City answers nature’s call

Vernon hires student to staff council washrooms for DVA Civic Sounds

Public washrooms will be open to summer downtown concert goers.

Vernon council voted unanimously to spend $600 on a summer student to staff the council chamber washrooms on Thursday evenings from July 5 to Aug. 30 to facilitate the Downtown Vernon Association’s Civic Sounds Concert Series.

The event is held at Spirit Square, between the old Vernon library and the Greater Vernon Museum, and, in the past, concert goers could use the public washrooms at the library.

However, the library has since closed and will be used for city office staff.

“The washrooms at council chambers are available but, unfortunately, with the artwork and fixtures, we would need to staff the facility,” said Ian Currie, city building services manager.

While supporting the motion, Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe wondered why the old library washrooms couldn’t be used, and was vocally adamant that Spirit Square needs public facilities.

“Why Spirit Square doesn’t have public washrooms is mind boggling,” said O’Keefe

“I just don’t get it. We need public washrooms on this site for every single event we have. This temporary solution (of staffing council chambers) isn’t going to work. We should be able to keep the public washrooms we already have. I don’t understand why the bathrooms were taken away.”

A motion by Coun. Patrick Nicol to have the city’s tourism advisory committee come up with the $600 for the summer student did not receive a seconder and was defeated.