Temporary public washrooms outside the North Peace Cultural Centre will remain in place for at least the next six weeks.
The washrooms were installed in April in response to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly for vulnerable persons in the city's downtown. City council approved the extension at a special meeting Wednesday as there is no timeline on when the cultural centre will reopen to the public.
“They’re one of our dirtier washrooms in the city, so they are being used,” said public safety director Darrell Blades.
The washrooms cost around $1,000 per month to maintain, which has been covered by Emergency Management BC. The city will apply to EMBC for further reimbursement, but will pay for the maintenance from its operations budget in the meantime.
Council ordered Blades to bring an update on the washrooms and cultural centre reopening plan for the Sept. 14 meeting. He said city facilities are expected to meet with the cultural centre soon about its reopening plan
“Once that’s opened to the public there’s a lot of public washroom space available downtown,” Blades said.
There are new public washrooms at Centennial Park are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
However, those hours will be reduced heading into the fall and because “we’ve experienced already significant vandalism in that bathroom, including setting of fires, and kicking the fixtures off the walls,” said community services manager Moira Green.
“That bathroom may not be the best option for this," Green said.
Public washrooms at the pool and Pomeroy Sport Centre should both be open Sept. 14, though at at reduced hours, Green said.
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