As the city of Galveston develops plans for amenities on Seawall Boulevard, officials have set their sights on toilets they say will meet the approval of residents and tourism officials, and withstand harsh beach-front conditions. The toilets, called the Portland Loo, cost about $90,000 each. The city wants to buy as many as seven.
After hurricane Ike in 2008, I had hopes of seeing our island rebuilt into a beautiful oasis. Now I just have nightmares.
First there was the vote to have paid parking on the seawall without a plan, but a $1.5 million promise to beautify our beaches.
Next came talk about trolleys on wheels on the seawall for the day-trippers, who have their own cars. The latest topic is placing seven loos on the seawall.
This type of loo has not been tested for our environment. The toilets cost $90,000 each, but this does not included the cost of customizing, shipping or installation. Showers are also extra.
According to the Daily News (“The loo for you? Portland potties considered for seawall, Daily News, April 20) the plan is to buy the toilets out of the $15 million Seawall Beautification program. The seawall parking program would likely be tapped to pay for the maintenance of the toilets, which cost about $14,500 each for cleaning. That’s $101,500, per year, for seven loos.
There are two things that bother me when considering the loo purchases. First, I don’t want to commit to spending $105,000 for the long-term when we don’t even know how much money seawall parking will bring in. Second, I don’t feel spending money from the parking fund to clean loos has anything to do with beautifying our beaches. I personally think this plan smells.
Joan Mertens lives in Galveston.