WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Yentile Farm Recreational Facility’s public bathrooms will be reopening in the next couple of weeks, according to Wilmington Recreation Director Karen Campbell.
Campbell discussed the matter, which recently generated a lot of interest on social media, with the Recreation Commission at its meeting earlier this month.
The bathrooms — which are actually under the purview of the Public Buildings Department — are closed during the winter months.
“The Yentile bathrooms must be winterized to prevent the pipes from freezing. All water is drained, antifreeze is put in the toilets, and the water is shut off,” explained Campbell. “The bathrooms can’t be opened for an unseasonably nice day in February, and then re-closed the next day as temperatures fall again.”
Campbell noted the Public Works Department followed the guidance of health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Once the CDC and the local Board of Health said public restrooms were OK again, they were reopened,” said Campbell. “When we reopened last year, we opened from 9am to 9pm on weekdays, and things went fairly well.”
Campbell expects that bathroom schedule — 9am to 9pm on weekdays — to continue.
“Pre-pandemic, the bathrooms were open 7 days a week,” recalled Campbell. “And we had major issues with people putting every type of matter imaginable in the toilets, smearing walls, and defecating on the floors.”
Why no weekend access? Campbell explained that the Public Buildings Department currently does not have a budgeted position to monitor the restrooms on the weekends.
Campbell clarified that several comments recently made by a few residents in a popular Facebook group (e.g., “the bathrooms were never open,” “the bathrooms are only open during games”) were inaccurate. She again stressed that the Recreation Commission and the Recreation Department have no authority over when the bathrooms are open or closed.
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