The Paeroa Domain public toilets will be re-opened for general use on weekends from this Saturday (23 June), following feedback from the community.
The toilets were closed for general use on 5 June with the intention of re-directing users to alternative public toilets across the road within the new town library (available during library opening hours) and the town’s other public toilets at Marshall Street and Ohinemuri Park (by the L&P bottle), which are open 24/7. The toilets were still available for all scheduled events.
However, Paeroa Ward Chair Paul Milner accepts the Council underestimated the number of casual users that enjoy using the Domain, especially at weekends.
“We’ve taken on board all the feedback we received via email, social media and in person, and realised that not having a toilet available on site for general use on weekends would mean the Domain would be used a lot less, which was never our intention,” he said.
He says the current Domain toilets work well for events when there are a lot of people around, but at other times they are prone to vandalism due to their design and internal layout. The cost of repairing vandalism adds substantially to the $15,000 to $20,000 annual general maintenance expenses. A proposed solution was to replace them with an Exeloo type facility, but this came with an estimated price tag of around $190,000.
“As always, our intention is to provide the right level of service in the most cost-effective way, and redirecting users to the new library toilets was seen as a cost-effective alternative to the planned replacement of the Domain toilet block,” he said.
“However, the community has given us some really good feedback on why this is not a workable solution, so over the next few months we’ll review the situation and look at other options, including the possibility of relocating some of our existing public toilets into the centre of town.”
Domain toilets open on weekends
In the meantime, the Domain toilets will remain open for business as usual on weekends. Outside of this they can be booked through the Council for scheduled events on weekdays. Alternative public toilets are also available during the week, across the road in the new library (during library opening hours) and 24/7 at Marshall Street and Ohinemuri Park.
Councillor Milner says the availability of the nearby library toilets will be more obvious once signage outside the library itself goes up next week.
“I’d like to thank everyone who shared their thoughts and suggestions on this issue. We’ve heard loud and clear that this is something you really care about and want to be involved in, and we’ll keep talking with you over the next few months as we explore some different options.”