Port Hueneme residents want to fix beach bathrooms
By George Miller
An alliance of Port Hueneme residents and Council members will fight to improve beach bathrooms. They claim those facilities are a turnoff to potential beachgoers and a blight on an otherwise world-class beach.
Sandwiched between the Port of Hueneme just north and industrial facilities and Ormond Beach to the south, Port Hueneme has one of the most beautiful beaches around- nice white sand beaches, hardly any rocks, swaying palm trees, ample parking, broad promenades a fabulous fishing and sightseeing pier, and even a restaurant. It is in a residential area, lacking the honkey-tonk or touristy atmosphere of so many SoCal beaches. PH funds lifeguards, too. Community events are often held there and families love it. The beach is the jewel of the small city of Port Hueneme.
This was achieved not without great effort. It is a planned community- mostly condos. The biggest problem has been a constant battle against beach erosion, which occurs because the Channel Islands Harbor and Port of Hueneme jetties and breakwater disrupt the north to south flow of sand along the coast. So once every couple of years, expensive, mostly federally funded dredging projects pump sand down to PH to replenish the beaches. So, the bathroom problem is much smaller than, say, losing the entire beach, but it is still significant to many.
City Council Member Jim Hensley and local businessman Paul Watson took us on a tour of one of the bathroom facilities and showed us the poor maintenance, dirt, deterioration of the facility and lack of privacy in the toilet stalls.
In reality, they aren’t broken. They are actually stoutly constructed and semi vandal-proof, with stainless steel fixtures and masonry construction. But they looked dirty, not well-maintained and lack privacy. There are gouges in the walls, The floors are porous and need clean-up and sealing. There are no entrance doors or doors on the toilet stalls, which some parents are upset about.
Watson told us that more maintenance would cost between $8,000 and $30,000 annually, depending on the cleaning schedule. Off season periods wouldn’t require as much work. Neither Watson nor Hensley had any estimates on what upgrades and rework would cost, but said that they would work on that and present a proposal to the council
The impediment to doing all this is that PH has major financial limitations. It has nearly exhausted its monetary reserves after years of crises, spending more than it received, expensive legal troubles, including employee lawsuits and a major problem with improper spending of Federal HUD money- over $2 million may be refunded.
Watson, a prospective local legal medical marijuana retailer, brought up the idea of private sponsors to help finance some of it and even proposed that they be able to put up sponsorship signs. To be continued ….
George Miller is Publisher of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard