Norco residents fail to get “eyesore” removed from local park

October 11, 2007 at 10:39 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Norco families want bathrooms removed from the park on the corner of Fifth Street and Goodhope, because they claim it's an eyesore for the residents living adjacent and directly across from it.

The front of the bathrooms face the homes of residents and they are concerned because they watch people going in and out of them all day.

"Back in 2000, when Shell built the park, they promised residents that there would be no bathroom facility," Roxanna Colon, a Norco resident said. "It was just supposed to be a simple walking park, with a trail where people exercise."

The park was eventually donated to the parish and bathrooms were installed for the convenience of residents using the recreational area.

"Everything is set-up for the bathrooms to be moved on the other side of the park away from our homes," Chip Freitas, a lifelong Norco resident said. "The area where we think the bathrooms should be placed once had a duplex, so everything is already set-up with sewer lines and water lines. It wouldn't be hard to move the bathroom at all.”

Councilman Lance Marino said he tried to get the bathrooms moved, but didn’t have any luck.

"We asked the parish to look into moving the bathroom to the other side of the park, and I haven't received a response yet from anyone," he said.

Marino and Councilman Richard Duhe contacted Larry Matson and Parish President Albert Laque once they received complaints from residents.

"I just don't want to look out of my window and watch people going in an out of bathrooms all day," Colon said.

Duhe says that he supports the residents decision to want the bathrooms moved.

"There's sewer lines on Apple street, close to the children's play area, where the bathrooms could be moved so they won’t face the residents homes,” he said.

Duhe says he spoke to Laque about a month ago, and he said that the bathrooms must remain in the same place.

Sal Digirolamo, president of the Norco Civic Association, said he has been working with residents to resolve the issue.

"The parish president asked residents to pick out a space for the bathroom and we put a lot of thought into where we would put the restroom," he said. "Much to our surprise, complaints about the restrooms began to surface."

Digirolamo says he's lived in Norco for 76 years and has never had a problem with the park.

"It's one of the nicest and most used parks we've got," he said.

Residents contacted parks and recreation, the parish, and other authorities for help and support but have gotten no results.

"The parish hasn't responded to our concerns, and it's very unfortunate," Colon said.

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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