By André Faust (June 22, 2017)
Recently great concern has been raised about the removal of the porta potty from Carleton Park, a place which is frequently visited by Frederictonians and tourists. It was recognised back in 2010 that because of the high volume of human traffic in the park a porta potty was to be installed to accommodate the needs of those requiring the use of washroom facilities.
The story of the missing potty was first reported by local resident John Gamblin then followed up in a letter to the editor published in the Irving-owned newspaper The Daily Gleaner by Fredericton Blogger Charles Leblanc who heavily criticised the city of Fredericton for the removal of the portable toilet from the park, suggesting that the users of the park will now have to go behind a tree or bush to relieve themselves since immediate access to a toilet is no longer available.
Mayor Mike O’Brien in a telephone interview provided the background behind not to include a portable toilet from Carleton Park for this year.
According to O’Brien, the decision was made previous to his election as mayor as part of the arrangements made between the City of Fredericton and Picaroons. The city permitted Picaroons to extend their parking lot onto the city-owned Carleton Park, in return Picaroon would make available for the public to use their washroom facilities in the restaurant/ice cream parlour component of the brewery and bar once completed and operational.
While not currently included in the park improvements plan for Carleton Park 2017, the Mayor did suggest that it is possible in the future a fixed physical structure similar to the public washroom facilities that currently exists at officers square could be built at Carleton Park.
In an email interview with Ward 6 councillor, Eric Megarity said that the mayor did not order the removal of the porta-potty. Megarity further adds “The porta-potty was not placed in the Park this year because we have new public accessible washrooms in the Picaroons’ building. Part of the agreement signed with Picaroons.” Megarity further adds that the new washroom facility will accommodate those with mobility issues, and the washrooms will be available all year around.
Councilor Megarity stated that “City staff will be placing signage in the park to signify that there are public washrooms available in the Picaroons’ building”.
Megarity was asked has anyone from the city ask Dixie Lee about making their washrooms available to the public as well. As of now, Councillor Megarity has not responded to the question.
If Dixie Lee were to agree to grant public access washroom facilities or if they currently allow public access to their washroom then Dixie Lee should be also included in the signage indicating that public washrooms are available at their place of business.
If it is the will of the public to have a porta toilet placed at a convenient spot in the Carleton Park they should contact their respective councillors to ask for the city to do so.