The Riverton City Council approved a new public defecation ordinance on second reading last week, after discussing the possibility of providing more public restrooms in town.
The idea came from residents who expressed “concerns about penalizing defecating in public if we don’t have public restrooms available,” Mayor Tim Hancock said during last week’s meeting.
A public restroom is available at City Hall, city administrator Kyle Butterfield said, but it is only open during business hours.
Riverton also maintains public restrooms at several of its parks, but Butterfield said those are often closed in the winter to avoid freezing pipes, and they are usually locked at night as well.
Councilmember Kristy Salisbury said “a bunch of people” have asked her whether the city could place portable restrooms around town for the public to use at night, and Butterfield said staff is exploring that possibility.
Another, potentially cheaper, option is to build pit toilets that don’t require running water, Councilmember Kyle Larson suggested.
“It’s something we need to think about in the future moving forward,” Councilmember Mike Bailey said, wondering whether potential “pathway money” could be used to pay for public restrooms.
Councilmember Dean Peranteaux wasn’t sure more restrooms would solve the public defecation issue, however, pointing out that “people really abuse” the facilities at the Riverton Branch Library, for example, leaving them unsanitary and enhancing the potential for the “spread of disease.”
“Addressing the problem is more than just putting port-a-potties out there,” he said. “It’s a bigger deal.”
For more information call the City of Riverton at 856-2227.