The image on the left shows the condition one of the city’s public washrooms was left in that city staff had to clean up, and the image on the right shows a burn mark in another public washroom that was left by someone suspected of cooking drugs. (Contributed)

Vandalism closes public washrooms in Penticton’s Okanagan Lake Park indefinitely

A post by the city’s Facebook said the damage is ‘quite extensive’

The public washrooms at Okanagan Lake Park were targeted by vandals.

The city announced in a Facebook post on Dec. 11 that the washrooms will be closed for an indefinite amount of time due to extensive damage.

Western News has reached out to the city’s bylaw services for comments on the type of vandalism and when it may have occurred.

Vandalism in the city’s public washrooms is nothing new, with council voting to restrict hours on public washrooms earlier this year to deal with the ongoing struggles city staff are facing.

READ MORE: Drug use/vandalism issues reduces Penticton public washroom availability

“Since we opened our washrooms in May, we have been almost daily in the facilities cleaning up, repainting to cover up graffiti, replacing hinges, fixing doors and that kind of thing,” said director of recreation and culture Bregje Kozak at a council meeting in June. “We spent about eight hours a week in manpower just for facilities staff to deal with that. That does not include bylaw time or any time by our cleaning contractors.”

A report to council at that time showed the city spent $100,000 in relation to security and vandalism of its public washrooms in 2018, and $7,000 in the first two months the washrooms were opened this year for the same problems.

“The single-stall washrooms are really problematic for us. We installed brand new partitions in the stalls at Okanagan Lake Park because they were badly damaged last year, and they are already bent,” said Kozak in June. “We’ve even seen a burn mark on the wall (in one washroom), which we believe is from someone cooking their drugs on top of the toilet paper holder.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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