After the acting mayor reopened the debate, Nanaimo city council decided Monday to go ahead with the installation of a public toilet for the Diana Krall Plaza downtown at an estimated cost of $110,000.
The Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association has offered $23,000 toward the cost of the project.
Acting mayor Jim Kipp came forward with the proposal to scrap the item from the city budget and ask city staff members to come forward with alternate ideas, including the possibility of sourcing "local" proposals.
"I don't think we looked to our city to come up with ideas," said Kipp.
Others argued against reconsidering the motion.
"We made a decision to move forward and that's exactly what we should do," said Coun. Diane Brennan.
The votes weren't on Kipp's side. His motion received support from councillors Bill Bestwick and Bill McKay, but councillors Brennan, Ted Greves, Diana Johnstone, Fred Pattje and George Anderson swatted it down.
Council members voted earlier this month to include the "Portland loo" for consideration in the 2013 budget, as recommended by city manager Al Kenning.
On Monday, Kipp, who originally voted along with the majority, brought the issue forward for consideration again, urging a second look at other options for downtown facilities.
City staff members had proposed installing the public toilet as a way to curb public urination in the downtown, a recurring problem for the area. In 2012, bylaw enforcement handed out 324 tickets for public urination or defecation.
The unit that staff are proposing the city purchase is made in Oregon and would come with an up-front cost of about $90,000, including shipping and installation. A further $20,000 would be needed to hook it up to sewer and water services. Seven similar units have been installed in Portland and Victoria.
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