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City toilet measure flushed for now

Dunkirk officials don’t want to flush money away or pull the handle on a new precedent.

The city’s Common Council, encouraged by Mayor Wilfred Rosas, tabled a proposal Tuesday to provide the Dunkirk Flea Market with a portable toilet.

Rosas told the council he does not want the city to start providing private entities with toilet service. The mayor fears a cascade of citizens seeking portable toilets from the city for their events if the flea market gets one.

The request, made by flea market proprietor Brian Meyer in a March 1 letter, also asks the city to provide a trash barrel. The toilet and barrel would be placed in the parking lot on Lake Shore Drive where the flea market takes place. Meyer wants them placed from May 7 through Labor Day weekend.

Rosas said Tuesday the barrel would cost the city nothing, but as for the toilets, “we don’t normally do that … I think you’re opening up a can of worms because anybody else that does these types of events in the city is going to want the same treatment.

“It is a cost to the city that has not been budgeted for, however, it’s not something that we can’t do,” the mayor continued. “It does benefit the city to have a port a potty there, it’s just not something we budgeted for.”

Councilman Marty Bamonto said there were some private events last year in the city that did have toilets. Rosas said they were paid for privately and “the only ones we do are the city sponsored events and normally we take them out after the event.”

Councilwoman Nancy Nichols asked if Meyer paid the city for using its lot. “No. We support it by allowing him to do it,” Rosas said.

Nichols wondered if anyone knew how much a toilet rental would cost. She received no answers.

Bamonto agreed with the mayor that it could open up a can of worms. “If they want to throw in some money and take donations from all the people down there and keep it there, maybe that would be the way to go,” he said.

Nichols mentioned that a few people who have tables at the flea market attempted to use the bathrooms at the Clarion Hotel across the street but were met with hostility.

Rosas suggested the council table the motion and he would talk to Meyer. The council agreed.

Meanwhile, City Clerk Edwin Ramos offered to investigate prices for a portable toilet rental.

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