A washroom facility will be located at this location in downtown Vernon, the boulevard off 35th Street at Coldstream Avenue and 30th Avenue, as voted on 5-1 by council with only Coun. Akbal Mund opposed. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Vernon downtown bathroom facility site established

Facility will go up on boulevard of 35th Street near Coldstream Avenue and 30th Avenue

One Vernon councillor believes a new downtown washroom to be erected later this summer won’t draw tourists or residents.

Akbal Mund was reacting to a staff recommendation to set up a public washroom in the boulevard of 35th Street between 30th Avenue and Coldstream Avenue.

“Why are we bringing bathrooms into the downtown core?” asked Mund. “The issue was to alleviate the problem of people using businesses and properties as bathrooms and going wherever they want. I looked at the site and I thought, ‘this is the wrong site.’”

Mund said the site won’t serve any tourists, but that people will use that bathroom and “make it a campground.”

“Safeway used to have picnic tables, it became a congregation place for everybody. They removed them, and everybody went,” said Mund. “There’s going to be a bathroom there, there’s benches there, people will just hang out in this area.”

Mund thought the bathroom might be better situated off 25th Avenue near the Upper Room Mission.

READ MORE: Vernon’s homeless populated park to get porta potties, despite concerns

The bathroom is under construction and will have the ability to be moved if so required.

Coun. Scott Anderson shared Mund’s concerns and asked staff if there had been complaints in that immediate area of people clustering and of public defecation.

“In my consultation with people who own buildings and properties, they are struggling with defecation, with people using stoops, back yards and back steps, and they’ve raised a lot of concerns,” said Laurie Cordell, city manager of long-range planning and sustainability.”

Cordell said the location of the washroom was not staff’s only concern.

“We didn’t want it out of the way, out of sight, where people would be afraid to go looking for it,” she said. “We wanted it in a location where it’s busy, with lots of people coming and going. Any time I’ve been down there, there are lots of people moving around.”

Coun. Kelly Fehr thinks the location for the bathroom is a good one.

“It’s well lit, a safe place to use the facilities and not only for those who don’t have bathrooms but for when there are events downtown,” he said. “I think, all in all, it’s a good choice, a good location.”

Council voted 5-1 in favour of erecting the bathroom at the staff-suggested location (Mund was opposed, Mayor Victor Cumming was absent from the meeting), and also directed administration to report back on any additional costs related to lighting improvements, landscaping changes, additional facilities and increased service and monitoring.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Entangled gopher snake freed from netting in Coldstream

Local wildlife expert offers a reminder to homeowners following the snake’s rescue

Spallumcheen road blocked following truck collision

Both sides of Salmon River Road have been closed

Two Buddha statues stolen from Vernon yards

One owner said her statue had been left undisturbed for more than 10 years

Water levels starting to recede in Shuswap River

Though a positive trend, City of Enderby high-water restrictions are still in effect

Vernon woman seeks replica of treasured children’s toy

Monique Lee hopes someone has a replica of the Winnie the Pooh toy they’d be willing to part with

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read