The issue of installing public washrooms in the Village continues to be one of confusion and some discord. It will be remembered that the Lions Club of Merrickville had offered to donate $100,000 towards the cost of the project, leaving the Village to come up with $45,000. This, according to the Municipality, was not in their budget, and so it seemed the entire project would not go forward.
The Chamber of Commerce are very keen to see the facilities in place, and were unhappy with Council’s decision, as were the local Lions Club members. Council had requested them to submit a revised proposal, but, having surveyed their members, the Club have informed the Council that not one member was prepared to make such a submission.
Rod Fournier, President of the Lions Club of Merrickville commented that “it is sad that this project could not go ahead”. However, he did add that the Lions Club was “not ruling out anything in the future”.
Not everyone was impressed by the proposal put forward by the Lions and Chamber. Questions were raised about the actual cost of installation, and, more particularly, about the maintenance costs year on year. The Municipality raised concerns about accessibility, the handling of water and waste from the washrooms, and the potential added implications for the municipal budget.
Municipal staff researched the current washroom facilities available to the public in the Village, and found that, while some could be brought up to a higher standard, these were in municipal buildings not always open to the public outside regular office hours.
The Chamber of Commerce and the Lions Club of Merrickville are continuing to investigate the possibilities, and hope something positive may yet be achieved in getting this important installation by the start of the summer season. However, a planned joint appearance before Council last Monday was cancelled.