Tuesday 24 April 2018

Councils still flush money down drain with superloos

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

A Kerry superloo is costing a town council €38,000 a year -- but only generates €650 in revenue.

It's one of a number of superloos around the country where local authorities are flushing away thousands of euro every year because they're bound by expensive contracts to public toilet providers.

The town council in Listowel, Co Kerry, is locked into a 20-year contract for the superloo -- which is costing the local authority €38,000 per year.

The deal is with JCDecaux -- a French company with an office in Dublin -- and was signed in 2001.

They will hand over €340,000 in the next nine years before the contract runs out.

However, a report carried out by the town council in 2010 showed that breaking the contract would incur "substantial" costs. Because Listowel is a 'heritage town', Kerry County Council says it has to provide public toilet facilities for visitors.

"If Listowel Town Council were to break the lease, it would necessitate finding a location for a public toilet and there would be difficulties in locating a suitable site," a spokesman for Kerry County Council said.

"Additionally there would be significant costs in constructing a new toilet block, as well as the ongoing cost of maintenance.

"The existing toilet is self-cleaning and there is no cleaning or maintenance costs associated with it."

The most common type of superloo is the sanisette, a self-cleaning unisex public toilet made by JCDecaux.

Irish Independent

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