By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
The men’s half of the Campbell Park restroom near the picnic shelter and playground was locked Saturday, thanks to apparent vandals.
It was discovered by a family having a July 5 picnic nearby that water was running all over the men’s bathroom floor.
Coincidentally, the family having the picnic included Dirk Hill, a member of the Imperial Lions Club, which spearheaded construction of the $38,000 facility,
Upon further investigation by club members at that time, it was found that a hole had been blown out of the bottom of the men’s urinal, apparently by fireworks.
A new urinal was ordered. Last Saturday morning, a report came into the sheriff’s office, complaining of a strong chemical smell in the men’s restroom.
Despite notice the men’s urinal was not operating, apparently men were using the drain instead of a stool, causing the odor.
It’s remotely possible, according to Lions member Nick Schultz, the odor was due to sewer gas or a built-in trap in the floor, but more likely from the urination into the drain.
After Saturday’s call to the dispatcher, the men’s side was locked, said Public Works Supt. Pat Davison.
On Monday, when city workers installed the new urinal, a crack was discovered in it, so a second one had to be ordered. The men’s side remains locked.
Vandals also peeled off the men’s and women’s signs designating separate bathrooms. Cost of the damage is estimated at $500.
The Lions built the restroom with funding support from several other sources. After construction was completed in 2010, the facility was donated to the city.
Anyone seeing suspicious activity near the restroom near the Fourth of July is asked to call the Imperial Police Department.