One washroom in Vernon’s downtown core will be open 24-hours for a three-month trial period. (Morning Star - file photo)

Downtown Vernon washrooms to be open 24-7 on trial basis

$24K for three-month trial brings up concerns about sleepovers

One portable washroom in Vernon’s downtown core will be open 24-hours on a three-month trial basis.

Vernon councillors discussed the ongoing agenda item during council’s last scheduled meeting amid the rapidly evolving COVID-19 crisis on March 23.

Concerns were raised about individuals camping out in the bathrooms overnight rendering them unavailable to those who require them.

Coun. Akbal Mund’s primary concern was RCMP told council policing the washrooms would be a low priority and bylaw officers don’t work past midnight.

“No one will deal with it from midnight to 6 a.m., but if someone is using it and it’s occupied, is it really open for 24 hours?” he asked.

Coun. Kari Gares asked for more information from bylaw and RCMP regarding how frequently people have to be evicted from the portable washrooms, but bylaw couldn’t answer on the spot.

With the next date of council unknown at this time, councillors decided to cut the length of the trial in half to ensure the budget of $24,000 could accommodate additional cleanings and sanitation amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Administration supported the shorter trial as the six-month period was planned before the COVID-19 issues and extra cleaning will be required to adhere to provincial health official’s directions.

The $24,000 will come from the 2018 Unexpended Uncommitted Balance.

READ MORE: Local states of emergency to be lifted amid provincewide declaration: Vernon mayor

READ MORE: Vernon public hearing cancelled, future council meetings postponed


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Homeless

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Armstrong gym fined $345 after failure to close

The fitness centre was issued a ticket a day after province ordered all gyms to close

Former Lumby councillor fondly remembered

Ben Winters served on village council from 2005-11

Armed robbery of legal grow-op in Sicamous ends in arrest near Enderby

Residents alarmed over increased police presence Tuesday morning

COVID-19: Vernon homeless shelters combine in curling club

Gateway and Our Place shelter sites housed under one roof amid pandemic

North Okanagan bands together in support against COVID-19

New group launches website with tools to help endure crisis

WATCH: Salmon Arm artist hosts virtual art show amid COVID-19

Roxi Hermsen’s show “Into the Cosmos” is a tribute to her father Bill Sim

HERGOTT: COVID-19 and ICBC

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Bus rider who travelled to Golden tests positive for COVID-19

The passenger travelled from Calgary to Golden on March 15

Wildfire burns out-of-control on Adams Lake band land in the Shuswap

BC Wildfire Service reports Shuswap two-hectare fire is not threatening structures

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

‘Overwhelming, incredible’ support for foreign workers following West Kelowna COVID-19 outbreak

‘…Our team seems to be recovering well — symptoms are resolving’

VIDEO: Shuswap family in isolation rises to musical challenge

The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine used to share efforts to avoid spread of COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

Most Read