City and state officials are expected to hold a video conference next week to discuss opening the Intervale Scenic Vista visitor center to the public seven days a week after receiving complaints that people have stopped by only to find that the facilities were closed.
The lack of public toilets in North Conway has become more urgent in recent years since the COVID-19 pandemic brought a wave of visitors to town.
While the New England Ski Museum has opened up its disabled-accessible bathrooms with help from members of the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, the city has made little progress in building its own facilities near Schouler Park. .
Last month, select men discussed complaints they received about the reception center closing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The Visitor Center is currently open Thursday through Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Chief Executive Officer Tom Holmes gave an update on Tuesday.
“Next week we have been invited to a Zoom meeting with the state’s economic and business development officials to talk about the Scenic Vista bathrooms,” Holmes said, adding that select men are invited.
“It is going to be represented by all stakeholders,” he said, which would include the executive director of the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, Janice Crawford “and the departments of state that will oversee this type of activity. “.
The Zoom meeting will take place on December 16 at 1 p.m.
Holmes said elected officials should let them know at least 24 hours in advance if a quorum of council members plan to attend, as this would need to be posted publicly.
The selectmen made no decision on Tuesday but are due to meet again on December 14.
Last week, Holmes, District 1 Executive Councilor Joe Kenney (R-Wakefield), Crawford, State Senator Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro), various other state officials and the Sun were tagged in emails about the toilet situation.
Kenney shared a Sun article titled “Lack of public facilities still annoying visitors” published on November 26. He encouraged the Commissioner for Affairs and Economic Affairs, Taylor Caswell, to contact the city and the chamber on the matter.
“I’m sure local Chamber of Commerce CEO Janice Crawford and the Town of Conway would love to be part of the solution,” Kenney said. “I encourage your staff to contact local government and municipal officials in Conway and surrounding areas. “
Caswell on November 30 agreed to do just that.
Economic Development, Business and Economics Division’s communications director, Lorna Colquhoun, responded to the Sun’s question in an email on November 30.
“Like most businesses, the 12 state-run drop-in centers around New Hampshire have had difficulty retaining and finding staff. This had an impact on the hours of operation, including our center in Intervale, ”said Colquhoun.
“That said, due to concerns raised locally, we will be looking to meet with the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce and city officials to discuss collaborative options that may be able to address current workforce challenges. of the Center. “
Selectmen sent a letter dated November 29 signed by Weathers regarding the toilets in the governor’s office. He said that “various citizens” asked the city about the closure of the toilets.
“To our knowledge there are no public toilets from Portsmouth to North Conway so this rest area is used by many travelers,” the selectmen’s letter said. “As a city, we are currently examining locations and potential funding options for building city-maintained public toilets in the future.
“We understand this as we live in the days of COVID-19 and all the challenges that come with it. However, we are asking that these bathrooms be open and available 7 days a week to support the influx of tourism that we are seeing in the Mt Washington Valley.
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