Ship Bottom Expanding Mobile Restrooms for Public Areas

Jul 12, 2017

The Ship Bottom Borough Council continues to move ahead with placing a next-generation mobile bathroom on Sixth Street near the tennis and pickleball courts to replace the single portable restroom there, doubling its capacity and addressing the overall lack of public restrooms in LBI’s gateway community for the influx of summer visitors.

“I’ve been in contact with the manufacturer,” Councilman Joe Valyo, who first brought the issue to the table in the spring, said yesterday. “They should have a unit available for us this week.”

With all things considered, he is optimistic the borough will have the mobile bathroom unit in place at the tennis and pickleball courts on Sixth Street before the end of the month. The self-containing trailer has separate men’s and women’s facilities.

The mobile bathroom discussion, which began in April as a viable option ahead of the busy summer season, took a sharp dip when residents took the “not in my backyard” approach on social media and in person at council meetings. Then, neighboring Long Beach Township purchased a new generation mobile bathroom and placed it across from the township municipal complex on 68th Street near its heavily trafficked and handicapped accessible beach access point.

“It’s very well done,” Valyo said of the Long Beach Township unit, noting it’s the same make, model and type he’d like to see located on Sixth Street in the borough. “It’s fully light, has air conditioning and is compact.”

Just last week, the borough branch of Bank of America, located between Long Beach Boulevard and Central Avenue, replaced its portable restroom with a mobile bathroom while it undergoes construction, he said.

“They are popping up everywhere,” he said.

The next-generation toilet trailer can be used for three seasons, Valyo has 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 it’s portable and can be moved to whatever venue is necessary, he continued. They can also be permanently connected to water and sewer.

Unlike a port-a-potty, the mobile bathrooms can be locked when not in use, Valyo said, adding, “The service is well worth it. It is a courtesy thing.”

Councilman Tom Tallon agreed.

“These things aren’t evil entities,” Tallon said, adding he’d like to see some of them placed on or near beach access points throughout the borough. “It can be done.”

Mayor William Huelsenbeck said the borough attempted to put public restrooms near the bay beach in the 1990s, but they never got built.

Tallon wants a committee formed in the off-season to study the idea of putting mobile restrooms on beach access points in time for next summer.

“I believe it’s needed,” he said. “In July and August, that yellow foam isn’t pollen.”

 Gina G. Scala

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