Prince Rupert City Council will apply for $200,000 in grant funding to cover the cost of a public washroom facility, like the Portland Loo, to be installed in the downtown area. (Photo courtesy Portland Loo)

Prince Rupert City Council will apply for $200,000 in grant funding to cover the cost of a public washroom facility, like the Portland Loo, to be installed in the downtown area. (Photo courtesy Portland Loo)

$200,000 for public washroom facility

Prince Rupert City Council to apply for restroom funding to assist the vulnerable population

The public and merchants of Prince Rupert may find a little relief with the installation of a 24-hour stand-alone public washroom facility for which the City of Prince Rupert will apply for $200,000 in funding to complete.

The funding application grant will be made to the Prince Rupert Aboriginal Community Services Society (PRACS). The society receives funding from the federal government through its investment allocation to the city by way of the Reaching Home: Canada’s Homeless Strategy, Corinne Bomben chief financial officer for the City of Prince Rupert told the city council at its regular meeting on Feb. 8.

“This particular funding stream is intended to help communities extend their response to COVID-19 and its impact on the homeless,” she said.

Bomben said that the PRACS believe a stand-alone washroom is an appropriate response to aide the homeless with basic hygiene facilities to assist in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“Assisting the most vulnerable in obtaining basic hygiene during the COVID-19 19 pandemic provides an opportunity to help our entire community do as much as possible to stop the spread of the virus,” Bomben said. “Beyond that, making available a facility that gives those who most need it, including the general public, a dignified space to utilize restroom facilities as a compassionate service to offer and will hopefully help all those impacted.”

The washrooms would encompass certain safety characteristics and would be easy care for maintenance staff. Maintaining the unit is estimated to be mid-range of $30,000 per year based on feedback from other B.C. municipalities who have similar facilities.

“Should there be no new sources of revenue to offset this operating cost it is presently calculated that this increase in service would result in a 0.15 per cent property tax increase if the service was in place from the beginning of the year,” Bomben said.

As the service will not be in place for a full year, only half of the estimated budget would be included in the 2021 fiscal year, with the other half in 2022, Bomben said.

Councillor Barry Cunnigham said the public washroom facilities are long overdue and many businesses and residents have complained about the lack of public facilities available and the effects it has on the downtown businesses.

It will provide a service not just to the vulnerable, but to shoppers and tourists downtown as many retailers and businesses do not permit the public to use private restrooms, Cunnigham said.

“And as far as funding for maintenance – I know the Port has agreed to fund the first-year maintenance to it from what I understand and Community Futures is looking to find funding for it too,” Cunnigham said.

“I think it’s a win-win with the initial capital of almost a quarter of a million dollars being given to the city for this for nothing. I think that’s a great idea,” Cunningham said.


K-J Millar | Journalist
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chloe and Koy are two participants in the talent show format of the 2021 annual Children's Fest to be broadcast on community television March 5th and 6th. ()Photo: supplied by Prince Rupert Special Event Society)
30th Annual Children’s Fest takes on a new format

2021 Prince Rupert Children’s Fest will feature a show of local talent

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Families on the North Coast will benefit from 70 new childcare spaces Ministry of Children and Family Development announced on March 1. Seen here are children from Growing Together Child Care Centre in Surrey. (Photo supplied by Jennifer Rice, MLA for Northcoast)
Northcoast families to benefit from new childcare spaces

62 Childcare spaces in Lax Kw’alaams and 8 in Haida Gwaii are part of Childcare BC New Spaces Fund

Prince Rupert Firefighter Dylan Lawrence, demonstrates the new fire safety nozzles for hoses on March 1, which will allow for increased safety of firefighters at hazard scenes. The nozzles can spray water up to 200 feet and money for the purchase was donated to the department by Pembina. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Pembina donates to Prince Rupert Fire Dept.

New fire equipment will improve safety in Prince Rupert

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Kootenay man appeals 7-year conviction for New Year’s Eve kidnapping, beating

Brandon Coons, 27, was convicted on five charges, including assault with a weapon

An investigation is underway after two VPD officers were recorded posing for pictures near a dead body at Third Beach on Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
Vancouver officers placed on desk duty after filmed posing next to dead body

Pair put in ‘non-deployable, admin positions’ as the investigation into their conduct continues

(Black Press file photo)
Homicide team to look into death of 11-year-old Agassiz boy

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

A publicly accessible defibrillator as well as naloxone and first aid kits are included in a stand that has been installed at Crescent Beach. It is one of two planned for the South Surrey neighbourhood as St. John Ambulance works to install 1,000 of the life-saving devices around the province. (Contributed photo)
St. John Ambulance aims to install 1,000 publicly accessible AEDs across B.C.

Sponsors sought for stands that cost about $8,000 to equip and install

Left: Oakland County Jail. Right: Canuck Todd Bertuzzi on November 2, 2005. (CP/Chuck Stoody)
Former Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi arrested for suspected DUI: report

The Canadian winger had a complicated history in the NHL

Most Read