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

PHOTOS: Campbell River cheers on Wounded Warriors BC

Annual eight-day run raises money and awareness for mental health issues amongst service members

Campbell River Skating Club ready to welcome Patrick Chan

‘It’s an amazing opportunity, not only for the community, but especially for our skaters’

Campbell River’s Coldest Night of the Year 2020 another great success

Transition Society now turns its attention to its next fundraiser – a first for the organization

Get ready to Paint the Town Red for Rogers Hometown Hockey

Are you ready to Paint the Town Red, Campbell River? The City… Continue reading

Campbell River man who pulled a gun on off-duty police officer sentenced to two years in prison

Encounter also lead police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Most Read