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March and rally to focus on restrooms at Manchester's Veterans Park

New Hampshire Union Leader

February 04. 2018 11:45PM
This notice was posted on the public bathrooms at Veterans Park in Manchester last fall. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — Two days after the Super Bowl, city residents are invited to rally for bowls of a different sort outside City Hall on Tuesday.

City resident Glen Ouellette is organizing a march and rally through downtown Manchester Tuesday night, in support of opening the public restrooms at Veterans Park.

Rally participants are invited to gather at Veterans Park off Elm Street at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The group will then march to City Hall for a planned rally from 6:30 to 7 p.m., before heading inside to the aldermanic chambers to address board members during a public participation session. Anyone wishing to speak will be granted three minutes to make their case to open the bathrooms.

A poster promoting the rally proclaims, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Last month, members of an aldermanic committee received a report that estimates the cost of opening the public restrooms at Veterans Park could top $100,000.

The city closed the restrooms — located in a building facing Elm Street that is also home to the downtown visitors center — several years ago.

Ouellette wants the restrooms open on a schedule that mirrors public bus operations — Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At the request of aldermen, Don Pinard, chief of parks for the city, put together a report on the costs. According to Pinard, the annual salary cost for a restroom attendant at Livingston Park, at 40 hours a week, is $37,000. Health and dental benefits cost an additional $32,000 — putting the total cost around $69,000 a year. To staff the Veterans Park restrooms for 56 hours a week, Pinard estimated $51,800 in salary and $32,000 in benefits, for a total cost of $83,800.

Pinard also priced a second option — staffing the restrooms with a security guard, and having the facilities cleaned by Aramark. At 40 hours a week, this option comes in at $53,990 — $15,240 annually in cleaning supply costs and labor and $38,750 in salary for the security guard.

Manchester Local and County Government


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