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Portland Loo installed

The approximately $195,000 Portland Loo is installed in downtown Smithers June 14.
Portland Loo installed in Smithers June 14. (Chris Gareau photo)

Visitors and residents now how a place to go when they need to go.

The Portland Loo toilet was being installed June 14 on Second Avenue near Main Street. It is the first built by the Oregon company to withstand a harsher winter, with modifications meant to withstand temperatures down to -15 C.

Smithers council decided to install the Loo on Second near Bugwood Bean after considering putting it at Bovill Square. Advantages with the Loo versus a more traditional public washroom listed by the company and council include resistance to graffiti and an easier ability to check for illegal activity, plus the small area it takes up by the sidewalk.

The cost of the Loo, including installation and $11,600 contingency, is budgeted at $195,000. The Loo itself cost $135,000, including shipping. The price also includes a 33 per cent exchange rate that totals $33,500. The capital cost is being funded with a federal gas tax grant, with maintenance and operation adding to the Town’s operating budget.

The wood washroom on a concrete slab considered was priced at $150,000, similar to the price of the new facility at the Fall Fair grounds.