OOB scoping out sites for potential public restrooms
OLD ORCHARD BEACH — The town is considering plans for more public toilets so surf seekers and sun bathers will have a place to answer nature’s call.
The town has operated seasonal public bathrooms in the downtown for decades, but the lack of public bathrooms in other areas near the beach became a topic of discussion a few years ago after complaints from residents who said they witnessed people relieving themselves outdoors. In 2018, the town installed a seasonal restroom trailer on Union Avenue, just under 2/3 of a mile from the downtown public restroom on West Grand.
At a recent workshop, town councilors discussed potential uses for federal American Rescue Plan Act funds. One of the ideas was installing more public bathrooms near beach areas.
On Tuesday night, the Town Council unanimously approved the expenditure of $25,000 to engineering firm Woodard and Curran to assess potential locations for public restroom facilities.
According to a memo from Brent Bridges, senior principal at Woodard and Curran, possible locations would be within one block of the beach and include Walnut Street, Brown Street, Cortland Street, Staples Street Extension, The Brunswick hotel area, Pierce Street, Atlantic Avenue, Union Avenue, Ocean Avenue and Temple Avenue.
Woodard and Curran will review town and private owned land for potential rest room locations and will review up to two existing buildings the town may be able to acquire to convert to a public bathroom.
Proposed restroom facilities could include up to three restroom stalls as well as commercial rental space, lifeguard tower, storage space for lifeguard equipment, a garage for ATV and surfboards, and a first aid station.
Publisher Liz Gotthelf can be reached at [email protected]