Hempstead Town officials have spent $1.2 million to renovate three dozen restrooms in town parks, Supervisor Anthony Santino announced Thursday.
The 36 restroom upgrades were made at Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore, Averill Boulevard Pool in Elmont, Harold Walker Park in Lakeview, Seamans Neck Park in Seaford, and Rath Park and Echo Park in West Hempstead. Additionally, the funding went to upgrades in eight locker rooms at the Bellmore, Elmont, Seaford, Franklin Square, West Hempstead and Levittown pools.
Santino, who held a news conference to announce the improvements, said the renovations represent the first improvements made to Hempstead park restrooms in 20 years.
“We’re upgrading our facilities so residents can continue to enjoy carefree days with good quality conveniences at our parks,” Santino said in a statement.
The improvements include new epoxy coating on floors and painted walls, added partitions, LED lighting, and replacing all sinks, toilets, urinals, hand dryers and mirrors, according to the statement.
The new lighting was added for energy efficiency. The LED lights have a life span of 20 years. The upgrades also include waterless urinals at Rath Park in Franklin Square as a pilot program of using the technology, officials said.
Town workers also renovated the exterior building of the Newbridge Ice Arena and applied a new epoxy coating to the poolside stones at Levittown pools.
The renovations were completed using staff labor to install all fixtures, sinks and toilets. The town contracted partition installation to Plainview-based Creative Flooring Concepts and contracted epoxy coating to Blendex Industrial Corp. in Lindenhurst and Enecon Corp. in Medford, officials said in the statement.
Santino’s Democratic challenger in the November election, Laura Gillen, on Thursday criticized Santino for holding a news conference to promote the upgrades in light of issues facing the town, including a councilman’s indictment, controversy over IDA tax breaks and allegations of nepotism in hiring town employees.
“While maintaining facilities is certainly important, Town residents deserve better than their supervisor wasting their tax dollars on frivolous press conferences to pat himself on the back for installing toilets,” she said in a statement.