As the City of Kamloops looks toward grant funding to install Portland Loo-style public washrooms downtown and in North Kamloops, KTW looked into the costs associated with public washrooms previously built by the city, which have totalled about $660,000 in construction and repairs.
The city has said it has been costly to repair its public washroom facilities, due to vandalism. Portland Loo-style bathrooms are designed to be impervious to vandalism.
The following financial details were provided to KTW by the city’s civic operations department. Construction of three community washrooms downtown in recent years totalled $575,000.
Community washrooms were constructed at Heritage House in Riverside Park in 2015-2016 at a cost of $183,000 and at 48 West Victoria St. and 340 Victoria St. in 2018-2019, totalling $392,000 for both.
In addition to construction costs, the city has paid additional repair costs, due to recent vandalism. Examples of vandalism have included plugged toilets, fixtures ripped from walls, exterior doors damaged from attempted break-ins, a fire and a door propped open in one location on a cold night, causing pipes and fixtures to freeze.
As a result of such vandalism, the city paid an additional $86,200 in 2020 and 2021 to the end of February. Further broken down, the city paid in 2020: $16,200 to repair the Heritage House washroom, $14,100 to repair the 340 Victoria St. washroom and $11,550 to repair the washroom at 48 West Victoria St. In the first two months of 2021, the city paid $850 to repair the Heritage House washroom, $22,800 to repair the 340 Victoria St. washroom and $20,700 to repair the 48 West Victoria St. washroom.
In addition to construction and repair costs, the city spent $90,000 to clean and maintain the three washrooms in 2020 and spends $11,000 per month on security of the washrooms.