The City of Campbell River has approved the expenditure of $200,000 to purchase and install a Portland Loo from Madden Fabrication and will now work on deciding where it will go and how it will fit into the washroom offerings downtown. Photo courtesy Portland Loo

City of Campbell River to spend $200,000 on installing pre-fab washroom downtown

Toilet is designed to discourage vagrancy, withstand and deter vandalism and be easier to maintain

The City of Campbell River is hoping a fancy new public toilet designed to discourage vagrancy, withstand and deter vandalism and be easier to maintain and service will be the answer they’ve been looking for in cleaning up the issue of downtown public bathroom facilities.

So much so that they’re spending $200,000 on it.

The city awarded the contract for the new bathroom facility on Monday to Madden Fabrication – the makers of the Portland Loo – for $161,209.78, with the remainder of the $200,000 budget set aside for its installation. The city did receive a bid for a new bathroom facility from another company, RecTec Industries, for only $67,324, but that bid didn’t meet the needs of the city, according to development services manager Kevin Brooks.

“One of the key things in regard to downtown washroom facilities that you’re seeing throughout North America is the ability for sight lines, ensuring the safety of the people using the washroom but also ensuring that if people are inside the washroom and are unconscious, people can see into the washroom,” Brooks said when asked why staff were recommending awarding the contract to the higher bidder. “We contacted RecTec directly to ask if they were able to address some of these issues with their current design and they informed us that no, they were not able to achieve that. With our consultation with the RCMP and protective services, it was very, very key that those issues were addressed if we were going to site and obtain another facility.”

The Portland Loo unit designed in 2008 by the City of Portland, Oregon, who wanted to address the “nightmare issues that had occurred with other city toilets open to the public 24/7,” according to Madden’s website. They took feedback from engineers, parks staff, fire and police departments and more in creating the fabricated metal lavatory with open grate sections, anti-graffiti wall panels, interchangeable and replaceable building components and easy-to-clean coating. Portland now has 15 of the facilities operating around town.

Victoria has five of the facilities in operation – it was the first city to install one outside of Portland – Vancouver has five, Kamloops has two, and Smithers and Nelson each have one, as does Nanaimo.

But don’t expect to see the sleek metal contraption installed in downtown Campbell River anytime soon.

After all, the city hasn’t even decided yet where it will be placed or whether it will replace a current washroom facility or add to the options downtown. Brooks says that is still in the early discussion phase, but it was important to place the order for the facility as soon as possible, as it takes six months from placing the order to receipt of the unit.

“We wanted to get procurement out of the way as soon as possible so we could begin to deal with the location, siting and detailed elements of the pad, servicing, within the time frame construction and shipping is taking place.

“We haven’t contemplated, specifically, the removal of any of the facilities downtown at this time,” Brooks adds.

“That’s a bigger discussion that we need to have in regards to how we want to provide future facilities in the downtown. This facility we see as a standalone facility that will provide additional service at this time, but it is a discussion that needs to happen.”

And for those who may be concerned about the price tag of the unit, Mayor Andy Adams says he expects it will essentially pay for itself in short order.

“Having seen the Porland Loos that are in Nanaimo and in Bastion Square in Victoria and some other locations, had council made the decision five or six years ago to purchase this, we probably could have paid for it just in what we’re spending in repairs and maintenance of the existing facility,” Adams says. “But hindsight is 20/20.”



miked@campbellrivermirror.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

Good Food Boxes are packed in Gold River to go out to people of that community. Greenways is working on expanding the program to other communities including Campbell River. Photo supplied by Greenways Land Trust
Good Food Box program coming to Campbell River

Greenways’ program will provide food delivery to six communities in Strathcona area

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

Eden Robinson will be ‘on hand’ for a special online screening of Monkey Beach, based on her 2000 novel, presented by the Museum at Campbell River through the Tidemark Theatre Feb. 4. Photo by Bluetree Photography
Museum at Campbell River to screen Monkey Beach and Q&A with Eden Robinson

Last year’s Haig-Brown Writer-in-Residence’s work has skyrocketed to justifiable fame in the past year

Tahsis mayor Martin Davis stands with an old-growth tree in McKelvie Creek Valley. The village of Tahsis signed a Letter of Understanding with forestry company Western Forest Products to establish McKelvie watershed as a protected area. Photo courtesy, TJ Watt.
Landmark deal expected to protect Tahsis watershed from logging

Tahsis and WFP agree on letter of understanding to preserve McKelvie Creek Valley within TFL 19

Sawyer, a northern saw-whet owl that became synonymous with Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, passed away peacefully over the weekend. Sawyer would make numerous public appearances with MARS staff in and around the Comox Valley and Campbell River. Photo supplied.
Popular MARS ambassador owl dies

Submitted MARS Wildlife Rescue has lost one of its mightiest ambassadors. Tiny… Continue reading

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)

Most Read