A city staff report says 52 vandalism incidents in 2020 has cost the City of Vernon an additional $42,000 in cleanup costs of the downtown transit terminal bathrooms. (City of Vernon)

Vandals cost Vernon $42K to clean up downtown washrooms

After 52 incidents of vandalism and 85 bylaw visits, council to consider cutting bathroom hours

Vernon’s downtown public bathrooms were vandalized 52 times last year costing the city more than $42,000 in cleanup and bylaw was called 85 times to deal with people misusing the stalls.

Now, city staff is recommending council adjust the hours of the two transit terminal toilets from 24-hour operation to 7-10 p.m. Meanwhile, the public washrooms on 35th Street and 30th Avenue would remain open 24-hours a day.

From clogged toilets, vandalism, broken glass pipes, needles and blood, operations staff have recorded all incidents in a vandalism logsheet, noting costs totalled $42,085.12 — an expense on top of the estimated $90,594 annual costs, complete with the $51,738 cleaning contracted.

Staff’s recommendation may show a reduction in vandalism costs, but the report notes with fewer hours available for use, the public may turn to “alleys or sidewalks to remedy their situation.”

Currently, the washrooms are cleaned five times between 8-8 p.m., seven days a week, but the staff report notes most vandalism incidents occur sometime after the last security check at 10 p.m. and the first of the morning around 7 a.m.

Sex, drug use, vandalism, overnight stays and people barricading themselves inside are among the reasons Bylaw Services responded to the downtown washroom 85 times last year.

The Downtown Vernon Association says it too has received several complaints about the improper or illegal use and cleanliness of the washrooms.

“The Downtown Vernon Association maintains that safe, clean and accessible public toilets are an important amenity for a wide variety reasons,” a letter to council reads.

Convenience and comfort for downtown visitors is one, the other is downtown businesses have seen fewer events of human waste found around their properties since the washrooms opened last spring.

The DVA supports staff’s recommendation and suggests cleaning increase from five times a day to an hourly basis.

Council requested more information regarding operational costs and timing of vandalism occurrences during the regular meeting Jan. 11, 2021. The recommendation to change the hours will come before council this Monday (Feb. 22) for consideration.

READ MORE: New loo installed downtown Vernon

READ MORE: Traffic calming strategies called for after child clipped in Armstrong crosswalk


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@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

 

A city staff report says 52 vandalism incidents in 2020 has cost the City of Vernon an additional $42,000 in cleanup costs of the downtown transit terminal bathrooms. (City of Vernon)

A city staff report says 52 vandalism incidents in 2020 has cost the City of Vernon an additional $42,000 in cleanup costs of the downtown transit terminal bathrooms. (City of Vernon)

Just Posted

Dawn Low first moved “upstairs” to the administrative department of the City of Revelstoke in 2009. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Inspiring women: 120 years later, first female CAO appointed in Revelstoke

International Women’s Day was first celebrated on March 19, 1911, in Austria,… Continue reading

Glenalee Berarducci Zooms with her daughter Deanne in Kenya. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Inspiring women: one Revelstoke woman shows the power of parental support

Glenalee Berarducci is a pillar of help for her children

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Five Kelowna writers are featured in an anthology that launched in time for International Women's Day. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
International Women’s Day: Book exploring fears features Kelowna writers

The book has launched in time for International Women’s Day

It's tick season in South Okanagan.
Tick season has started in South Okanagan

A Penticton adventure company collected 200 ticks last year to be studied for Lyme Disease

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Phase four of the Kicking Horse Canyon project would twin the winding stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway just east of Golden. ~ Photo by B.C. Ministry of Transportation
Additional closures announced to Trans-Canada east of Golden

Additional closures will be needed in May as a part of Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project

(Black Press Media file photo)
COSAR called to rescue missing skier near Big White

Fortunately, the skier found his way out of the area

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Granfondo is going ahead in Penticton this September. (Western file photo)
Granfondo is a go in Penticton

Axel Merckx pushed the event to September in hopes of a ‘full Fondo experience’

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

Most Read