Some Ship Bottom Oceanfront Beaches Could See Mobile Restrooms Next Summer

By Gina G. Scala | Oct 30, 2019
Photo by: Ryan Morrill In 2017, the borough successfully placed a self-contained, next-generation mobile restroom, similar to this one at 68th Street in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township, on Sixth Street.

Ship Bottom — Two years after Ship Bottom officials moved forward with plans to expand access to public restrooms by placing a next-generation mobile bathroom facility on Sixth Street near the tennis and pickleball courts, it seems they’re at it again. This time they’re targeting oceanfront beaches. At least, that was the discussion at last month’s caucus meeting.

“We have wanted to do this,” Councilman Tom Tallon said when he brought the issue to the table Oct. 22.

For years, there has been discussion about putting public restroom facilities at the end of streets near entrances to oceanfront beaches. Those discussions had yielded no positive results – until now, that is.

“We can put them west of the garbage cans,” on the flat part of the beach, Tallon told the mayor and council during the meeting. “Conceptually, we can do it.”

Council President Ed English, who first brought up the idea again at a recent council meeting, said public restrooms on the beach are needed.

“There are a lot of hoops to jump through,” Mayor William Huelsenbeck cautioned. “You may find that we can’t do it.”

Still, he gave Tallon the go-ahead to research the idea further. Tallon has already determined that if mobile restrooms can be placed on the oceanfront beaches, the borough would try them out on a trial basis and lease the facilities for the first year.

In 2017, the borough successfully placed a self-contained, next-generation mobile restroom, similar to one at 68th Street in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township, on Sixth Street after some residents took the “not in my backyard approach” to the discussion on social media and in person at council meetings. The self-containing trailer has separate facilities for men and women.

Mobile restrooms come equipped with electricity, running water, and a holding tank (separate from the restrooms) in the center part of the trailer so it’s portable and can be moved. The trailers can also be permanently affixed by connecting to water and sewer. When the mobile restrooms are not in use, they can be locked.

If Ship Bottom can successfully place mobile restrooms on oceanfront beaches, it would go a long way in improving beach access on Long Beach Island. Unlike other areas of the Jersey Shore, such as Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant Beach, Ocean City, Wildwood and Atlantic City, Long Beach Island isn’t a boardwalk resort community. In those communities, public amenities such as restrooms are somewhat easily found. In Ocean City, for instance, there is a large building with plenty of restrooms for women and men, at the beach access point around 11th Street.

Finding public restrooms on LBI hasn’t always been easy since the Island has long been known as a mainly residential resort community with business districts in each of the six communities.

Gina G. Scala

ggscala@thesandpaper.net

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