Imperial Beach City Council decides against controversial ‘comfort station’

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IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. -- The Imperial Beach City Council decided Wednesday to divert funds from a controversial "comfort station" along Seacoast Drive to the Imperial Beach pier after several complaints from residents.

"I think what I heard from the council tonight is the comfort station is off the table and that the IB pier is on the table," said Dan Malcom, Port Commissioner with the Port of San Diego.

The news came as a relief for people who have passionately opposed the idea of public restrooms and showers near their homes.

"Are you guys ready to start cleaning up needles and other stuff that comes out from all these homeless people when they decide, hey this is a nice place to go live?" said Jesus Martinez.

The 450-square-foot facility would have included several restrooms and three showers at Seacoast Drive and Beach Avenue, where a parking lot currently sits.

No one attending spoke out in support of the comfort station, but plenty of people agreed putting the money elsewhere to improve Imperial Beach was a great idea.

The Port of San Diego and the city council are now committed to coming up with a plan for how they can improve the Imperial Beach pier by summer 2020.

The comfort station would have cost about $2 million. It's still unclear if that’s the exact amount that will be reallocated to the pier, but the Port of San Diego is set to come back to the city council in about a month with its proposed plans.

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