff to engage with the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association to determine a preferable location for a public washroom in the downtown core. The proposed style is the Portland Loo, which is designed to prevent problems commonly experienced with public toilets.
Population growth, increased numbers of homeless individuals and COVID-19 have spurred the discussion for a standalone downtown facility.
At the Dec. 9 meeting, staff presented council with four possible locations:
•City parking lot at 441 Duncan Ave.
•England Avenue adjacent to 407 5th St.
•Fitzgerald Avenue adjacent to 505 5th St.
•Near the Court House at 420 Cumberland Rd.
The total project cost for the Portland Loo, including capital cost, would run from $190,000 to $200,000. Annual maintenance costs are about $27,000.
“I think this is money well spent,” said Coun. Melanie McCollum, noting the impacts of not having a 24-hour washroom available downtown. “This is an issue that needs attention.”
A public washroom facility will be included in a 2021 draft financial plan for council to consider.
Additional options to improve the washroom include a baby changing table, trash can, a sharps container and a recessed hand wash with a cold air hand dryer.
Staff note a similar washroom facility offered by Urbaloo, a B.C. company. Vernon and Nelson have both purchased this model.
The Portland Loo and Urbaloo are both supplied with anti-graffiti coatings, and stainless steel interiors.