The Town of North Rustico is apologizing to local deep sea fishing businesses after blaming them for the state of the town’s public washrooms.
In August, the town received an email from residents stating the public washrooms were unclean.
In a Sept. 4 emailed response to the complainant, town CAO Patsy Gamauf said the condition of the washrooms has been an issue both this summer and last but said the town didn’t have the resources to have someone “just on washroom cleaning duty”.
Gamauf then said one washroom, in particular, was “used mostly by the people who go out on the deep sea fishing boats” and that some of the people “come in from the boats and clean their fish in our washrooms”. She added it “was time” for the businesses to have their own washroom facilities.
When The Guardian contacted the town on Sept. 11 about the letter, Gamauf said, “I really don’t have any comment at this time” before hanging up.
The Guardian then contacted town Mayor Anne Kirk who didn’t have anything to add to her CAO’s remarks.
“We’re in the middle of reviewing things,” she said. “We really can’t go into anything until we, ourselves, sort of look at this issue and see what’s going on and how things got to where they are.”
A few hours later, the town tweeted out the letter of apology that was sent to the North Rustico Harbour Authority and to about a half dozen deep sea fishing businesses in the area.
In the letter, Gamauf said she was “out of line” suggesting the businesses have their own facilities, adding it was neither her nor the town’s place to offer such advice.
“I am sorry that I put the blame on the patrons of our deep sea fishing businesses and I was wrong to assume they were the result of the uncleanliness of our public washrooms.”
The letter continues to say that town staff and council will take the winter to find a solution to the problem and hope to have a “good working relationship” with its businesses and residents.