Moose Jaw city council has directed city administration to look into a rental fee schedule for washroom facilities in city parks.
Coun. Heather Eby put forward a motion on Monday afternoon “that city administration prepare a report on the potential of adding a washroom facility and rental fee schedule for city parks.”
The motion comes after Roots Elementary Program came to city council on June 13 to request access to the washrooms at Happy Valley with no rental fees as part of their Forest Explorers Summer Day Camp.
The day camps would be 10 days from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Happy Valley. In exchange, the program would have built a flower garden and bird feeders to enhance the park.
The request was struck down by city council because multiple non-profit groups use the park and giving an exception to one would set a precedent, and other groups would be coming to city council wanting the same thing.
Eby felt that, while it was the right decision to make, the city needs a policy to make washrooms accessible to every user group renting out the park.
“This is a basic need and I want us to find a policy that will work, that will be reasonable and easily accessible for all groups that are using facilities like this in the summer,” Eby explained.
Coun. Jamey Logan agreed that the city needs a guiding policy with reasonable fees to use the washrooms. He added that simply leaving the washrooms unlocked is not an option.
“Unfortunately, there are some less than savoury acts that get carried on in the washrooms if they are left open and perhaps it's dangerous, and then they would need to be cleaned unnecessarily,” Logan said.
“So, I think if we had a policy in place where perhaps folks could just gain a key gain access and pay the necessary cost recovery, then I certainly think it's a good idea.”
The motion passed unanimously and city administration will bring forward a report at a future council meeting.