The council has approved a plan to buy 82 brand-new, sweet-smelling portable restrooms to replace the aging, odiferous potties that currently line the beach.
The council voted 7-0 on Thursday, Jan. 21, to authorize city staff to purchase the restrooms from the Skid-O-Kan com- pany in Corpus Christi at a total cost of $45,920. That’s $560 for each restroom.
“Price includes two shelves per unit, 9-inch jumbo roll paper dispenser and delivery to Port Aransas,” Corpus Christi Skid-O-Kan vice president Thomas Davis Jr. wrote in a letter to Port Aransas city staff. Council members decided at a goals workshop in summer 2009 that they wanted cleaner, more modern restrooms on the beach and directed city staff to check out the prices on new ones. Satellite Industries’ Maxim 2000 model, offered by Skid-O-Kan, presented the best bang for the city’s buck, according to Interim City Manager Dave Parsons.
Councilman Mike Hall said he expects the new restrooms to suit beachgoers fine.
“They are the industry standard,” Hall said. “It’s what everyone is using.”
The polyethylene plastic restrooms will replace all of the wooden ones, some of which are more than 10 years old, Parsons said. The new ones won’t be so stinky and will be easier to clean up, he said.
Plastic is better than wood for restroom walls, Davis said.
“It’s the difference between a wood cutting board and a plastic one,” Davis said. “One is going to hold microbes, and the other is not penetrable.”
Another advantage: Graffiti won’t stick so well to plastic, Parsons said.
Davis said the new restrooms will include translucent plastic tops that will allow sunlight in. Users of the old wooden restrooms found themselves in darkness when they shut the doors.
The new restrooms already have begun arriving. A few had been set up on the beach as of Tuesday, Jan. 26. All of them are expected to be set up by mid-April, Parsons said.
The restrooms will be mounted in clusters of four on wood skids. When high tides come, city workers will be able to lift the restrooms with forklifts, put them on trucks and take them off the beach, Parsons said.
In another new development with regard to beach restrooms, the city is planning to soon begin erecting a few wooden bollards around each restroom to keep vehicles from hitting them. Bollards were put up next to a restroom at Marker 9 recently as a demonstration.
The bollards also will prevent jokers from driving right up next to restroom doors to trap their friends inside, a prank commonly played on each other by young folks during Spring Break and other holidays.