Cincinnati Council delays public restroom vote

Jan 15, 2013

A Cincinnati Council Committee wants more information before proceeding with a plan to add freestanding restrooms in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.

 City administrators will do more research and report back on the issue.  

The original plan called for installing a “Portland Loo” at Findlay Market as a test location.  But some Council Members balked at the $130,000 price tag for the project including Wendell Young.

“I’ll be honest and simply say that there’s a whole lot of poor kid left in me that just won’t let me spend that kind of money on a toilet,” Young said.  “But it doesn’t mean I don’t get it and it doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s a necessary issue.”

City administrators now estimate they've found an alternative to the “Portland Loo” that would cost closer to $60,000 to install.  

Council Member Charlie Winburn suggested a panel study the restroom issue.

“Put together a small blue ribbon committee of business leaders and community leaders, and let’s do it not piecemeal, let them come together with a plan,” Winburn said.  “And then after they get through with the plan, we need to challenge the business community to pay for it.”

A Council majority agrees the increasing population and activities in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine have created the need for additional public restrooms that are accessible 24-hours a day.

Some Council Members even suggested engaging university students in the region to come up with ideas for such facilities that have a lower cost.  

A committee could discuss the issue again in 2 weeks.