Questions about how a new public washroom proposed for downtown Red Deer would remain clean and not be used for illicit purposes resulted in the project being tabled in the 2021 budget.
Coun. Tanya Handley asked how the new proposed public washroom would differ from the currently locked up washroom in Centennial Park? That public facility was closed a few years ago after the adjacent shallow kids’ pool was permanently shut down.
Parks manager Trevor Poth responded the Centennial Park washroom had problems, such as being used for unintended purposes — people were found sleeping in it. He said that facility will re-open with additional security features when the downtown park is redeveloped.
Council was told the proposed new public washroom would be designed differently to deter unintended uses. It would feature more security and a cleaning schedule, possibly arranged in partnership with the Downtown Business Association.
Councillors sought more details, which were yet unavailable — such where is the intended location of the public washroom? How would the design look? What would the cleaning arrangement be? And could the closed Centennial Park washroom be redesigned or retro-fitted so it can be reopened instead of a new downtown public washroom being built?
Council opted to postpone discussion about the $511,500 washroom proposal until answers to these questions are brought back in February.
Coun. Vesna Higham said, “It’s a worthy item, but if it’s not done right it could blow up in everybody’s faces.”