Risk of vandalism means no portable toilets at skatepark

Though Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler’s response to a letter from Thompson Mayor Colleen Smook about long distances between washrooms on Highway 6 left a couple of councillors shaking their heads July 15, the City of Thompson has used similar logic to justify not having portable toilets available at the Thompson skatepark.

Schuler told Smook that public washrooms haven’t been available at Devil’s Lake or other wayside parks for several years now because vandalism and cleanliness made these facilities difficult to sustain.

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In June, city recreation director Carol Taylor wrote to Oliver Martin, a user of the skatepark, to say that, “While I understand your concern and I would like to place portable toilets at the skatepark for the summer I am sorry to say that we will not be able to. The skatepark during the day is a very busy place but unfortunately during the night the park sees very little traffic and vandalism occurs regularly. We have provided portable washrooms to other parks during special events, and I will continue to commit to providing the same to the skatepark for events such as the Sk8 Skates demo.”

Despite not being able to grant Martin’s request, Taylor thanked him for bringing up his concern and said she hoped he would continue to do so.

“It is great to see young people voicing their concerns regarding issues of importance to them,” wrote Taylor.

Skatepark users had access to washrooms in the Norplex Pool in the daytime and the evening before the city shut it down Feb. 13 because of safety concerns.

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