Ship Bottom Considers Portable Restroom Options

May 10, 2017

In Ship Bottom, the countdown to the summer season has officially arrived. Speed limits are dropping, and traffic lights are being primed for their recurring duties while concert schedules are being finalized and festival dates marked on certified calendars. There’s only one thing missing for the influx of summer homeowners and visitors to this entryway community: enough public restrooms.

It’s a situation Borough Councilman Joe Valyo hopes to resolve sooner rather than later with a new generation of portable toilets. This next generation, he told borough officials at the council’s April 25 meeting, are self-sustaining trailers with separate men’s and women’s rooms that are also ADA accessible.

“Not unisex, so you can go in with your kids or stand outside the door,” he said. “It can be hosed down” whenever it is deemed necessary, and after every event, he said.

Valyo is tasked with learning more about options to increase the number of public restrooms in the borough. He’d like to see a trailer placed at the 25th Street fishing pier and a second one at the popular pickleball court on Sixth Street, where a single portable toilet is currently located.

“It can’t handle the heavy usage,” the councilman said of the current public restroom on site. “It wasn’t (really) an issue until we put in the pickleball court; it’s very popular.”

The next-generation toilet trailer can be used for three seasons, he said. It comes equipped with electricity and running water.It also comes outfitted with a holding tank (separate from the restrooms) in the center part of the trailer so they’re portable, and can be moved to whatever venue is necessary, he continued. They can also be permanently connected to water and sewer.

“Where you designate a port-a-potty is where it stays,” Valyo said, explaining the difference between the public toilet options. “These we can move around. It gives (us) more capability to manage crowds.”

The councilman’s research includes a lease-to-buy option, where the borough could lease two trailers for a set number of years and then purchase the trailers at a reduced rate, he said. Cost depends on the trailer model, and the borough is still exploring its options, he said.

The council is also discussing other logistics, such as how often the trailers would be in use; when and where the trailers would be used (including during the borough’s Christmas Parade). Ideally, the trailers could be used across the borough every season, and when not in use they could be placed in storage, he said.

“We had them after (Superstorm) Sandy in different locations,” he said. “There’s a need for residents and tourists.”

Gina G. Scala

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