The proof is in the potty. Downtown Kalamazoo has purchased a Portland Loo. Here's why they say it's not flushing money down the toilet.

It might be more money than your household income for a year. Is it worth it? In May 2019, the Kalamazoo City Commission approved the purchase of a Portland Loo. Basically, it's a 21st century porta potty with a $107,440 price tag. Funded through the initial allocation of Foundation for Excellence funds for downtown projects and investments, the restroom supports the Imagine Kalamazoo strategic goal to create inviting public places.

Developed in conjunction with the largest metropolitan area in Oregon, the Portland Loo is "designed by the city for the city." It has been lauded as a permanent solution to a real problem. If you've ever been downtown Kalamazoo and felt the urgent need for a bathroom you understand how tough it can be to find one, especially at night or on the weekend. But should the solution cost as much as a Tesla?

Here's why they are saying this is money well spent on our city and a Portland Loo is worth the price.

Prevents Crime: Crime has been a problem with traditional structures, but a stainless steel design resistant to damage and graffiti-proof exterior minimize vandalism. Specially designed louvers are angled in such a way that doesn’t compromise privacy, but does allow law enforcement the ability to observe the number of users inside the loo.

Easy to Clean and Maintain: The stainless steel materials make it easy to clean and sanitize. Multiple cleanings and restockings are planned daily.

Inexpensive to Run: Despite the $107,440 price tag, they say the Portland Loo's daily operation is not pricey, and some are run by solar-powered LED fixtures. It will also be available to the public 24/7, taking the strain off local business, and creating a welcoming environment for families.

Look for Kalamazoo's Portland Loo, upgraded with a cold-weather toilet, a handwash basin and baby changing table to be opening in November, at the northwest corner of the City-owned parking lot at 108 E. Water Street, directly behind the KVCC Center for New Media.

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This is What a $100,000+ Porta Potty Looks Like