Toilet Tiff: Clearwater residents want public bathrooms open - WFLA News Channel 8

Toilet Tiff: Clearwater residents want public bathrooms open

Posted: Updated:
CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

Neighborhoods in Clearwater want their park's public restrooms back and on Thursday they'll approach city council members to tell them about it.  "We're just asking the city to kind of get creative rather than just welding the doors shut on the restroom," said Carl Schrader, the President of the Clearwater Neighborhoods Coalition.

Communities here have come together with a resolution, asking council members to reconsider the latest bathroom closure at Crest Lake Park. Part of the issue was money; the other was complaints about shady things happening in those bathrooms.  "Drug dealings, homosexual activities, prostitutes ... that type of activity has been documented in the park years ago in the restrooms," said Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos.

Cretekos said after the recession started, crews slowly closed up facilities at parks across the city.  "Personally, I would like to have a restroom in every park but economically - that's not feasible," he said. "We've closed lights at tennis courts. We have other neighborhoods who would love to have bathrooms at their parks...and we've told them no. Our parks and rec department ... they have been cut almost more than any other agency."

Cretekos said the only bathrooms still open are those at the beach and it's because a private contractor runs those near concession stands.  "The neighbors thought this was short-term," Schrader said. " There's a lot of tourists who use this park. There's people who don't live in the neighborhood who use the park including those at the dog park."

Visitors like Kelly Dowden, who has two small children, have had their time here shortened because of it.  "We've had to leave the park a couple times because the bathrooms were not open," Dowden said. "Maybe they could open them during the day and at night they should close."

The push for improvements around the park have increased since the stabbing death of Jason Paul nearby in January. Schrader said neighbors are planning events for the park to get the public engaged again, including a candlelight service for Paul. For now, he said the coalition will take suggestions to the council Thursday at 6:00.  "One of them is: There's 7 restrooms; maybe they can open one a day and have one day for cleaning," he said.

Another suggestion is to have people convicted of minor misdemeanors clean the restrooms as a community service.  The Mayor says he has a big vision for Crest Lake part but it could take a couple years to see it through.  "To make it a signature park ... people drive by Crest Lake park - thousands of them - and most don't realize there's a park right there," Cretekos said. "We need to come up with the money. It's a couple years down the road but my intent as Mayor and hopefully the council will agree that we will make Crest Lake Park a signature park; not just for the neighborhood; but the entire community. You'll see that park and say - wow - I want to stop there and that should really help out. Hopefully at that point - we'll be able to restore the bathrooms."

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pinellas front desk school staff trained to handle medical needs at some schools

    Pinellas front desk school staff trained to handle medical needs at some schools

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:15:59 GMT
    Penny Perez, of St. Petersburg, worries every time she sends her 11-year-old son, Keith, to school. Keith has a rare condition called Williams Syndrome. He is developmentally delayed, and if his blood pressure is too high for an extended period of time, his heart could stop.
    Penny Perez, of St. Petersburg, worries every time she sends her 11-year-old son, Keith, to school. Keith has a rare condition called Williams Syndrome. He is developmentally delayed, and if his blood pressure is too high for an extended period of time, his heart could stop.
  • Venice man says he has melting dashboard in his Toyota Camry

    Venice man says he has melting dashboard in his Toyota Camry

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:01 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:01:38 GMT
    Kayser Sayeg doesn't allow his wife to drive her 2008 Toyota Camry on long distances.In the hot Florida sun, the dashboard melts and becomes incredibly sticky.Aside from being a nuisance to clean, it causes a glare in the windshield, sometimes making it difficult to drive
    Kayser Sayeg doesn't allow his wife to drive her 2008 Toyota Camry on long distances.In the hot Florida sun, the dashboard melts and becomes incredibly sticky.Aside from being a nuisance to clean, it causes a glare in the windshield, sometimes making it difficult to drive
  • Apple recalls iPhones for battery trouble

    Apple recalls iPhones for battery trouble

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 8:16 AM EDT2014-08-26 12:16:28 GMT
    Noticed your iPhone's battery life getting shorter? You may be eligible for a free replacement.
    Noticed your iPhone's battery life getting shorter? You may be eligible for a free replacement.
  • NewsMore>>

  • TRAFFIC: NB I-75 blocked near Fruitville Road

    TRAFFIC: NB I-75 blocked near Fruitville Road

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:39 AM EDT2014-08-27 10:39:30 GMT
    Northbound lanes on Interstate 75 past Fruitville Road are blocked Wednesday morning after an accident.
    Northbound lanes on Interstate 75 past Fruitville Road are blocked Wednesday morning after an accident.
  • School officials to explain new Florida Standards

    School officials to explain new Florida Standards

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:13 AM EDT2014-08-27 09:13:59 GMT
    The majority of state's now use Common Core, a learning system that demands the same basics for every student. This school year, Florida is rolling out it's own tweaked version called the Florida Standards.
    The majority of state's now use Common Core, a learning system that demands the same basics for every student. This school year, Florida is rolling out it's own tweaked version called the Florida Standards.
  • Duke Energy to announce changes

    Duke Energy to announce changes

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:02 AM EDT2014-08-27 09:02:58 GMT
    Jolted by customers fed up with Duke's rollout of a plan to avoid duplicating meter reader routes, it appears the utility is ready to throw in the towel. Wednesday morning, we expect the company to announce changes that could include bill credits.
    Jolted by customers fed up with Duke's rollout of a plan to avoid duplicating meter reader routes, it appears the utility is ready to throw in the towel. Wednesday morning, we expect the company to announce changes that could include bill credits.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 'Party mansion' in North Raleigh sells for $1 million

    'Party mansion' in North Raleigh sells for $1 million

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 12:42 PM EDT2014-08-26 16:42:52 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    A North Raleigh house commonly referred to as “the party mansion” sold last month for $1 million.
    A North Raleigh house commonly referred to as “the party mansion” sold last month for $1 million.
  • 12 arrested in Clearwater prostitution crackdown

    12 arrested in Clearwater prostitution crackdown

    Monday, August 25 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-08-25 21:40:57 GMT
    The Clearwater Police Department targeted the East Gateway area in a crackdown on prostitution over the weekend.
    The Clearwater Police Department targeted the East Gateway area in a crackdown on prostitution over the weekend.
  • CEO of hospitality company seen on video abusing dog

    CEO of hospitality company seen on video abusing dog

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 10:49 PM EDT2014-08-27 02:49:09 GMT
    What does a puppy abuse story in Canada have to do with Tampa Bay? The CEO of a company that provides food and hospitality services to Tropicana Field and other venues in the Bay Area was caught on camera repeatedly kicking a puppy and yanking on its leash.
    What does a puppy abuse story in Canada have to do with Tampa Bay? The CEO of a company that provides food and hospitality services to Tropicana Field and other venues in the Bay Area was caught on camera repeatedly kicking a puppy and yanking on its leash.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.