Tokoroa's loo doomed, despite campaign

FLORENCE KERR
Last updated 09:49 24/06/2014

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A decision to close Tokoroa's Bonaly St toilets stinks, according to hundreds of Facebook users who have joined a campaign to keep the public loos open.

South Waikato District Council plans to close the ladies-only restroom on June 27.

Toilet attendant Margaret Gabolinscy will retire because of the closure.

Councillors made the decision to close down the toilets after a review revealed that only 30 women used it each week.

But Gabolinscy disagrees.

"We were asked a few weeks back about how many people use the toilets . . . we said it had declined due to shop closures in the town but we didn't say 30 people a week used it.

"We said between 30 and 35 people a day."

Gabolinscy took over the job more than 30 years ago from her mother, who worked at the loos for 13 years.

"I will be retiring now, but it is sad to see the loos go.

"It was a nice, safe environment for mothers, young children and the elderly."

A Facebook post on The Genuine Tokoroa Page about the closure got people fired up.

Tokoroa local Sandi Simmonds wrote that the closure was "absolutely disgusting".

Collette Cawood said the closure would be a "loss to our community".

"To still have a couple of awesome ladies there literally putting up with our s... after 32 years shows it best when I tell my mokos about my beautiful town," Cawood wrote.

Council spokesperson Kerry Fabrie said the figures on the number of women using the toilets were correct and had come from the toilet staff.

The council had received only one submission in favour of keeping the toilet open during the recent Annual Plan consultation.

This is not the first time the toilets were almost scrubbed out of existence; three years ago the council looked at closing the loos but locals wrote hundreds of submissions opposing it.

The closure will come into effect on June 27, saving ratepayers $34,000 a year.

Fabrie said the Leith Place Development project, which will include upgrading the public toilets, is in its planning stages. 

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- Waikato

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