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Three portable public toilets to be installed around Castlegar

A collaboration of groups will maintain the facilities through spring
Three portable toilets will be installed around Castlegar for the winter. Photo: Rebekah Clarke

Three publicly accessible portable toilets will be placed around Castlegar this winter.

The project was initiated by the Castlegar Integrated Services Collaborative (CISC), a group of social service and mental health/substance use service providers, emergency service personnel, and representatives from the city and the local business community. Their primary purpose is to identify ways in which the community can strengthen its ability to respond to the complex needs of the homeless/vulnerable population.

CISC identified toilet access as an urgent need in Castlegar.

“The issue is that there is a need in Castlegar for publicly accessible toilet facilities that are open 24 hours a day, especially during the colder months, for individuals who do not have access to such facilities,” said CISC Coordinator Val Mayes in a letter to the city.

Operating the toilets will be a joint effort with service groups providing maintenance, cleaning, managing and sharps container services.

Trowelex is providing the rental of the toilets free of charge.

The city will be providing up to $1000 to cover the costs of pumping fees.

The toilets will remain open 24 hours a day through April, at which point city park washrooms will be open for the summer season.

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Exact placements are yet to be determined, but Castlegar CAO Chris Barlow says they will be spread out around town. The general locations will be north Castlegar, near the Community Complex and the top of Sherbico Hill.

Mayes said the ideal solution to the need would be a permanent structure (or structures), but the CISC realizes that will take significant time and funding to achieve.

That idea was supported by several councillors and will be looked at in the future.

To aid in the effort, Selkirk College researchers have undertaken a review of what other cities are doing do provide washroom and shower facilities and will provide a report to the group.

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Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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