Gore Bay resident circulates petition calling on council to reconsider its washroom-free open air pavilion

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GORE BAY—While a resident of Gore Bay is seeking support from local residents on a petition calling for town council to reconsider approving tenders for the construction of an open-air pavilion where the former tennis courts were (until the project includes washrooms being included within the building), a town official indicates that while permanent washrooms will not be included at this time, a separate building will be constructed in the future that will house proper washrooms.

“Provisions are in place for new public washrooms to be built—there will be washrooms constructed and available in a separate building (near the open-air pavilion) at a later date,” stated Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne. “It could be next year that they will be in place, but we have plans in place for washrooms to be constructed. If anyone hasn’t informed themselves as to what we are planning, they might not know what we are proposing.”

The petition reads, “This petition is in relation to the construction of an open-air pavilion on the Gore Bay waterfront as per the tender advertised to the members of the Gore Bay town council. We, the undersigned, are opposed to the construction of an open-air pavilion on the Gore Bay waterfront as per the tender entitled ‘2022-Gore Bay new pavilion closing date June 9, 2022.’ The undersigned therefore respectfully request the Gore Bay municipal council to oppose the current process and recommend as follows: Immediate reconsideration of the design of the open-air pavilion to include washroom facilities. Washroom facilities are an important part of providing a facility that meets the needs of the public/renters/users of the new facility.”

Carmen Runnalls, who is circulating the petition in Gore Bay, told The Expositor the petition has been drafted, “because there are no public bathrooms available or usable washrooms attached to the building for those who use the facilities for an event. We already have a pavilion down there with no public bathrooms, and the marina washrooms are not for public use either.”

“It is a big waste of money if there are no bathrooms at this pavilion, especially if it is going to be used for an event,” said Ms. Runnalls. “We’ve all had experience of a porta potty being used and urine overflowing the toilet, and guys peeing around the corner of the building. Without bathrooms it is a waste of space, and it is taxpayers’ dollars that have to maintain the building.”

Mayor Osborne told The Expositor tenders are out for the construction of the pavilion that will be opened, and then considered at the next town council meeting. He pointed out the facility will be an open-air building, “and we are constructing the pavilion to replace our large tent that had been rented out in the past for events. This will be a structure to be there that can be used by the public for events.”

“Why not a bathroom?” said Mayor Osborne. “Originally there was talk of renting the building out at events like weddings etc. But there are capacity limits that we (town) have to meet and to put in his and her and handicapped accessible washroom would have made up a large portion of the footprint (we have available for the pavilion). But there are provisions for new washrooms, building a new structure for washrooms at a later date.”

“The town is putting the tender out for the construction of this building, which will be lacking one of the things that is important and not available anywhere else in the area (of the new pavilion),” said Ms. Runnalls. She noted that a lot of local people have already expressed the same opinion. “Our population is mostly seniors; will they have to walk to the old Charlie Shell building (to use a bathroom). And when they get there, the door might be locked.

“This does not meet the needs of the community,” said Ms. Runnalls.

Mayor Osborne added “we expect the construction on the pavilion building to start in late summer or fall.”