Some Odessa City Park Restrooms to Remain Closed for Summer, Park-goers Fed Up

Some Odessa City Park Restrooms to Remain Closed for Summer, Park-goers Fed Up

By Alicia Neaves

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Two years ago, the City of Odessa had to close their park restrooms because of criminal activity.

Some have now re-opened this summer, but not all of them. Now, some park-goers are saying they're paying someone else's consequences.

"It's a pretty big inconvenience having to hold it and just wait," said Permian student Daniel Garcia who visits Optimist Park.

"You just have to hold it in until you get back to school," said Permian student John Fabela.

"After a big lunch, it's hard to hold it in. It hurts," said Permian student Hector Flores.

After the park restrooms closed in 2013, most are back open during the summertime. But this year, officials decided some locations are better left with the locks on the doors.

"People have been caught having sex in the facility, drug paraphernalia has been found, inappropriate things smeared on the walls, or vandalism occurring. For the safety of all of our children at the parks, it's just not appropriate to leave that open," said Public Information Coordinator for the City of Odessa, Andrea Goodson.

Optimist Park and the city's skate park facility will stay locked. So unless you're having a private party and call ahead of time, you'll have to run home, or someplace nearby to use the restroom.

"Especially having little ones because my 3-year-old, she has to potty very frequently. She's like, 'Mommy, I gotta go potty!' and I'm like, 'Right now, right now?'" said Optimist Park visitor Keisha Garcia.

The city says all bathrooms will be monitored very closely, and if criminal activity arises again, they'll shut down the facilities until further notice.

"Put a video camera outside of the bathroom to see who goes in and be able to tell who's doing this stuff and be able to stop them before they shut them down again," said another Permian student.

"It's one of those situations where we want to provide the best for our citizens, but unfortunately some of those citizens want to take advantage of the situation and ruin it for everybody," said Goodson.

If you catch any illegal activity happening in the parks, call Odessa Police at 333-3641.