A CONTROVERSIAL superloo which was branded a ‘waste of money’ has cost ratepayers £119,000 in rental fees during the last six years.
Figures compiled by the UH show that the facility in the town has generated just £1,361 in income during the same period. And it is estimated to have cost £500,000 since it was first installed 21 years ago.
It was relocated to Fintona from Johnston Park in Omagh after being heavily criticised by the Local Government Ombudsman as ‘not representing value for money’.
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council now intends to replace the so-called ‘Fully Automated Public Convenience’ by refurbishing the existing toilet block that it was intended to replace.
The Taxpayers Alliance this week described the failure of the council to address the costs of the superloo since 2010 as a ‘mess’.
“This so-called superloo has represented nothing but ratepayers’ money being flushed away,” said its campaign manager, James Price.
“The next time ratepayers are told that the council has no money left, they should remember what an unbelievable waste of their cash this toilet block has represented.
“The council urgently needs to upgrade its procurement skills and it should start by dealing with this mess.”
In 2015, the UH revealed that the superloo had cost £17 per use, with local people preferring to use nearby businesses to ‘spend their penny’ instead.
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council says it has spent a total of £680,000 on public conveniences excluding the one in Fintona during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years. However, in a statement, the council defended the expenditure on the superloo, saying that the rental and maintenance rates were ‘in line’ with similar facilities.
“The existing public convenience is to remain in place until the new public convenience facilities are built. Planning permission for the new facilities has been granted, with the project going to tender in the coming weeks,” they said.
“The small charge to use these public facilities was designed to regulate usage, not to cover running costs of the facility.”